Rabbi’s Reflections – Tuesday, October 27, 2020


Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/) Tue 27-Oct-2020 9th of Cheshvan, 5781

Ge 13:5-18Jos 21Ps 21Mt 14(1 Jn 2)

Last Sunday (and every other Sunday, as far back as I can remember) Dr. Raymond Finney wrote the RR.  This means I didn’t get to comment on the first Aliyah (see RT below) for this week’s Torah portion (Lech L’cha).  

Rabbi Trail:  As I mentioned previously, each week our Torah reading is broken up into 7 portions (plus a “Maf’tir,” or concluding portion).  Each portion commands a blessing, and the person called to pray that blessing is said to be given an Aliyah (accent on the second syllable).  Aliyah (accent on the 3rd syllable) means to be called out and called up.  Aliyah (also with accent on the 3rd syllable, because it’s the same word) means to immigrate to Israel. 

Got time for a new Hebrew word?  “Sh’tu’yot” is the word we use for silliness (and I’m being kind here).  The reason I wanted to teach it right now is that sometimes what I write in the RR crosses the line into “Sh’tu’yot.  This is risky, but I’m a risk taker.  End RT.

The reason I wanted to comment on the first Aliyah is the world changing power of these verses spoken by God to Father Abraham.  “Lech L’cha Ma’Artzecha.”  Genesis 12:1 Then Adonai said to Abram, “Get going out from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.  “Lech” is the command to walk.  This is how people traveled in ancient times.  “L’cha” is the personal pronoun “to you” (ms – meaning masculine singular).  Abram is receiving the command “to you, go walk.”

But what I really want to write about today is the next words “from your land….”  Each of us has a call from God to leave “our land” and enter into the land He will provide for us.  Each of us must leave our father’s house in order to enter the provision God has for us.  The last Hebrew word in the verse is translated “I will show you.”  It is the Hebrew Shoresh “Yarah.”  You may know it as a name for God “Yehovah Yireh,” which we usually translate as God is my provider (meaning “God will see to it”).

God has no grandchildren (only children).  None of us has relationship with God based on the relationship of our father (or any other relative).  Each of us must proudly profess, “God is my Father.”  It’s personal.  God is calling each of us to our own “Aliyah;” to a place we’ve never known before, in His presence.

The Lord is speaking to us today… Psalm 46:11a(10a) “Be still, and know that I am God.” 12 Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us. The God of Jacob is our strong tower. Selah   

Week 44
Memory Verse: Romans 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly but powerful through God for the tearing down of strongholds. We are tearing down false arguments.

216   10/26    Monday:         2 Corinthians 9-10

* 217 10/27    Tuesday:        2 Corinthians 11-13

218   10/28    Wednesday:   Romans 1-2; Acts 20:1-3     

219   10/29    Thursday:       Romans 3-4

220   10/30    Friday:         Romans 5-6

Question of the day:  What is my take-away from 2 Corinthians 13?

Answer:  I read the whole chapter, slowly and carefully.  All the while I was asking myself this question, “Does Paul believe in ‘once saved, always saved?’”  Let’s look at the evidence he left us in his second letter to the Corinthians.

Here are some excerpts from 2 Corinthians 13… 2b I am again speaking a warning to those who have sinned before, as well as to all the rest.  Paul goes on to be specific about this “warning,” actually using a threatening tone, along with an admonition to… 5a “Test yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Examine yourselves!”

Paul then offers this… 2 Corinthians 13:7a Now we pray to God that you do no wrong.  Why is Paul even concerned if people are saved and behavior beyond salvation is of no concern?  My point is simple (and Paul agrees) grace does not negate truth, grace validates truth (and God’s word is truth – see Yeshua’s prayer in John 17:17).  

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.  That’s right, “grace AND truth.”

Then Paul ends this warning with these words… 2 Corinthians 13:9b We also pray for this—your perfecting.  Let’s focus on “perfecting.”  This is the only place this Greek word is used in the Bible.  The word is “Ketartisis” meaning a particular type of adjustment from a mental disorder cause by arrogance (stubbornly refusing to repent).  So let’s put Paul’s words into an amplified RMV (Rabbi Michael Version).

2 Corinthians 13:9b We are also praying for this – that you would be adjusted into right thinking from the mental disorder you have acquired due to your stubborn resistance to God’s right order, which is available to you, if you will only repent. Only then will you be perfect. RMV

My point today is that salvation is the beginning of our walk with God, not the end of it.  Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my loved ones, just as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence—work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For the One working in you is God—both to will and to work for His good pleasure.