Parashat Vayeira (and He appeared) Genesis 18:1-22:24
Haftarah: II Kings 4:1-37
In this week’s Torah portion Avraham finds himself in a new location, among the Philistines. One of the first things that Avraham did was to take a spiritual inventory of these individuals and he quickly arrived at the conclusion that the Philistines did not possess a fear of G-d.
“And he (Avraham) said, because I said that there is no fear of G-d in this place, they will slay me on account of my wife.” Genesis 20:11
From this statement one learns that an absence of the fear of the L-rd will manifest itself by immoral behavior. Avraham reasoned that the Philistines would kill him and take his wife, so he did not reveal to them that Sarah was his wife, but rather called her his sister. It is important to note that this was not a lie as Sarah was indeed a half sister of Avraham as they shared the same father (See Genesis 20:12).
The point that one should glean from this passage is that one must discern the spiritual condition of others and respond to them appropriately. This must become second nature for the believer as we have the responsibility to go forth and make disciples (See Matthew 28:19-20). This admonition from Yeshua is all too often neglected. We think that this is the work for someone in full time service to HaShem. The truth is that no matter what your profession is, you are indeed expected to serve HaShem. How one does their job can greatly influence others. Recently I spoke to a man who saw every person that he supervised as his responsibility not only from an employment perspective, but also from a spiritual perspective. He shared with me how many he had the opportunity to share the Gospel with and that a high percentage had received. He had worked in this position for over two decades but it was not until the last few years that he began to approach his secular employment from this vantage point.
The first nearly twenty years he said that no one came to faith and he had very little impact upon them. However, in the last five years he began to see his work and service to Messiah as one and the same and immediately things began to change. HaShem seemingly opened up for him numerous opportunities to be a spiritual and physical blessing to others in a wide variety of ways. Was it only the last five years that those opportunities were there or was it now because he was looking at the spiritual condition of others from HaShem’s vantage point that he now began to see such opportunities?
Why not follow Avraham’s example and discern the spiritual condition of others and see how you might be a blessing unto them.
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