Saturday 27th May 2023 7th Sivan 5783
Sheni Shel Shavu'ot
| Second Day of Pentecost/Weeks by Herschel
Deuteronomy 14:22-16:17; Habakuk 2:20-3:19, 2:21-42
The haftrah portion for the second day of Shavuot is from the book of Habakuk.
A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, as a passionate song. Adonai, I have heard the report about You and I have come to fear. Adonai, revive Your work throughout the years, throughout the years make it known, In wrath remember compassion. God comes…….
When God comes, there is revival. And yet, this involves a mystery. In Joel chapter 2, there is the promise of the outpouring of God’s Spirit on all flesh. But we are also cautioned that it is not without our involvement and our obedience.
“For great is the day of Adonai— very terrifying! Who can endure it?” (Joel 2:11b) And then, HaShem instructs us through His prophetic utterances that His coming will and must be preceded by teshuva – repentance:
Joel 2:12 - 14
"Yet even now", it is a declaration of Adonai, turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and lamenting “Rend your heart, not your garments, and turn to Adonai, your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abundant in mercy, and relenting about the calamity due. Who knows? He may turn and relent, and may leave a blessing behind Him
Joel prophecies about God sending the early and latter rains that will ensure their sufficiency of grain (the Word), oil (the Spirit) and new wine (the joy of the Lord). So, the rain of God’s Spirit will bring His Word to life by the work of His indwelling Spirit, so that our joy would be complete. This is what the Father has promised.
You will know that I am within Israel. Yes, I am Adonai your God—there is no other—Never again will My people be shamed."
Then all who call on Adonai's Name will escape, for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be rescue, as Adonai has said, among the survivors whom Adonai is calling."(Joel 3:4-5)
Allow me to pause here and reflect on verse 5: there will be rescue, as Adonai has said, among the survivors whom Adonai is calling."
In Acts 13, Paul and Barnabas preached the message of the Good News to the Jews in Perga in Pamphylia. Perga was the capital of the Roman province now in the southwestern Mediterranean coast of Turkey. The leaders of the Synagogue were Paul taught, became jealous:
When the Jewish leaders saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and tried to contradict what Paul was saying by reviling him. Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary for the word of God to be spoken to you first. Since you reject it and judge yourselves unfit for eternal life—behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have placed you as a light to the nations, so that you may bring salvation to the end of the earth.'" When the Gentiles heard this, they were thrilled and glorified the word of the Lord; and as many as had been inscribed for eternal life believed.
Joel 3 refers to those whom Adonai is calling. Acts 13 – although many of the nations listened enthralled by the Gospel message, only ‘those who were appointed to eternal life believed”. Had not Paul just taught that the Gospel was the promise of “salvation to the end of the earth.' And yet, as many had been appointed to eternal life?? How do we understand this?
Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and anyone coming to Me I will never reject. For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will but the will of the One who sent Me. "Now this is the will of the One who sent Me, that I lose not one of all He has given Me, but raise each one on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who sees the Son and trusts in Him may have eternal life; and I will raise him up on the last day."
No one can come to Me unless My Father who sent Me draws him—and I will raise him up on the last day.
Another translation of John 6:44 Says “only those who are called can come.”
Here, we stumble upon the intermingling of God’s will and our will. You think that you made the decision to accept Yeshua as your Lord and Saviour but the truth is that our will and the mystery of predestination converge at some point until we arrive at an appointed time in our lives, when the Father reveals His Son and lays hold of our hearts, minds and lives. It is a profound mystery!
The Greek word for ‘draw’ is interesting. The Greek word is “helko’, which essentially means ‘to drag’. But it can also infer ‘to entice’. ‘No one can come unless…’ and the ‘unless’ suggests that God must do something first.
In 1 John 4:19, we read that “we love because He first loved us”. Similarly, we come to faith because He first beckons us to come.
It is a mystery and somehow, for salvation to spout as it is written appears in the Amidah (or standing Jewish) prayer, there is a meeting of minds and wills – God’s and ours!
It is a moment in time and space where we encounter the
One who was raised from the grave and who sits enthroned right now in His heavenly Throne Room!
Isaiah 55: 6-9
Seek Adonai while He may be found, call on Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way,and the unrighteous one his thoughts, let him return to Adonai, so He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts,nor are your ways My ways." It is a declaration of Adonai. "For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.