Month 6:29, Week 4:7 (Shibi'i/Sukkot), Year:Day 5941:176 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Tuesday 19 September 2017
For Whom We Live
Passing On Your Inheritance
Shabbat shalom chaverim.
For the Sake of Our Forefathers
Have you ever considered that you might perhaps be "belovèd for the sake of [your] forefathers" (Rom.11:28, ESV)? Have you ever wondered whether the extraordinary blessings that are upon you, aside from the fact that you have made a choice for Yah'shua (Jesus), may not because of any extraordinary obedience and faithfulness of your own but on account of the obedience and faithfulness of some ancestor who, because of his righteousness, has blessed generations down his family line? And there you are standing in that stream of plenty through no work of choosing of your own. Such is the reward of the children of Abraham, whose sons we are through living emunah (faith).
Not Always Cause and Effect
We all of us like to think of the events - and especially the blessings - of our lives in terms of observable cause and effect. We like to think, 'Oh, look, I did this good turn, and that explains why all these good things are happening to me now.' And it may very well be the case. But equally you must remember that many of the blessings we receive are not because of the bounce-back of our own righteousness but that of one or two extraordinary ancestors, maybe even as close as our own parents or grandparents.
Irrevocable Gifts and Callings
Paul was talking to gentile converts, to Romans, and in the 11th chapter of his epistle to the qodeshim (saints, set-apart ones) in the Imperial Capital, he shares a mystery with them:
Blessing Your Children Unknowingly
"Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in...As regards the Besorah (Gospel), they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of Elohim (God) are irrevocable" (Rom.11:25,28-29, ESV).
If we do what is right, and please Elohim (God), we shall bring untold blessings to our children which they may not deserve. And we, in our turn, may be receiving blessings because of an ancestor we know nothing about. At any rate, we are receiving blessings from Yahweh which, ancestors aside, we don't deserve anyway, do we? So don't assume your present blessings are necessarily linked to your own righteous deeds. They may, or may not be. Either way, we are not supposed to know, to preclude conceit and vanity. Yahweh does not want us puffed up in our pride.
Mercy Because of Others' Disobedience Too
Whatever the gifts and callings to us-ward may be, they "are irrevocable". And remember this, when you start wondering how many brownie points you may have earned in Heaven:
His Judgments are Unsearchable
"For just as you were at one time disobedient to Elohim (God) but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they may also now receive mercy. For Elohim (God) has consigned all to disobedience, that He may have mercy on all" (Rom.11:30-32, ESV).
The point being this, if you are still trying to figure it all out:
"O, the depth of the riches
And the wisdom and knowledge of Elohim (God)!
We cannot search His judgments;
We cannot fathom His ways" (Rom.11:33, KNT).
Since Isaac Newton's momentous discoveries in physics, we have become a very cause-and-effect-orientated culture. Occultism teases our flesh, we want to know the hidden things. We know such laws exist, for what you sow you also reap reap. Indeed, "those who plough evil and those who sow trouble reap it", the Bible says (Job 4:8, NIV), but sometimes is is the later generations who reap the full harvest of blessing or sorrow, and not ours. We are certainly reaping the folly worldwide of the sins of the last generation.
Leaving an Inheritance
If we love our children, we leave them legacies in our wills. We are willing to sacrifice some of our own creature comforts and pleasures so that our off-spring may have the headstart which maybe we didn't, or because we want to pay our own parents' blessings forward. Yahweh does no less and we should rejoice that our spiritual legacy will be passed on, even when it is undeserved, because we don't deserve what we get either. We always get far, far more than we ever deserve and so we should not refuse what our fathers and mathers pass on to us out of some misguided sense piety. Yahweh wants us to be generous even as He is generous, and to think beyond ourselves. He, after all, thinks across the entire expanse of time, from beginning to end, and plans accordingly.
The Greatest Appreciation
The greatest gesture of appreciation you can show a godly man who has blessed you is to pass those blessings on to others, for that will be his more-than-adequate payment. What a good thing it is our parents do not present us with a bill when we leave home for our 18 or so years of upkeep! Neither does Yahweh demand payment for salvation. It is given freely with simcha (joy) and He wishes us to pass this priceless gift on and on until the universe is filled with the glory of the ahavah (love) of our Elohim (God).
As you get older you will understand this more and more for as Sören Kirkegaard reminds us, though "life must be understood backward ... it must be lived forward", so remember backwards but live forwards. Live for Yahweh, live for Yah'shua (Jesus) and His Kingdom, live for your loved ones and live for the brethren and sisters Yahweh has placed across your path. That is the sum of it. And that is the fullness of life's purpose. Amen.