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Abraham the founding father of the Jewish nation, and the founding spiritual father of all believers in the true God of Israel, Abraham Isaac and Jacob, is revered and look up as a role model to both Jews and Christians alike. The sages teach us that Abraham went through ten trials in his life, and that these trials shaped the man he became both to his natural descendants as well as his spiritual descendants. Vayeira starts with Abraham sitting by the entrance to his tent looking out to his surroundings, as if he was waiting expectantly for something to happen. He had just gone through circumcision at age 90 him and his entire household, and here he is waiting on the next step to take. Although the custom of the day as is in some places today to be hospitable, the Torah teaches that he not only saw the tree men but he perceived, he felt in the spirit in todays language and culture. He got up and run towards them and bowed and greeted and hosted the travellers. This first part of the parasha teaches us that to be hospitable is not only a mitzvoth but it should be part of our lifestyle, as in the case of Abraham, we may host angels disguised as man visiting a child of the most High. In this first opening part of the parasha we learn to be ready and expectant to our surrounding, just as soldier would be in battle so should we be, spiritually perceptive.
As follow along the recount of Abraham’s encounter with the HaShem, we see that after the blessing that Abraham received, HaShem can help but disclose His intentions with Sodom and Gomorrah. Although I have heard many preachers describe this account as another test in his life I personally believe that it was not a test but rather a show of trust and friendship towards Abraham. We also see from this portion that Abraham was truly a righteous man, and he though, for those that may be like him in those cities that may perish because of the unrighteous. He interceded and dialogued on their behalf if there were any left in those surroundings. The intercession of the righteous has power in the ears of HaShem, and we ought to take example from our Abba Abraham, and intercede for those that love HaShem and his word.
In this parasha we see how HaShem deals with the wicket that the sin was great that He could no longer stand to be idle, he came down to see, per adventure there may be a way of repentance from these people, but as it turned out the punishment was so delivered and it is remembered to this day, so that we may take heed that judgment does come, but not in our time but on HaShem’s timing. What was striking about this section of the parasha is that the son in-law’s reaction to Lots words was seen as a jester, a fool for speaking the words and the warning of the impending destruction. In many cases this sounds very familiar as you hear comments and remarks and in some cases as believers we are mocked for out faith and our stand in life, be it same sanctity of life and union between man and woman.
In closing this parasha we see that Abraham, once again moves from the area where he was residing into a new area of his promise, however we see that one of these test that was mentioned above, that are recounted by our sages is that he once again is overcome by fear. Both Sarah and Abraham agreed on the course of action, they tell the people in the area that they are now abiding in that they are brother and sister, due to fear. Abraham’s faith dwindles, and this is the one person that is referred to the father of faith in the Brit Hadasha Romans 4. He fails, as in the first time he is to go through again where his wife is taken from him and HaShem is to intercede in order that HaShem’s promise must be kept. That a son will be born to them and in his descendants all nations will be blessed. Although Abimelech appeared to be fearful of HaShem and knew him, he did not act in such manner as to honor him as he took by force that what he wanted. One can fear and revere God but that is not enough we are, ought to walk in such manner as to merit both recognition from those around us that we are under HaShem’s hand and from Adonai as well. It is not works for salvation but rather works as a result of salvation this would be a total reversal of the concept salvation by works that many oppose and move far away from what Yeshua commanded we do and live.
As HaShem appeared to Abraham let be so to us in these days, let us learn from our forefathers, that is why we have these accounts, if our father of faith failed in a few instances and still it was counted as a tzadik, he overcame to be a tzadik, we can also live our lives as tzadik and overcome, more so now as we have a helper the Ruach that instruct us and guide us in our lives, all we need to do is to be perceptive as our father Abraham was.