Saturday, November 26, 2011

Genesis 13:5-13 A Sign of Faith

And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents. And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram's cattle and the herdmen of Lot's cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.

Even though both Abram and Lot lived a short time outside of G-ds will, they were children of G-d and were rewarded with riches. However, as we discussed back in Genesis 12, Abram was called out of Ur not his family. At that time, Abram lacked the faith to leave without his family. Now, we are seeing circumstances in Abram's life move him further in that direction. G-d wanted Abram to rely on G-d alone in order to build the faith that will build a nation.

And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

We see a major leap of faith. Abram is not only willing to separate himself from the world, but also the rest of his family. Knowing that G-d will provide no matter what, Abram allows Lot to choose the best of the land for himself. However, as we will see, Lot is about to learn the grass isn't always greener on the other side lesson.

And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest unto Zoar. Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.

Lot must have been foaming at the mouth. He thought he was getting the best of both worlds. Notice he references the garden and Egypt. This shows Lot true nature and the way G-d feels about those who try to live with one foot with G-d and one foot in the world.

Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

I find it interesting that Abram ends up in a land whose name means to humble and subjegate oneself while worldly Lot ends up in a land whose name means scorched. To me, this shows that G-ds Word is always teaching us lessons on how he wants us to live our lives.

Shabbat Shalom

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Genesis 13:1-4 Get Back...Get Back...Get Back To Where You Once Belong

"And Abram went up out of Egypt, he, and his wife, and all that he had, and Lot with him, into the south. And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold. And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; Unto the place of the altar, which he had make there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD."

Here we have Abram, Sarai and Lot returning from Eqypt, through the Negev, back to where they belong, Beth-El. Symbolically, we can say that they are returning from being in the world back to G-d and sometimes, it requires traveling through the Negev, the wilderness.

G-d knew that Abram would be faithful and return to him. Therefore, he rewarded him with great riches. G-d does the same with us. There will be times that we will run or play in the world but he knows which of his children will return. Those children will be rewarded with great riches...sometimes material...all the time spiritual.

As a side note, I find it interesting the words in which the Spirit uses. In verse one, instead of saying Abram, Sarai and Lot, he uses Abram, his wife, and Lot. A closer look at the Hebrew word, "ish-shaw', naw-sheem'", which is translated as wife reveals a message. "Ish-shaw', naw-sheem'", can also be translated as adulteress.

This shows that G-d didn't just wink at Abram transgression in Egypt but also holds Sarai accountable for adultery with Pharoah. The Haggadah and other secular sources reveal that this Pharoah was Ashwerosh or Auserra Apopi.

Whenever we play in the world, we are committing adultery. Anytime we put worldly things above G-d, he commit spiritual adultery. However, just as G-d forgave Abram and Sarai, we will forgive us of Spiritual adultery if we turn away from the world and turn to Beth-El, the House of G-d.

Shalom Aleichem