Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Question of the day: Nehemiah rebuked the leaders of his day with a question that we might ask ourselves. Nehemiah 13:11b Why has the House of God been forsaken?
Answer: You might be tempted to say that the House of God is not being forsaken, at least not by you. Just wait until later this week when we read Malachi. The principle is simply stated in Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Put God first. That doesn't sound overly complicated, but we be vigilant in maintaining the principle.
Rabbi Trail: A "principle" is like a doctrine in that it is not subject to change. In modern business planning we call these principles values. The "thou shalt not" commandments are principles in reverse. Perhaps we should think in terms of "thou shalt" be trustworthy (honest), loyal (faithful), helpful (caring), etc. (Some of you+may have noticed I began rattling off the 12 points of the Boy Scout Law I learned in my youth.) End RT.
How do we put God first? Well, it's not by putting Him before everything else, as many people teach. We put God first by allowing Him to inform everything else. He is first in our family. We don't consider our family before we consider God, we submit to God AS we consider our family. The same with our congregation and job or profession. We must apply this principle to our leisure time and activities too. Seek first the kingdom of God, not to the exclusion of everything else, but in the inclusion of everything else. He is faithful to order our steps.
Psalm 37:23-25 "From Adonai a man's steps are made firm, when He delights in his way. Though he stumble, he will not fall headlong, for Adonai is holding his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous one forsaken, nor his children begging for bread."
And that is the final, ending, closing thought for today.
Rabbi Michael Weiner,