PARASHAH: “VaYERA” (and he appeared)....... GENESIS 18:1-22:24
YHVH appears to Abraham at his tent, yet it also says that “three” men appeared to him. He addresses them as LORD (YHVH), how is that? One can only wonder. Could one of them be YHVH incarnate and the other two ministering angels? Could all three be a representation of ELOHIM? “Av” (father) “Ben” (son) and “Ruach HaKodesh” (Holy Spirit)? This could open up a lengthy discussion. All we know is that Abraham receives them with great hospitality. They eat and then they bless. This is pretty much how it works even today. We receive blessings from HaShem, but many times, we bless others, help others, and blessings follow.
Abram addresses the “the men” (Shelosh anashim) as “Adonai”. In one Hebrew-English translation, the word “lords’ is used, yet in another, the word; “Lord” is used. But in both translations, the word “Adonai” is used, which is “Master” and it is one of the names of G-d. The “men” are indeed “G-d” walking and talking with Abram.
Abraham shows hospitality to these “men” in that he prepares for them 4 items of food; “water, bread, milk, and meat.” It is a great mitzvah to show love and hospitality to others that are outside of your family. Blessed are the foster parents and those parents who adopt unwanted children from other homes and bring them into their own homes as their “adopted children” just as Adonai has adopted “all believers” into HIS family through our faith in Yeshua. In that way, ALL believers are; “B’nei Elohim” (sons of God)
Adonai repays Abraham’s kindness to those “three men”. Not only does He grant Abraham and Sarah a son; “Yitzchak” but generations down the line, He provides “water” in the desert through the “ROCK” that was split, and He provides “Bread” (manna) in the desert, and of course, the cattle of the Israelites produced “milk and meat”. On another level, we see “Yeshua” in all of these. Yeshua is the “Living Water” the “Bread of Life” and the Torah is our “Milk and meat”. I guess we can say that all believers start out by digesting the “milk of the Word, the easy stuff to understand, and when we mature, we can digest the “meat” the more difficult stuff to understand.
Can we bless “Adonai?” We know that He blesses us in many ways and forms, but how do we “Bless” YHVH? “Baruch” (bless) comes from the word “Berek” which means “knee”. When we “bow” the knee in praise and worship, we are, in fact, “blessing” Adonai. We come to pray, asking for “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 “within herself” not even out loud, or, just barely audible, yet YHVH hears her and asks “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 inside us, within the heart, within our minds, HE KNOWS ALL THINGS, even the “not so kosher” things. Something to think about the next time we think we are alone. We really are NOT alone.
Abraham intercedes for Sodom and Gomorra, yet there were not even ten righteous residents of Sodom. Had Abraham asked; “Will you not spare Sodom for only ONE righteous person?” what do you think that the LORD would have answered? Maybe YES? If that had been so, then, perhaps Lot and his family might have never left the city! Lot was still considered a “Tzadik” a righteous person, yet he was living in a sinful and totally corrupt city. That is a dangerous position to be in, to be comfortable in a place where you have no business to be in! or participate in activities that the lost world does. “by the skin of their teeth” one might say, the angel drags Lot, his wife, and two daughters out of there before the judgment of destruction begins.
However, we can think back to when the scripture says that “Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom”. He wasn’t there yet, he was close, but then, he was INSIDE Sodom. He even bought a house, and perhaps even started a business. We read that he was “at the gates of Sodom” when he invited the angels to come spend the night with him and his family. Those that we at the “gates” of the city, were “greeters’ sort of saying, perhaps “tour guides” maybe Lot was involved with politics. We can only guess; The Torah doesn’t go into detail about Lot’s life inside Sodom.
We know that before, he had much cattle. What happened to his cattle? Did he sell the cattle in order to buy the house? What happened to his tents? Traded it all for a life of “excitement?” inside the city? We must say that when families moved to places or into neighborhoods that are corrupt, one might except that the families also can suffer under corruption.
It isn’t easy to maintain one’s testimony in a pagan society or job place, but it isn’t impossible. Lot was considered “righteous” in the New Covenant, yet his family suffered. When the angels led Lot and his family (wife and two daughters) out of the city, they were told not to “look back” yet we remember that Lot’s wife DID look, and behold, she became a pillar of salt. She longed for her lifestyle in corrupt Sodom.
On the other hand, Lot’s daughters had sex with him and produced two sons; Moab and Ammon. The capital city Amman, in Jordan, is named after “Ammon” and the Moabites were also a corrupt, idol-worshiping people. But God has his hand in ALL situations. Remember that “Ruth” was a Moabitess, yet she became a “Y’hudit” and became part of God’s people and Ruth is in the genealogy of Messiah Yeshua. Adonai can make a negative situation or decision and do something with it, something wonderful.
One thing we remember from Parashah “Noach” The Torah says that “Noah was righteous in HIS generation” Does that mean that if he were living in the time of Abraham, he might not have been considered so righteous? If yes, why? Did Noah plead for the lost world before the flood? Did he ask YHVH to save the world IF there could be found a handful of righteous people? We don’t know what transpired during the 120 years that it took Noach to build the ark. Did he preach to the people? Did he warn them of the coming judgment?
In the book of Enoch, we know that Enoch warned the giants of impending judgment. In Noah’s case, the Torah is silent. We do see that Abraham pleads for the innocent people in Sodom. We know that there were probably infants and very young kids that were innocent. Sad to say that they too were destroyed, however, they are in heaven today because they died as innocent creations.
The command of the angel to Lot and his family was “don’t look back” yet Lot’s wife DID look back and was turned into a pillar of salt. Does it really matter what YHVH turned her into? Might as well have been a loaf of bread, a donut, a fudge brownie, a…that fact of the matter is that she DID turn and looked back. This is meaningful, indicating that she “longed” for the life of Sodom. She might have thought, “I’ll take one last look and…ZAP…instant 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 little Sulphur balls embedded in the ruins. When lighted, they emit a bluish flame. Imagine that after all these years, remnants of God’s judgment are still there.
We also read about the birth of “Yitzchak” and later the separation of “Ishmael” and “Yitzchak”. We see a separation between the “chosen” and the “world”, but also, we see today the “wheat” and the “tares” growing together, not to say that all the Arabs are evil, there are many born-again Arabs who are the descendants of Ishmael, those who love the LORD. But for the most part, the Arab world and Israel are enemies.
We come to the last part, the final test, “Take your son, your ONLY son who you love, and offer him as a sacrifice” Now God didn’t say “Sacrifice him” only “offer him as a sacrifice” Today, we offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” before YHVH to do his perfect will, and to serve him. Abraham was willing to bring the knife down on his only son Isaac, yet the LORD did not allow him to do so, as it was a test to see his obedience and to see if he was willing to follow through with “sacrificing and spilling Isaac’s blood”.
When we read this account, we see the symbolism. The “donkey” that took Father and Son to Mt Moriah, the donkey that took Yeshua to Jerusalem, later to be led to Mt. Calvary. The wood that was laid on Isaac’s back, compared to the cross beam that was laid on Yeshua’s back, or Yeshua’s back that was laid on that cross beam. The altar of stone that Abraham build compared to Calvary’s hill which is pretty much made of stone, made by our heavenly Father. The fire which was in Abraham’s hands could symbolize the fiery judgment that Yeshua took on our behalf.
Isaac symbolizes ALL of us. Yet when Abraham was ordered to take him off the altar, so we were “replaced” by Yeshua. Isaac was replaced by the ram which was caught in the thicket. The “ram” is “Yeshua” the ram’s horns were caught in the thicket, and around the head of our Mashiach was a crown of thorns.
Isaac could not be the sacrifice for sin because he, like all of us, was born in sin. The ram took Isaac’s as Yeshua took our place. In some translations, there are some interesting words spoken by Abraham. “God will provide himself as a lamb” other translations read; “God will provide for himself a lamb” I like the first one since it explains what God did, He came down and became the sacrifice lamb, in our place. What Abraham said was prophetic
God was not willing that anyone should perish, but for ALL to have eternal life. He was not willing that Abraham should give up his only son, but God was willing to give HIS unique SON, Yeshua for the payment of our sin, one time and forever. Yeshua is both; “Echad” (unity of ONE) and “Yachid” (unique, only, one of a kind)
Yeshua was willing and did undergo the “fires” of our sins, up there on that cross for a few hours, and thus made the “new covenant” that through his death and sacrifice, we might be saved. One might see it symbolically as a “covenant of fire” (brit esh) When we read the word “B’reisheet” (in the beginning) we can see those words, “brit esh” in the middle, just rearrange the letters around. Since “the beginning” YHVH had this in mind, to pay for our sin debt, with HIS blood. (Perhaps, this is where the English people got the name "British" (Brit Esh) ="Covenant of fire" (Brit Ish) "Covenant of Man"