Parasha With Passion – Weekly Torah Reading Cycle – Week #3
Picking up where we left of last week in Parashat Noach, the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth, became the progenitors of modern civilization. However, less than a hundred years later, we learn that man has corrupted himself once again, proving that we don’t always learn from our mistakes.
“Then they said, “Come! Let’s build ourselves a city, with a tower whose top reaches into heaven. So let’s make a name for ourselves, or else we will be scattered over the face of the whole land.”
In response to this rebellion, God scattered the people and even changed their languages. Yet, this punishment did not bring the people back to the ways of God.
Although people at Babel were unified in their goal, their motives were founded in rebellion against God, and in their desire to control their own destiny. This is very reminiscent of today’s world. As believes, we too must examine our motives in all that we do and say in order to ensure that self-will and indulgence does not lead us away from the very presence of God.
God Calls Abraham
“Then Adonai said to Abram, “Get going out from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you. My heart’s desire is to make you into a great nation, to bless you, to make your name great so that you may be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:1-2, 4)
This week in Parashat Lecha-Lecha, we get acquainted with the Patriarch Abraham. Abraham is called by God to leave his kinsman and sojourn to a land called Canaan. Abraham leaves Canaan and goes down to Egypt during a time of famine. Abraham returns to Canaan and parts ways with his nephew Lot. Abraham battles kings and entertains Angels. Abraham is declared God’s friend, and receives a covenant that will bless his descendants until the end of time. Abraham deals with Hagar, receives the circumcision, and a new name…Whew… all that is in this week’s Torah Portion.
In this week’s Parashah, God in His loving kindness continues this redemptive theme of oneness and relationship by calling Abraham into covenant relationship with Him. Abraham’s destiny to become the father of many nations is fulfilled through Messiah Yeshua so that every tribe and tongue who declares faith in Yeshua is Abraham’s seed.
“And if you belong to Messiah, then you are Abraham’s seed—heirs according to the promise.“
By faith, Abraham trusted and believed that God would guide him through uncharted territory. After Abraham came into the land of Canaan, he continued to be a stranger and a pilgrim in that foreign land. Abraham believed God, who promised that one day he and his descendants would inherit the land.
“After Lot separated himself from him, Adonai had said to Abram, “Lift up your eyes, now, and look from the place where you are, to the north, south, east and west. For all the land that you are looking at, I will give to you and to your seed forever. I will make your seed like the dust of the earth so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your seed could also be counted. Get up! Walk about the land through its length and width—for I will give it to you.”
Abraham grew in his faith toward God and personally anticipated a spiritual reward. (Hebrews 11:9-10) records this process.
“By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
We too live as sojourners, waiting with patience and faith for the Kingdom of God to be established on the earth. We too desire a better heavenly home — a “city” not made by hands.
In the life of Abraham, we learn that God can do the impossible. Nothing is too hard for God. We must believe God’s power and promises without wavering. If God said it – He will bring it to pass.
Like Abraham, we must be willingly obedient to come out of this world and depart from sin. We must trust God’s guidance and direction in leading us in uncharted territory.
As we journey through life, we must look to the coming Kingdom of God and a New Jerusalem. Our faith in the future inheritance of the world to come motivates us to live by faith.
In the dust lies the ruins of great kings and even greater kingdoms. Yet, history teaches us that it is only what we accomplish for Messiah that will remain.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”
Torah: Genesis 12:1 – 17:27
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27 – 41:16
Next Torah Portion: Vayera