I love reading the passages about Avraham because I learn so much about how to walk in faith, in a way that pleases G-d. This week’s Parshah is Lech Lecha, which means “Go” or “Leave” or “Go to yourself” or “Get out.” And today, I have five questions for you.
FOLLOW TO THE UNKNOWN
ADONAI told Avram to leave his home and the people he knew there and to follow ADONAI to a new place. If Adonai told you to do that, would you?
Even to your old age, I am He,
And to gray hairs, I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.
And He said to all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
TRUST BEYOND SIGHT
Lot and Avram were too crowded together. So Avram gave Lot the first choice to pick a place from the land. Lot chose the land that looked the best, but it was also the land where evil people lived. Sometimes the “shiniest” things attract the most self-seeking people. Avram trusted ADONAI to take care of him, no matter how the land looked. What would you have done, if you were in Avram’s or Lot’s shoes?
But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, “Friend, move up higher.” Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you.
Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,
Lest I be full and deny You and say, “Who is the LORD?”
Or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
RESCUE WITHOUT REWARD
Lot and all that he had was kidnapped, along with everything in Sodom and Gomorrah. Avram gathered his fighting men and immediately set out on a rescue mission. He was victorious, and the king of Sodom told Avram that all the recovered possessions were now Avram’s. But Avram wouldn’t take it. He made sure that a tithe was paid to ADONAI, that anything eaten by the young men along the way was covered, and that his allies received their share. But he himself took nothing. He didn’t want anyone to think that his wealth came through his own conquering power but from ADONAI alone. What would you have done? Would you have rescued Lot? Would you have taken something in payment for your troubles?
But Avram said to the king of Sodom, “I have lifted my hand to the LORD, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Avram rich.’”
Genesis 14: 22-23
You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray and ignore them. You shall take them back to your brother.
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Then he (Naaman, who had been a leper) returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, before Whom I stand, I will receive none.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused.
2 Kings 5:15-16
STAY SOMEWHERE HARD
Sometimes ADONAI tells us to go, to leave everything behind. But sometimes He tells us to stay. Hagar ran away from Sarai because Sarai was not nice to her. But ADONAI told her to go back, and He promised to bless her descendants. If ADONAI told you to stay somewhere, even if it was hard, would you?
And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.
1 Corinthians 7:17
WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE
ADONAI changed Avram’s name to Avraham, and He changed Sarai’s name to Sarah. Avraham means “father of many.” Sarah means “princess.” If you were given a new name, what would you like your name to mean? Think about the characteristics you would like to see in yourself. And with the name that you have, how will you use it? Think about Jabez, who had a name meaning “sorrow, sorrowful, or he causes pain.” Or the fictional story of the two Mara’s – both had the same name meaning “bitter.” But one was a bitter woman who sowed bitterness into the lives around her. The other was a healer, using bitter herbs to bring health to her community.
Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.
1 Chronicles 4:10
Aaron = Light-bringer Caiaphas = beautiful Ehud = God of praise Eleazer = God has helped
Hanani = gracious Hannah = Grace Hezekiah = strength of God Hilkiah = God’s portion
Hosea = salvation Huldah = weasel Hur = noble Immanuel = God with us
Isaac = laughter Ishmael = God hears Israel = a prince with God Jeduthun = praiseworthy