Monday, November 2, 2009

And He Appeared (Vayera)

Gnesis 18:1-22:24 is titled "And he appeared".

The title for each weekly reading is usually taken from the beginning of the portion. The LORD and two men appeared where Abraham was - at the door of the tent. According to the commentaries I read, this was when Abraham was hurting the most after the circumcision.

Abraham is always quick to obey God's words and he is kind.

  • He was told to leave his father's house and he did. (Genesis 12)
  • He gave up his right to choose the good-looking land and let Lot decode which land to take when the possessions grew too big. (Gen 13)
  • He got up and departed to rescue Lot after he heard that Lot was captured. (Gen 14) --Then apparently Lot went back to his wicked city.
  • He let go of Hagar and Ishmael when Sarah was not happy. Abraham was reluctant but God told him to listen to Sarah.(Gen 16)
  • He circumcised himself and his household soon after God told him. (Gen 17)
  • He was willing to to sacrifice his only son ( he left the next day). (Gen 22)

Now when the LORD showed up with two other men, Abraham ran to meet them, then he asked them not to pass away. He said he would bring a little water to wash their feet, and a morsel of bread. Then he hurried to Sarah and asked her to bake a large bread with fine flour, then ran to fetch a calf tender and good (he even picked it himself), and told the young man to dress it. Then he took the butter, milk and the calf to the men. Abraham stood by them while they ate. What a man! He spoke humbly, but his action was great.

Let's compare Lot to Abraham.

Lot chose the best-looking land when he had a chance to choose land. When the two of the men who visited Abraham went on to Sodom where Lot lived, he told them that they could wash their feet with water and spend the night. And Lot cooked flat bread. I wonder if his wife was from Sodom because I don't read about his wife until after he moved to Sodom...

Our kind God asks, “Do you have any other relatives here in the city?” (Genesis 19:12)

A few years ago as I was looking for a direction for prayer for my father, I felt like this was what God was asking me. "Do you have any family member in the city?" My quick response was, "My father is still there in the darkness, and he doesn't know it!! And he doesn't want to get out!" Then in Genesis 19:16 says this: "When Lot still hesitated, the angels seized his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters and rushed them to safety outside the city, for the Lord was merciful." My prayer for my father changed that night! I asked God to grab his hand and take him out of the darkness, because he will not be willing to leave the darkness. A few weeks later I went to see my father and I witnessed a miracle of this stubborn man nodding to my question, "Do you want to believe him?"

Silent three days

In a way, Abraham's son was dead for 3 days... I wonder what Abraham and Isaac talked on their way to the place where the LORD told him to go. After 3 days, Isaac was about to be sacrificed but the LORD told him to stop, and a ram took his place. Until the LORD told Abraham not to sacrifice Isaac, it must have been as though he was dead...and came back to life.

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