Gen 23:1 – 25:18
There is so much we could talk about in the parasha, but there’s not enough time to cover it in this short blog…I would like to focus on two things: the place of Sarah’s burial and the servant Abraham sent to find a wife for Isaac.
Sarah died in Kiriat Arba, also known as Hebron, about 18 miles south of Jerusalem. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, this is the same place where Abraham settled after his long journey from Ur. It’s the place where he put his tent pegs down and raised his family. And it is the same place where Abraham encountered three men in Genesis 18, two of which were the angels that went down to Sodom, and the third was the Lord Himself.read more
Gen 18:1 – Gen 22:24
Promises, judgments and miracles. In the Torah portion, Vayera, we are given some of the most dynamic moments in the life of Abraham and his family. Called by God to leave his homeland, family, culture and inheritance, Abram (whose name God changes to Abraham) is now at the oaks of Mamre where he encounters the Lord and is given the promise of a son. As an old man, and his wife and old maid this was an impossibility that only God would be able to make happen. This seems to be God’s pattern; making the impossible, possible. That story develops later in the parsha but it is worth noting that immediately after Abraham receives the promise of future generations the attention of the reading turns to the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. With the promise of his own family line to come, what would be his heart and mind toward a notoriously wicked people? Abraham pleaded for mercy.read more
Gen 12:1 – 17:27
The Bible could not be any clearer. Both Old and New Testaments declare it without question, and without apology.
God has made an everlasting covenant with Israel.
His special relationship with that particular nation abides forever. The same Lord who saves our souls by faith, and now gathers all believers into His Church, still intends to keep the promises He made to Abraham’s natural children many centuries ago.read more
Gen 6:9 – Gen 11:32
Rest is both a gift and a weapon. In the Torah portion Noach, we are introduced to the character of Noah. Noah is most famous for being the man who built the ark for the animals in order to survive the world-wide flood. What is often lost in this story is that Noah’s name means ‘rest or repose’ and is a picture of rest. In Noah’s day, much like in our own, to simply trust in God and submit to His leadership was seen as naive, simple-minded or hopelessly boring. But trusting in the authority and power of one greater than we are is a true picture of rest and it is a gift. Have you ever seen a child be comforted by their parent? Perhaps they are sitting on the floor crying but are swept up into the arms of their father and within moments are quieted, peaceful and possibly even asleep in his arms. Why? Because whatever it was that they lacked they are fully convinced will be taken care of as they rely on their father. That is a picture of rest. It is a gift. But it is also a weapon.read more
Gen 1:1 – Gen 6:8
When you look at the way God starts something, you get a good indication of how He will finish it. God is both the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. God created everything and saw that it was good. However, the enemy successfully tempts man, who sins. The word death is introduced into the world, and then the Lord sets a plan in place that will restore everything back to the way He created it.
Our first portion of the year is called “Bereshit”, which literally means, “in the beginning.” As we read the beginning of Genesis, we find that the earth was “formless and void.” The Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘void’ as “completely empty; an unfilled space; an emptiness caused by the loss of something.”read more
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