Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, September 17, 2020
The first of the Fall Feasts of the Lord is upon us. Yom Teruah (the Day of the Shout) is popularly known as Rosh HaShana. It is the first day of the 7th month. It begins Friday night, September 19th and continues on Saturday.
Rabbi Trail: At Shomair, we only celebrate one day, but much of the Jewish world celebrates for 2 days (so many are planning to have a shofar service on Sunday). This year that is very important because sounding the shofar (or playing any musical instrument) on Shabbat is forbidden in much of Rabbinical Judaism, so a one day celebration of the Feast of Trumpets on Shabbat would come and go with no trumpets. How sad. End RT.
At Shomair we are going to start with a covered dish dinner (please bring something to share) at 6pm with a service following. Also, please bring your shofar, if you have one, and we will make a great sound. That sound is described in Revelation 11.
Revelation 11:15 Then the seventh angel trumpeted, and there were loud voices in heaven saying, “The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Anointed One. And He shall reign forever and ever!”
On Yom Teruah, we hear the sound of the shofar (that is the commandment) and it is as the voice of God. Then we become the voice of God to a sick and dying world. And this is our message to the nations….
What? You’re expecting some other message? I just printed it for you. “The kingdom of this world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Anointed One. And He shall reign forever and ever!”
Justin Rizzzo, (https://justinrizzo.com/) worship leader at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, is coming to Shomair on Monday night at 6PM, October 26th. Please plan to be with us then. I mention it now because he put these words into music and here is the link. It has become one of my favorites. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHEpRXMJIkk
So much to write and so little time. To quote the phrase made famous by Walt Kelly in the comic strip Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Usually, I quote Scripture. Okay, here is a Scripture… Ephesians 4:22 With respect to your former lifestyle, you are to lay aside the old self corrupted by its deceitful desires, 23 be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and put on the new self—created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. That’s right, “lay aside the old self… and put on the new self.”
What brought this on? A comment in the Song study last Sunday night. We’ve got to get off the throne and invite God to be the Lord of our lives. When we examine our circumstances and use our reason, we are on the throne. God is love, and He loves us from the throne. Our fear is that He will judge us from the throne.
God is a righteous judge. He has already judged the world and found this… Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
God looked for a man… Ezekiel 22:30 I searched for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand in the breach before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one.
So He sent His Son… Galatians 4:4 But when the fullness of time came, God sent out His Son, born of a woman and born under law— 5 to free those under law, so we might receive adoption as sons.
We get off the throne, put God on the throne, obey His commands and let the blessings flow. How does that happen? God begins to reorder our lives, into divine order. He informs our priorities. He reallocates our time. He opens our hearts and minds to what is valuable to Him, and what is valuable to Him is eternally valuable.
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, and the boasting of life—is not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world is passing away along with its desire, but the one who does the will of God abides forever.
Memory Verse: Acts 2:42 They were devoting themselves to the teaching of the emissaries and to fellowship, to breaking bread and to prayers.
186 9/14 Monday: Acts 2-3
187 9/15 Tuesday: Acts 4-5
188 9/16 Wednesday:Acts 6
* 189 9/17 Thursday: Acts 7
190 9/18 Friday: Acts 8-9
Question of the Day: What were Stephen’s last words?
Answer: Read the last verse of Acts 7. Acts 7:60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” After he said this, he died.
We read it, and accept it. Today, let’s meditate on it. Stephen was recently given a title. He was made a servant (deacon or shamas). He was not angry with God or man. Paul came along later and said this… 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.
Before Paul, Yeshua said this… Matthew 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Let’s take a moment and marvel (and appreciate) Stephen in his final moments of this life. For 52 verses of Acts 7 his testimony is recorded in detail, every word he spoke. Many of those who heard Stephen that morning were enraged at those words. He might have been disappointed and felt like a failure, but nothing could be further from the truth.
The eternal benefit of his testimony is beyond measure. And like I promised yesterday, Yeshua is giving Stephen a standing ovation. Acts 7:56 And he said, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
May we all have the courage, faith and blessing that came upon Stephen. We certainly don’t deserve better than he. Stephen was the first martyr. In Hebrew we identify martyrs by saying they died “al kiddush HaShem,” meaning “for the sanctification of the name.” May we all be blessed in that moment. The heavens open, and we see clearly. May we all have that open vision of Yeshua standing at the right hand of the Father.