Thursday, 16 January 2020
Question of the day: So many excellent verses in my Bible reading today. Which verse seemed to me to be the highlight of the 2 chapters?
Answer: Philippians 1:20 "My eager expectation and hope is that in no way will I be put to shame, but that with complete boldness Messiah will even now, as always, be exalted in my body - whether through life or through death."
Paul is praying that Yeshua would be lifted us through his life and in his death. His stated desire to avoid shame intrigues me. The Bible makes promises to the believer that he/she will not be ashamed. 1 Peter 4:16 "But if anyone suffers for following Messiah, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this name."
This idea of not being ashamed on behalf of God is not new to the New Testament. Isaiah 50:7 "For Adonai Elohim will help Me. Therefore I have not been disgraced. Therefore I set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed."
What do we say in Hebrew (especially when someone offers a compliment for a job well donei)? "B'ezrat HaShem," meaning "with the help of God." God's help comes in the form of grace. Grace is not our excuse to do every type of sin as some say, "There's grace for that." (Whatever "that" is.)
Rather, "grace" is God-given desire to do His will. And, because He is both gracious and loving, He would not frustrate us by giving us a desire for which there is no possibility of accomplishing it, God also gives us the ability to do His will. Grace is both desire and ability from God. These form the two sides of the "grace coin."
God's grace draws us into relationship with Him. John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." What follows is the promise of help as Yeshua continues speaking. John 14:16 "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper so He may be with you forever".
May we all walk according to the will of God in a way that none of us will be ashamed. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Blessings. R. Michael.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,