Rosh Hashanah
For the week of September 30, 2000 / 1 Tishri 5761
Torah: Bereshit / Genesis 21:1-34; Bemidbar / Numbers 29:1-6
Haftarah: 1 Sam 1:1 - 2:10

God Will Provide

God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering (Bereshit / Genesis 22:8).

Hear the Shofar in RealAudio

The Jewish New Year (Beginning this year the evening of September 29, 2000) is referred to by the Torah as Yom Teruah, meaning the "Day of Blowing" in reference to the blowing of the shofar, which traditionally is a ram's horn.

One of the purposes of this festival is to cause us to remember who God is and who we are before him. The shofar itself reminds us of this. As we hear the sound of the shofar, we remember such things as Joshua and the miraculous falling of Jericho's walls. There was a loud blast of a shofar at the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. The shofar is also mentioned in reference to God as king, the words of the prophet, and God's judgement.

One story that has become intimately associated with this festival is the Binding of Isaac. The reason for that is because of the ram offered in Isaac's place. God had told Abraham to sacrifice his son. As Abraham sought to obey God, he was stopped at the last moment. A ram caught by its horns in nearby shrubs was to be the substitute. The shofar reminds us of this.

Without going into all of the aspects of this story, it is interesting that as Abraham and Isaac were approaching the place of sacrifice, Isaac asked his father where the lamb for the sacrifice was. His father replied, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son" (Bereshit / Genesis 22:8). Abraham somehow anticipated what God was going to do, even though he had no idea of exactly what that was.

In our relationship to God, we do not always know how he will provide for us. When we live according to his ways we often find ourselves facing difficult and frightening times. We don't always see how things could work out well. Sometimes we really believe that to do things God's way will mean disaster for ourselves and others. But the shofar reminds us, that God will provide for those who follow him.

It may not be how we expect, but God will provide. It may not be until the very last second, but God will provide. The shofar reminds us of that.

At this time of year, when so many of us find ourselves extremely busy and under great pressure, let us stop and hear the sound of the shofar. Remember, if we are following God, he will provide.

Hear the Shofar in RealAudio

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