Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, September 3, 2022
Growing in Love for God 32
by David Harwood
Let’s review a foundation of these meditations.
Each aspect of this foundation is built upon the bedrock of God’s unchanging revelation found in the Scriptures. Specifically this: God is love (1 John 4:8b) and Paul prayed that we would know the love of the God who loves us. He petitioned along the lines of God’s desires, and we read that God wants us to be “founded in love” (Ephesians 3:17b CJB, YLT). The Greek word, themelios, really is properly translated as a foundation. The house of our inner life is to be firmly established upon the ground of His love.
To begin our review, let’s reemphasize that the Great Command really is the most important command. Yeshua said it. Let’s pay attention to what He said. That command is the holy bedrock upon which the foundation of our activities and motives are to be built. In our common parlance we have a descriptive word, mega. That is a transliteration of the word used to describe this command. It is the mega-command. (Matthew 22:36-38).
“Teacher, which is the greatest (megalē) commandment in the Torah?”
37And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love Adonai your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first (great – megalē) and greatest (foremost – prōtos) commandment. 39And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36–38 TLV)
It is the great and the foremost, prōtos, command. From prōtos we get the word prototype. Every other command is fashioned after the pattern of this command. It is the prototypical command.
It is the mega-prototype command. May I capitalize these words and add an exclamation point? Why not? This is the Mega–Prototype command! We are examining the pattern from which all commands proceed and the standard against which they are measured. And the only One who has the right and the insight to command it has emphasized it.
Everyone can grow in fulfilling this authoritative directive. Understanding reasons for it may potentially assist us in making progress in keeping it.
The first reason I shared is that our appreciation of our Creator is important to our Creator. Here is a foundation for that reason: we were created to be unique, living, material masterpieces who have the capacity for a true, spiritual apprehension of God’s goodness. Amazingly, our appreciation of God is treasured by Him. We were formed to have a relationship with Him that we, and He, would love.
We definitely need the Ruach ha-Kodesh’s help to grow in our love for God. There is an empowering of the redeemed soul’s capacity to know and admire the God we love. Let’s appreciate the graces proceeding from the Spirit.
The Ruach of Adonai will rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and insight, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Adonai. 3His delight will be in the fear of Adonai. (Isaiah 11:2–3a TLV)
This describes the Spirit Who has been given to us.
“… the Ruach ha-Kodesh, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” (Acts 5:32b TLV)
(T)he Spirit whom He has given us. (1 John 3:24b TLV)
His activity is the goal of Paul’s intercession found in Ephesians 1.
that the God of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, our glorious Father, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in knowing Him. (Ephesians 1:17 TLV)
God will help us fulfill the Great Command through the Spirit enhancing our fellowship with Him. Along those lines we can ask:
Adonai, please reveal something You love about Yourself that would resonate with my heart.
The Lord will find a way to communicate to the sincere seeker. He’s very creative. His sheep are trained to hear His voice.
A skyscraper’s foundation must be deep. The higher the building, the deeper the foundation. The intensity of the wind at the top of such a building is so powerful that the structure must be anchored to the bedrock. There are winds of doctrine that can sway, and even overthrow, such a spiritual structure. At times there are deep shakings of lives, akin to earthquakes. The way the building is grounded upon the bedrock provides stability even in the midst of shaking. The Great Command provides that stability.
If our love for God is a reciprocal love, then it may be the case that the quality of our comprehension, and experience, of God’s love may help determine the strength of our reciprocation.
We’ve been commanded to have a strong love. He’ll help us.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Sat 03-Sep-2022 7th of Elul, 5782 Parashat Shoftim
De 20:10-21:9 Isa 51:12-52:12 1 Ti 3:1-7