‘God’s partners’ in life and death

Barack Obama tells a group of rabbis that:

“We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.”

It’s believed that Obama’s reference was to a prayer from services for the upcoming holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Problem is, that prayer doesn’t say that “We are God’s partners in matters of life and death.” It says that who will live and who will die in the next year is determined by the Lord on Rosh Hashanah, but that the decree of an untimely death can be modified by repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement).

Now, being God’s partner in something isn’t totally foreign to Jewish or even some Christian thought. Jews traditionally teach that we have been given the task of completing the creation of the world. Reform Jews, especially, would probably have no problem with Obama’s statement. I have a suspicion, though, that the more orthodox a Jew is, the more likely he would be to have a problem with Obama’s teaching. It’ll be interesting to see their response.

But, spoken in the context of a discussion on health care reform, the “partners in matters of life and death” is a bit disquieting and gives credence to Sarah Palin’s reference to a “death panel” under ObamaCare. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he meant it in the sense that providing health care to all people can mean the difference between life and death. Like always, though, Obama left himself wide open on this one.

But his activist view of man’s place in the world was known before this, which leads me to think that I shouldn’t give him the benefit of the doubt. In 2007, he said at a church appearance that:

“I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.”

Again, nothing original about a statement like this. Plenty of Christians and Jews believe that as well, but others believe the Messiah will need to return or appear for the first time for it to happen.

All in all, this seems like another Obama overreach and a sign of desperation to rally anyone he can to his health care efforts.

Yom Kippur went by fast

This year’s Yom Kippur went about as good as Yom Kippur can be expected to go, since one is to afflict one’s self (fast) for 24+ hours.

My body must be expecting a fast once the leaves start falling each year, because I had almost no discomfort physically.

Spiritually, it was a great day. I delivered the message at Gates of Eden Messianic Congregation’s worship service Wednesday night, focusing on the need to confess as a way of practicing being dead (the dead neither eat nor drink) and standing in front of the White Throne for judgment. My family and I had our own little Yom Kippur morning service Thursday, and then met some friends from the congregation at Bradley Park for afternoon prayer and fellowship. It’s a blessing to be able to pray with my friend, Andy Eades, in the traditional manner.

Then the congregation gathered for a closing service and breaking of the fast, followed by good fellowship for an hour or so.

As followers of the Messiah, we are reminded not only that we have sins to confess (1 John 1:9), but also that those of us who have put our faith in Yeshua have those sins covered (Hebrews 9:11-12).

So while Yom Kippur for messianics is a day of affliction, it is also a day of joy. Joy which we now get to celebrate by observing the Feast of Tabernacles, which starts at sunset Monday.