Torah Portion: Lekh L’kha (Go) B’resheet/Genesis 12-17
HafTorah: Isaiah 40:27-41:16
Tonight we study one of the most pivotal Torah portions in scripture. It is a portion with insights into how we as G-d’s people are to live our life. It is also a portion that speaks to our relationship to the Jewish people.
In this Torah portion we read of G-d’s call to Avraham and Sarah. Interestingly we see today that almost half of the world’s population holds Avraham as the beginning of their faith. Jews, Muslims and Christians regard him as the spiritual ancestor of their faith.
It all started with G-d speaking to Avraham, in the opening words of our portion today saying, Lekh L’kha. These Hebrew words are often translated with the English word go. However, in Hebrew, G-d actually says two words which when properly translated means, “Go to yourself.” What did this mean to Avraham and what does it mean to us today?
Before we get to that, I want to give you a few verses from the Messianic Scripture that speaks of Avraham. (Matthew 1:1, Matthew 8:11, Hebrews 11:8 and Acts 3:25)
What does it mean to go to yourself? I believe that G-d was saying to Avraham and to us, “There is more for you. Become who I created you to be. I have a plan for your life.” I believe these are extremely important questions for all of us to ask ourselves. Do we believe G-d has a specific plan for our life and are we ready to cross over to grasp it? In Genesis 14:13 we see Avraham first called Avraham the Hebrew. The word for Hebrew is haivri, which literally means one who is standing on the other side. Avraham, living in a world of idolatry, was able to hear G-d and stand alone in that faith. He was able to leave his country, family, and father’s house.
Let’s talk about that for a moment and see what it means to each of us as believers today. We see this same idea in Matthew 19:29 and Luke 14:25-27 when Yeshua is talking about His followers. In both cases G-d is saying His people must be different, not just for the sake of being different, but for the sake of who we are called to be. When we look at the progression in our verse of what Avraham was to leave, we can see this clearly. Leaving his country was first. As G-d’s people we are to be different than the society around us. The norms of society can’t be the determining factor in how we live and what we do. How does society affect us?
Family is next in the list of what he was to leave. Sometimes family is not the best influence in our life. Habits and ways of acting that are learned early in our life from those around us may not be the best. In fact, these habits may be contrary to what faith says about how we are to live our lives. In Avraham’s case his family members were idol worshippers, like the rest of the world around them. Sometimes we must put some spiritual distance between our family and us. Even if we are from wonderful supportive families we cannot allow them a place of higher importance than G-d in our life.
Lastly, Avraham was told to leave his father’s house. Nothing affects us more as children growing up than our immediate family. This influence can be positive or negative. G-d here is calling Avraham out of an idol worshipping family to a faith in the true G-d. G-d was calling Avraham and is calling us to the truth that we are responsible for our own spiritual walk. That may require us to break the patterns of our country, our family or even our father’s house. We are all called to stand before G-d and give an account of our own life. (Ezekiel 18:20) G-d wants all of us, not just a part of our life. He wants our undivided devotion, our single mindedness to follow Him no matter the cost. Romans 12:2
So, when we read Genesis 12:1 in our portion today remember G-d’s desire for us is to take that leap of faith, to believe Him as Avraham did. My youngest granddaughter, who was 12 this week, told her mother, when she was only 5 years old, “You know what Mom, even before I knew who G-d was He already knew me.” Have the faith to trust Him because He knows each of us and has a plan for our life.