Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
Tue 29-Dec-2020 14th of Tevet, 5781
Ge 48:17-22 2 Sa 18 Ps 90 Lk 11:29-54 (2 Co 13)
This week we conclude the reading of the Book of Genesis. For the most part, the narrative is about Jacob blessing (or speaking prophesy over) his sons. But first he lays his hands and blesses Joseph’s two firstborn sons. Like his father and his grandfather, Jacob places his right hand on the younger, Ephraim, and speaks these words… Genesis 47:19b his seed will be the fullness of the nations.
Certainly, there is evidence this prophesy becomes reality. In both Exodus and Numbers, Ephraim is more fruitful than Manasseh. Just the numbers alone indicate there are about 60% more in the tribe of Ephraim than in the tribe of Manasseh. Ephraim is also one of the leading tribes among the 10 tribes of the kingdom of Israel, much like Judah is in the kingdom of Judah.
But this same phrase, “the fullness of the nations” also appears in Romans 11. Romans 11:25 For I do not want you, brothers and sisters, to be ignorant of this mystery—lest you be wise in your own eyes—that a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer shall come out of Zion. He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
There is a “grafting in” that is prophesied. Joseph is “the increaser” (or “the one who adds”). His son (Jacob’s grandson), Ephraim, is symbolic of all those from the nations who come to faith in Yeshua. If that describes you, then this is your blessing too. And your blessing (Romans 11:25) will lead to the salvation of all Israel, as we just read in Romans 11:26.
Memory Verse: Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, when warned about events not yet seen, in holy fear prepared an ark for the safety of his household. Through faith he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.
1 12/28 Monday: Genesis 1-2
* 2 12/29 Tuesday: Genesis 3-4
3 12/30 Wednesday: Genesis 6-7
4 12/31 Thursday: Genesis 8-9
5 1/1 Friday: Job 1-2
We continue yesterday’s RR with Part 1, section B of What Time Is It? by Dr. Raymond Finney.
PROPHECY AND THE BIBLE: This RR series examines Bible prophecy teachings of future time. The future is important to God, and it should be important to us, too. Much of the Bible is prophetic in its content. Twenty-eight (28) per cent of Bible verses are prophetic. Look at your Bible, and consider more than one-fourth of its pages are devoted to prophecy. Take your Bible and hold apart 1,000 pages. Now, hold the first 280 pages between your thumb and finger. This large amount of your Bible (280 of the 1,000 pages in this illustration) represents the volume of pages devoted to prophecy.
● Reasons for prophecy: God gave you prophecy for reasons. God wants you to study, learn, glorify Him, and prepare. A common title for authors of the books of our Bible was “prophet,” not other titles (pastor, evangelist, church organizer, and so forth). God told His prophets things He wanted all generations to know– things He wants you to know, now.
● Prophecy as proof of the Bible’s authenticity: Bible prophecy is very specific, and end-time prophecies have been fulfilled or are being fulfilled every day– exactly as prophesied. The test for a prophet of God is that he/ she can never deliver a mistaken prophecy (Deuteronomy 18:22): [Adonai said] When a prophet speaks in Adonai’s Name and the word does not happen or come true, that is a word that Adonai has not spoken…. Adonai made being a false prophet a capital crime (Deuteronomy 8:20): [Adonai said] “But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My Name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods– that prophet will die.” We have been warned about the emergence of false prophets and not to accept them, such warnings coming from Yeshua (Matthew 7:15; 24:11), the Apostle John (1 John 4:1-6, Revelation 13:11-18), the Apostle Peter (2 Peter 2:1), the Apostle Paul (2 Corinthians 11:13-15, 2 Timothy 4:3), and others.
Contrast the specific and true Bible prophecies with the confused, rambling, and often erroneous predictions of, say, Nostradamus. If a prophecy is made by Old Testament prophets and fulfilled exactly by Yeshua as written, such proven prophecy can come only from the mind of God, a God who can see the future.
● The statistical marvel of Bible prophecy: Scientists gauge the truth of statements by statistical analysis. Statisticians can take observations (and Bible prophecies are observations) and subject them to mathematical formulas to derive a Probability-value (p-value). A p-value of at least 0.01, and even smaller (more zeroes to the right of the decimal point), are considered statistically significant (valid, true observations, rather than chance occurrence observations alone). Statisticians have studied Bible prophecies, and have never found any other book or document as statistically sound as Bible prophecies. That is, the p-value for Bible prophecies reaches values of astronomical proportions (p = 0.000000000000… etc.). Only God can give such accurate predictions (prophecies) of the future! If God has given a prophecy, it has been fulfilled, or, if the event is still in our future, it will be fulfilled!
SIDELIGHT: An argument has been made that Brit Chadashah authors took prophecies of the Tanakh and molded them around one Man, Yeshua. This is a fair argument which can be neither proven nor disproven as neither champion nor critic of Scriptures witnessed the events under examination, EXCEPT…. The authors of the B’rit Chadashah’s books were all horribly persecuted by Rome, tortured, and died as martyrs (except for the Apostle John, who died from natural causes as an old man). All these Believers needed to do to spare their lives was to recant Yeshua as the Son of God. No Believer, man or woman, recanted their faith. They went to their deaths joyously, expecting to meet Yeshua immediately after death. Would they– would you– forfeit life to continue a myth of Yeshua as Son of God? Surely, someone would have made a deal with the Romans and escaped torture and death. “Martyr”means “one who bears testimony to faith (usually through death).” I accept the account of every B’rit Cahadashah author because he gave his most important possession– his life– to tell me the story of Yeshua. The blood of martyrs is our assurance that the Word of God– and the accounts of Yeshua– are true. END sidelight.
● Important faith lessons: God’s prophets called God’s children to lives of faith and purity. These men of God were not fortune tellers; they were servants privileged to hear the voice of God (“Thus saith the LORD…”). They were God’s messengers. God commanded them to warn or educate His people of things to come. The prophetic message has always been about redemption– bringing God’s people back to a holy relationship with Him through repentance, faith, and obedience. In one of the greatest books of prophecy in the Bible (the Book of Revelation), the author, the Apostle John, repeatedly quoted Yeshua as warning that only “overcomers” of the sins of this world would be found worthy to enter New Jerusalem (Heaven). Studying the future is a powerful call to repentance and preparation.
SIDELIGHT: The Apostle John quoted Yeshua in some eight verses in the Book of Revelation, stating that only “he who overcomes” will inherit the Kingdom of God. “Overcomes” translates the Greek verb nikao, which means “to conquer, to be victorious.” The ancient Greek god of victory was Nike, who was named from this verb (nikao). The Bible in multiple verses portrays Believers as battling Satan. We are commanded to fight a good battle against God’s enemies, not to sit back wringing limp-wristed hands and bemoaning how bad things are. We are to be mighty warriors fighting against evil for God;s Holy Name. Our first battle is to overcome– to be victorious– over sins in our own lives. END sidelight
Let’s continue this tomorrow.