Thoughts on Chayei Sarah

canstockphoto3712801This week’s parasha is Chayei Sarah, Genesis 23:1 – 25:18.[i]The haftarah is 1 Kings 1:1-31 and the reading from the Apostolic Writings is John 2:13-25.

This parsha begins and ends with death, the death of Sarah, the death of Abraham and the death of Ishmael. In the middle of these three obituaries, there is an interlude that shows the grace of HaShem as He honors Abraham’s request for the acquisition of Isaac’s wife. At the beginning of this interlude, Abraham extracts an oath from Eliezer that he will not find Isaac a wife from among the Canaanites where they are sojourning but will go back to his brethren and find a wife from within his extended family.

In his quest to fulfill Abraham’s charge, there is an aspect of Eliezer’s search for a wife for Isaac that is important for us to incorporate in our walk with HaShem. Eliezer prayed for a sign to let him know of Adonai’sprovision for Abraham’s request (Genesis 24:12-14). Then when he had an inclination of HaShem’s answer, he “ran to meet her (Rebekah)” (24:17). Eliezer did not sit and wait for HaShem to drop Isaac’s future wife into his lap. He prayed and then he put action to his prayer. I realize that there are times when we are to “wait on the LORD,” (Psalm 27:14). But there are other times that we must be like Eliezer and take action. There are times when we just that the answer is there, we just reach out for it. Just like the woman with the issue of blood, who “kept saying to herself, ‘If only I touch His garment, I will be healed,’” (Matthew 9:21).

As with Eliezer and the woman, let’s reach out to HaShem this Shabbat and receive from Him the renewing of our strength the healing that we need and the rest that He has promised.

It has been a week since the heinous anti-Semitic attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last Shabbat. As you gather in your houses of worship this Shabbat or on Sunday, please remember to pray for the comfort and consolation of the Squirrel Hill Jewish community who are still grieving their loss,עליהם השלום.

Shabbat Shalom

[i]Unless otherwise noted, all Scriptures are from the Tree of Life(TLV) Translation of the Bible. Copyright © 2015 by The Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

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