Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, December 24, 2020


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

Thu 24-Dec-2020 9th of Tevet, 5781

Ge 45:28-46:27 2 Sa 14 Ps 86 Lk 9:1-26 (2 Co 9)

In the Torah reading today there are a lot of names, and a lot of writing about the preparation and the travel of all of Jacob’s house down to Egypt.  It specifically mentions 70 souls (including Joseph’s 4, who were already living there).  Why is this significant?

Nothing is wasted in the Bible.  If God specifically details 70 souls, there must be a reason.  Seventy is a number that is used repeatedly in Scripture to represent all the nations of the world.  You might ask, “Really Rabbi, where does the Bible say that?”

Deuteronomy 32:8 When Elyon gave nations their heritage, when He separated the sons of man, He set boundaries for the people by the number of Bnei-Yisrael.  And the number of Bnei-Yisrael is 70.

According to the Talmud, the Sanhedrin was made up of 71 sages.  I wonder if that were 70 members and 1 leader (like the senators of the Senate, plus the vice-President).  

My point in bringing all this up is to illustrate a deeper spiritual reality to the Egyptian bondage that follows, and subsequent freedom.  The children of Israel are symbolic of the entire world. The entire world is in the bondage of slavery to sin, until the deliverer (for Israel it was Moses, but the reality for Israel and the rest of the world is Yeshua) comes to set us free.  

Galatians 5:1 For freedom, Messiah set us free—so stand firm, and do not be burdened by a yoke of slavery again.

Sure, Messiah set us free, but what does it mean, “do not be burdened by a yoke of slavery again?”  This part of the verse is very misunderstood.  It is widely believed that obedience to the Law is a “yoke of bondage.”  But, that’s like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  

Can it be against God to obey God?  There is a clear call on the life of every follower of Yeshua to obey God.  Isaiah 42 is a very Messianic chapter of Scripture.  Near the conclusion of it we read… Isaiah 42:21 Adonai was pleased, for the sake of His righteousness, to make Torah great and glorious.

My point is simple.  The blessings of God’s kingdom are found in obedience to His word.  Not so that He will love you more (for that is by grace), but so that each of us will live a better life.  Deuteronomy 4:40 You must keep His statutes and His mitzvot, which I am commanding you today, so that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you may prolong your days in the land that Adonai your God is giving you for all time.”  

Finally, do you have to Jewish to receive that blessing?  My answer is, “No.”

Week 52 

Memory Verse: Revelation 3:19 Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline. Therefore, be zealous and repent.

256   12/21  Monday:         Revelation 2

257   12/22  Tuesday:        Revelation 3

258   12/23  Wednesday:   Revelation 19:6-20   

* 259 12/24  Thursday:       Revelation 21

260   12/25  Friday:            Revelation 22

Question of the Day:  Who is the Bride of Messiah?

Answer:  There are multiple choice possible answers.  

  1. All followers of Yeshua.  Ephesians 5:25b Messiah also loved His community and gave Himself up for her 26 to make her holy, having cleansed her by immersion in the word. 27 Messiah did this so that He might present to Himself His glorious community—not having stain or wrinkle or any such thing, but in order that she might be holy and blameless.
  2. 144,000 male followers of Yeshua.  Revelation 14:1 Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him were 144,000 who had His name and His Father’s name written on their foreheads. 2 And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and the booming of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like harpists playing on their harps. 3 And they are singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one is able to learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. 4 These are the ones who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been redeemed from among mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb. 5 And in their mouth was found no lie—they are blameless.
  3. New Jerusalem.  Revelation 21:9b he spoke with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”… 10 Then he carried me away in the Ruach to a great and high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,… 25 Its gates shall never be shut by day, for there shall be no night there! 26 And they shall bring into it the glory and honor of the nations. 27 And nothing unholy shall ever enter it, nor anyone doing what is detestable or false, but only those written in the Book of Life.
  4. All of the Above.  Why not have a Bride that is inclusive of the followers of Yeshua (including the 144,000).  And they (we who follow Yeshua) ARE NEW JERUSALEM.  Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 I also saw the holy city—the New Jerusalem—coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God.

Yes, I like “all of the above.”  Revelation 21:4 He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer, for the former things have passed away.”