Parashat Vayeira (And He Appeared)
Beresheet (Genesis) 18:1 – 22:24
Haftarah: II Kings 4:1-37
God is in control, and He has a plan. While we may not know or understand His plans, we know that we can trust Him as we follow Him.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
While God may reveal His plan through His Word, none of us really know how His entire plan will come to pass. This is also true of His individual plan for each of us. For this, we need to trust that He is faithful to accomplish His plan, regardless of our circumstances.
In the Parashah, we read of God’s plan to bring judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin was so prolific and evil. While God obviously knew what He was about to do, Abraham did not know until God chose to reveal it to him. Despite Abraham’s great faith, and the fact that he was a prophet (Genesis 20:6-7), God hid his plan from Abraham until the appointed time:
The LORD said, “Shall I cover (hide) from Abraham what I am about to do…”
It was only when God chose to reveal His plan to Abraham that Abraham knew it. I believe this is important to remember, since God’s story is all about God.
In the Haftarah, we read of Elisha who was also a great prophet. In II Kings 4:8-37, we read that when Elishawent to Shunem, there was a woman who recognized that he was a man of God, fed him with bread and told her husband that they needed to build a small room for him to rest. As an act of gratitude, Elisha wanted to bless the woman who was barren and prophesied that she would give birth to a son. She miraculously ended up giving birth to a son, but he sadly died. The grieving woman went to Elisha and when she found him, she desperately tried to catch him by his feet. When Elisha's servant, Gehazi, tried to push her away, Elisha said:
Leave her alone, for her soul is troubled within her; and the LORD has concealed it from me and has not informed me.
II Kings 4:27
One of the greatest takeaways that I believe we can learn from this story is that, even for men and women of God, God may not reveal everything to us, and therefore, I believe that we should not put our hopes in people, but rather in God Himself.
As I was reading these stories from Genesis and II Kings, I realized that at times God will reveal His plan, and other times, He may hide them from us. I also realized that regardless, we need to keep our eyes on the Lord. For example, we know what the Word of God says about the end times, about the nations gathering against Jerusalem, about wars and rumors of wars; however, how exactly it will happen, we simply do not know.
Before Oct 7th, 2023, I did not believe it was possible for human beings to express a level of darkness to commit atrocities like Israel experienced; the rape and torture of people before murdering them is purely demonic, and therefore, I believe that the power behind this barbaric attack was demonic. It was pure utter darkness.
The Hamas terrorists were possessed with a rage of insanity, performing the most horrific acts against other human beings. I am reminded of what the prophet Zechariah wrote, where he foretells of Israel’s enemies being blinded in their assault against Israel:
“On that day,” declares the LORD, “I will strike every horse with confusion and its rider with insanity. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness”
Not only were Israel’s enemies “blinded” by their hatred, but also are many people who identify as followers of the One true God, in the name of “social justice”. Guard your heart during these troubling times!
In the Haftarah portion, we find hope. It is important for me to end these commentaries with hope, which is something that we all need nowadays. We read of how Elisha came back to the house of the woman:
When Elisha entered the house, behold the boy was dead, laid on his bed. So he entered and shut the door behind them both, and he prayed to the LORD. Then he got up on the bed and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, his hands on his hands, and he bent down on him; and the flesh of the child became warm. Then he returned and walked in the house back and forth once, and went up and bent down on him; and the boy sneezed seven times, then the boy opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi and said, “Call this Shunammite.” So he called her. And when she came to him, he said, “Pick up your son.” Then she came in and fell at his feet and bowed down to the ground, and she picked up her son and left.
II Kings 4:32-37
We have hope in His power to bring life from the dead, to resurrect us in any situation we are in. He did it once through His Son, and He will do it again through us. He alone is our hope!
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