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Sunday, 23 August 2015

G-d's got your back

Daf Yomi Nedarim 90

Achitophel was a trusted confidant of King David.  Until one day, he decided to jump ship and join Prince Avshalom’s rebellion.  He immediately became the chief advisor to the prince and marched with him into the capital, Jerusalem.  Upon their arrival, they were greeted with open arms by Chushai, a leader of the city, who told them that the time was indeed ripe to overthrow the king.

Sitting down in the war-room, Achitophel meticulously explained the plan of attack upon David’s army, which appeared to be foolproof.  Unbeknownst to the invaders, however, Chushai, quickly sent word to David’s generals to move the king out of harm’s way.  When the time came for the attack, Achitophel couldn’t fathom how the king had eluded capture and concluded that the Divine favour was clearly on David’s side.  Realizing he had picked the wrong team, he went home and hanged himself.

Mishnah: If a wife announced, “I vow to abstain from deriving any benefit from my father or your father if I act according to your bidding,” her husband may revoke the vow, even though it has not yet been activated.
Gemara: A husband may annul his wife’s vow even without its activation, as the Scriptures declare, “He annuls the plots of the wicked.”

The Malbim points to the story of Achitophel and explains that G-d thwarts the plots of the wicked, without the righteous ever finding out!  David was told to start travelling and so when the planned attack came, he wasn’t even there.  That’s how the Almighty deals with the plots of the wicked – he simply removes the righteous out of harm’s way, such that they never even realize that they were in harm’s way to begin with!

How many times a day do you thank G-d for promoting goodness and blessing in your life?  Anyone who opens their eyes to the Almighty’s providential watch cannot deny that they are being guided by Heaven.  But here’s the amazing message from the Tanach: many times a day, G-d sends protective blessing into your life, even without your knowledge!

That colleague who’s jealous of you – she never had the opportunity to say the bad things she wanted to say to the boss about you.  That neighbour who can’t stand your beautiful lawn and wanted to take his dog for a visit couldn’t get the animal to move.  Your anti-Semitic competitor has just filed for bankruptcy before he had the chance to file that false report about you to the city authorities.

For all the revealed blessings you have in your life, there is a myriad hidden blessing that is happening day-in day-out.  Your Father in Heaven is keeping a watchful Eye over you and thwarting the plots of the wicked without your even being aware that you have enemies who are out to get you!  Every minute, we must thank Him for the miracles we see and at the same time, for those miracles we never even get the chance to see!

The Almighty is guiding you through life, removing the obstacles in your path to righteousness. May you forever walk in His light, may you reach out and take Him by the hand and He will see to it that no dark forces ever obstruct your mission!