Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, August 17, 2020
By the time most of you read this, we will have begun our teaching series on Song of Songs. I’m going to add my comments on notes from the “cutting floor” to the daily RR. There is always more than we can teach. Those notes that don’t make the cut are said to be “on the cutting floor.” I’m hoping to take some of the notes that interest me and write about them. The first one is this.
Song of Songs 8:6a Set me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm.
Nothing like starting at the end. This verse appears in the last chapter, and must be considered as part of the climax to the story being told in the book. In spite of its importance, there is much debate among scholars. There are two main thoughts with respected teachers coming down on either side. Either the bride is speaking to her bridegroom and asking to be set as a seal over His heart, or the bridegroom is speaking to his bride and asking to be set as a seal over her heart.
The bridegroom (Yeshua is the bridegroom) has a heart that doesn’t change and therefore doesn’t need a seal. The bride is the one who needs a seal. What drew my attention to this is the use of the word “seal.” Another English word for the Hebrew word translated “seal” is “signet ring.” In ancient times a sovereign’s signet ring was used to seal official documents, sometimes in place of a signature.
This is Yeshua saying in effect, “I want to indelibly write my signature with unchangeable effect on your heart, and on your arm too.” Why the heart and the arm? The heart governs thoughts while the arm governs actions. God wants everything we think and everything we do to bear His signature.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Messiah dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another with all wisdom in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with gratitude in your hearts to God. 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.
But wait, there’s more… When we pray through the Day of Yom Kippur, there are 5 liturgical services in orthodox Judaism (don’t panic, we only do 3 at Shomair). The last of these services comes at the end of a long day of fasting and prayer. It is called, N’ilah, meaning “locked.”
The prayers of this service are remarkably similar to the prayers in the previous 4 services (which are also remarkably similar to each other) with one notable exception. But first, a word of information.
Another name for Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) is the Day of Judgment. Judaism teaches that (and the liturgy speaks of) individuals being written in the book of life for another year, or not, depending on an individual’s level of repentance. Yeshua brought the message of eternal salvation. I like to say, since you’re going to repent anyway, why rent your life for another year when you can have and own eternal life forever.
Instead of praying to be “written” in the book of life, in the N’ilah service the prayers change to “may we be ‘sealed’ in the book of life.” Sealed is like being written without the possibility of being erased. Once the seal of the signet ring is stamped in wax, the matter is concluded once and for all. The seal of the Bridegroom, (Yeshua HaMashiach) on our hearts and arms is a permanent high calling that is not open for future discussion. The matter of to Whom we belong is sealed shut.
Memory Verse: Mark 10:45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
* 166 8/17 Monday: John 6
167 8/18 Tuesday: Matthew 19:16-30
168 8/19 Wednesday: Luke 15-16
169 8/20 Thursday: Luke 17:11-37;18
170 8/21 Friday: Mark 10
Question of the day: Okay, Let’s be clear. I could write about this chapter and nothing else every day for a year. The first thing that happens is a great crowd is hungry. 5,000 men reclined in the grass at Yeshua’s instruction. What did they eat?
Answer: They ate 5 loaves and 2 fish… and at the end there was more than when they started. In fact, there were 12 baskets of leftovers! How did that happen? It happened because Yeshua gave thanks. John 6:11 Then Yeshua picked up the loaves. And having given thanks, He distributed bread to everyone who was reclining. He did the same with the fish, as much as they wanted.
How does that work? It’s a miracle, but I would like to add some perspective to it. What God does, is done with such power that it keeps on being done. God sets things in motion and by His power, what God sets in motion defies the laws of physics; it stays in motion. The food that was blessed by Yeshua kept on giving, and giving, and giving.
This is why I believe there is never a shortage in the kingdom of God. Psalm 34:11(10)b …those who seek Adonai want for no good thing. We are the children of God. Matthew 7:11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Yes, our inheritance is to stand on God’s Word. Philippians 4:19 My God will fulfill every need of yours according to the riches of His glory in Messiah Yeshua. God will supply all your needs, but I hope you like fish. It’s what’s for dinner.