Lech Lecha - October 16, 2021

Torah Portion:
Lech Lecha - October 16, 2021

Torah: Genesis 12:1-17:27
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27-41:16
Portion Summary:
—God instructs Abram to leave his home and gives him a promise.
—Abram deceives the Egyptians about his relationship to Sarai.
—Lot and Abram separate.
—Abram rescues Lot from his captors and meets with Melchizedek.
—Hagar becomes Abram’s concubine and gives birth to Ishmael.
—The covenant of circumcision is instituted, and Abram becomes Abraham and Sarai Sarah.
—Angels visit to give the promise of a son to Sarah.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
Brought Low to Be Lifted Up
“Then the angel of ADONAI found her by the spring of water in the wilderness, next to the spring on the way to Shur. He said, ‘Hagar, Sarai’s slave-girl, where have you come from and where are you going?’ She said, ‘I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.’ The angel of ADONAI said, ‘Return to your mistress and humble yourself under her hand.’ Then the angel of ADONAI said to her, ‘I will bountifully multiply your seed, and they will be too many to count.’” Genesis 16:7-10 (TLV)

Abraham took Hagar (a servant girl given to Abraham and his wife Sarah by Pharaoh) as his concubine. She became a member of the family and soon found that she was pregnant! This caused considerable tension between Sarah and Hagar because she had done something that her mistress was unable to do in her many years: give Abraham an heir. Instead of resolving this animosity, Hagar decided to gloat about her mistress’ inability to have children. Sarah felt betrayed and insulted; this moment should have been filled with joy and not become some kind of competition.

Sarah took her complaints to their husband, who promptly sided with her. He told Sarah to deal with Hagar as she saw fit. Sarah treated Hagar harshly, which caused the concubine to flee the camp. While she was in the wilderness, it appeared that no one was even looking for her and her unborn child. The circumstances that were supposed to give her status and honor led to her isolation. At this very low point, Hagar was visited by an angel. He told Hagar that God indeed saw her distress and made a way to return to Abraham’s household. Instead of being forgotten by God, the opposite was true—she was indeed seen by the Most High!

Are you waiting to be recognized, to be used for a greater purpose? Often, I find we are hardly aware that we are being used in the most miraculous ways. This reminds me of a time when I went early to an aerobic dance class and I found the woman who owned the business lying down on the couch in her office. She had just gotten news from her doctor that she would have to have a hysterectomy. Even though she was only in her 30’s, the door for having a child was slamming shut. I spoke with her for a while and then went to my class.

The next time I went in, she greeted me with a big smile and a hug and told me how helpful I had been to her and how helpful my words had been. As I tried to remember what I said, absolutely nothing came to mind. I almost asked her what words had helped her so much, but then I realized that God just sent me as a messenger; He had reached her through me!

We must realize that in order to accomplish great things, we must first be humble. As we strive for humility, God will “see” us and empower us to reach others who are feeling alone and isolated because of their choices. He desires to show us a better way, one that will both reward our humility and bring Him glory!

Heavenly Father,
All I am I owe to You and Your great wisdom. I submit to Your timing and await Your instruction as I anticipate the ways in which You will use me as You have gifted me and for Your great purpose. I have faith that these things will flourish in the fullness of Your time.
In Yeshua’s name, amen!
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