Sunday, 17 September 2017
return (Hebrew 'shoove') - sometimes translated 'turn' and 'return', this word is also translated 'repent' and is clearly an important word of this season.
Kohelet gloomily reports that "all come from the dust and all return to the dust" (Ecclesiastes 3:20), reminding us of our own mortality. The prophet Hosea's words are always read on the Shabbat between Yom T'ruah and Yom Kippur, Shabbat Shuva: "Return, Isral'el to the L-rd your G-d, for your guilt has made you stumble" (Hosea 14:2).
Rav Sha'ul reminded the Ephesian elders, when he met with them at Miletus about his message he had preached to Jew and Gentile alike: "Turn from sin to G-d; and put your trust in our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah" (Acts 20:21). Peter warned us not to be impatient about Yeshua's return because "The L-rd is not slow ... He is patient ... that everyone may turn from his sins" (2 Peter 3:9).
The idea of repentance is important is modern Judaism; Jonathan Sacks (in his "Thoughts for Elul") quotes the Sages saying that "Penitance, prayer and charity can avert the evil decree". We who know Messiah Yeshua know that those who turn to Him "will turn from darkness to light, from the power of the adversary to G-d and thus receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who have been separated for holiness" (Acts 26:18).
Have you fully turned to Yeshua and received forgiveness for your sins?