Every Preparation Day (Friday before Shabbat) we busy ourselves rushing to ready our homes and meal for Shabbat. We're often so busy that we can lose sight of the purpose and blessings of Shabbat. A couple of years ago I got into the habit of prayerfully reading the Tehillim each day. It has truly blessed my life. Within those songs are strength, comfort, peace, and rejoicing. They are a reminder to us that no matter what is going on in our lives that The Eternal watches over us. I hope that sometime during your busy Preparation Day that you will take some time with the Tehillim. It is with this in mind that I have started this blog, which are insights into each song, posted every Friday morning. Shabbat Shalom!
By In the Shade of the Tent | March 26, 2011 at 04:15 PM EDT | No Comments
It is preparation day, 5:30 PM; 105 minutes until Shabbat starts, and at this moment I am sitting in my vehicle writing this week’s blog entry by longhand in the parking lot of a ballet school because my daughter had a last minute rehearsal for her recital. Oh well...this is part of what we endure living in exile. The rest of the world has no idea that asking a mother who keeps Shabbat to go out on preparation day for any length of time is the last thing she would ever want or think of doing. Isn’t it interesting that while the whole world is thinking TGIF, (and in a way so are we!) and ready to let their hair down and party, we are preparing to enter into His presence and rest? Well, I’ll save that pondering for another time. :)
This week I would like to look at verse 11 of Tehillim (Psalm) 2.
Serve Yahweh with awe, that you may rejoice when there is trembling.
I know what it is like to tremble with fear. It is not a happy place. When I was 15 years old, I found myself in a place that I had no business being in and I was scared out of mind. I was doing some serious trembling! I began to pray. - and I mean EARNEST prayer. What happened was nothing short of a miracle straight from the pages of Scripture, because I found myself back in safety. Just like Phillip was “caught away” when he was with the Ethiopian in Acts 8. I can say with definite assurance that our Master Yahweh is indeed wondrous and awesome, and a mighty deliverer!
This verse was quite appropriate this week, given Japan’s nuclear disaster and the affect it may have on the rest of the world. Now, I am not going to get into the question of the radiation levels and whether we should take potassium iodide or not. The point that I do want to make is that there was a lot of trembling going on when it was announced that the jet stream was going to bring radiation right across the northern hemisphere. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned. But what does the psalmist tell us? When we serve the Master of the Universe, the one true Elohim - with awe - you will be rejoicing. Why? Because He is a mighty deliverer! Our faith is a not social event. We are not new agers or humanists, nor worshippers of wood or stone. Our God lives! Is there any situation that He can not save you from? I think not. The entire world could go up in flames, but you will not be singed.
There is no doubt that things will get a lot worse, and we need need to start working diligently now , putting away that fear, and be concerned about serving YAH. Then when there is trembling, you will be rejoicing, not in the suffering of others, but in the way He has brought you out, just as our ancestors rejoiced at their liberation from Egypt after the night of terror.
Since I brought up Japan, I would like to say one more thing. I was quite distressed that after the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that many Torah obedient believers on the Internet were doing some Monday morning quarterbacking, listing all of the sins of Japan, and it was a little appalling. Please, please do not make the mistake of thinking that you will not go through judgment. Remember that our ancestors had to endure some of the plagues of Egypt, before YAH set a difference between Egypt and Israel. I’m not sure about you but I struggle through everyday. Each year at Yom Kippur, we fast and pray. It is the day when YAH is judging the world. We are not sitting haughtily recounting the sins of others, but repenting of our own sins and praying for mercy.
Moriah told me about a scene she witnessed in Japan on the news. People had been standing in line for hours for water. Some of these people hadn’t had water in days. Yet, when an elderly person got into line, young people who had already gotten their water would give it to them , and then get back into the line.Respecting your elders is a Torah command.
You shall rise up before the gray head, and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God. I am Yahweh.Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:32
Remember the words of Rav Shaul.
Now all these things happened to them by way of example, and they were written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands be careful that he doesn't fall. 1 Corinthians 10:11-12
Keep the people of Japan in your prayers.
Listen to me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek Yahweh: look to the rock whence you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence you were dug. Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for when he was but one I called him, and I blessed him, and made him many.