Do we trust God in His promises? We can come up with all sorts of ideas about God. But if we don’t really trust Him and His leading, why bother following? These are questions tackled in this discussion on the Torah portion וירא Vayera (“and He appeared”), covering Genesis 18-22. Abraham is shown to have trust issues up to his great test of faith. At that point, he sees something. This passage is all about the Promised One — the Mashiakh (Messiah) — represented by Abraham’s son Yitzkhak (Isaac).
There’s a common theme occurring throughout the Hebrew Roots/Messianic community recently — separation and regrouping. We also see in Scripture the recurring symbol of “cutting off” in an agricultural sense to talk about God’s action in improving the health of the “vine” of Israel. It’s OK when God cuts off parts of the vine to promote growth. It’s OK if there is a time of not producing fruit.
Moshe (Moses) in Exodus 6 said his lips were “uncircumcised” and insisted that prevented him from sharing The Name of God to Yisra’el (Israel). We know about circumcision of a man’s privates and metaphorically of the “heart,” but what is this, and how is it connected to sharing knowledge of The Name?
The account of Moshe (Moses) encountering God via the burning bush has spawned a number of interpretations and explanations about who Moshe encountered, how the bush could be burning yet not consumed, etc. Yet the declaration of the Name of God there and the signs God gave Moshe to show the leaders of Yisra’el is the important element. The Name and the signs would strengthen not only Moshe but the leadership for something powerful God would do on Earth via Yisra’el in the mighty empire of Mitsraim (Egypt).
This study also explores the seeming strange vignette of God on the warpath against Moshe’s family, placated only by Tzipporah’s circumcising the son. This appears to be a foreshadowing of the 10th plague against Mitsraim.
Humility and loyalty are underlying teachings of Genesis 33-34. The phrase “women and children first” is held up as selfless chivalry, but it it seems Ya’akov (Jacob) wasn’t so chivalric in his sending his wives and children ahead of him toward what he thought would be his heavily armed and bloodthirsty brother, Esau. Then there’s the disaster that followed the defilement of Ya’akov’s daughter, Dinah, whose forceable conquering at the hands of a city’s “first son” led to the deaths of all the men and the enslavement of the women and children of that city by the hands of two of Ya’akov’s sons.
Modern society views the rite of circumcision to be backward at best and barbaric at worst. Yet, it actually is a cutting memorial of what God has cut away from the faithful — men and women — through the Messiah, Yeshua (Jesus).
This is a review of 11 examples of Abraham’s faith in God in Genesis 17-23. It culminates in his trusting God to resurrect the son of the promise, Yitskhak (Isaac), and in buying property in the Land to bury those also trusting in God to resurrect them.