Faith walks forward
Torah Portion: Lekh L’Kha (Get Yourself Out) B’resheet/Genesis 12:1-17:27
Haftorah Reading Isaiah 40:27-41:16
As we go over this Torah portion today I ask you all to contribute your thoughts on the man Avram, his motivations in life and his spiritual qualities that moved him to answer the call of G-d and go to a land not yet known to him. He left his old life behind and ventured out to follow the L-rd’s direction. As we discuss this portion let the Father speak to you about your own life and what He is calling you to do.
I asked you why do you think G-d chose Avram to speak to? What do you think were the qualities of Avram that G-d might have seen that made him the choice of the Father? If you remember last week we read that Noah was a righteous man, perfect in his generation. All we know of Avram up to this point was his lineage and where he came from. So why would he have been the one to answer G-d’s call and leave all he knew to go to a land he had never seen? Maybe G-d knew Avraham by his actions that we see in this portion. He was open to change. He was described as on the move, going on to the next challenge. The Torah uses words like walking, traveling, up early in the morning. He was in a state of motion, changing, developing all the time. Scripture does not tell us, but G-d’s call may have gone out to others as well. But Avraham was definitely open to the voice of G-d. All through these verses we see him running, looking moving.
What does this say to us? No matter who we are or what age we have reached, we must never grow comfortable, but always be looking ahead. What is the Father saying to us now where we are? In chapter 17 verse 1, just before commanding Avram to be circumcised, G-d said, “I am El Shaddai. Walk in My ways and be blameless.” G-d even, at this time in Avram’s life, called him to walk, to keep moving.
So it is for us. We are to be ever listening and moving at G-d’s direction. This does not always mean a change of address but it does mean to always be available to follow G-d’s direction. It could mean visiting someone in need, lending a helping hand, loving and caring for people. Our faith is not a stagnant faith but a moving, growing, active faith.
Now, to the first question of the week, what do you think is the main topic of this Torah portion? I think the main topic is one of choices. What is our main criteria when we face choices. This happens to us every day.
To help us, let us look at the situation that arose between Avram and Lot. Their herds had grown large and the land could no longer support both of them. Their herdsmen were always arguing. So Avram went to Lot and talked to him. In chapter13 verse 9 we read Avram’s words, “Is not the whole land before you? Let us separate. If you go left I will go right and if you go right I will go left.”
Now look at Lot’s criteria in making his choice in verse 10. Lot lifted up his eyes and it was well watered like the garden of the L-rd. In verse 11 Lot chose to go to the Jordan Valley. What did he base his decision on? He chose what his eyes could see and what his flesh saw as appealing. Do we read where G-d figured into his choice at all?
Remember, as Lot’s elder, Avram did not even have to give Lot a choice. He had every right to just tell him what would be. However, he did not do that. Why? I think this showed Avram was trusting G-d to take care of him no matter what Lot chose. Avram had G-d’s promise. That promise is what he put his trust in. Later in verses 14-16 we read where G-d restated to Avram His promises to him. Avram showed himself to be a man of faith, trusting G-d rather than his own understanding. Because of his faith, Avram did not trust what his eyes saw or what looked good to him. He trusted what G-d said.
Two verses show us a sharp contrast between Lot and Avram and what guided their choices. In verse 13:10 we read, “And Lot lifted up his eyes and saw the well-watered valley of the Jordan. Now in verse 13:14 we read G-d’s words to Avram, “Life up now your eyes.” G-d continued to tell Avram all the Land would be his and his seed forever. No matter what Lot chose, the Land remained in G-d’s Hands.
All this brings us to the lesson for all of us, we all have choices. We can choose our way or G-d’s way. Do we choose what G-d has for us or do we allow ourselves to be ruled by our flesh? Matthew 7:13-14 tells us G-d’s way is narrow and few find it. May each of us find G-d’s will every day and do it, not our own.