Torah Portion: Chayei Sarah Genesis 23:1-25:18
HafTorah: I Kings 1:1-31
Matthew 1:1-17; I Cor 15:50-57
In this Torah portion we read about one of the times where Jews bought land in Israel, the other two being Joseph’s tomb and the Temple Mount. These three are now some of the most hotly contested places in Israel. Why?
Tonight I would like us to look at Abraham and Sarah as examples of how we should live our lives. We read in Genesis 23:1 about how the Torah describes Sarah’s life. Then in Genesis 24:1 we read that Abraham was old and well advanced in age. In my question this week I explained that this phrase could be better translated as, “He entered in the days of his life.” What does it mean to enter into the days of his life? Remember this verse follows immediately after the burial of Sarah. Does it mean his life was without conflict and easy sailing? What are some of the outstanding events of his life? Sodom was destroyed, Sarah was taken by Avimelech, Abraham left his home and everything he knew, the binding of Isaac, he sent away Hagar and Ishmael and then as we just mentioned he buried his life companion, Sarah. How does the Torah say he dealt with life? He entered every day, he embraced it and whatever G-d brought to him. His body may have grown old but he always, until the end, entered every day. He never retired from life. So what does this all say to us?
Sometimes we are so busy making a living we forget to live. Sometimes we are so busy doing we forget about being. I read a quote this week that I really liked. It was, “Every moment is heaven knocking at your door.” For sure the trials of life can be excruciating but we can never retire. To retire is to die. G-d is with us as He was with Abraham. I pray we enter everyday to its fullest.
Now I would like us to look at Genesis 24:6. Abraham says here, “Do not take my son back there.” Abraham insists that Isaac not leave Israel. In fact he is the only one of the patriarchs to never leave Israel. How may we apply this to Messiah? How has He been represented to the world? Has he been portrayed as a Jew from a Jewish culture? He lived as a Jew. I think that as the church has done this, it has removed Yeshua from any identifying marks of who He was really. Yeshua, when He meets the woman at the well, did not remove Himself from who He was just so He could identify with the Samaritans. He makes a point of upholding His Jewishness and the truth of Judaism. (John 4:22) He is indeed the Savior of the world (John 4:42) but He remains and retains his Jewishness. So, I would like to urge you when you speak to someone about Yeshua that you not take Him out of Israel.
One last thing, in Genesis 24:12 Eliezer is an example for us. He prayed to G-d reminding Him of His covenant with Abraham and asked for grace (Loving kindness). My point is, we are in a covenant with the Father and He wants to show us grace. The problem is we often push on with little or no prayer as we start our day. Follow this man’s example and pray before you enter into your day.