THIS WEEK'S PARASHA: "VaYERA" (and he appeared)
GEN 18:1-22:24......................2 KINGS 4:1-37..............................MATT 8:1-9:38
the LORD appears to Abraham at his tent, yet it also says that "three" men appeared to him, yet
he addresses them as LORD, (YHVH) how is that? one can only wonder. Could one of them be YHVH incarnate, and the other two angels? could all three be YHVH symbolizing "Elohim?" Av, Ruach HaKodesh, and "HaBen"? pretty much open to discussion, many believe two are the messenger angels, Abraham receives them with open hospitality, they eat, and then they bless
Many times, YHVH blesses us after we bless HIM. How, one asks, can one bless HaShem? the word "Baruch" comes from the word "Berek" which means "Knee" when we bend the knee in praise and worship, we are in fact "Blessing God" we come in prayer asking "this and that" but do we just come and thank HIM for just who He is?
He announces the birth of "Yitzchak" yet Sarah laughs in disbelief, yet "within herself" not even out loud, yet YHVH hears her, "why did Sarah laugh?" "Yeah, but thou didst laugh!" can anything be hidden from the LORD? even inside us, HE KNOWS what is going on, something to think about, even when we think we are alone, we really aren't.
Abraham intercedes for Sodom and Gomorra, yet, there we not even 10 righteous residents of Sodom, had Abraham said "Will you not spare Sodom for only ONE righteous person?" what do you the LORD would have answered? maybe YES? then, Lot and his family might never have left the city. Lot was still considered righteous, yet he was living in a corrupt, unrighteous city of decadent sin, That is a dangerous position to be in, be so comfortable in a place which one does not belong in, or in company of the wrong people, "By the skin of their teeth" the angel dragged them out of there. Yet we read the instructions; "Do not look back!"
Yet, when they were leaving, Lot's wife looked back, and we read the result, she was turned into a "Pillar of salt" but does it really matter what YHVH turned her into? might as well have been a loaf of bread, a brownie, a donut, etc...the fact of the matter was that she DISOBEYED, and LOOKED BACK, this tells us that Sodom was so part of her, she "longed" for the old life, well, "I'll take one last look" and "zap" saltine cracker", perhaps she gazed on the very "essence of YHVH" in destruction mode"
If one goes to the ruins of Sodom today, one can still find buried little Sulphur balls embedded in the ruins, when one lights them, they light up a "bluish flame" imagine that, after all these years. As we read, we read about the birth of "Yitzchak" and later, the separation of "Ishmael" and "Yitzchak" sometimes, there must be a noticeable separation of "the chosen" and the "chosen not" yet at times, the "wheat and tares will grow together" As we know today, the descendants of Ishmael and of Isaac are bitter enemies, although I have met quite a few Arabs that love the Jewish people.
We come to the last part, the final test, "Take your son, the only son you love, and offer him as a sacrifice" as we read, it doesn't say "sacrifice him" it says "OFFER him as a sacrifice" today, we can offer ourselves as "living sacrifices" before YHVH to do his perfect will, and to serve him, many times, doing without luxury, going to minister in places where few people might want to go. Yet Abraham was willing to bring down the knife on his only son, and YHVH saw into his heart, and pronounced the words, "Do not harm the boy, for now I know that you fear the LORD, and since you have not withheld your son, your only son from me"
Yet we see that 2000 years later, YHVH did not withhold HIS only son from the crucifixion stake and gave up HIS only begotten SON so that whoever (that means you) trusted in HIM and accepts his sacrifice for sin, might not perish, but have everlasting life. We see an exchange here, a ram which was caught in the thicket by the horns, took the place of Isaac on the altar, Isaac was taken off, and the ram put on the altar, we can see symbolism here, Calvary is a large rocky place, the altar was made of rock, the cross was made of wood, Abraham laid Isaac on wood which he carried on a donkey, Yeshua rode a "donkey" when He arrived in Yerushalayim. WE symbolize Isaac, who was born in sin, just like everyone else, the RAM symbolizes YESHUA who took OUR place. The fire that Abraham set to burn the sacrificial ram, is the fire of judgment on our sins, which Yeshua took upon himself on that day that he exchanged his righteousness for our unrighteousness.
2 KINGS 4:1-37
Here, Elisha HaNavi ministers to a Shunamite woman . As some prophets had a public ministry, Elisha had more of a private ministry, ministering to individuals as one-on-one, Yeshua did both, In this case, the woman needed a miracle, yet she "blessed Elisha first" with a meal, that same way that Abraham did with the angles/YHVH, Elisha responds with "multiplying the oil" she was "blessed" after she blessed the prophet, it works that way sometimes, more times than we can imagine,
He we have the LORD's model prayer, this is not meant to be something we memorize and just repeat it like "written prayers" yet we should meditate on what the words mean;
Aveinu BaShamayim (Our Father who is in Heaven) who has the right to call God "Our Father"? only those who are part of HIS family, which include ALL BELIEVERS
KADOSH SH'MO (Santified be his name) HIS name YHVH (Yod Hey Vav Hey) from
HAVAYAH (to exist) is the most Holy, and contrary to popular belief, the Torah does not prohibit one from using it, on the contrary, it says in many parts "Call upon the NAME of the LORD!" and that is his most Holy Name.
"Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" The "Kingdom of Heaven" is YHVH's activity on earth, his kingdom is already HERE, in the midst of his believers, his church, congregations, bible studies, Torah studies, revivals, etc, His "New Jerusalem" will come one day and land on this earth, that will be sight to see
"Give us this day our daily bread" in other words, "LORD, supply my daily needs, amen"
"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" We need to forgive those who have wronged us, so that God also might forgive our sins,
"Do not lead us into temptation, deliver us from evil" Temptations will come, it is part of being tested, yet, we will also be provided a WAY OUT, To resist, so, we must ask for strength to resist, in that way, the LORD delivers us from evil.
The Kingdom, power, and glory are HIS forever, and we will be part of it some day.
Shabbat Shalom...........Rabbi Ben Avraham