Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Here is the question of the day: What does it mean when Genesis chapter 8 begins with the words, "Then God remembered Noah?"
Answer: Did God remember Noah because He forgot about Noah? To understand this all we need is the first word of the Hebrew text, VaYizkor. Mike McClung taught us several times during our "School of the Prophets" at Shomair Yisrael that God does not learn. God already knows everything. In that same line of thinking, God does not forget anything ... ever.
As I said above, the answer to our question is the Hebrew word VaYizkor. The Va prefix is the "vav conversive" (aka "vav consecutive") which essentially changes the tense. If the word is future tense - as this one is - it becomes past tense. This also works to change past tense into future tense in the same way on other occasions.
Every Jewish person with any orientation to his/her faith knows well what Yizkor means. In the vernacular it does, in fact, mean remember, but in a spiritual sense it means "memorialize." In particular it is a reference to memorializing the deceased (with a connotation of comforting the bereaved).
Now we're getting somewhere. How did God memorialize Noah and comfort the bereaved at the same time? Noah was delivered through the flood and brought forth on dry land. How does that comfort us? We are here now because of God's grace then. If Noah is not delivered, neither are we.
Read Hebrews 11 beginning in verse 7. We see how the deliverance of Noah leads to Abraham and the other Patriarchs. All for one purpose, to bring forth the savior. Then we jump down to the end of the chapter.
Hebrews 11:39-40 "And all these, though commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised - because God had provided something better for us, so that only with us would they reach perfection."
What could be "something better" for us (and them at the same time)? Read the next verse at the beginning of chapter 12. Hebrews 12:1-2 "Therefore, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also get rid of every weight and entangling sin. Let us run with endurance the race set before us, focusing on Yeshua, the initiator and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame; and He has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God."
That, my friends, is good news indeed. But wait, there's more. Although the purpose of bringing forth Messiah Yeshua is complete, God is not done with Israel. There is a future for the Jewish people. Many of the prophets have spoken it. I will only quote Jeremiah here. Jeremiah saw the destruction of the Temple and the people of God vanquished. But he also saw a return and revival as a reality that has not yet been accomplished. (Maybe I should have quoted Ezekiel who saw the dry bones come to life.)
Jeremiah 31:32-33 "But this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days — it is a declaration of Adonai — I will put My Torah within them. Yes, I will write it on their heart. I will be their God and they will be My people. No longer will each teach his neighbor or each his brother, saying: 'Know Adonai,' for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest. it is a declaration of Adonai. For I will forgive their iniquity, their sin I will remember no more."
This is accomplished by following Yeshua who said. John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." Let's all pray into the future of Israel. Romans 11:11, 26-27 "I say then, they (Israel) did not stumble so as to fall, did they? May it never be! But by their false step salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke Israel to jealousy ... and in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, 'The Deliverer shall come out of Zion. He shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.'"
Rabbi Michael Weiner,