Parasha #4

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 Parashah #04: Vayera (He appeared)

(Genesis 18:1 – 22:24)

Additional Readings:
2 Kin. 4:1-37; Luk. 17:26-37; Rom. 9:6-9; Gal. 4:21-31; Heb. 6:13-20; 11:13-19; Jam. 2:14-24; 2 Pet. 2:4-10

Previous parashah recap We finished last week with Abraham and Ishmael, when Abraham was ordering his people to get circumcised. As I said before the circumcision was a sign of the covenant which was passed between Abraham and God. With Noah the sign of the covenant with God was the rainbow and with Jesus it’s love: we have to have love for one another. As we will see in later Parashas, with Moses it was the Sabbath. 

  • As soon as Abraham did the circumcision God being pleased with Abraham’s obedience came to visit him directly. Therefore we are told of three visitors that came, and as we read on the chapter 18 we realize that two of them are angels, the third one being Yeshua Himself.

  • Gen. 18:1-2 – the word ‘appeared’ (Vayera) means a visible appearance, not a vision or a dream; meaning Adonai appeared to Abraham in person (with 2 other men). And when God appears in person it is Jesus.

  • As Abraham saw them, he invited them to stay, by running to them, which would have been quite a fit since he just had been circumcised and that would have been very painful! Still he did so and offered the 3 “men” to wash their feet, eat and be refreshed before going on their way – showing hospitality to strangers was actually a commandment which was put in writing under Moses, but as most of the instructions from God, it predated Sinai.

  • Then Abraham goes on to prepare food for them and this needs a bit of expounding because it’s important to put your head around how it was during that time:

  • Gen. 18: 5-8 – Let’s have a look at the small amount of food they ate, why small meal? Because in verse 5 Abraham said to them let me give you a piece or morsel of bread (an appetiser of sort). These 3 measures of flower represent 25 ½ kg! Plus the calf and the milk and butter (or curd), so a total of 24 kg of food per person! That meal was made of dairy, bread (or cake) and very fatty meat, in quantity. And that was good, so if you are on a diet remember this. For the truth shall set you free.

  • On another important point Abraham asked Sarah to prepare the cakes/bread, so in another words a woman prepared 3 measures of flower, or meal to bake them. This links directly to Mat. 13:33 and the parable of the leaven. Yeshua was referring to His encounter there, the difference being that under Abraham, the instructions were respected but that in the time the parable was referring to the instructions would start to be corrupted. And we see the fullness of that corruption nowadays where in most Churches the full set of instructions is off, it has been fully leavened.

  • During that meal Abraham is told he would have a son the following year (at the age of 100)

  • Gen. 18:12-15 – Sarah laughed to herself and THOUGHT inwardly…she did not speak out her thoughts yet the man knew and repeated her thoughts in question. God reads the hearts of men; He knows our thoughts. As Christians we need to be renewing even our thoughts because God knows all. We saw last week that the Lord caught Abraham being in doubt in his heart, now it’s Sarah’s turn.

  • We see that Abraham had drawn so close to God that Adonai appeared to reveal his plans to Abraham concerning the land he had been placed upon and the destruction of Sodom and Gomora – For us as Christians we are to draw closer and closer to God. As we grow in faith we are tested to prove we have grown, and as we show the Lord that we truly are trusting in Him He will give us more and more insight; first concerning our own personal situation, then concerning the situation of others and finally, concerning the territory God has established us in, just like the pattern of Abraham.

  • Gen. 20:7 – Following Abraham going to Gerar, the land of king Abimelech, and repeating the same mistake as before with Pharaoh in hiding the true status of Sarah (it’s interesting to note here that Sarah would still have looked young and beautiful for Abraham to do that, but she was in her 90s!), Abimelech has a dream and is told that Abraham is a prophet (‘Nabi’ in Hebrew) meaning one who hears and speaks what he hears – There are different kinds of prophets but a Nabi is not a prophet who sees

  • Abraham was anointed/appointed over the territory as a Nabi; as someone who was to speak what God told him and to intercede with God, which is exactly what Abraham did. He ‘haggled’ with God and ended up stopping at the number of 10 righteous people in the land of Sodom. Abraham knew Lot and his family were there which is why he thought there should have been at least 10 righteous in the land. So we see one of the roles of a Nabi in action as Abraham intercedes for the safety of the righteous.

  • In the old testament (Eze. 22:30) God seeks to find someone who would build a wall or stand in the gap for the people of the land – As Christians, when we pray we are told to pray for the Lord to come, but we also have to intercede like Abraham did, for the nation; to protect the righteous in the land and pray for the hearts of unbelievers as well as stray believers, that their hearts may be turned back unto God (Mat. 10:15)

  • Abraham means ‘father of nations’. When he was haggling with God he was acting as a father.

  • When the 2 angels went into the land of Sodom as men, the righteous people invited them to their home. This reminds us of the hospitality Abraham showed to the 3 strangers. This was how the angels tested if there were any righteous in the land. They waited to see if anyone would follow God’s commands. This is why Lot was willing to offer his virgin daughters to the sinful people of the land; because by taking the men into his home for protection, a covenant was established in front of the Lord and therefore the covenant superseded all other life threatening means. To let anything happen to these men/angels would have meant trouble for Lot

  • Lot leaves with his wife and 2 virgin daughters. His other daughters and their husbands chose to stay. As they were escaping, Lot’s wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. This is important for those of us who walk in the Lord. When a righteous person turns their eyes away from God, judgement will come and it will be swift and harsh.

  • Lot’s 2 daughters deceive him and get him drunk so they can sleep with him to be able to bear children. Why did they do that? From Adam to Noah there are 10 generations and judgment came in the form of a flood which wiped out nearly all of mankind. God said he would not do that again; according to the book of Enoch they knew that after the flood, would come another judgment through fire. This is found in the new testament where it speaks of the earth being burnt up by fire (2 Pet. 3:10). This same pattern applies to us; in the water we die to the world and then we are baptised in fire to be raised into power in the kingdom of God. From Noah to Lot there are 10 generations; this may explain why the virgin daughters had the mentality that there were no other men for them to reproduce with. They saw the land being destroyed by fire and thought the end of the world was upon them and that they were the only 3 people being saved (just like Noah and his family), and that their father would be the only man left to multiply with to re-populate the earth.

  • Out of the acts of incest, 2 tribes were born. The Moabites and the Ammonites. Right through the OT we see that the tribes of Moab and Ammon were always attacking the Hebrews, why? Because they were conceived and born in sin. Yet out of these 2 wicked lines came Ruth who came out of Moab. From Ruth came David and from David came Jesus…so we see that grace was still able to work. There is still the possibility of redemption if you turn away from your sins and the sins of your ancestors. Same with Naamah, Rehoboam’s mother (Solomon’s wife) who was a descendant of Ammon. So we see redemption was made possible for both sides.

  • Pillar of salt – this represents the covenant made between God and men – The Salt covenant. This is between God and the people He specifically chooses for Himself; like Lot and his family; like the tribe of Levi (Num. 3:12-13); like David and his line (2 Sam. 7:16); like Jesus and all those covered by His blood (1 Pet. 2:5, 9).

  • The pillar of salt has 2 specific aspects:

  1. Purification. The same as in the making of incense that was holy to the Lord (Exo. 30:34-35). ‘Tempered’ means ‘salted’ in Hebrew, which stands for the praise and prayers of the saints; as in Heb. 13:15 & Rev 8:3-4; as in our sacrifices of thanksgiving to God (Lev. 12-16); as in bringing life to dead waters (2 kin. 2:19-22) symbolising the living waters of the Holy Spirit; as in the cleansing of the new born and the sacred altar of burning to be able to offer proper sacrifices to the Lord. The covenant of salt is a covenant of self-discipline (as in temperance, not turning to the left of right; staying on the straight and narrow path). So all of this signifies the cleansing of the Christian and the preparation to be able to make acceptable sacrifices of praise and prayers to the Lord. It also represents the purity of the bloodline and character (2 Chro. 13:5) for the line of David and Jesus, (Num. 18:19) for the Levites, the priests of the Lord, and therefore the saints, because we are called to be a kingly priesthood. So this is how the 2 lines come together and the salt covenant comes in full in the bloodline of David through the office of a priest; the 2 join in Jesus and we become one with Him.

  2. Judgement and desolation – visiting those who turn away from the call, go back into the world or raise themselves against the Lord. Gen. 19, Luk. 17:31-33, Deu. 29, Eze. 47:11, Jdg. 8:34-35; 9:1-5, 19-20, 45-46, Jeremiah, Zep. 2:9

  • So this covenant of purity calls for loyalty to the Lord and willingness to do what He instructs us to do and not out of obligation like it was in the Old Testament under the covenant of Moses. (Mar. 9:50, Job 6:6-7…) in which we learn that if a Christian loses his willingness he is still pure but he has no savour anymore, meaning the Lord can hardly use him, for he is not willing to be used anymore. Forcing yourself to do something for the Lord is not a proper sacrifice and will hinder the Holy Spirit, the spirit of freedom; this does not bring glory to God. So we need to follow and obey the Lord out of a willing heart and genuine love for Him.

  • As Christians having been purified and yielded to the Lord of our own accord, we bring the qualities of this covenant to the earth (Mat. 5:13). As we walk the earth like Jesus did and become the salt of the earth, we bring conviction and judgement upon the earth. So through us the Lord renders judgement to bring conviction and repentance in those who are willing and open (Mat. 12:30, Mar. 9:36-49).

  • Jesus Christ is the pure blood shed for the remission of our sins, and by Whom we become a royal priesthood set apart for God in perfection, holiness and righteousness. As such, this new covenant we have in Him appropriates for itself the salt covenant, which establishes a people for the Lord and a pure lineage. The covenant of Jesus incorporates all 8 covenants.

  • Concerning the ‘destruction’ of Sodom and Gomorrah – the word in Hebrew doesn’t speak about destruction, it speaks about ruin, decay, spoiling, putting an end to…This same word is used for the flood that ‘destroyed’ the earth; yet isn’t the earth still standing? Hasn’t there been discoveries of remains from that time? The same applied with Sodom and Gomorrah…it was burnt but not completely destroyed (as the Aramaic New Testament rendering shows). Why am I saying this? Because in 2013 the Jordanian government opened areas in the country to archaeological investigations and Sodom was discovered! 5 cities being dug up, everything there shows a very rich and flourishing civilisation which stopped abruptly, with the place abandoned by mankind for 5 to 7 centuries. And all discoveries show that the place was burnt up, not only the cities but all the surrounding area too. And it’s not a fire which was due to war because the area was left untouched afterwards. No resettlement or full dismantling… The name to Google it is: Tall El-Hammam
    http://www.tallelhammam.com/

  • Finally, God tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son. Before that, Sarai demanded that Hagar and Ishmael be sent away. When Abraham prayed about it, God told him to obey what Sarai said. Paul uses that scripture in the new testament in a particular context (Gal. 4:21-30). When read in the proper context it comes against all the trains of thoughts people have about Paul being against. For God Himself told Abraham to obey his wife, and that’s quite a strong word, to obey. Why? If we look at it from a spiritual point of view, when Abraham would die, Ishmael would have gone to war against Isaac to gain his right as firstborn.

  • Isaac was a son born through a promise from God. Ishmael was a son born through carnality. Many of the Jews today are sons of Abraham by the flesh but not sons of the promises, because they haven’t moved into Yeshua the messiah. God is still calling for sons of promise not of the flesh as in Rom. 8:1 which states there’s no condemnation to those who walk not in the FLESH but after the SPIRIT, which means there IS condemnation to carnal Christians, just as in the story of Lot’s wife.

  • Throughout his life, Abraham is tested, it’s a constant testing. If we don’t feel like we have gone through any testings, this means we haven’t fully started our Christian walk. The Christian walk is a test of faith. As we grow, we are continually tested and tried in that faith.

  • Gen. 22 – lines up with the coming of Jesus. The fact that we are to be born again, to die to the world and to be birthed into the kingdom of God, with birth pains!

Isaac was to be sacrificed on the mount of Moriah

Jesus was sacrificed on the mount of Calvary

It took Abraham and Isaac 3 days to reach the top of the mountain

Jesus was resurrected in 3 days

Abraham was to give up his one and only son (Gen. 22:2)

The heavenly Father gave up His one and only Son.

  • Gen. 22:5 – At no point there, the faiths of Abraham and Isaac wavered. Abraham didn’t even talk to Sarah about it. He knew something would happen there, not exactly what but he was told by the Lord that he would have a son and that through him the nations of the world would be blessed. So Abraham told his servants to wait for they would both be back.

  • Heb. 11:17-19 – Isaac truly died/was received; he was sacrificed on the altar, not physically but spiritually, he was given to the kingdom of God, from the world to the Kingdom of God, like it happened to Abraham before who was the first Hebrew. Isaac was the second one; it was also his test of faith, for both knew that Isaac was the heir of the promise. Through this event, Abraham saw Jesus and he was glad (Joh. 8:56).

  • The moment Isaac was about to be sacrificed, a ram was given. The ram has a significance; it symbolises strength & power. When Jesus came, he left aside his power and everything he had, to be sacrificed as a lamb. But when he came to Abraham he showed Himself as the almighty, powerful one, which is why a ram was given.

  • Luk. 17:26-30 – when we look at the end of this season/age we need to look at the times of Noah and Lot and put the 2 together to see what is about to happen to us; because it will encompass both events. On the day when the son of man is revealed, fire will come out from his mouth and burn all those who make war against the lamb exactly like it happened in the time of Lot. Scripture speaks of people not leaving their roof or turning back from their field – this is similar to the story of Lot. When that time comes, our test of faith will be to get up and go without turning back for our belongings etc. we must trust that God will protect us and provide what we need along the way. Lot lost everything he had.

  • Remember lots wife! She missed what she left behind. On that day, do NOT be like lot’s wife (Luk. 17:32-33).

  • Luk. 17:34-37 – the disciples ask Jesus “where Lord?” and He replies “wherever there’s a dead body, that’s where the vultures gather” – what does this mean? Read Rev. 19. The ones taken will be taken to the horror scene where all God’s enemies have been destroyed. And the ones who are taken there should be rejoicing at the Lord’s coming and not affected by the horror; our eyes need to be on him. The ones who rejoice will receive the crown of rejoicing (1 The. 2:19), and there are 5 to get, this is the easy one!

Crown of rejoicing 1 The. 2:19

For those who rejoice at the second coming of the Lord

Crown of life Rev. 2:10 (martyr’s crown)

Going through tribulations and being faithful unto death

Crown of glory 1 Pet. 5:2-4 (elder’s crown)

Looking after the flock as a good shepherd

Crown of rejoicing 1 The. 2:19-20 (soul’s winner’s crown)

Finding the lost and bringing them in the flock

Incorruptible crown 1 Cor. 9:25-27 (the victor’s crown)

Being temperate (self-controlled) in all things

Yeshua is crowned with many crowns, at least all these 5 ones! (Rev. 19:11-13)

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