Vayera (And He Appeared)

Torah: Genesis 18:1 – 22:24 Haftarah: II Kings 4:1-37 Brit Chadasha: Romans 9:4-9

What Men can do on their Own

In this portion the son that was promised Abraham, “the father of faith”, many years before was given. In the previous portion we saw how Sarah and Abraham tried to help YHVH by producing the promise in their own way (Genesis 16).  It wasn’t quite the plan that YHVH had for them. I wonder if Isaac’s arrival was delayed by Abraham and Sarah “helping” the Creator out by trying to produce the promise?  Could Isaac have come on the scene fourteen years earlier if they hadn’t tried to produce the promise?  We can speculate, but I am of the opinion that they did delay the promise.

Can we think of any similarities in our lives?  Have our fleshly actions played a role in delaying the promises of the Father for us?  I can look back over my years as a believer and see specific situations how I tried to make things happen in my flesh. Of course at the time I felt 100% sure this is what YHVH wants me to do, and I totally blew it and caused a postponement of what Yahweh really wanted to do in my life.  It sure is tough on us when we delay what YHVH has planned for us.  Many times there are repercussions.  If Ishmael wouldn’t have been born, would there even be a religion called Islam?  I am not positive.  One thing is for sure that the prophecy about Ishmael is coming to pass today like it has been coming to pass for thousands and thousands of years.

Genesis 16:12 “And he is to be a wild man, his hand against every one and every one’s hand against him, and dwell over against all his brothers.”

This prophecy of wherever Israel is at there will be Ishmael right there in their face troubling and provoking them.  I saw this first hand a few years back when I was in Panama.  There are many ‘Jewish’ people that Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus) brought over during the Spanish Inquisition to Central America especially Costa Rica and Panama.  What I didn’t realize is how many Arabs live in Panama.  I saw this when I was there.  It reminded of the Ishmael prophecy of him being a wild man and being in the face of his brothers wherever they may be.  I found that very interesting that thousands of years later the Scriptures are still proving themselves correct and accurate.

In my Flesh

There was a famous preacher who had the largest fellowship in the world over in Asia.  He was in a meeting with some of the ‘big boys’ (people in TBN) in America and this preacher made a lot of these ‘big boys’ mad by something he said.  They brought this speaker in to give them his revelation on how to grow their fellowships just as large as his.  They thought he would give them a ten step plan on how to do it the way he did it.  He gets up to the pulpit and starts off by telling these guys that he has been looking around in amazement at their buildings and ministries.  He told them that after analyzing all the ‘stuff’ they had it was amazing what MAN could build in his own strength.

My point in telling that story was to prove that just because it is big or seems to be ‘successful’ doesn’t mean it is a blessing of YHVH.  We have allowed our culture and society to define what blessings are. Many times it has to do with ‘stuff’ or material things.  I submit to you that the Scripture said that Joseph was a prosperous man.  He was locked up in prison as an innocent man.

Genesis 39:23 The prison warden did not look into any point that was under Yosĕph’s hand, because יהוה was with him. And whatever he did, יהוה made it prosper.

Please don’t be misled by assuming that because we have ‘stuff’ and there are a lot of people in our fellowships, that doesn’t mean that the Eternal is in it.  Like this preacher said it is amazing what men/women can build on their own without the help of Yahweh.  How can we apply this to our lives?  How does every area in our lives line up under this thinking?  Have we gotten ahead of the Father and tried to produce the promises that He gave us?  We see Abraham being blessed when he left the land, but he didn’t begin to walk into the fullness of the blessing until he separated himself from Lot.  YHVH told him to get up and go out, not get up go out bringing Lot and some other folks from your family with you, no.  Are there any areas in our lives currently delaying the promises of the Father from coming to pass?  One last thing, if the promises haven’t come to pass where is our focus?  What do I mean by that statement?  Sarah was focused only on what YHVH HAD NOT DONE.  She was anxious because YHVH hadn’t given her a child in the time in which she wanted one.  I am sure she had this thought rolling around in her head. Where is this promise YHVH?  Where is the fulfillment of this child?  In order for us to maintain a move of YHVH in our lives, we have to focus on a few things.  We need to only be focused on what Yahweh is doing, as well as what He has done.  Never focus on what He hasn’t done.  This will create a spirit of offense.  We will begin to be critical of Him.  I believe this is what happened to Sarah because she laughed or as the Hebrew gives us a clearer picture, she ridiculed, when Abraham was told that a child would come forth in their old age.

Genesis 18:12 And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my master being old too?”

In order not to just point out Sarah, Abraham did the same thing over in chapter seventeen verse seventeen.

Genesis 17:17 And Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Is a child born to a man who is a hundred years old? Or is Sarah, who is ninety years old, to bear a child?”

Could she have been focused so long on what Yahweh hadn’t done in their lives with the respect of a child that when it was time to come forth she mocked the promise because of her disbelief?  If there are promises in our lives that haven’t been fulfilled yet don’t focus on those.  We must keep our focus on what the Creator has done and is doing so we don’t open the door to cause a spirit of offense and we too begin to ridicule the Creator.

The true wickedness of a city

Here in this portion is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  I’ve heard it preached over and over again that it was destroyed because of homosexuality, immorality and so forth and so on.  I believe those things are fruit and manifestations to what the real issue was.

Ezekiel 16:49-50 “See, this was the crookedness of your sister Seḏom: She and her daughter had pride, sufficiency of bread, and unconcerned ease. And she did not help the poor and needy. “And they were haughty and did abomination before Me, and I took them away when I saw it.

In my opinion we can sum these all up under one heading, IDOLATRY.  People doing what they ‘felt’ was right without taking into account that there is a higher entity than them who sets the rules of the house.  I’ve noted a pattern in Scripture.  It seems to me as when a group of people in the earth multiply and come to where they are only producing wickedness or unrighteousness, then the Father usually removes them.  You see this also in the portion with the flood as well.  The righteous were left behind and the unrighteous were taken.  The principle is called fullness of iniquity.  I encourage you to go and study this principle because we are getting ready to see what happens to nations when they fill the cup of iniquity to overflowing.  I’ve written about this principle much in my converts verses disciples articles.  I will give you a hint and tell you that we are currently seeing the United States in the beginning stages of what happens to nations when they fulfill this principle.

I’ve been wrestling with something for several years.  How can the Scripture refer to Lot as righteous?  What I wrestled with was if Lot was so righteous then why did he stay in Sodom if he knew how evil it was there?  Well now, I saw that Lot went to an area to bring a witness to it.  The Creator many times will bring forth a witness in order to try to bring forth restoration before He can bring forth judgment.  He is a merciful Elohim.  I’m sure Lot wasn’t thinking of himself in this role but the text reveals something to us.

Genesis 19:9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This one came in to sojourn, and should he always judge? Now we are going to treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.

I don’t think that Lot viewed himself as coming into this city and setting himself up as a ‘Supreme Court Judge’.  I think he came in and just did what he saw from his relative Abraham. He just would share about the Creator and His instructions on how to live.  Now let’s stop and think about this for a moment.  What happens when we share the Scriptures, especially the instructions on how we should live and conduct our lives in order to be blessed by the Father?  If you’ve had the experiences that I’ve had then you have probably heard people say the following. Since when did you become Moses in where you can judge me?  Is your life so perfect that you can judge everyone else? Why are you judging me?

You can’t allow these things to irritate or frustrate you.  These are defense mechanisms where the person is trying to throw the ball back into your court to keep from having to deal with the witness that was brought forth in their lives.  When you can’t attack the message, you must attack the messenger.  We see this manifest in other areas today especially in politics. When you can’t win go on the offensive and attack.  I believe the people in the previous passage were doing the same.  They asked Lot who made him a judge?  This word judge is very interesting because the Hebrew gives us a clear meaning of Lot’s role in this city.  The word can mean judge, but it also carries the meaning of creating order and harmony or putting things in correct order.   I’ve never read any Scripture where it said Lot was a judge other than him sitting at the gate of the city.  When we share the word with someone or bring forth a witness it brings conviction then there is a decision that must be made.  Submit to the conviction or harden your heart and fight it off it in order not to deal with it.  We clearly have an example here of folks not submitting to the conviction or witness that was put before them. When the leaders of Sodom didn’t submit to the conviction and witness then Lot’s time there or purpose in that city was fulfilled.  In my opinion, when the two men who had come into Lot’s home, whom I believe to be two witnesses whom the Eternal sent to see for themselves, when these two saw this with their own eyes they were the final witnesses in order for judgment to be rendered.  A side note here. I find it interesting that these men that were outside Lot’s house wanting to “know” the two visitors.  These men were blind to the spiritual things of the Creator and so the spiritual manifests physically.  The two visitors caused blindness to fall upon these men.  Could this have been the two witnesses way of saying here is your last chance guys you need to turn to the Father and His ways. There is always mercy in Yahweh’s judgment.  I believe this is what we see when a society that has become full of iniquity and idolatry to the point where wickedness is the only thing being produced more than righteousness.  The Father steps in and takes control of the situation and nobody is left asking the question who made you judge because it is seen firsthand that He truly is the Supreme judge.

I do want to point out one more thing.  When it is time for the judgment of Yahweh to come, we need to understand our work is done.  We are finished so it’s time to pick up and move on.  I know for those of us who have a heart for restoration it is hard to see people close their eyes and ears.  We want to continue pleading with them so that they will hear and see.  Lot had this quality as well.

Genesis 19:15-16 And when morning dawned, the messengers urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” And while he loitered, the men took hold of his hand, and his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, יהוה having compassion on him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.

We have to realize that there is a time for grace and a time for judgment. We don’t need to get in the way or be the cause that delays the Father executing His plan.  We need to recognize no matter how tough it may be, when our job is done then it’s time to move on and move to the next thing the Father is telling us to do.  This is very hard sometimes and I think when we see and feel this we are actually feeling what Abba feels when people don’t listen and repent.  If you are in a place where your work has been completed and there is nothing more to do there, ask the Father what is the next step.  You don’t want to delay the Creator’s will and do as Lot was doing continuing to hang around hoping and waiting for people to listen to Yahweh’s word.

Thought for the Week

When it is time for the Creator’s will to come to pass, He will make it happen.  He doesn’t need our help making His promises manifest.  When we “help” the Creator, we many times do so to our harm and delay the Creator’s plans for our lives.  Abba does know what is best for us.