Rabbi’s Reflections – Monday, November 2, 2020
It’s the day before our national election (but you already knew that). Because I am writing this RR as the rabbi of Shomair Yisrael, which enjoys a tax free status as a house of worship, I have to maintain an impartiality from writing in favor of any one political party or candidate. I know how that got to be a rule (The Johnson Amendment 1954) but I don’t want to go into it right now. What I do want to dig into is how I’m voting for God in this election. I’m pretty sure there’s no rule against that.
I was inspired by Dr. Michael Brown’s tweet this morning on the need to continue praying after the election. https://stream.org/do-not-take-your-foot-off-the-pedal-of-prayer/ While I was inspired by Dr. Brown, these thoughts are my own (except the Scriptures I quoted, which are from God).
To be sure, it is always tempting to “sit this one out,” or even worse, vote for any write in candidate who has zero (if I could write zero bigger, I would) chance of winning. To “write in” any other candidate is to silence your own voice. You have removed your voice from the chorus, and will be forced to accept the results of the electoral college which will made without you. The rest of us who vote for any major candidate, will also accept the decision a made by people who voted too, but we participated.
God is not on the ballot, but since Barabbas and Yeshua 2,000 years ago (and the majority got that one wrong), God is never on the ballot. Yet, His principles are. Ask yourself, better yet, ask God through prayer, which candidate or party most closely follows God’s Word. We’re not voting for perfect, we’re voting for a path that will lead us closer to righteousness. Neither candidate will lead us there (only God will), but one candidate may lead us closer to God, and His righteous principles. After prayer and hearing from God, cast your vote for that one.
Rabbi Trail: Personally, there are two issues that speak louder to me than the others, the sanctity of life and US relations with the State of Israel. I believe this country has been blessed because of our relationship to Jewish people (since its inception) and to the State of Israel (in the last 72 years). While neither candidate may be bad for Israel, one may be better.
Regarding the sanctity of life, life begins at conception and continues to the grave, but let me share one of the dirty secrets of abortion. To commit abortion, the abortionist has to convince himself that he is not aborting a baby, but just getting rid of some “unwanted tissue.” While the abortionist can brainwash himself to pursue his chosen profession, he cannot convince that expectant mother, who will always know what she did to the life within her. I’ve spoken to many mother/victims of abortion. They all carry a heavy burden. No-one ever felt that way about having a wart removed. Yet, God is the God of forgiveness. His grace is always sufficient. End RT.
Are we more divided as a nation now than four years ago? By any objective measure, the answer is “Yes.” Is there more evil at work in our society? Again, certainly yes! And while it is tempting to lay all of that at the feet of a single human being or one political party (or both), we must lay the blame for evil at the feet of Satan (our adversary and accuser). He knows His time is short. His schemes are being exposed. No wonder he is “kicking up dirt” and rebellion. (And our lying media (both social and press) is helping him every way they can. No surprise there either. 1 Timothy 4:1 Now the Ruach clearly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, following deceitful spirits and teachings of demons 2 through the hypocrisy of false speakers—whose own conscience has been seared.
God moves in this world through the prayers of His saints. Jacob 5:16b The effective prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. Paul understood this when he wrote to the Philippians in chapter 1, verse 9ff…. Let’s take his instruction to heart as we pray our way through these next days, weeks, and years.
Philippians 1:9 Now this I pray, that your love might overflow still more and more in knowledge and depth of discernment, 10 in order to approve what is excellent—so that in the Day of Messiah you may be sincere and blameless,11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Yeshua the Messiah, to the glory and praise of God.
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Mon 2-Nov-2020 15th of Cheshvan, 5781
Ge 18:15-33Jdg 2Ps 27Mt 19(3 Jn)
Today we are reading the second portion of Vayera (And He (Adonai) appeared). The story of Abraham continues. This is the subject of the first chapter of the book by Asher Intrater, Who Ate Lunch With Abraham. Could it have been God? I thought God said, “No man shall see Me and live.” (Exodus 33:20)
But God did eat lunch with Abraham. (And Abraham served them butter and milk as well as meat.) In Genesis 18:17 (our reading for today), after eating lunch, the Scripture clearly says “Adonai said” (it is no longer a messenger, or an angel, but Adonai Himself). How is that possible? My answer to that conundrum is that Yeshua is Adonai. Asher draws the same conclusion in his book, but he takes about 200 pages to prove it.
The Psalm for today is Psalm 27. This reminds me of 2003 when my 2 youngest daughters were deployed in theater (where the war was taking place). Berelyn was in the Army and Jacquelyne was in the Air Force. For the year in which they were serving at a time of war, Shomair prayed parts of Psalm 27 as a congregational declaration on their behalf. To this day I love these verses and think of the goodness of God to preserve them and keep them safe while fulfilling their responsibilities during that time.
Psalm 27:1 Of David. Adonai is my light and my salvation: whom should I fear? Adonai is the stronghold of my life: whom should I dread? 2 When evildoers approached me to devour my flesh —my adversaries and my foes— they stumbled and fell. 3 Though an army camp besieges me, my heart will not fear. Though war breaks out against me, even then will I be confident. 4 One thing have I asked of Adonai, that will I seek: to dwell in the House of Adonai all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of Adonai, and to meditate in His Temple.
Let’s all ask that “one thing” of Adonai, and then stand on His promises.
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: Romans 8:4 is my life verse. Why is that?
Answer: I’m glad you asked. Romans 8:4 so that the requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Ruach. People are always putting down God’s Law. They say it has been replaced by grace. Paul must not have gotten the message. Go ahead, read the context.
Grace and truth are inclusive of each other (not exclusive). It’s both/and, not either/or. Grace makes us ABLE to obey God, when the flesh is weak, the spirit is strong. The “Law” doesn’t change, our approach to it does. Now we obey God by the Spirit and not through human effort (the flesh).
My best prooftext is the preceding verse… Romans 8:3 For what was impossible for the Torah—since it was weakened on account of the flesh—God has done. Sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as a sin offering, He condemned sin in the flesh— Now add the next verse.
God loved us enough to provide the way for us to obey Him, through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son. And how do we know we are obeying Him? We ask, how do we line up with His word. Yeshua is “the Word,” and the Word of God never changes… Hebrews 13:8 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today, and forever.