Don’t Take Anything for Granted

Yael Eckstein  |  March 24, 2020

Woman lifting her hands up in praise while standing in a yellow flower field.

The sons of Aaron the priest are to put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. — Leviticus 1:7

Shalom, my friend. During these difficult times, we all need encouragement and inspiration. It is in that spirit that I will continue to share these devotions with you. The Fellowship continues to help people in need in Israel and around the world, as we continue to pray for you and your family.

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. This week’s Torah portion is Vayikra, which means “and He called,” from Leviticus 1:1–5:26, and the Haftorah is from Isaiah 43:21–44:23.

I thank God every day for the joy and privilege of working at The Fellowship on behalf of Jews in need in Israel and around the world. To be honest, my job isn’t always easy. It can be physically taxing and emotionally trying. But knowing that I am helping others and bringing biblical prophecy to fruition is what helps me through the challenges.

However, one could argue that we need not lift a finger to see biblical prophecies fulfilled. After all, God promised to bring the Jews back to Israel. He promised to protect His people and to take care of them. If God promised these things, why must we do anything at all?

Yet, as my father taught me, it is a blessing and honor for us to be a part of bringing God’s promises to fruition. Moreover, when we do our part in helping His promises come to pass, we demonstrate that we do not ever take His help for granted.

In this week’s Torah reading, we learn that the priests were required to place a fire on the altar where sacrifices were brought daily. However, according to Jewish tradition, a fire came straight from heaven in order to consume every sacrifice offered by the Israelites. So why was it necessary to light a fire when God already was sending fire?

By doing their part, by arranging the wood and lighting the fire, the priests were demonstrating that while they fully relied upon God and believed in His abilities, they didn’t take them for granted for even one moment. There was no sense of entitlement or ingratitude for God’s daily miracles.

Today, we experience many miracles in our daily lives, such as our health, sustenance, and relationships. While we must have faith that God will continue to bless us, we cannot demand them nor take them for granted. Like the priests, we must do our part in sustaining our blessings and wait humbly on God to do His part. In this way, we acknowledge God’s provisions with a sense of gratitude, never with a sense of entitlement.

God’s love for us is new every morning — our gratitude and praise for Him must be, too.

Your turn

What if you woke up today only with the things you were grateful for yesterday? How might you change your view of God’s blessings in your life?

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