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November 4, 2023: Parashat Torah Portion Vayera

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Vayera, which is taken from Genesis 18:1-22:24. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he continues the narrative of Abram's life, focusing on his mission, his leadership, and how all of this pertains to us as well, TODAY!

Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Parashah Torah Portion:

Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Vayera - Genesis 18:1-22:24

In last week’s Parashah we saw that Abraham had to “Get Yourself out” or “Go for yourself”,” lech lecha.” He was asked to depart Haran, to leave, to break or crush, to tread to pieces, to move into his calling and follow Elohim. He was going to leave his traditions, the ways of his fathers in order to enter the Promised Land. He didn’t know where he was going but stepped out and trusted Elohim. How can we connect this Parashah or relate to the life of Abraham? What is Elohim telling us today?

As we looked at the early history of mankind as told by Torah, we see a series of disappointments. Elohim gives us freedom which we in turn misuse. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit. Cain murders Abel. So, in just a short time the world has become so perverted and the people so corrupt.

Elohim creates order, but man creates chaos! A flood was sent to destroy (cleanse) the world. However, after the flood we see the narrative of the tower of Babel. We failed to respond to Elohim which is where Abraham enters the picture. What is Abraham summoned to do? We know he is to leave his land, birthplace, and father’s house. He is to travel to a land that Elohim will show him. However, what is he to do there…we do not know? On this the Torah is silent!

What is Abraham’s mission? What is our mission? What makes him special? What makes us special? What makes him not simply a good man in a bad age, like Noah, but a leader and the father of a nation of leaders? What do we have to offer? We have talked about the 3 failures of responsibility before so let me do a small recap. 1. Adam and Eve lacked personal responsibility. “It wasn’t me; it was the woman.”; “It wasn’t me; it was the serpent.” They both denied being the authors of their own acts…as if they did not understand either freedom or the responsibility it entails. 2. Cain denies moral responsibility. Abel provoked me, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” 3. Noah fails the test of collective responsibility. He is a man of virtue in an age of vice, but makes no impact on his contemporaries. He saves his family and animals but no one else. If we just read the plain text, he doesn’t try!

If we understand this…we understand Abraham; we understand us! Abraham exercised personal responsibility. Gen. 13:8-9 says, “Please, let’s not have quarreling between me and you, or between my herdsmen and yours, since we’re kinsmen. Isn’t the whole land there in front of you? Please separate yourself from me- if you go to the left, I will go to the right; if you go to the right, I will go to the left.” Abraham proposes a solution: Abraham passes no judgment; he doesn’t ask whose fault it is or who will gain from the outcome; he gives Lot the choice…he sees the problem and he acts.

In Gen. 14 a local war erupts and as a result, Lot is taken captive. Abraham immediately gathers a force, pursues the invaders, and rescues Lot and captives and returns them home safe. However, Abraham refuses to take any spoils. He shows he is his brother’s keeper. He understands the nature of moral responsibility despite the fact that Lot had chosen to live where he did with all the risks. Notice: Abraham didn’t say, “His safety is his responsibility not mine.”

So now in this Parashah we come to a great moment at which for the first time a human being challenges Elohim Himself. This happens in Gen. 18:20-25, what a speech but by what right does a mere mortal challenge Elohim Himself? We find is that Elohim signaled Abraham that he should in Gen. 18:16-21. Listen to the text: “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?” This is a clear hint that Elohim wants Abraham to respond; otherwise, why would He have said it to him?

We understand Abraham only against the backdrop of the story of Noah. Elohim told Noah in advance in Gen. 6:13 that He is about to bring punishment to the world…Noah did not protest! In fact, to the contrary as we are told 3 times that “Noah did as Elohim commanded him.” Noah accepted the verdict but Abraham challenged it because Abraham understood the 3rd principle: collective responsibility!

Listen- the people of Sodom were not his brothers or sisters so he was going beyond what he did in rescuing Lot. He prayed on their behalf because he understood that we are connected. But the question still remains; Why did Elohim call on Abraham to challenge Him? Was there anything Abraham knew that Elohim didn’t know? The answer is absurd! The answer is that he was to become the role model and initiator of a new faith, one that would not defend the human status quo, but challenge it!

Abraham had to have the courage to challenge Elohim if his descendants were to challenge human rulers, like Moses and the prophets did! As believers, Torah followers and Messianic disciples we do not accept the world that is! We challenge it in the name of Yeshua and how it ought to be! (Matt. 6:9-13 The Lord’s Prayer).

What a turning point! A faith that challenges the world instead of accepting it! What a role model of leadership…He is our role model; he took responsibility, he acted, he didn’t wait for others to act! We need people praying at the altar! We need to allow Elohim to move!

The Torah says of Noah in Gen 6:9, that “He walked with Elohim.” However, to Abraham Elohim said in Gen. 17:1, “Abraham walked before Me.” “Walk before Me” means; he was a leader, walked ahead, took personal responsibility, moral and collective responsibility!

We are all called to walk before Him; we are called to be a leader; we are called to walk ahead; we are called to take personal (ME), moral (YOU), and collective responsibility (Kehillah). We are all called to be a role model… so it is time we walk in it!

Like Abraham we have departed, went away, broke from, and crushed and tread into pieces traditions, unscriptural beliefs and pagan ways, to walk before Him and to live a holy life and produce the fruit of the Ruach. If we are going to take this seriously, we accept personal, moral, and collective responsibility. This isn’t a game…it is real life!

Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,

Join us every Wednesday at 7 pm for Bible study and every Saturday at 11 am for Sabbath service at:

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Have a blessed and peaceful Sabbath. Serve Adonai with all your heart, mind and will. Follow after righteousness and turn away from unholiness. Gather together as watchmen and pray for Israel and her people during this very horrific time of war. Elohim will fight their battle and the victory will be theirs! On this appointed day gather at the altar and prepare yourself for His coming!

Shalom Aleichem

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