Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, November 12, 2020
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Thu 12-Nov-2020 25th of Cheshvan, 5781
Ge 24:53-67 Jdg 12-13 Ps 37 Mt 26:36-75 (Ro 8)
The Torah reading today is very prophetic. We have Rebekah’s brother trying to trick Eliezer. Genesis 24:55 But her brother with her mother said, “Let the young woman stay with us a few days—or ten. Afterwards she may go.” “Let her stay a few days – or ten” is an effort to confuse matters. More time means additional time to add other “conditions.” Although he is not mentioned by name here, Rebekah’s brother, Laban, makes an appearance a few chapters later. True to his nature, he tricks Jacob repeatedly.
And then there is this blessing from Rebekah’s family as she was leaving with Eliezer… Genesis 24:60 and they blessed Rebekah and said to her: “Our sister, may you become thousands of ten thousands, and may your seed possess the gate of those who hate him.” Rebekah only had the two twin children (Esau and Jacob). It may not have looked like much of an answer to that blessing. But wait, Esau had 5 sons with 3 women and Jacob had 12 sons with 4 women. And one of the sons of Jacob was Judah from whom would come Messiah Yeshua. He will “possess the gate of those who hate Him.” That is prophesy fulfilled in abundance. What a mighty God we serve.
Memory Verse: Acts 20:24 However, I don’t consider my life of any value, except that I might finish my course and the office I received from the Lord Yeshua, to declare the Good News of the grace of God.
226 11/09 Monday: Acts 20-21
227 11/10 Tuesday: Acts 22-23
228 11/11 Wednesday: Acts 24-25
* 229 11/12 Thursday: Acts 26-27
230 11/13 Friday: Acts 28
Question of the day: What is Paul’s self defense?
Answer: Paul has to use words as his defense. He starts with a compliment to his judge… Acts 26:2 “Concerning all I am accused of by the Judean leaders, I consider myself fortunate, King Agrippa, that it is before you that I am about to make my defense today— 3 since you are especially knowledgeable about all Jewish customs and issues. Therefore I beg you to listen patiently to me.
Then Paul starts to give a defense for the hope that is within him… 1 Peter 3:15b Always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you. Paul begins to speak about the hope of all Jewish people. Hatikvah, “The Hope,” is the Israeli National Anthem.
As long as within our hearts
The Jewish soul sings,
As long as forward to the East
To Zion, looks the eye –
Our hope is not yet lost,
It is two thousand years old,
To be a free people in our land
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.
Interestingly, the hope of the Jewish soul is described as 2,000 years old. “Ayin L’Tziyon Tzofiyah” are the last 3 words of the first part. It means “the eye is (like a spy) on the lookout for Zion. But what is “Zion?” This could take a while.
Zion is more than a land (location – after all Mt. Zion is in Jerusalem and Zion is used interchangeably in Scripture with Jerusalem) or a people (Zionists are people who believe Jewish people should live in self government in the land of Israel). Zion is a coming kingdom, whose King will be God. He will appear on earth as Messiah Yeshua.
That’s what we hope for today and that is what Paul was accused of hoping for a little less than 2,000 years ago. Acts 26:7b And for this hope I am accused by Jewish people, O King! Paul was pointing out that his hope and the ancient hope of Jewish people everywhere and for all time is the same hope.
But there is a difference. Paul and every Messianic Jew (or Gentile) knows that that for which we have always hoped, has already become a reality in Messiah Yeshua. While Israel hopes for His coming, we hope for His return.
Now, does that sound like something to have a major disagreement over? I don’t think so, and neither did Paul. Ultimately it would, however; cost Paul his life. And it may well cost us ours too. Eyes on Yeshua, without fear. Keep the faith… keep the hope!