Friday, October 30, 2015

Torah Trails #4 Vayera

Torah Trails
Rabbi Yehudah “Tochukwu” ben Shomeyr
Kristopher Shoemaker

#4 Vayera
Gen. 18:1-22:24
II Kings 4:1-37
Luke 17:26-37
Memory Verses: Gen. 21:5, 22:8, II Kings 4:2-6, Luke 24:51-53

Gen. 19
Abraham represents the simple life, but by no means the easy life. Simple in that he, with the help of his servants, worked the land and the livestock. Abraham was close to nature and thus close to creation and hence, close to God the Creator.

Lot represents the complicated, yet easy life. He hung up his shepherds crook, or left it to his servants and by the Hebrew language of Scripture, coupled with Jewish tradition we find Lot becomes politically involved in city life. He was close to man-made, fabricated things, enjoyed the convenience of “civilization” and was closer to man than God, closer to the image of God than God Himself! He lived so long in the city that we became out of touch with nature and thus God. The intricacies and complications and the hustle and bustle of city life muffled the voice and rhythms of God.  

Not saying city life is sinful, but one must work harder to maintain intimacy with God there, surrounded by man’s attempt to play God and create a world of their own. Suburbia has its own pitfalls and drawbacks but one seems to have the convenience of “city life” while enjoying a little nature, being situated between the two. Alone in the country where neighbors are miles apart you don’t have the noise, distractions and clutter of city, of suburbia that speaks louder than the “still small voice” of God.

We see governments attempt to abandon country life and to draw people into at least the suburbs, in order to keep tabs on everyone. However, there is coming a time in the not too distant future where we, like Lot will have to escape back into the wilderness. Lot ended up in a cave (19:30). For those of us dedicated to YHWH and His Torah and His Messiah, there may come a time where we will have to escape into the wilderness, away from the city in order to avoid godless carnal mobs (19:4-5) or divine judgment upon the wicked (19:23-23).

I’m not trying to be a dooms day prophet or conspirator, but we’ve all read the prophecies and know the necessity of fleeing into the wilderness is a real possibility (Matt. 24:17,18,20). Again, I am not preaching fear, but preparedness. My motives are not coming from a place of fear and doom, but of preparedness and foreknowledge.

Just as Messiah will return when things get as wicked as it was in Noah’s day (Matt. 24:37-38), we who are city dwellers or suburbanites should prepare like Noah. Even government recommends having supplies on hand in case of an emergency or natural disaster. At least have supplies in case of such an event, as well as “bug out” bags for the whole family ibn case one does have to “flee.”

II Kings 4:1-37
It’s always smart to be prepared, but even the best of human preparation falls short or will eventually run out and that is when our faith is tested and strengthened.

We see God providing for this poor widow and didn’t allow her bottle of oil to run dry until her and her sons were able to get out of debts and have some money left over to live on.

Also, recall the Prophet Elijah when the LORD told him to go off and live in the wilderness and the LORD caused ravens to fly in food for Elijah to eat.

When you’ve done your best, let God do the rest. Don’t be like the foolish virgins who didn’t prepare (Matt. 25).

Luke 17:26-37
Much of what is covered in these verses was covered in Matthew 24 and in my commentary of Gen. 19. So what I wish to point out quickly is the parts concerning being “taken” and being “left behind.”

In the vast majority of Evangelical Protestant Christianity we’ve been taught a Pre-Tribulation rapture of being “taken” away to God and being “left”, meaning one remains on earth after the Believers have been taken to suffer through the Tribulation. Sadly, and in all actuality, the opposite is true.

Who was “taken” in the Flood of Noah and who was “left behind”? Who was “taken” in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and who was “left behind”? The world, all humanity was “taken” by the Flood waters and Noah and his family were “left behind” in the safety of the Ark. The inhabitants of Sodom were “taken” in the fire and brimstone that rained down from heaven and Lot and his family (minus his wife), were “left” in the safety of the mountain cave.

“Abba YHWH Elohim, help us to be good managers of our time and resources and prepare for our families. Let us not bury our heads in the sand of denial only to wake up and be without. In Yeshua’s Name, Amen!”