Lech Lecha, is one of the most exciting chapters in the Torah (first five books of the Bible), because it records the adventures of the first Hebrew walking with God. How exciting! It is my prayer that all people would come into this place of rebirth and restoration where we “cross over” into a new, exciting adventure in our life with Elohim. Not only that, but in this portion of Scripture we read about the covenant Elohim made with Abraham and ALL his descendants. FOREVER! Please continue to read this very important Torah portion…. Scriptures for this weeks Torah are
Genesis 12:1–17:27; Isaiah 40:27–41:16; Matthew 1:1–17
*Genesis 12:1- “Now the LORD said to Abram: ‘Go you forth out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; BE a Blessing! I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
“Now the LORD said to Abram: ‘Go you forth out of your country.”
The last Torah reading, Noach (Noah), ended with the genealogy of Shem, Noah’s son and ended with Terah, the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. Terah took his son Abram and Abram’s wife Sarai, and his nephew Lot, son of Haran, who had died, out of Ur of the Chaldeans and headed toward the Land of Canaan.
However rather than continuing forward towards their destination, they settled at Haran where they stayed until Terah’s death.
In this week’s Parasha, God called Abram to go forth, out of your country…to a land I will show you” that land is known as the Promised Land.
Hebrews 11:8-10. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations whose designer and builder is God.”
The Covenant of God and the Promised Land
“Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.” (Genesis 12:6)
When Abram and his wife, Sarai, reach the Promised Land they become the first settlers in Elon Moreh, near Shechem (modern day Nablus) in Israel’s heartland of Samaria.
Elohim made an eternal promise to give the Land to Abram and his offspring: “To your offspring will I give this land.” (Genesis 12:7)
Even though the Canaanites controlled the land, God reassured Abram that it would one day belong to his offspring, the Jewish people.
Now I want to make a shift to the political situation in the Middle East today and hope you can see a correlation.
It is well known that the Palestinians have gained control of large amounts of land within Israel, which leaves many Israelis and American Jews wanting to see the Promised Land divided. They believe that establishing a separate Palestinian state beside a Jewish state will create peace. Of course we know that will never happen.
Nevertheless many around the world believe that two states for two peoples is a fair and possible solution.
As a result others wonder if the Jewish people have returned to their Promised Land in vain.
There has been so much blood and many tears shed in the attempt to re-claim their God-given land, which begs questions to be answered. Have those who risked and even sacrificed their lives to “drain malaria-infested swamps, to re-plant the land, to re-build the cities, and to defend this nation against the hordes of enemies” do so in vain?
Has this Jewish nation survived the threat of extermination throughout 2,000 years of persecution, pogroms and inquisitions and even the Holocaust in the lands of their exile, only to return to their Promised Land to be driven out?
The answer my friend, is only if God breaks His covenant, which He will never, never do!
“‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.’” (Isaiah 54:10)
We must never forget that God not only made a promise to Abraham but He made a blood covenant. And God is serious about His covenants. The Abrahamic covenant included giving the Promised Land (ALL of it) to Abraham’s descendants through Isaac and Jacob as an eternal inheritance.
To Abraham God says:
“I will establish My covenant as an everlasting
Covenant between Me and you and your descendants
after you for the generations to come, to be your God
and the God of your descendants after you. The
whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a
foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession
you and your descendants after you; and I will be the
God.” (Genesis 17:7–8)
To Isaac God says:
“To you [Isaac] and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham.” (Genesis 26:3)
To Jacob God says:
“I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you [Jacob] and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and … all peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.” (Genesis 28:13–14)
Abram did nothing to establish this covenant with God. We read in Chapter 15 of Genesis that God alone walked through the animals that Abraham offered, indicating that the covenant he cut with Abraham was unconditional.
We read that God actually caused a deep sleep to fall on Abram when He made the covenant with him. I suspect this was to emphasize that God alone is making this unconditional promise to confirm that it will never be broken. (Genesis 15:8–20).
There are so many Scriptures declaring God’s everlasting promise, which makes it obvious that this land belongs to Israel. Therefore it is not a political issue, but by Divine right.
Yet in these days there continues to be much opposition to God’s Word. The Canaanites had their weapons and allies, and even the enemies of Israel today have their weapons and allies. BUT GOD! Ultimately, God owns the land and He can give it to whomever He wishes.
Elohim’s everlasting covenant with Abraham will stand for eternity. That means it is an everlasting covenant! FOREVER!
Abraham walks the Land as the First Hebrew
“Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” (Genesis 13:17)
Did you ever consider that there was a reason God told Abraham to walk the land? It fulfilled a legal custom. In ancient times to claim ownership of a property one must by walk through it. Another Scripture may add more understanding. God promises to give Joshua “every place the sole of his foot treads upon. “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” (Joshua 1:3)
We can see clearly that when Abram walked the length and breadth of the land, he took possession of it for himself and his descendants as an eternal possession, legally,
Noah walked “with” God but Abram walked “before” God, paving the way for the world to come to the knowledge of faith in the one true God – Elohim the one and only Creator of the Universe and that includes you and me!
We also see that Abram was favored to “cross over” borders. Many borders, in fact. He not only crossed from Mesopotamia to Canaan, he also courageously crossed from a world system of idol worship to a world in which the one true God was alone worshiped. The world system stood on one side and he stood with “truth” on the other side. Even today we can see the dividing line between the world system and the truth of God’s Word.
As Abraham walked, he also crossed over into his destiny, and his descendants inherited the reward and blessing as well as the characteristic of being those who cross over. I have written in more detail about the concept of “crossing over” in my book LOVE The Heartbeat of God for Revival.
You could actually say that Abram became the first person to be called an Ivri—the one who crossed over. This word comes from the Hebrew verb la’avor (to cross over) and is transliterated into English simply as a Hebrew.
As they sojourned, Abram and his nephew Lot became quite wealthy as described in chapter 13 of Genesis. Their herds were so large that the land cannot support all of them. (Genesis 13:6)
“And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram’s livestock and the herdsmen of Lot’s livestock.” (Genesis 13:7)
As a result of the strife between the herdsmen of Abram and Lot, they decide to each go there separate ways. When Abram offers Lot the first choice of the area, Lot chooses the best for himself. How many times do we choose the best for ourselves, rather than letting another choose first?
Lot chooses the green, fertile plains of the Jordan near Sodom and Gomorrah and Abram moves on to the plains of Mamre (Hebron).
“And Lot lifted his eyes and saw all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere (before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah) like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt as you go toward Zoar. Then Lot chose for himself all the plain of Jordan, and Lot journeyed east. And they separated from each other.” (Genesis 13:10–11)
This brings us to another observation. Just because the grass may be greener on the other side, doesn’t mean it is better. And more importantly, it doesn’t mean we should go there. Have you found that to be true? I have!
In no time Lot needs Abram’s aid when four powerful kings capture all of Sodom, including Lot. Of course Abram comes to his rescue with a small army of 318 men and frees the captives.
“And he [Abram] and his servants deployed against them at night and struck them; he pursued them as far as Hobah, which is to the north of Damascus. And he brought back all the possessions; he also brought back his kinsman, Lot, with his possessions, as well as the women and the people.” (Genesis 14:15–16)
Not only did Abram reveal military skill and valor but he also showed great self-sacrifice and kindness toward his nephew Lot. With a very small army, Abram risked his own life to save his nephew’s.
Today such valor and sacrifice can be seen by police officers and ordinary citizens who confront terrorists on the streets of Jerusalem daily, as innocent civilians are stabbed and rocks are hurled at moving cars and much, much more.
Let us continue to pray that Israelis and their leaders will be strong and of good courage, sincerely seeking God. During these end-times we continue to see the threat of annihilation of Israel and the rise of anti-Semitism around the globe rising against God’s covenant people.
As we continue on our journey with Abraham we also see his destiny come forth. That destiny is eternal salvation. This Parasha Lech Lecha spans the life of Abraham from the age of 75 to 99. It seems that he lived most of his life without really knowing his destiny.
Abraham waited a long time before he would begin to see its fulfillment, which took place through the birth of his son Isaac. How long have you waited and have yet to see the fulfillment of the promises God has given to you? I encourage just keep believing and moving forward as God directs and never, never quit. God is faithful.
When God changed Abram’s name to Abraham he was no longer Abram (exalted father) but Abraham (exalted father of many nations), which was to be his destiny. To this day many nations refer to Abraham as their father.
Not only did He change Abram’s name, but God changed Sarai (My Princess) to Sarah (Princess of the whole world).
Now this is very important, God did not only promised Abraham the land of Israel, but He also promised that the Hebrew nation would be a blessing to the all the nations (Genesis 12:2; 18:18; 22:17–18; 26:3–4).
Just look at all the ways God has fulfilled this promise given to Israel to bless the nations of the world – Israel’s technological, agricultural, and medical innovations and advances are helping people around the globe.
However, the most important promise that God gave to Israel is the Word of God, the Torah that the Jewish people have faithfully protected and brought to the world for all to read. God also gave to the world through the Jewish people the promise of eternal salvation through faith in Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah), the Word who dwelt among us. (John 1:1-5).
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah. It is by His great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Yeshua the Messiah from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.And through your faith, God is protecting you by His power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.” (1 Peter 1:3–5)
God’s destiny for Abraham to become the father of a multitude of nations (even Gentile nations) is fulfilled in a significant way through Yeshua, who is a direct descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Matthew 1:2–17).
Anyone from any tribe, tongue, or nationality who declares faith in Yeshua becomes an heir of Abraham:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Yeshua. And if you are Messiah’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:27–29)
In my book LOVE The Heartbeat of God for Revival, I talk about God’s love for humanity and Israel-God’s Covenant People, where I layout Abraham’s journey leading to his destiny to be the “father of a multitude of nations” and God’s promised “Seed” through Abraham’s lineage, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah) who is our Redeemer and our Salvation.
Blessed be He! Shabbat Shalom