Parasha Vayera Week Ending October 27,2018
Torah – Genesis 18:1-22:24 Haftarah – 2 Kings 4:1-37
Brit Chadashah – Luke 1:26-38; 24:36-53; 2 Peter 4-11
Vayera (and He appeared) is a portion of Torah packed with a lot of familiar scenes and so
much to learn. We encounter stories from Abraham’s encounter with the three strangers all the
way to his obedient trip to the mountain to sacrifice his son, which was interrupted by the voice
of the L-RD who substituted a ram caught in a thicket. There are many lessons to be learned
through the events which happen between these two events, not the least of which being the
destruction and judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah.
This year I feel lead to focus on the opening three verses.
Genesis 18:1-3, “Then the L-RD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was
sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. 2 So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold,
three men were standing by him; and when he saw [them], he ran from the tent door to meet
them, and bowed himself to the ground, 3 and said, “My L-rd, if I have now found favor in Your
sight, do not pass on by Your servant.” (NKJV)
We know that Abraham was an amazing man whom G-d referred to as friend. We know he
was eager and hungry to know the One True G-d. We also know the accounts of the
impressive hospitality that he and his wife were known to show to countless numbers of
travelers and others they encountered.
These two traits intersect here as the study opens. Abraham, on the third and most painful day
after circumcision, was sitting in the door of his tent. His tent was said to be opened on all
sides that he may spot travelers coming from far away in order that he may greet them and
treat them to his hospitality, which he used to share the knowledge of the One True G-d to the
polytheistic world around him.
The lesson I want all of us to take to heart this week is that Abraham was alert and looking for
an opportunity to serve and to be used by G-d. Of course, we know that in this particular
account it was G-d Himself who received the hospitality.
Do we want to get G-d’s attention? Do we want to be known as a friend of G-d? I trust the
answer to these questions is a resounding “yes!” We ought then to model the lessons shown
by Abraham. He was looking for opportunities to serve. Don’t wait for something to happen,
actively look where you can get involved in G-d’s plan.
Abraham humbled himself by bowing. There is a certain humility involved in being gracious
and hospitable to others, especially strangers. Remember there are plenty of examples of
humility that are spoken of throughout Scripture. Does the name Moses ring a bell?
There are other lessons and examples of how we can emulate this great father of the faith, but
lastly I will point out that Abraham called himself a servant. In today’s church world, we like to
throw around titles. We like to think of ourselves as kings and priests. We call ourselves a
child of the king and so on. While these things are true, it would be much better for us to keep
those things in mind, but only behind what should be our primary title…servant.
As we practice hospitality, we open the door to opportunity. When we humble ourselves and
serve others we get their attention and now we have an opportunity to share with them not only
the knowledge of the One True G-d, but we, in our time, have the chance to reveal His
Salvation, Yeshua (Jesus!)