Matthew 6:1-18 Part 2 – Let’s Clean It Up Rabbi Michael Weiner
To be seen and heard, or not to be seen and heard; that is the question. On the surface, there are conflicting messages in the “Big Sermon.” First, Yeshua tells us to let our light shine. Matthew 5:15-16 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on a lampstand so it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men so they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Then, in the next chapter we are warned against “being on display.” Matthew 6:2 So whenever you do tzadakah, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, so that they may be glorified by men. Amen, I tell you, they have their reward in full! So, which is it, be on display, or be hidden?
Don’t “sound a trumpet.” The Lord’s point is, do not draw attention to yourself. You may have heard me say (from time to time), “It’s a heart thang!” Outwardly, many situations appear similar. But God is a discerner of the heart. Jeremiah 17:10 I Adonai search the heart, I try the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.
God made this clear to His prophet, Samuel, in regard to King Saul. 1 Samuel 16:7 But Adonai said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have already refused him. For He does not see a man as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but Adonai looks into the heart.”
Our heartfelt motivations are all important to God. Are we seeking the approval and approbation of men, or are we humbly serving God? That is at the heart of the question. Let’s ask the Lord to open the eyes of our understanding, so that we will know His will and respond in righteousness.
On another subject … I want to meditate on this verse … Matthew 6:6 But you, when you pray, go into your inner room; and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, shall reward you. Many translations invite us to go into our “closet” to pray. The Hebrew word for “closet” is aron (similar to Aaron’s name). The Aron HaKodesh is the Holy Ark (of the covenant).
To go there to pray is a high command, because in it we find many things that will help us pray. First, we find the pot of mana. This reminds us of God’s provision for us. It is so easy to get distracted by the cares of this world, especially when praying. God will provide, as this verse later in our chapter proves … Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Rabbi Trail: Here’s how to keep from getting distracted when praying. Keep a journal or notebook nearby. Any time a stray thought comes to you, like something that has to get done that day (got to buy milk), just jot it down and immediately return to prayer. The enemy wants to distract us from our focus on God. If we do get distracted, we’re playing into the devil’s hands. End RT.
What else is in the Ark? Aaron’s rod that budded. This speaks of life from the dead. Pray with the end in mind. We must self-identify with the eternal life God has given us, and nothing less. Then there is the Tablets of the 10 Commandments plus the full Torah which was placed in the side of the Ark. God’s word informs our prayers (pray with your Bible in hand). Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Next time I want to deal with forgiveness and how unforgiveness is tied to temptation. Furthermore; our deliverance depends on it. Until then, SFN (Shalom For Now).