Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, November 16, 2020


Special Announcement:  On Sunday, December 6, 2020 Doug Kimball is marrying Maggie McNally in a small, family only, wedding ceremony.  Please join me in congratulating the soon-to-be-wed couple.  

In anticipation of those pending nuptials, the ladies of Shomair are giving Maggie a wedding shower after the service next Saturday, November 21, 2020.   Ladies, please bring a salad, snack or cold dish to share.

If you would like to bless Maggie and Doug with a wedding gift, some suggestions are here at the link to their registry at Target.  https://www.target.com/gift-registry/gift/f64cca3c79d548d7baf34936e806d94f

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

Mon 16-Nov-2020 29th of Cheshvan, 5781

Ge 26:6-12 Jdg 17-18 Ps 40 Mt 28 (Ro 11)

The Torah portion this week is Tol’dot (generations).  It starts in Genesis 25:19 Now these are the genealogies (generations) of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham fathered Isaac.

In today’s reading (Aliyah), in Genesis 26:7, like father, like son.  Isaac told the same lie to King Abimelech as his father, Abraham, did, with the same result.  God exposed the lie and protected him and his wife from harm.  That’s exceptional.  

I want to skip forward to Psalm 40 (the Psalm for today).  First, let me tell you something about me.  It may be true concerning you too.  In fact, I’m sure it is.  I believe that I (we) have a great sense (from the Holy Spirit) of right and wrong.  And I hate to see evil flourish.  It would seem that King David had that same drive to see righteousness triumph over evil.  The Psalm for the Sabbath Day, Psalm 92 addresses this… Psalm 92:7 A brutish man does not know, nor does a fool understand. 8 Though the wicked spring up like grass, and all evildoers flourish, it is only to be ruined forever. 9 But You, Adonai, are exalted forever. 10 For behold, Your enemies, Adonai —behold Your enemies perish— all evildoers are scattered.

The Scriptures promise though wickedness may flourish, it’s only for a season.  We are to be comforted with the knowledge that every victory enjoyed by Satan and his minions is temporary.  The enemies of God will perish.  The battle and the larger war belong to God.

The Psalm for today (40) has many classic verses.  Please read the Psalm (and don’t rush through it) and appreciate it’s message.  There are several verses that were quoted directly by Yeshua.  Notably, Psalm 40:8 Then I said: “Here I am, I have come— in the scroll of a book it is written about me.  (And the rest of the quotation… both parts are quoted in Hebrews 10:7 but in reverse order) 9 I delight to do Your will, O my God. Yes, Your Torah is within my being.”

This Psalm is not unique, but one among many that declares the final victory belongs to the Lord.  Eyes on Him and not on circumstances.  Psalm 40:2 I waited patiently for Adonai. He bent down to me and heard my cry. 3 He brought me up out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire. Then He set my feet on a rock. He made my steps firm.

That’s His promise to both you and me today.  Let’s receive it in the name of Yeshua.

Week 47
Memory Verse: Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourselves—it is the gift of God. 9 It is not based on deeds, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship—created in Messiah Yeshua for good deeds, which God prepared beforehand so we might walk in them.

* 231 11/16    Monday:        Colossians 1-2

232   11/17    Tuesday:        Colossians 3-4

233   11/18    Wednesday:   Ephesians 1-2    

234.  11/19    Thursday:       Ephesians 3-4

235   11/20    Friday:        Ephesians 5-6

Question of the day:  What is the “circumcision of Messiah?”

Answer:  The term is found at the end of Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision done not by hand, in the stripping away of the body of the flesh through the circumcision of Messiah.

Let’s see, 

We were dead in sin… Ephesians 2:1 You were dead in your trespasses and sins.

We (some of us) used to be Gentiles… (I like the Complete Jewish Bible by David Stern here.)  Ephesians 2:11a Therefore, remember your former state: you Gentiles by birth (CJB)….

Rabbi Trail: I’ve got to be both very careful and very clear about this.  “Your former state” was “Gentiles by birth.”  Does that mean we’re all Jews now?  When we say “Gentiles” and “Jews” we’ve got to be specific.  In both groups there are those who follow Yeshua and those who do not.  

The term “Gentile” refers to anyone not Jewish.  But that is too broad a term, for among that group there are both heathens and Yeshua followers.  Those who are Yeshua followers are grafted in to the olive tree.  In Romans 11, the olive tree has both natural branches (natural Israel) and grafted in “wild” branches (from the nations).  The Romans 11 olive tree, therefore; nourishes both Jewish and non-Jewish people.  End RT.     

We’ve all been baptized into Moses…. 1 Corinthians 10:1 For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers and sisters, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea. 2 They all were immersed (baptized) into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.

We’ve been brought near… Ephesians 2:13 But now in Messiah Yeshua, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of the Messiah.

We’ve been raised up and seated… Ephesians 2:6 And He raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Messiah Yeshua.

And now, finally, we’ve even been circumcised, not in the flesh, but spiritually.  What does it mean to be circumcised?  It means the cutting away of the flesh, that outer insensitive covering which shields the sensitive inner being.  (See Colossians 2:11 above) That’s the sign of covenant.

In Messiah Yeshua, everything changes.  The “born again” experience is real….  2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

The circumcision of Messiah is part of that new birth.  The Bible says much about this…

Deuteronomy 10:16 “Circumcise the foreskin of your heart therefore, and do not be stiff-necked anymore.”

Jeremiah 4:4a Circumcise yourselves to Adonai and remove the foreskins of your heart, men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem.

Philippians 3:3 For it is we who are the circumcision, who worship by the Ruach Elohim and glory in Messiah Yeshua and have not depended on the flesh.

Lastly, Jeremiah warns specifically against depending on fleshly circumcision.  We must not stop there.  For every physical reality, there is a greater spiritual reality.  

Jeremiah 9:25 “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised [physically] and yet uncircumcised [spiritually]. 

Receive it, love it and walk in it.  Welcome fellow citizens of New Jerusalem.