Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Here is a link to an article to help you be aware of how Sukkot is being celebrated in Jerusalem this week.  https://allisrael.com/over-50-000-worshippers-attend-priestly-blessing-ceremony-at-western-wall .  Also, here is a link to another article and a video of the priestly blessing mentioned in the article.  https://www.israelhayom.com/2023/10/03/thousands-attend-sukkot-priestly-blessings-at-western-wall/ .

Life In The Body part 8 – Romans, part 183

Romans 12:9 Let love be without hypocrisy—detesting what is evil, holding fast to the good.

The title I’ve given these three chapters (Romans 12, 13, & 14) is “Life In The Body.”  It is Paul’s treatise or instruction on how we should live together to reflect God’s character as a witness to the world of God’s goodness.  Today we begin thirteen verses of specific instruction.  Naturally, Paul begins with true love and follows that with a clear distinction between good and evil.

The world’s view of love is frequently tainted with selfishness, but God’s view of love is always self-sacrificing.  Yeshua said it like this… John 15:13 No one has greater love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.  Paul echoed this belief in his letter to the Philippians… Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfishness or conceit, but with humility consider others as more important than yourselves, 4 looking out not only for your own interests but also for the interests of others.

There’s that word again… “humility.”  Humility and hypocrisy are mutually exclusive.  It might be wise to define hypocrisy at this point.  Hypocrisy is saying or believing one thing while doing another.  When our actions don’t match our words (commitments) or beliefs (faith), we are being hypocritical.

Generally, this happens as a result of two errors (and they are interrelated), fear and pride.  Pride is trusting in self (instead of God), and fear is a lack of confidence to trust God.  The humble person keeps God on the throne and trusts in Him alone.  Proverbs 22:4 The reward of humility and fear of Adonai is riches, honor and life.

Rabbi Trail: “Fear of Adonai,” as mentioned here, is a healthy fear.  It is not an inability to trust God, but (quite the opposite) a well-deserved respect and awe for His authority and power.  End RT.

Paul closes out the verse with an admonition to detest evil and cling to good.  That might seem like a “no-brainer,” but ask yourself, “Are there elements of evil that I’ve not yet rejected and replaced with God’s goodness?”  Self inspection is part of the kingdom of God.  Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of Adonai, searching all his inmost being.

Paul uses a strong word, “detest” what is evil.  There is no such thing as “go along to get along” in the kingdom of God.  There is a struggle going on in the body of Messiah regarding good and evil that ought not to be.  Isaiah 5:20 Oy to those who call evil good and good evil, who present darkness as light and light as darkness, who present bitter as sweet, and sweet as bitter!  Don’t be an “oy” person, reject evil.  Shalom shalom.

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Wed 4 Oct 2023 19th of Tishrei, 5784 Sukkot V
De 15:19-23, Nu 29:23-28  Mal 1 2 Ch 34:18-33   Rev 20 (Ac 27:1-20)