Parashat Toldot (Generations) Genesis 25:19-28:9
Erev Rosh Chodesh Kislev
Haftarah: I Samuel 20:18-42
In this week’s Torah portion there is a reminder of the faithfulness of Abraham. In speaking about how G-d worked in his life and blessed him, one reads,
“Because Abraham obeyed / heard My voice and he kept My judgments, My commandments, My laws, and My Torah.” Genesis 26:5
This verse explains why Abraham was chosen to be the one whom HaShem used to raise up a nation that would in turn bless all the other nations (See Gen. 26:1-4). The first word in the Hebrew text in verse five is translated “because”. The word conveys an idea of a result stemming from some other factor. In this case, it was because of Abraham’s obedience to respond appropriately to G-d’s plan and His choice of him and him utilizing His judgments, commandments, laws, and Torah that the purposes of G-d would be realized through Abraham.
The point that needs to be stated is that if it was not Abraham, some other individual would have been used who would have demonstrated the same character and obedience that Abraham possessed. In this truth one learns a little concerning the sovereignty of G-d. HaShem’s purposes and plans will ultimately be fulfilled; but in regard to the individual, the issue of submissiveness is also at work. This fact helps explain what Yeshua said,
“For many are called, but few are chosen” Matthew 22:14
In other words, the call goes to many, but only a few respond properly. It is those few who have the privilege of participating in the plan of G-d and becoming a vessel for Him. One of the characteristics that HaShem seeks in an individual is that of cherishing His word and instructions. Even though in Genesis 26:5 most translations render the Hebrew word “kept” as in “…he kept My judgments, My commandments, My laws, and My Torah” the idea here is to guard that which one holds precious and of great value. Abraham acknowledged that the Word of G-d manifested through His commands, Torah, etc., was indeed precious to him. It is this quality of Abraham that caused him to be obedient and dependent upon G-d which was the source of his faithfulness. Abraham is an example for the believer, as through this same faith one is called to be a son of Abraham and a follower of Messiah Yeshua.
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