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Shabbat Thought

Parsha Lech Lecha- (Go Forth, Yourself)

Genesis 12:1-17:27 | Isaiah 40:27-41:16 | John 8:51-59

Last weeks parsha ended with Terah, Abram’s father, leaving with his family from Ur on the way to Canaan. However, when they got to the city of Haran they stopped and settled.

We begin this week’s parsha with Abram being spoken to by G-d himself. He is told that he is going to be blessed and become a great nation of people. He is instructed to get up and go to the land that G-d will show him. Abram obeys the voice.

As we move through the chapters, we see Abram hear G-d and obey the voice on several occasions. Each time the L-rd speaks he confirms the blessing He told him about and then adds to it. He makes a covenant with Abram about the land, the future generations and the blessing.

As the wealth of Abram and his nephew Lot grows, the land becomes to little for the both of them. They separate and Lot gets himself into trouble. Abram takes his men and goes to battle for Lot. Upon victory Abram is approached by the King of Salem, Melchizedek. This kings name mean “my king is just.” There are many theories as to who this King is. Jewish tradition teaches that he is the firstborn son of Noah, Shem, who settled in Salem sometime after the flood and became the great priest. Christian tradition teaches that this a preincarnate manifestation of Yeshua. Hebrews 7 speaks to this directly. What we can know for sure is that this meeting of Abram and Melchizedek was powerful and prophetic. Powerful in that Abram felt compelled to give this priest a tenth of all he had, prophetic in that this priest was a foreshadow of the Messiah to come. This may be why Abram was able to have faith in the future of atonement by blood. We do not know what was explained to Abram in this meeting but the results speak for themselves.

Abram eventually gets a name change and becomes Abraham. His wife also goes from Sarai to Sarah. They become the father and mother of the new nation of people that G-d has promised. Because of the obedient faith of Abraham, he is blessed with a new name, a new life and a new nation of people who come to be called the Jews.

At the beginning of this journey Abram stops at several places after hearing the voice of G-d. In those places he builds an altar to the L-rd.

Take a few moments and read about those “altar moments.”

A few questions to consider:

1 Describe a time when G-d has spoken to you about a direction you were to go in. How did you hear, respond and what were the results.

2 For what reasons did Abram build altars to the L-rd? What were the names of the towns where the altars were built and what did they mean?

3 How can you build altars today to the L-rd?

4 How are the Jews and the nations a part of Abrahams covenant?

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