Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Today's devotional is taken from Isaiah 41 which is part of the Haftarah reading. The Haftarah is a reading from the writings or prophets that the rabbis have tied to the weekly (portion) Torah reading. There is usually a tie in, or reason the readings are connected. I always try to find the connection. Most weeks, like this one, the answer (connection) is obvious.
Our weekly Torah portion is Genesis 12-17. In this portion, God calls out to Abraham and says, Lech L'cha meaning "You get up and go". Abraham believed God (and demonstrated his faith in obedience), so he was called the first Hebrew (one who crosses over).
Now we find in the Haftarah reading these verses ...
Isaiah 41:8-10 "But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, My friend - I took hold of you from the ends of the earth, and called from its uttermost parts, and said to you, 'You are My servant - I have chosen you, not rejected you. Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
There, God chose Israel (Jacob), the grandson of Abraham. What follows are some of the best promises in the history of eternity.
God affirms that He has not rejected us. Receive it!
He commands us to not fear. Receive it!
God promises to be with us. Receive it!
God promises to surely help us. Receive it!
God promises to hold us up with His "righteous right hand". Yes, receive that too!
Let there be no doubt. Later, in Isaiah 53 the chapter begins with a reminder of the revelation of the "arm of the Lord." We are His. We belong to God based on the promises made to Abraham (Abraham's covenant was a covenant of grace. Romans 4:16 ). Promises sealed by the blood of the Son of God. (Hebrews 10:19 and Revelation 12:11)
Blessings, Rabbi Michael.
Rabbi H Michael Weiner,