Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue    22-Dec-2020        7th of Tevet, 5781
Ge 45:8-18        2 Sa 12    Ps 84        Lk 8:1-25    (2 Co 7)

In 2 Samuel 12, we read about King David who has trouble dealing with prosperity.  Even after being made prosperous, David lusted after more.  What is it about prosperity?  It seems to ruin everything.  Prosperity certainly ruined King David.  God gave David everything 2 Samuel 12:8b  I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah, yet it was not enough.

In 2 Samuel 12, the prophet Nathan has to declare… 2 Samuel 12:7a Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!”  Yes, David was the man  who stole the poor man’s lamb.  He had Uriah the Hittite killed so that he could marry his widow, Bathsheba.  To his credit, David repented before God.

We are warned repeatedly in Scripture not to forget God when things go well.  Deuteronomy 8:10 So you will eat and be full, and you will bless Adonai your God for the good land He has given you. 11 “Take care that you do not forget Adonai your God by not keeping His mitzvot, ordinances and statutes that I am commanding you today.  

To be sure we don’t miss the point, the Torah here continues… Deuteronomy 8:12a Otherwise, when you have eaten and are full… 14a then your heart will be haughty and you will forget Adonai your God.  Of course, ancient Israel consistently missed the mark and refused to listen to the prophets, who warned them to return to the Lord and His ways.

This RR reminds me of the message to the Laodiceans in Revelation 3 (below). Revelation 3:17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have made myself wealthy, and I need nothing.’ But you do not know that you are miserable and pitiable and poor and blind and naked.

This is the message.  When things go well, don’t forget Adonai, who gives us everything.  Now it’s our turn.  It’s time for a great awakening to come to the world.  It must start in the house of the Lord among God’s people… “Al Tishkach,” don’t forget (remember) Adonai.

The secular New Year is upon us, and although it is secular, we can use it for good.  Let’s purpose to make this new year, 2021, a year of renewing our pursuit of God; “Making disciples of Yeshua, following His teachings.”

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:   What is an overcomer?

Answer:  Before we answer that question, let’s answer this… what does an overcomer overcome?  Answer, every kind of evil in the world!  And here’s a description from Scripture… 1 Thessalonians 5:21b hold fast to what is good, 22 keep away from every kind of evil. 23 Now may the God of shalom Himself make you completely holy; and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept complete, blameless at the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

There are 3 communities addressed in Revelation 3.  Each of them receives a definite prophesy related to being an overcomer.

In Sardis:  Revelation 3:5 The one who overcomes thus will be dressed in white clothes; I will never blot his name out of the Book of Life, and will confess his name before My Father and His angels.

In Philadelphia: Revelation 3:12 The one who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the Temple of My God, and he will never leave it. And on him I will write the name of My God and the name of the city of My God—the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God—and My own new Name.

In Laodicea: Revelation 3:21 To the one who overcomes I will grant the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I myself overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

There you have it, overcomers are written (in the book of life), planted (in the Temple of God), and seated (with Yeshua).  Is that incentive enough to become and overcomer?  Duh!  Sign me up.  Where are the instructions so I can do my part?

Where do we go for instructions, straight to the Scriptures.  We always do well to follow the example of Yeshua.  John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have shalom. In the world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!”  Yeshua overcame the world, so we could follow His example and also overcome the world.

But that’s still not quite the instruction I was seeking.  1 John 5:4 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. And the victory that has overcome the world is this—our faith.  Now we’re getting somewhere.  It’s our faith!

But what is faith or in what do we believe?  Faith is believing the promises of God.  Part of a verse gives the best definition of faith I can find in the Bible (if you have a better one, please share it).  It describes the faith of God.  We have to believe He does what He says.  Romans 4:17b [God] who gives life to the dead and calls into existence that which does not exist.

The “world” presents us with phenomena that we see.  Our invisible God, Who is behind it all, we do not see.  Don’t have faith in what you see, seek God and trust in Him.  (Finally, we get to the faith chapter.)   Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen did not come from anything visible.  Hebrews 11:6 Now without faith it is impossible to please God. For the one who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

I get the last word today (and every other day)… trust God, believe His promises and you too will be an overcomer.  That last statement is way oversimplified.  It is easy to say “trust God,” but it takes a lifetime to walk it out and actually become an overcomer.  It’s a journey with a destination, but we won’t fully reach that destination this side of glory.  Therefore; I will write about it more soon.