Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, August 28, 2020

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Please remember in prayer our dear brother, Ralph Finley, the senior leader at our sister Tikkun congregation, Ahavat Yeshua, in Washington DC.  Ralph has been diagnosed with pneumonia and COVID-19.  Please lift him up regularly before the Lord and I will keep you updated on his condition.

One last announcement about our special guest minister this Shabbat.  Lars Enarson will be with us for the first time.  He tells me he is planning to speak on the season of repentance in relation to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.  Only the Lord could orchestrate this in this season.  

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We are continuing our study of SoS.  The book written by King Solomon is a love story, yes, but so much more.  This is not just any love story (although every love story is remarkably similar to every other love story), but a metaphorical love story of the Shulamite and her Beloved.  The reality is that the Shulamite is the Bride of Messiah and her Beloved is none other than Messiah Himself.  

Because of the characters involved, these are great (world changing) events.  The maturing of the bride requires a miraculous transformation.  The Shulamite has to grow into the fullness of the stature of Messiah.  She (just like her Beloved) will stand firm as an overcomer, even unto death.  Ephesians 4:12b for building up the body of Messiah. 13 This will continue until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of Ben-Elohim—to mature adulthood, to the measure of the stature of Messiah’s fullness.

We have a destiny in Messiah Yeshua, both personally and corporately.  We have not yet reached our destiny because of weakness.  We are weak individually and we are weak as the body of Messiah.  The Lord is covenantally committed to revealing (by exposing) our weaknesses.  Our usual response to that revelation is shame with an effort to conceal the matter.

The first thing Adam and Eve did after committing the first sin was to hide from God.  Genesis 3:8 And they heard the sound of Adonai Elohim  going to and fro in the garden in the wind of the day. So the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Adonai Elohim in the midst of the Tree of the garden.

But God will not relent, until His purposes are accomplished in us.  He does not remove our call, nor does He take back His gifts.  He wants us to grow in stature to be with Him in all things.  Yeshua prayed exactly that… John 17:24a “Father, I also want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory.

I heard it said, “God loves us into His kingdom.”  How does He do this? John 4:17 (parts) …He is our father in the sight of God… (Who) calls into existence that which does not exist.  That’s right!  God calls forth our goodness (by loving us when we’re not good).  God calls forth our faithfulness (by loving us when we’re not faithful).  God calls forth our obedience (by loving us when we’re not obedient).  God calls forth His strength (by loving us even when we ourselves are weak) For God is love. (1 John 4:8b) This is not a license to sin, but an opportunity to get right with Him when we do sin.  

When is a good time to repent?  All the time.  One last thought… God’s love never fails.  God’s love is grace.  In Hebrew we say, “Ki L’Olam Chasdo,” meaning “for His grace (mercy) is forever (eternal).”  This is the end of every line in Psalm 136.  Give Him thanks when He doesn’t let us get away with sin.  We are convicted and drawn near to God by the Holy Spirit.  Hebrews 4:16 Therefore let us draw near to the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help in time of need.

Week 35
Memory Verse: John 13:34 “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so also you must love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

171   8/24      Monday:      John 11; Matthew 21:1-13 

172   8/25      Tuesday:      John 13

173   8/26      Wednesday: John 14-15

174   8/27      Thursday:     John 16

* 175 8/28      Friday:       Matthew 24:1-31

Rabbi Trail:  Please don’t read the question of the day to follow.  It might well confuse more than clarify.  Just know this (and you can skip reading it), there is some very bad stuff that is about to happen in the earth.  Satan’s time is short and he wants to steal every offering of praise from God.  God deserves all praise and Satan deserves none.  Get ready, Yeshua is coming.  Time is short.  End RT.

Question of the day:  What is “the abomination of desolation,” spoken by Daniel the prophet? (Matthew 24:15)

Answer:  Naturally, we should look to what Yeshua was referring in Daniel, who in turn is referring to Jeremiah.  Daniel chapter 12 verse 11 mentions the “abomination of desolation” in connection with 1,260 days.  1,260 days is exactly 3 1/2 biblical years (360 days in a biblical year).  

Where do we find 3 1/2 years mentioned in Scripture?  Many places and in many ways, but in particular here.  Daniel 9:25 So know and understand: From the issuing of the decree to restore and to build Jerusalem (Cyrus did this in the 4th year of his reign) until the time Mashiach, the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and 62 weeks.  7+62=69. That leaves 1 week remaining from the 70 weeks mentioned in the previous verse.  Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are decreed concerning your people and your holy city, to put an end to transgression to bring sin to an end, to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Holy of Holies.  There are more opinions about that last week than there are people (some people have 2 opinions and I am one of them).

Where I am going is exactly to the meaning of the abomination of desolation.  The abomination is a horrible and detestable thing that causes us to revile its very existence.  It is every detestable work of Satan that holds itself up in the place of God.  Satan wants everything that belongs to God.  He especially wants every offering that is offered to God.  The abomination of desolation will be a false system of sacrifice established in the rebuilt temple.

This is a little long from 2 Thessalonians 2, but it seems to be directly related to this discussion.  2 Thessalonians 2:4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in the Temple of God, proclaiming himself that he is God…. 7a  For the mystery of lawlessness is already operating; 8 Then the lawless one will be revealed. The Lord Yeshua will slay him with the breath of His mouth and wipe him out with the appearance of His coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is connected to the activity of satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with every kind of wicked deception toward those who are perishing. They perish because they did not accept the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a delusional force, to lead them to believe what is false, 12 so that they may be judged—all those who did not believe the truth but delighted in wickedness.

All I’m saying here is that we’ve been warned.  Pray that we, the people of God, will know the abomination of desolation when we see it.  My strong feeling is that we are going to see it soon.  

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