Torah Portion: Lekh L’Kha (Get Yourself Out) B’resheet (Genesis) 12-17
Haftorah Reading: Isaiah 40:27-41:16
In this Torah portion we become acquainted with Avram, who later became Avraham. It is in the first two words we learn a very important lesson for our daily life as G-d’s people. We have read the words many times before, but tonight I want us to look at them from a new perspective. The first two words in Hebrew are Lekh L’Kha. We usually translate this phrase as, “go out.” That translation misses completely the Hebrew meaning of the words. A clearer translation would be, “go to yourself.” What does that say to us in our life? From this phrase we can understand G-d wants us to become who we really are in Him.
One of the most important aspects of Avraham’s faith was his ability to live in the future, letting the past go and doing what he could in the present. G-d’s promises to Avraham were things that would happen in the future but he had the faith to live according to those promises. I know when we talk about living in the future it sounds at best impossible and at worse unwise. Most people would say we should major on the present because none of us knows what the future holds. This is true for people who do not know G-d or do not trust Him.
However, Avraham’s life was lived through his faith in the Father and G-d’s promises for his future. As we see in the Torah portion Avraham believed G-d for his future. He took all he possessed and left Haran, an advance culture, to set out for a place he had never been. He trusted that G-d’s promises would be fulfilled and in fact waited years for their fulfillment. Actually, most of G-d’s promises were not fulfilled in Avraham’s lifetime. He believed G-d for the future enough to take his only son Isaac to be offered as a burnt offering.
For Avraham, he knew G-d personally and knew He was absolutely trustworthy. Remember, G-d’s promises to Avraham were for spiritual blessings not for an easy life or for wealth but for spiritual blessings. Blessings that would affect the entire world. G-d’s blessings to Avraham was for the good of us all.
So yes Avraham lived in the future. He was able to invest his life in following G-d’s promises to him. We see the same principle in the Messianic writings in Matthew 19:21, James 5:3, and Luke 16:11. The surest way to live each day is to trust the Father who holds our future in His Hands. Jeremiah 17:7-8 says it in such a wonderful way. We can learn from Avraham the most fulfilling way to live today is to trust in Him who holds our future. Only faith like this will take us through the challenges that come to us all.
In this portion we see that even Avraham had times that tested his faith in the future, but he never lost his faith. A good example of this is Genesis 12:10-20. Here we read of a famine in the Land of Canaan. The surprise is the action of Avraham. In scripture we see he took Sarah his wife and went to Egypt to wait out the famine. What do we not see? There is no evidence that he prayed or heard from G-d before he took this action. We also read the consequences of his actions.
Here we see a problem arose in Canaan, a famine, and we see Avraham’s reaction. My point as we read this story is each of us will meet situations and have our faith tested. Do we really believe G-d is in control or in our anxiety do we fall back on our own solutions and forget G-d’s promises?
Another picture of where Avraham was we see that in Canaan Sarah was his wife. Think of this spiritually. In Canaan G-d was as close to Avraham as a husband to his wife. Remember, when we marry we choose our mate. G-d had chosen Avraham and when Avraham was living out his faith that closeness remained. However, when he got to Egypt he wanted her to appear as his sister. (Song of Songs 5:2) Here Avraham lost that closeness of husband and wife, not only with Sarah but also with G-d. A sister is a completely different relationship that a wife. Sometimes we lose the closeness of our faith, we wander away, but thank G-d, the relationship is not broken. It is still there, waiting to be rekindled as between husband and wife. Avraham returned from Egypt and so can we. G-d is still there waiting for us to come back to regain that closeness, to return to our future. Because we lose the vision temporarily does not mean we can’t recover it. May we all live in G-d’s future for us.