Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, November 6, 2020

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,  

I’m awake before 5AM… who can sleep during such a swirl of “tzores?”  “Tzores” is the Yiddish word for “trouble.”  It comes from the Hebrew word “Tza’arah” meaning “leprosy.”  However you say it, there is a swirl of trouble in the world.  

Before I write what I anticipate will be a combination between a rant and a lament, I want to remind myself (and you who are reading) that Yeshua is on the throne and our assignment is to keep our eyes on Him and not on circumstances.  We’re not to be ignorant of our circumstances (or “Polyanna-ish”), but to see everything going on in the world through the lens of Messiah Yeshua.  

Rabbi Trail:  Many times I write RTs that are funny or at least light hearted.  However; this is very serious.  I made it into an RT so you would notice it.  This is a time to pray.  2 Corinthians 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but powerful through God for the tearing down of strongholds. We are tearing down false arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. We are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Messiah—   One of our other failures (not mentioned below) is that the body of Messiah, by and large, has failed to create a culture of prayer.  This is should be our first  option (and is our best option) in every situation of life.  End RT. 

Rabbi’s note:  After I wrote the next section on Psalm 32, it occurred to me that it’s a good fit with the call to prayer, so be sure to read that too.  End RN.

We must keep focused on the prize.  Philippians 3:13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself as having taken hold of this. But this one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the reward of the upward calling of God in Messiah Yeshua.

Isaiah spoke this word for all generations (including ours)… Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for Adonai will renew their strength. They will soar up with wings as eagles. They will run, and not grow weary. They will walk, and not be faint.

May we all be able to make Paul’s confession… 2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.

With all that said, here is my rant/lament.  You may stop reading here if you like.  It might get ugly.  Keep in mind that I’m not being politically partisan here.  The sad truth is that we don’t teach civics any more.  Many people only know what they read and hear through the media.  

There was a girl in the crowd in Atlanta interviewed on the nightly news last night.  She said this… “Trump doesn’t care about me, why should I care about him?”  This was her justification for voting for Biden, and I imagine there are many just like her.  This raises two questions in my mind… Where did she get the idea that Trump doesn’t care about her, and where did she get the idea that that is a reason to cast your vote?

The answer of the first question must be laid at the feet of the media.  The answer to the second question must be laid at the feet of our selfish society.  I’m glad our founding fathers didn’t have that attitude.  They risked their lives and their fortunes in order to form a more perfect union.  They signed their names to this statement.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence (sic), promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” 

My sad lament is that for decades we have neglected our duty to teach the responsibilities that go with freedom, and now we are reaping a harvest of ignorance and brokenness.  I am only comforted by the fact that Yeshua is on the throne.  Forgive us Father, for we have sinned.

Final note: Please read Raymond Finney’s Sunday RR.  I wrote this before I read it, but it dovetails nicely, answering the age old question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  End FN.


Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Fri 6-Nov-2020 19th of Cheshvan, 5781

Ge 21:22-34Jdg 6Ps 32Mt 23(Ro 3)

Years ago I was seeking the Lord earnestly when He spoke to me out of Psalm 32.  Before I go on, I want to say that I don’t use that term lightly.  God is always speaking, and I am always listening.  Yet, I could count on one hand the number of times I can say, “God spoke to me.”  One of the ways I know God spoke to me is that whenever He does, I never forget it.

I was asking God to give me a prophetic sense of the future.  He could have scared me by actually showing me what the future holds.  After all, that’s what I was asking of Him.  But in His love and kindness, He didn’t.  He simply gave me Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will give counsel—My eye is on you.  God’s revelation of the future is that He would instruct me and teach me, showing me “the way.”  

Rabbi Trail:  There are great Hebrew words used here.  The first word (translated “instruct”) is “Sachal.”  It’s where we get the Yiddish word “Sachel.”  It means a wise orientation.  The ability to see all sides of an issue with sagacity.  The second word, translated “teach” is from the same Hebrew root at the word “Torah.”  It means to point or aim.  We should see the Torah as God’s target, and see ourselves as being on the way to hitting the mark.  End RT.

His instruction would be a revelation of how to put one foot in front of the other.  He adds to His promise to instruct and teach by promising the gift of counsel.  The Hebrew word for “counsel” is “Ya’atz,” which is one of Yeshua’s names given in Isaiah 11, “Peleh Yo’atz” which means wonderful counselor.  God promises to form us through his “instruction” and “teaching” into wise counselors. 

Then He puts the “icing on the cake” by promising to keep an eye on me.  Good news… this verse is in your Bible too.  Therefore; it is your promise as well that God will keep His eye on you.  What, you wanted a better blessing than that?  Pray into it.

Week 45
Memory Verse: Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Yeshua.

221   11/2    Monday:         Romans 7-8

222   11/3    Tuesday:        Romans 9-10

223   11/4    Wednesday:   Romans 11-12     

224   11/5    Thursday:       Romans 13-14

* 225 11/6    Friday:       Romans 15-16

Question of the day:  Why does Paul have to end his letter to the Romans with a warning to “be wise about what is good?”  

Answer:  The entire verse reads… Romans 16:19 Your obedience has become known to all, so I rejoice over you—but I want you to be wise about what is good and innocent about what is evil.  Paul is saying obedience is to be appreciated and valued, but there is something more, being both wise and innocent.  The whole counsel is to be wise concerning good and innocent concerning evil.  

How is it that our society these days is so easily misled about what is good?  Because we are not grounded in the Word of God.  Paul seems to be echoing a warning Isaiah gave 700 years earlier.  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!  

All of these issues have eternal implications.  It takes us to the Passover Seder when we eat the bitter herb, and then contrast that with the sweetness of the Charoset (apples, pecans, cinnamon, and grape juice) which tastes as sweet as “mom’s apple pie.”  What remains is the question, “How would you like to spend eternity, with the pain of bitter herb or the delight of sweet charoset?

Pray for God’s wisdom toward what is good and for the grace to be innocent about what is evil.  Then walk in both.