Rabbi’s Reflections – Wednesday, September 2, 2020
I want to write today about something called “eye discipline.” Song of Songs 1:9 I compare you, my darling, to my mare among Pharaoh’s chariots. To be a “darling” among Pharaoh’s chariots is both a compliment and a rebuke.
It is a compliment that the beloved calls her “my darling.” (Please reread Monday’s RR that details the fullness of the Hebrew word for “darling.”) It is a rebuke to be among the horses of Pharaoh’s chariots. Pharaoh’s chariots represent the implements of war in the world. The higher calling is to do spiritual battle. However; it is also a compliment because Pharaoh’s war horses are highly trained and highly disciplined.
From my notes on the 3rd session, I found this comment which is the inspiration for this RR. “He has just affirmed the growing discipline and focus of her mind.” Remember the 3 main characters in the Song. There is the Beloved and the Shulamite (both protagonists) and the Daughters of Jerusalem (collectively, the antagonist).
Rabbi Trail: Most good stories have both protagonists and antagonists. We cheer for the protagonists. Then there are character(s) that cause tension or discord in the plot. In life, Satan is the main antagonist while Yeshua is the main protagonist. End RT.
The spiritual reality is that you become what you behold. In creation, we are already made in His image. Genesis 1:27 God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them. But due to the sin of rebellion, that imagery becomes distorted. In Messiah Yeshua, our image (in the likeness of God) is being restored. 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory—just as from the Lord, who is the Spirit. Yes, “transformed into the same image.” And what image is that? “The glory of the Lord.”
In football they teach defensive backs something called “eye discipline.” It means keeping your eyes focused on your assignment. In the spiritual world, the people of God need to be trained to keep their eyes on Him. (Putting our focus on our circumstances will only get us in trouble and lead to an erosion of faith.) Only then can we respond with cat-like reflexes to His every command. Hebrews 12:1b Let us run with endurance the race set before us, 2a focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith.
I love this verse in bold below, which appears at the beginning of Romans 12. I find special significance that Paul wrote Romans 12 after Romans 9, 10, and 11. Those three chapters set up Messianic Jewish theology. Significantly they follow Romans 6, 7, and 8, which is a call to righteous living and overcoming sin. Then in Romans 12 and following there is more call to right living.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
We “discern” by keeping our eyes on Him, the object of our affections.
Memory Verse: Luke 23:34 But Yeshua was saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Then they cast lots, dividing up His clothing.
176 8/31 Monday: Matthew 24:32-51
177 9/01 Tuesday: John 17
* 178 9/02 Wednesday: Matthew 26:47-27:31
179 9/03 Thursday: Matthew 27:32-66; Luke 23:26-56
180 9/04 Friday: John 19
Question of the day: How sad is this? Matthew 26:56b Then all the disciples fled, abandoning Him.
Answer: All of them fled and abandoned Yeshua? Yeshua called them friends, but His “friends” were not faithful friends at all. Of course back then it was expedient that the disciples live to fight another day. The purposes of the kingdom of God would not be served if they all had perished with Him before spreading the gospel.
However; today we live in another day. We live in an entirely different period of time. In our day, we have a calling on our lives to take a stand. 1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dearly loved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord—because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
Did you notice that verse starts with “therefore?” Must be a thought that precedes it or sets it up, and it must be an important thought, as it validates our unshakeable nature that our work for the Lord will produce fruit (“not in vain”). And this is the preceding verse… 1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who keeps giving us the victory through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah!
There is a time for everything. There was a time to run away, now is the time to stand firm. Psalm 62:7 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my strong tower—I will not be moved.