Parashat Lech Lecha (You Go) Genesis 12:1 – 17:27
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27-41:16
The main theme of the readings of this Shabbat is faithfulness. It is not surprising, therefore, that the main character introduced in this Torah portion is Abraham, the man of faith. A word that surrounds Abraham in the Bible is promise. The point is this: When one responds to the promises of G-d, he is being faithful. In the prophetic reading, what is stressed is not man’s faithfulness but G-d’s faithfulness to keep His promises to those who respond to them. We are living in a society that is addicted to excuses. People make excuses all the time for failing to fulfill their obligations. Some time ago I was reading an article about businesses. The article was from the head of Human Resources at a large company. He said one of the primary ways that the company determines who to promote is by paying attention to who gets to work on time. This is just a simple example that characterizes how people fail to do what is expected of them. Have you ever noticed that it is always the same people who get to work on time each day and the same people who make the excuse about the traffic? The traffic is bad every day, so leave early enough to allow time for it.
People fail to serve G-d and be about the Kingdom business oftentimes because they simply say “I don’t know what G-d wants from me.” But in this week’s Torah portion, G-d promises His faithfulness to reveal His ways to man. Abraham is the classic example of this. In the prophetic portion, not only is G-d faithful to reveal His truth to man, but in this passage G-d promises to supply the resources need to faithfully complete our obligations to Him. Isaiah reveals that G-d’s faithfulness is not just based on grandiose ambitions that He cannot keep; for the One who is speaking to us is the L-rd G-d Creator of the earth. Isaiah 40:28. After telling us that G-d is able to deliver what He promises, He then speaks to the fact that our ability does not limit us. Frequently we make excuses for faithlessness because of our inabilities, shortcomings, etc. But listen to what G-d says.
“Should you not have known or heard that the Eternal G-d, the L-rd, the Creator of the ends of the earth, He does not weary or tire? His discernment is beyond investigation. He gives strength to the weary and provides abundant might to the powerless. Young people may grow weary and tire. Young men surely will fail. But those who hope in HaShem will have strength renewed, they will have wings like an eagle come forth; they will run and not grow tired, they will walk and not grow weary.” Isaiah 40:28-31
These few verses should provide encouragement and confidence to the believer. It has always helped me to realize that achieving G-d’s will in one’s life is not solely dependent upon the individual but ultimately dependent upon the individual submitting to G-d’s faithfulness in his life.
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