Vayera - November 7, 2020

Torah Portion:
Vayera - November 7, 2020

Torah: Genesis 18:1-22:24
Haftarah: 2 Kings 4:1-37
Portion Summary:
—God and angels come to give a promise of a son; Sarah laughs.
—God shares His plans for destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and allows Abraham to challenge Him.
—The angels go into Sodom and are offered shelter by Lot. They are threatened by the townspeople.
—The angels lead Lot and his family out of the city, but his wife turns to look and is turned to salt.
—Lot fathers Moab and Ammon.
—Abraham again denies his relationship with Sarah and God reveals this to King Abimelech.
—Isaac is born; Ishmael and Hagar are banished.
—Abraham is told to sacrifice Isaac, but a substitute is provided in the nick of time.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
The Effect of Upbringing
“Then Lot went up from Zoar and dwelled on the mountain, his two daughters with him, because he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. So he lived in a cave—he and his two daughters.” Genesis 19:30-31 (TLV)

God had forewarned Lot of his impending judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, and even sent angels to lead his hesitant family away from the destruction that was coming to their city. They were left with one commandment: to not look back at God’s wrath being poured out. The temptation to do so overtook Lot’s wife, who was then turned into a pillar of salt! The rest of the family escaped to Zoar, but they still carried the immoral practices of Sodom in their hearts.  

Leaving Sodom meant losing everything to Lot and his girls. His family went from living in a nice home near the center of town to occupying an isolated cave that had most likely overlooked the ruined cities. This view provided a constant reminder of the reasons why God had passed judgment on a people who were so committed to sexual sin that they were beyond redemption. Despite all of this, Lot’s daughters still chose to trick their father into getting so drunk that he wouldn’t remember them having sex with him so they could have children. What a fractured family life!

Nothing is said in the scripture about discussions between Lot and the daughters about their increasing desire for children and their despairing for a normal life. The girls had lost their mother, and their father was most likely detached from their needs and had "checked out." His failures as a parent ultimately produced two sons (Moab and Ammon) whose offspring would later become tribes that oppressed the Jewish people.  

Our children live in an increasingly lawless society. It is important that not only parents but relatives and all who interact with our youth instill in them a sense of higher purpose and to help them become a generation that leads people back to God. It is our responsibility as a community to provide the guidance, encouragement, and healthy community they will need to become fully devoted followers of Yeshua.

Father,
I thank you for the children I have and those that are around me. I pray for the upcoming generation that they will be strong in you. I commit myself to being a godly example for them in this fallen world. Help me to pray regularly for them to grow to become fully devoted followers of Yeshua.
In Yeshua’s name, amen.
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