Monday, November 7, 2011
Shaleeakh Vayera "And appeared"
B'reisheet (Genesis) 18:1- 22:24
Many people are convinced that because of HaShem's grace they are not accountable for their actions. As a result, of this false understanding, a new believer will often live exactly as he or she was living before accepting Yeshua. The problem with this type of thought is that it does not require accountability. This desire to replace accountability with grace, has caused many to deny the fact that serving the L-rd requires obedience. Believers who feel Yeshua's sacrifice of grace replaced accountability will never live a Torah observant life. Despite this rejection of accountability, the scriptures specifically teach that HaShem requires accountability from His people. When HaShem's people are accountable they become a symbol of accountability to the world. This is extremely important in an age where accountability no longer matters. To emphasize His desire for the accountability of His people HaShem requires all His followers to abide by the same set of rules. Shemot 12:49 states "One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you." One law for the stranger and one law for the native born, implies that HaShem will not have one judgment for the Christian and another judgment for the Jew. To be fair and just, HaShem judges all groups with the same judgment. However, the judgment first begins with the House of G-d. 1Peter 4:17 states, "it is the time of the beginning of the judgment from the house of God, and if first from us, what the end of those disobedient to the good news of God?" This equality in judgment demonstrates to the world HaShem is not a respecter of persons. Romans 2:5-11 states, "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasures up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God." A believer's hope is not in avoiding the accountability of judgment. A believer's hope should be founded on the understanding that HaShem's people are protected from the consequences of judgment. Protection from the consequences of judgment is not the same as denying that all people are accountable to the same law. Protection from the consequences of judgment requires action. Denying accountability justifies a person's lifestyle. Therefore, all followers of HaShem should seek protection from the consequences of judgment and not deny that HaShem even requires accountability from believers in Yeshua. In Vayera, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah are good examples of judgment and accountability.
The warning HaShem issued to Lot and his family before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is a good example of judgment and accountability. Before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah HaShem gave Lot and His family the opportunity to leave. B'resheet 19:12-14 states "And the men said unto Lot, Hast thou here any besides? Son in law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whatsoever thou hast in the city, bring them out of this place: For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxen great before the face of the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it. And Lot went out, and spoke unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law." Giving Lot the opportunity to leave made lot accountable for his actions. In other words, if Lot refused to believe that HaShem was planning to judge Sodom, and stayed in Sodom, Lot would have been judged. Part of Lot's family did not believe that HaShem would hold them accountable for their actions. Therefore, they rejected HaShem's warning. As a result, Lot's sons in law passed up the only opportunity that they were given. Lots sons in law perished when Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed.
Rejection of accountability can also be seen in the Brit Hadashah. Revelation 11:3-10 states "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire proceeded out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. These have power to shut heaven that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth." As a result of the rejection of accountability people will not listen to the two prophets. Therefore, the prophets are killed and the people miss an opportunity to be protected from the coming judgment. Revelation 11:13 states "the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven." The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the loss of seven thousand lives in the tribulation are similar because in both instances people refused to be accountable for their actions.
The ultimate rejection of accountability is the proclamation that you are HaShem. In fact, rejection of accountability to this degree will proceed the judgment. 2Thessalonians 2:3-4 states "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." Yeshua makes it clear that when the anti Christ proclaims himself to be God the judgment will start as Mathew 24:15-18 states "When you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then those in Judea-let them flee to the mounts; he on the house-top-let him not come down to take up anything out of his house; and he in the field-let him not turn back to take his garments."
The anti-Christ's self elevation above God, is a manifestation of societal problem that occur when individual's refuse to be accountable for their actions. Unfortunately, individuals who refuse to be accountable are in danger of facing the same punishment that the world will receive. Protection from the judgment occurs when an individual accepts accountability and repents. The only way to understand accountability is to live by God's set of rules, and allow Yeshua to be the Lord of our life. This is because without the Torah there is no accountability and without the spirit there is no ability. This means that we must walk in the spirit and live a Torah centered life. When this is accomplished we are protected from judgment because we are walking in "Spirit and in Truth".
By Rabbi Yaakov benYosef
ABOUT Torah © 2011 About Torah