Parashat Lech Lecha (You go!) Genesis 12:1-17:27
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27-41:16
At the end of this week’s Torah portion one learns a very important principle from the life of Abraham. When one studies the life of Abraham, he will quickly learn that he was a man of faith. In this short article I would like to share one of the many benefits there is to being a person of faith. Paul informs the Galatians that the Torah was given 430 years after HaShem’s covenant with Abraham (See Galatians 3:17). Yet Abraham, a man of faith, behaved in a manner that fulfilled the righteousness of the Torah. This should be a reality for all believers as this is what Paul states in Romans 8:4.
The evidence of this is found in the very last verse of this week’s parashah,
“And all the men of his house, who were born or who were purchased with money from a gentile were circumcised with him (Ishmael).” Genesis 17:27
This act was totally in compliance with the Torah, for Moses commanded the people during the Passover in Egypt to circumcise all the males of one’s household whether they be born into the family or gentiles who were purchased with money (See Exodus 12:43-50). Hence, Abraham did naturally what was not revealed to the Children of Israel for over 400 years later. This is the outcome of a faith rooted in Messiah and anointed with the Holy Spirit—the believer will express the message of the Torah and its righteousness without a cognitive objective of setting out to observe a particular commandment. In other words, a true believer who walks in faith will express a new nature which behaves like Yeshua behaved, in obedience to the Torah.
Does this mean believers will observe the letter of the law? No it does not! The text from Romans 8 does not say that a true believer will keep the law following every aspect of the Torah, for example laying tefillin (phylacteries). Rather it says,
“That the righteousness of the Torah might be fulfilled in us (believers), who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4
This mean that a true believer may not lay tefillin each morning, but if he walks in obedience to faith he will perform the purpose of Tefillin, which is to remind one to think and behave in light of the word of G-d.
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