Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, August 27, 2020


Did you catch yesterday’s announcement?  Lars Enarson  https://www.thewatchman.org/ will be speaking at Shomair this coming Shabbat.  We are really looking forward to his first visit to the congregation.  He will be speaking on the Days of Repentance, with a focus on the Feast of Trumpets.  Rumor has it that he brought his Shofar with him.  This is a wonderful opportunity for our congregation to receive from a spiritual giant in the faith.  Hope to see you there.


A couple of days ago I wrote about “dark and lovely” from the first few words of Song of Songs 1:5.  Today, I want to continue that discussion.

Rabbi Trail: I know it’s more like a lecture than a discussion, but “lecture” seems so authoritarian.  And I’m not an authoritarian, a librarian, a strict trinitarian, nor a presbyterian.  I am, however; a sabbatarian.  Simply put, I prefer to think of this as a discussion.  So please allow me to continue in my delusion.  Or maybe it IS a discussion, between me and God.  I do pray before I write.  Lord, what do you have to say to Your servant today?  End RT.

Jan commented on this last Sunday evening during our teaching on Song of Songs (2nd in a series).  

Rabbi Trail: It’s not too late to sign up (but it soon will be).  So far you are only 2 lessons behind and can catch up.  The notes, hand outs, and videos will be available to those who have signed up, but not to everyone.  The live sessions are on Sunday from 4-6pm if you care to join in.  End RT. 

We are all both dark and lovely.  Our self image demands a balance between the two.  A balance, by definition, means we must avoid tipping toward the dark side nor to the lovely side.  This balance is necessary to good spiritual health.  

The balance of “dark and lovely” helps us perceive our capacity to sin (without actually falling into sin) in the light of Yeshua’s once-for-all-time redemption.    While our sin was yet dark, Yeshua loved us enough to obediently suffer crucifixion.  

While our darkness is washed away by His blood, we must be rooted and grounded in Him, so as not to return to do evil.  Here are some Scriptures to support that thought.

Proverbs 26:11 Like a dog that returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.  These people are described in 2 Peter 2 as false prophets and teachers.  2 Peter 2:13b They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their deceitful pleasures while feasting together with you.  Do you notice they are “together with you?”

1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived! “Bad company corrupts good morals.” 34 Come to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning!

And finally there is this… Galatians 5:1 For freedom, Messiah set us free—so stand firm, and do not be burdened by a yoke of slavery again.  The “yoke of slavery” is not obedience of God’s commands, but breaking God’s commands and continuing to live in it.

We should be aware of our past sinful life, but not focus on it.  If we do, we become guilt ridden and hopeless.  The light of Yeshua delivers us from darkness.  Isaiah 9:1(2) The people walking in darkness will see a great light. Upon those dwelling in the land of the shadow of death, light will shine.  

Yeshua is our light… John 8:12 Yeshua spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. The one who follows Me will no longer walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” 

Now let’s examine the other side.  If we overly focus on our lovely side, we become haughty, arrogant and prideful.  Romans 12:3 For through the grace given me, I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think—but to use sound judgment, as God has assigned to each person a measure of faith.

Rabbi Trail:  If find it interesting that immediately after Romans 9, 10, and 11 where the essence of Messianic Judaism is explained by Paul to the Romans, he launches into a warning against arrogance.  End RT.

The point is simply this… we need a healthy perspective on ourselves to attain the maturity to which God is calling His people.  Keep your eye on the prize… Matthew 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. Therefore if your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.”  While the darkness is done away, the capacity to return (called backsliding) is still there.  

Week 35
Memory Verse: John 13:34 “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so also you must love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

171   8/24      Monday:      John 11; Matthew 21:1-13 

172   8/25      Tuesday:      John 13

173   8/26      Wednesday: John 14-15

* 174 8/27      Thursday:     John 16

175   8/28      Friday:       Matthew 24:1-31

Question of the day:  Yeshua seems critical of the Apostles because none of them asked Him,  John 16:5b “Where are You going?”  So where was He going?

Answer:  That’s easy (Yeshua answered it before He chastised them for not asking the question… John 16:5a “But now I am going to the One who sent Me.”  Yeshua goes on to explain the advantages of Him leaving; so that He could send the “Helper,” Who is the Holy Spirit.  John 16:7b but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you.

Yeshua then explains 3 purposes for sending the Holy Spirit.  John 16:8 “When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment:.”

Now for the reason I brought it all up…  what is this really about?  Conviction of sin (“Chet” in Hebrew).  Conviction about righteousness (“Tzedek” in Hebrew).  And conviction about judgment (“Mishpat” in Hebrew). 

Let’s make this into a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (must be dinner time and I’m hungry); there are two slices of bread (earth and earth) and the PB&J filling (heaven).  Yeshua says, John 16:9 “concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;”  The Holy Spirit does the convicting.  Clearly, believing in Yeshua is the cure for sin.  This is done on earth.

Then there is a work in Heaven.  Yeshua says, John 16:10 concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see Me.  All righteousness is fulfilled as Yeshua takes His rightful place at the right hand of the Father.  

But there is one more thing to be done back in the earth.  John 16:11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.  Satan has been judged.  He knows his judgment, the only question still to be decided is who will he take to hell with him?  

Joshua, son on Nun, said it best.  Joshua 24:15b “But as for me and my household, we will worship Adonai!”  Joshua’s generation missed the mark.  The Holy Spirit was not available to them.  We have no such excuse.  Let’s honor God, who is 3 in 1, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  When we do, the world will come into right order and the Kingdom of God will come to earth in all its fullness, may God be glorified and magnified.  In Yeshua’s name.  Amen.