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2021 online sermons » Rabbi K.A. Schneider » Rabbi Schneider - The Secret to Maturity

Rabbi Schneider - The Secret to Maturity

Rabbi Schneider - The Secret to Maturity
Rabbi Schneider - The Secret to Maturity
TOPICS: Psalm 103, Spiritual Growth, Maturity

Dovid Melech, Melech Yisrael
Dovid Melech, Melech Yisrael
Dovid Melech, Melech Yisrael
Dovid Melech, ay ay ay ay
Ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay
Ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay
Ay ay ay ay ay ay ay ay.

Well, if you're just tuning in, you're probably wondering, what is going on? But that was just a little Hebrew melody. I was singing "King David, the King of Israel". And the reason I opened the show, beloved ones, with that little song is because we are now in one of David's Psalms, one of his most beautiful Psalms, Psalm number 103. This is Season 2, Episode 1 of Psalm number 103. I really want to encourage you, go back and watch all the episodes of Season 1 on Psalm 103. This is life-changing, because what Psalm 103 helps us do is move into soul correction. What do I mean by soul correction? I mean that oftentimes, we need to be reminded of where God is calling us to be, and then compare where He's calling us to be with how we're walking. And Psalm 103 is all about walking in an attitude of blessing God, and in a spirit of gratitude.

Psalm 103 begins, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name". And then David goes on to say, "The reason I'm going to walk in praise and adoration and thankfulness to you Hashem, Father God is because I'm going to remember all your benefits". David says, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;" And then he begins to list the benefits. And we covered many of those benefits in Season 1: how He forgives us, how He shows us compassion, how He renews our life like an eagle, renews our youthfulness, we rise up like an eagle with wings. We thank Him for all the good things that He's brought into our life through the years. And so we're continuing this journey now of cultivating a spirit of thankfulness as we pick up today, beloved ones, in the eighth verse. David says there, "The Lord..." And he's using God's sacred name that's often referred to as the tetragrammaton, Yud Hei Vov Hei (יהוה).

The four Hebrew letters that speak of God's covenant name. And His covenant name, Yud Hei Vov Hei, oftentimes pronounced reverently, a very breathy Yahweh. It was pronounced by the high priest as he went into the Holy of Holies once a year, and made a blood atonement for the sins of Israel on Yom Kippur, when the temple was standing, when the tabernacle was standing. But His name, Yud Hei Vov Hei actually carries with it the idea of The One Who is, Who was, and is to come. So David is saying, the Lord, Yud Hei Vov Hei, the One Who is, the One Who was, and the One Who is to come. And he's blessing the Lord as the one whose name means "to be". God's name carries with comes from the Hebrew word meaning to be. In other words, God, Yud Hei Vov Hei, the Lord is reality. He's the only one that is. He is the "be-er". He is the One that is. He existed before there were space.

A lot of people talk about, well, it all started with the big bang. But let me ask you this question. Where did the big bang happen? The big bang, if we believe in the big bang, that there was an explosion that happened in outer space, that was the origin of the creation of the cosmos and humankind. And I personally have no problem with God saying, "Let there be light," and there was a big bang. But those that just end with the big bang, the question is, where did the big bang happen? Because in order for the big bang to have happened, it had to happen somewhere. And when you start speaking of a place of where, then you have to ask the question, well, where did that place come from? In other words, there had to be a time and it had to be in space somewhere. But Yud Hei Vov Hei is beyond time, and He's beyond space. He's beyond any place because He existed before there was a place, before there is time, before there was space. He is the ground of all being. He is reality. In other words, we're kind of bending our mind because David is praying to the Eternal One.

And a lot of times when we think about God, our spiritual life is being hindered. When we address the Lord as the Lord, our spiritual life is being hindered because our concept isn't big enough. And so, I'm trying to impress upon you, beloved ones, by referring back to God's Hebrew covenant name Yud Hei Vov Hei (יהוה), Yahweh, by helping you to understand that it's beyond just a personal name. It's a verb that carries the concept of He Who is, Who was and is to come. It's continuous present act. God is the be-er. He's the ground of all being. He is reality. In other words, God is not in a place. He is the place. He created space. He created heaven. He's beyond everything. And when we start to appreciate that, it really opens up our heart to enter into a deeper dimension of who this One is that created us and who this One is that we're called into fellowship with. God is so big. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is, beloved, God. He is eternity.

And so David is praying to this beautiful God that has chosen to love us, who is reality, and he's saying, "This One who is reality, this self-existed One, this One through which time emerged, space emerged, and through which I was emerging and have emerged and I'm created by". "This One, the Lord," David said in verse 8, "is compassionate". David is saying, "Lord, I will bless you with all my being. I'll forget none of Your benefits". And then David names His benefits. And David says, "You are compassionate". In other words, because you're a compassionate God, I will bless you with my whole soul because of who you are. You're so beautiful. You're so lovely. You're so good. And I want to just focus with you, for a moment, on this concept of compassionate. David said, "God, I will bless you; you are compassionate".

Do you know that when we think of God we're talking about misconceptions that we have about God? Usually, when people think of God, the first connection they have in their heart and mind as to who God is not compassion. They may think of God's power, they may fear God, they may think of God and His moral attributes, but most people I would venture to say, when they consider God and contemplate Him, the first thing that they connect to Him in terms of their understanding as to who He is, is not compassion. But I want to show you something. I'm going to take you now into a mystery. We're going to the book of Exodus. We're tying it into this word "compassion," and why we should bless the Lord because of His compassion towards us. I want to go now with you to the book of Exodus chapter 34. This is just an outstanding portion of God's Word.

In fact, I believe that Exodus 34 contains the most profound revelation of who HaShem, who God is in the entire Tanakh in the entire Hebrew Bible. As we come to Exodus 34, I want you to understand that Moses had been praying to the Lord. He said, "Lord, you called me to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, but Lord, assure me that you're with me in this. Father, give me more confidence. Help me to know you're with me. Because, Father," Moses said to the Lord, "If you're not with me, I'm not going to go". So Moses is having this dialogue with God. "If thou found favor in your sight, Lord, show me". And God keeps on giving Moses these assurances in Exodus 33. And finally, Moses pushes the envelope one step further. Again, he's asking for more confidence. He's wanting to be built up. He's wanting to know that when he goes forward to lead Israel out of Egypt by Hashem's command, that God will be with them, and that God will do what He said He was going to do. And so Moses says to the Lord in Exodus chapter 33, the 18th verse, Moses said, "I pray You, show me Your glory". Moses said, "Lord, show me Your glory. Let me know Your power. Let me see Your goodness. Let me see Your glory".

Look what the Lord says. "I Myself," the Lord answers Moses, "will make all My goodness pass before you". Now I want you to notice something here. Moses prays in verse 18, "Show me Your glory". Notice how God answers. God says to Moses, "I will make all My goodness pass before you". Moses asks for a revelation of God's glory, and God says, "Okay, Moses, I'm going to make all My goodness pass before you". God's goodness, Hashem's goodness is His glory. He's a good God. David said, "I will bless the Lord, I will bless Him with all that is within me. I'll forget none of His benefits". Why? He's a good God. That's why we sing that song: Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me. Bless His holy name. Then it continues. "God is so good". You've heard it right. "God is so good. God is so good, He's so good to me". And so God says to Moses, "Moses, you asked Me for a revelation of my glory. I'm going to make all my goodness pass before you".

Let's read it again. "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the LORD before you". And then the Lord instructs Moses to go into the cleft of the rock and to call upon the name of the Lord, to call upon Yud Hei Vov Hei. So Moses goes in the cleft of the rock, he begins to call upon the name of the Lord. And as Moses is in the cleft of the rock calling upon the name of the Lord, the Lord comes to Moshe. Remember, the Lord says, "I'm going to come. I'm going to reveal my Glory to You by revealing My goodness to you". So let's pick up now in Exodus 34, verse 6. "Then the LORD, then Yahweh, Yud Hei Vov Hei, the One who is, the One that has always been passed by in front of them and proclaimed, 'the Lord, the Lord God, compassionate..." I want you to see there. God reveals Himself to Moses. And the Lord said concerning Moses, that Moses was a man whom He spoke with face to face.

The point that I'm trying to impart and to stress upon you right now is in this incident that we're studying when Moses was calling upon Hashem in the cleft of the rock, the Lord came to him as Moses was calling upon his name, Yud Hei Vov Hei. And when the Lord came to him, the Lord then spoke unto Moses and revealed to Moses who He was in His essence. In other words, when the Lord came to Moses and His goodness and His glory passed by Moses, and the Lord was proclaiming His name to Moses, Moses was filled with living, dynamic revelation, supernatural light so that Moses truly knew, in that second, who exactly Hashem is, who God is. He didn't just hear God saying, "The Lord is compassionate". When the Lord said, "I am compassionate," Moses was filled with the essence of what that meant. He didn't just hear it intellectually. He was still at the interior knowledge of what meant. And listen carefully. When the Lord passed by Moses and said, "I am Yahweh God, compassionate," that Hebrew word for compassion is rachum.

Get this now. Who is God? He's eternal. And the first attribute that came forth in His revelation as to who He was to Moses was the attribute of compassion. And so, David, the reason he loves God and trusts God and has given his life to God is he knew who God was, and he knew that in God's heart of hearts, He is in essence, compassionate. He's a compassionate God. That Hebrew word "rachum" from again, we get the English word "compassion" that is spoken of here in Exodus 34, and David is referring to it in Psalm 103, it comes, rachum, from the concept of a mother's womb. And how does a mother's womb relate to compassion? Because, think about the child in a mother's womb, and how that child in the mother's womb is protected and encased with loving-kindness. The mother is carrying around her baby in a secret, separate, sacred, secure place. She takes care of that child in her womb by just shielding that child from anything that she thinks would harm it.

Number one, because it's deep inside or protected from the outer world. And secondly, because of the mother's love for the child in the womb. And that is how God relates to you and I. I know it doesn't feel like that sometimes because we're in this world and we're facing so many challenges, and there are so many difficulties and things happen in life that are so painful. And we say, "Well, how could I be protected in God's womb? How can I be secure and safe in His compassion because, you know, the days are hard and it's cold outside sometimes and I'm dealing with these problems, and there are terrible things that happen in this world"?

And it seems sometimes, when we look at the circumstances, that we're not safe, and we're not sealed and protected in God's loving-kindness and His compassion. But beloved, we are. The reason that the Lord allows His children to face difficulty, it's not because He doesn't care or isn't compassionate. But because, listen, He wants us to grow in our sonship. And if you're a woman, it's the same thing. It's to grow into maturity in terms of who He's destined us to be as His sons and daughters. I'm speaking here of a deep mystery. We're focusing on the fact that David said, "I will bless you, LORD, with all that's within me because you're compassionate..."

And I've shared with you how compassion is the chief attribute that the Lord revealed as to His nature when He revealed Himself to Moses in a face to face encounter. God's compassion is not one of His attributes; it is the essence of who He is. And yet the challenge for you and I is that as we walk through life, it sometimes doesn't feel like God is really that close to us, that He's that involved, that He's that compassionate because we face such hardship sometimes, such difficulty, and such pain. So the question is, if God cares so much, and He's so loving, and He's so compassionate, why does He not do something to take away some of these challenges? But the secret is to understand that the challenges that we face are the tools that Hashem, that Father God is using to bring you and I into maturity.

Remember, Paul had a thorn in his flesh in the book of Second Corinthians 12. And Paul said that it was a messenger of Satan that was a thorn in his flesh. It was painful. It hurt. Paul said, "Take it away". The Lord said, "No, Paul. My grace is sufficient, for my power is going to be developed in your weakness". In other words, it's as we choose Hashem, it's as we choose Father, through the trials, as we overcome evil, as we choose to be faithful despite the trial and the test, it's in that way that we become mature and evolve into the mature sons and daughters that God has called us to become.

You see, God doesn't want us to be babies. He wants us to grow up to be independent, mature sons in Him and daughters in Him so that we can love Him as mature human beings that have been created in the divine image. Because our love means something to Him. And the love of a baby for the mother is different than the love that a mature adult gives somebody. Because a baby's love is not based on giving. A baby's love is just based on an attachment because of receiving. But a mature person chooses to love not for what they can get, but for what they can give. And God wants to bring you and I into maturity so that we choose to love Him. Jesus said, "Even sinners love their friends".
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