Rabbi’s Reflections – Friday, October 9, 2020

(Early) Shabbat Shalom,

Announcement:  Friday night and all day Saturday are Shemini Atzeret, the 8th day celebration.  It’s a strange thing to have an 8th day appended onto a 7 days holiday (Sukkot).  Since I believe Yeshua was born on the first day of Sukkot, that makes Shemini Atzeret the celebration of His circumcision.  Yeshua’s circumcision on the 8th day is very important.  For Him to be the Savior, he had to perform all righteousness throughout His life, even when He was an infant and too young to even help Himself.  Thank God He had faithful parents.  

Tomorrow night (Saturday night) is Simchat Torah.  We will gather at 7pm to celebrate another year of completing the cycle of reading the Torah.  That night we will carry the Torah around the congregation, and then roll back the scroll from Deuteronomy to Genesis.  Simchat Torah means rejoicing in the Torah, and that’s what we will do.  All are invited to be with us for this fun time.  


What about those little foxes?  Song 2:15 Catch the foxes for us— the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.  Those “little foxes” are the little things that irritate all of us.  These are irritations sent by the enemy to steal our shalom.  What do we do with them?  Do we find a way to cope?  Do we meditate ourselves into a yoga trance and hum?

Rabbi Trail:  Before I go on, I want to acknowledge the risk in writing this RR.  Every time I preach something, I get tested in it.  So, as I write on overcoming little irritations, I’m sure to be tested with an avalanche of little irritations.  Mine come primarily in two forms, electronics and slow drivers.  I want to comment on both.

My electronic issues have been greatly minimized since I bought a Mac.  There are still issues.  Even as I’m writing this, I’m having issues with downloading videos for the service on Saturday.  Electronics are going to have issues.  There are just too many possible problems with hardware and software and people communicating with each other.  If you’re in IT, think of electronic problems as job security.  Try this, the next time the little foxes of technology are “eating the blooms off of the vine.”  Say a prayer of thanksgiving that God is showing you how important it is to depend on Him.

Regarding slow drivers… there is always going to be a slow driver in front of you (that’s why they’re in front of you and not way in front of you).  Slow drivers are like poor people, they will always be with us.  We don’t get angry with poor people for being poor and we shouldn’t get angry with slow drivers for driving slow.  I would like to say again, it’s a good thing my car came with a horn and not with a machine gun.  Thank you Rabbi.  End RT.

How do we really deal with “little foxes?”  We keep our eyes on God.  Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  We realize that nothing shall separate us from the love of God, not even little foxes.  Romans 8:38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.  We are ambassadors for Messiah in every situation.

We pursue God in everything, all the time.  We see every “little fox” as an opportunity to prove we love God more.  1 John 3:22 and whatever we ask, we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do what is pleasing in His sight.  We walk in truth and act faithfully.  3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than this—to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 5 Loved ones, you are acting faithfully in whatever you do for the brethren and especially for strangers.

The victory belongs to the Lord.  Psalm 68:2 My soul, wait in stillness, only for God— from Him comes my salvation. 3 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress—I will never be moved.

“Little foxes” are little irritations that want to disrupt our shalom.  God has another plan.  His plan is to make us overcomers.

Week 41
Memory Verse: 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

201   10/5      Monday:       1 Thessalonians 3-5

202   10/6      Tuesday:      2 Thessalonians 1-3 

203   10/7      Wednesday: Acts 18:18-19:41

204   10/8      Thursday:     1 Corinthians 1-2

* 205 10/9      Friday:       1 Corinthians 3-4

Question of the Day:  What is required of stewards?

Answer:  The Bible is very specific in answering this question.  But, before I get to that, what is a “steward?”  A steward is anyone who has delegated responsibility or authority (I want to use these two terms interchangeably) for what belongs to someone else.  We are all stewards of God’s grace, His Word, His resources, His reputation, His love, and the list goes on.  In short, we are stewards of His Kingdom.

There is an interesting thing about delegated responsibility.  The delegated responsibility still belongs to the owner.  It is as if God loaned us His credit card and said to us, “Use it responsibly.”  His name is still on the card, and if we abuse the card with His name on it, He has every right to take it back.

This is where we were yesterday.  God does say… Matthew 28:18 And  Yeshua came up to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19a Therefore, go….”  

What is required of stewards?  The Bible answers very specifically… 1 Corinthians 4:2 In this case, moreover, what is required of stewards is to be found trustworthy.  I prefer the word “faithful” to the word “trustworthy.”  Steward must be found (by their masters) as faithful.  

Yeshua is speaking to us today, and He is saying… Matthew 24:45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master put in charge of his household to give them food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whose master finds him so doing when he comes. 47 Amen, I tell you, his master will put him in charge of all his possessions.

I pray that you will be one of those stewards who the Master will find faithful.  Have a great Shabbat.