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Why the Birthright Matters

The scriptures recount a story of Esav selling his blessing of birthright and position as the first born for a simple bowl of soup.  “Once when Ya’acov was cooking some stew, Esav came in from the open country, famished. He said to Ya’acov, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!”  Ya’acov replied, “First sell me your birthright.”  Esav said, “Look, I am about to die.  What good is the birthright to me?”  But Ya’acov said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Ya’acov.  Then Ya’acov gave Esav some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.  Esav despised his birthright,” B’reisheet/Genesis 25:29-34.  Why did Esav do this?  Why was this exchange so important and tragic?  Did Esav trade his preeminence just because he was hungry or was there a deeper issue?  What is so bad about this event that because of this the scriptures say that Esau was “godless” and not worthy of following?

To answer these questions one must first understand the cultural and Biblical significance of the birthright of the firstborn.  The birthright of the firstborn is a central theme and part of the Israelite lifestyle and lifecycle.

The firstborn son of a Hebrew father is given special rights and is highly valued.  He is the heir to the family and head of the household when the father is absent.  The firstborn or “bikhor” in Hebrew would receive double the inheritance of the other sons when the father passed.  “The father must acknowledge the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father’s strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him,” Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:17.

The “mishpat bikhor” or “right of the firstborn” is to serve as a priest for the entire family and act as the family ruler.  This first child is to be dedicated to YHWH.  The firstborn of every womb is YHWH’s possession.  “YHWH said to Moses, “Consecrate to me every firstborn male. The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal,” Shemot (Exodus) 13:2.  The bikhor is YHWH’s special and unique treasure that is destined to serve as priest and minister unto YHWH Adonai.

The bikhor is to be redeemed, or bought back, in a service called the “pidyon ha’ben” meaning the “redemption of the firstborn.”  This Biblical custom is found in Shemot (Exodus) 13:11-15.  Just after the last plague, which was the death of the firstborn of Mitzrayim/Egypt, the Creator called the firstborn from each family to serve as priests.  This was until YHWH’s plan called for the Levites to take up the position.  The bikhor were still dedicated to YHWH through a service of sacrifice and prayer, the pidyon ha’ben.  Y’shua the Messiah went through this pidyon ha’ben in Luke 2:22-40 and was set apart as the bikhor of his family.  After this service the bikhor were free to serve YHWH through their family rather than be raised by the priesthood and work as a priest for life.
To put it plainly, the firstborn is YHWH’s and is to be dedicated to service to YHWH.  This is either full time service as a Cohen or priest or full time service as the leader of a family that serves YHWH.

According to the Torah, Esav “despised his birthright.”  He evidently did not want the inheritance and the power and responsibility that came with being the son of Isaac / Yitzchak and the grandson of the patriarch Avraham.  Hebrews 12:25-17 tells believers that Esav was “godless” and therefore would not be the rightful heir to the promise of the faith.  Clearly Avraham’s blessing of dominion, multiplication, and place in YHWH’s plan was to be passed on to the son of promise.

One might casually look at the story of Ya’acov and Esav trading the birthright and think that Ya’acov was being overly deceptive and took advantage of a famished man.  But this is simply not the case.  Esav did not sell his birthright simply because he was hungry.  Esav sold his birthright, his mishpat bikhor, because he had not concept of its meaning.  Again, Esav despised his position and inheritance.  This word for “despised” is “bazah.”  The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Dictionary states that this word literally means, “to disesteem:-despise, disdain, contemn (-ptible), + think to scorn, vile person.”

Believers are to not be like Esav.  We must not despise our birthright, our destiny and inheritance as Isra’el.  The temptation is present and the trade looks pleasing but we must be careful not to follow Esav’s example.
Consider these verses…  
“YHWH says, ‘Isra’el is my firstborn,’” Shemot (Exodus) 4:22.
“If you belong to Messiah you are a seed of Avraham and heirs according to the promise,” Galatians 3:29.
“I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son,” Yermi’yahu (Jeremiah) 31:9

As a physical descendant of Avinu Avraham (Father Abraham) you are Isra’el.  As a believer in Messiah you are Isra’el.  Don’t be mistaken and don’t be talked out of it.  You are Isra’el.  You are YHWH’s firstborn bikhor and you are YHWH’s special possession that is destined to inherit family leadership, serve as ruler, and minister as a priest.  “For you are a people set apart for YHWH as kadosh (holy) for YHWH your Elohim.  YHWH your Elohim has chosen you from out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be His Own unique possession,” Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7:6. 

We must not loose interest in the privilege of being YHWH’s bikhor and we must not fall into the sin of Esav who despised his birthright.  Esav did not esteem the honor of being the son of Elohim.  What about you?  The sin of despising the birthright can manifest in many ways.  Just think about these few areas…do you ever think that YHWH’s Torah is too hard to follow or too big of a burden?  Do you have any ant-Semitism hidden inside of you?  Have you accepted Israel as your identity?  Have you dealt with the false teaching that says the church has replaced Israel?  Do you live out your heritage and culture of Israel or are you scared of what others may think or say about you?  Do you ever feel that something the Bible commands you to do is simply “too Jewish?”  Is your lifestyle more like the world around you are is your life patterned after the Bible and it’s holy days and way of life?

As Isra’el you have been called to be in the family of faith.  The name Isra’el itself simply means, “one who reigns and rules with El.”  You have been given a special double portion inheritance from the Father through Messiah Y’shua.

What is the double portion?  “I have come that you might have life, and life more abundantly,” Y’shua said in Yochanan 10:10.  The Father’s legacy of life today is a way of living that has significance and meaning.  His legacy is also life in the hereafter – with Him in the realm of the Spirit.  This is possible through the Messiah, the firstborn of the dead and the firstborn resurrection.  “Y’shua Ha Moshiach, is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth,” Revelation 1:5.  The firstborn blessings were to follow YHWH in abundance and then multiply and fill the earth.

When Isaac blesses Ya’acov he tells him to “be fruitful and multiply.”  This is a direct repetition of words spoken to Adam, Noah, and Abraham.  When YHWH instructed Adam and Eve to be fruitful, He used the word “parah.” This Hebrew term means to “grow, increase, bear fruit like a vine, and bring forth, to open.” This word parah is used many times throughout the Scriptures in reference to the fruit of a vine.  “Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing,” John/Yochanan 15:4-5.

Fruit is nothing more than the life giving seed source of a plant. The primary point of the family is to bear the fruit, or life, of the Almighty Vine. You are to produce the same life as the Savior. Remember that the book of John calls Y’shua the ‘word made flesh,’ so the Savior is the Living Word or Living Torah. Therefore to bear the fruit of the Vine Y’shua is to bear the fruit of Torah. To resemble Y’shua is to live His life and resemble the Torah. To put it plainly, the family is to live out the Divine Will as revealed in the first five books of the Bible.

So, when YHWH told Adam and Abraham to ‘be fruitful’ He was telling them to connect to the Vine and establish their lives as a place where the Almighty would be honored and therefore bring forth life. This wasn’t all though. They were also to ‘multiply.’

The word for multiply in the Hebrew is “rabah.” This Hebrew term means to ‘increase, excel, enlarge, continue, nourish, store, to shoot out like an arrow, to cast together, to multiply, ten thousands.” First you are to bear the fruit of Torah and then you should pass on the Biblical heritage to others.  We are to multiply the fruit of Torah and others will follow.

YHWH is the Elohim of the family of Avraham, his children, and his grandchildren. Avraham was indeed fruitful when it came to imparting belief to his children.  “For now YHWH hath made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land. And he went up from thence to Beersheba. And YHWH appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the Elohim of Avraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Avraham’s sake,” Genesis/B’reisheet 26:22-25.

And to Ya’acov, “Elohim said unto him, I am Elohim Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins,” Genesis/B’reisheet 35:11. The same family mission given to Adam is passed to Noach and to Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’acov.

YHWH is calling out is bikhor – His first born son Israel to understand his identity and walk in the fullness of Torah.  As we understand the birthright of faith then we can be fruitful and multiply in the world.  Pray today for workers for the harvest, for the fields are plentiful but the workers – those who know they are bachor – are few.    

Torah Portion Chayei Sarah

Torah Portion Chayei Sarah

 

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This Week’s Teaching

 

Parasha Chayei Sarah

  • Genesis 23:1-25:18
  • 1 Kings 1:1-31
  • Matthew 1:1-17

The Torah Portion at a Glance

Abraham’s wife Sarah dies at age 127 and is buried in the Machpeilah Cave in Hebron, which Abraham purchases from Ephron the Hittite for 400 shekels of silver.

Abraham’s servant, Eliezer, is sent laden with gifts to Charan to find a wife for Isaac. At the village well, Eliezer asks YHWH for a sign: when the maidens come to the well, he will ask for some water to drink; the woman who will offer to give his camels to drink as well, shall be the one destined for his master’s son.

Rebecca, the daughter of Abraham’s nephew Bethuel, appears at the well and passes the “test”.  Eliezer is invited to their home, where he repeats the story of the day’s events. Rebecca returns with Eliezer to the land of Canaan, where they encounter Isaac praying in the field. Isaac marries Rebecca, loves her, and is comforted over the loss of his mother.

Abraham takes a new wife, Keturah and fathers six additional sons, but Isaac is designated as his only heir. Abraham dies at age 175 and is buried beside Sarah by his two eldest sons, Isaac and Ishmael.

The Messiah in the Torah Portion

It is from Genesis 24-25 that the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony finds its origins.  It is also in this passage of Scripture that we can learn about Messiah and His bride – the believing assembly.

For the wedding, Abraham’s servant Eliezer played the role of match maker by seeking out a bride for Isaac.  Not just any woman would do!  The better half of Yitzchak would have to be from the same faith and the same family.  Eliezer prays and receives favor from YHWH as Rebekah, or “Rivkah” in Hebrew, proves herself to be a bride worthy of marriage.  Then, Eliezer offers gifts to Rivkah when he proposes the marriage covenant.  He also provides additional gifts to the family as a type of bride price.  Rivkah accepts the proposal and immediately enters into the time of betrothal.  She and Eliezer journey home to Isaac as a type of engagement period.  When she approaches the homeland, she sees Yitzchak from afar.  Rivkah veils her face and then presents herself to him.  The marriage is consummated under the chuppah of Sarah’s tent and the two begin building their family.

When the caravan approached their destination the Torah states that Isaac was “in the field meditating.”  The posture and presence of Isaac in prayer show his overall devotion to YHWH and His bride.  When Eliezer was on the road working for a bride, Yitzchak was at home praying and believing for a wife.  So to, when Y’shua was on the earth, he spent much time meditating in prayer.  Luke 4:16 says that Y’shua “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”  Prior to his choosing the disciples and to his offering of his life upon the tree, Y’shua “went out to a mountainside and spent the night praying,” Luke 6:12.  Moshiach Y’shua would step away from the hustle and bustle of life and reflect upon the world, the Scriptures, and His impending sacrifice.  Both the Messiah and Isaac found power in prayer and meditative contemplation.  They both also found a bride.

The comparison of Y’shua to Isaac and Isaac to Y’shua must also extend to a discussion of the bride.  Rivkah was a willing and determined bride-to-be.  She served, loved, and even took time to veil herself.  As the bride of Messiah, the worldwide believing assembly of believers must follow this matriarch of Israel.   We are to be a people willing to serve like Rivkah served and trust like Rivkah trusted.  Hebrews 7:25 states that Y’shua is still making intercession for us in order to prepare his bride for the coming marriage.

Applying the Portion to Life Today

Servant hood is a major theme in the Torah portion “Chayei Sarah.”  We read of Abraham’s servant who is sent to find a suitable helpmate for the chosen son Isaac / Yitzchak.  This servant is presumably Eliezer of Genesis 15:2, though the Torah never makes this distinction.  Eliezer readily accepts his task and long journey to find a bride from among the Hebrew people.  While on his way, Eliezer prays for favor.  “Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, for all his master’s goods were in his hand. And he arose and went to Mesopotamia, to the city of Nahor. And he made his camels kneel down outside the city by a well of water at evening time, the time when women go out to draw water. Then he said, “O YHWH Elohim of my master Abraham, please give me success this day, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Behold, here I stand by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’; let her be the one You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master,” Genesis 24:10-14

Eliezer realizes that the perfect spouse for Isaac would be a woman willing to serve.  Rivkah answer the prayer and offers water for Eliezer and his ten camels.  A parched camel can drink 14 gallons of water.  This means that Rivkah brought up to 140 gallons of water and served them while running!  “So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels,” Genesis 24:20.  Rivkah is chosen above all the women of the earth because of heart to sacrifice and serve.

In the Hebrew texts, the word most often used for “servant” is “eved.”  This phrase is used to describe Eliezer as a slave of Abraham and Daniel as a servant of YHWH.  In Nehemiah 1:10 an “eved” is seen as a worshiper of YHWH.

“Eved” is from the Hebrew root word “abad,” which literally means to “labor, work, and serve.”  Adam was placed in the garden to work or “abad” the Land.  Jacob served seven years for Rachel. Men aged thirty to fifty served in the Temple as an act of worship.  Today, a true servant of YHWH will follow the pattern set by those in this week’s Torah portion and the term “eved.”

Eliezer was willing to go as his Master requested.  He didn’t fuss or fight Abraham.  He was glad to play a part in helping the family.  Judaism traditionally teaches that Eliezer was a disciple of Abraham and had learned the ways of Torah in the tents of Abraham.  We must also be willing to follow YHWH and yield to his ways.

Eliezer prayed for favor.  He didn’t just get busy doing his Master’s whims.  The servant prayed and believed that he would be answered.  He knew his task was important and that it needed to be covered in prayer.  Our acts of kindness and compassion to others must be preceded with prayer.  Our willingness to serve should be coupled with prayers of success and blessing.  Eliezer took a chance to ask for confirmation from the actions of total strangers.  His prayers were answered exactly.

Eliezer, the servant, was served by others.  The actions of devotion by Eliezer were reciprocated when Rivkah saw the need and filled the need.  “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much,” Luke 16:10.  He was blessed for his servant hood and then Rivkah was blessed for her servant hood.  Rivkah served Eliezer without persuasion.  The process of service that Eliezer exemplified began again in Rivkah’s life.

Never in her wildest dreams could she have imagined that her simple act of fetching water would have led to marriage to Isaac.  Rivkah became a matriarch of Israel because of her willingness to care for others.

Finally, it is interesting to note that the Hebrew term for servant “eved” is spelled ayin – vet – dalet.  There is only a one letter difference between “servant” and the term “Hebrew.”  The word “Hebrew” means “an over comer” and is spelled ayin – vet – reish.  The letters reish and dalet look very much alike, so it is possible to see the word play.  A true Hebrew is a servant.  Abraham was called a Hebrew or “Ivri” in Genesis 14:13.  His family has followed suit in standing out in the world through service to others.  A true “ivri” will serve, or love YHWH and other people.

Torah Revealed

In the late 1800′s a man named John Nelson Hyde felt the Holy Spirit’s call to become a missionary to the nation of India.  Though he struggled with the native language and was partially deaf, Hyde found solace and strength through prayer.  He was one of the first to ever share the good news with the Punjab people and he experienced amazing results.  Instead of acting as a traditional missionary, he led a revolutionary movement that empowered the spreading of salvation in this untapped country by first plowing the land through prayer.  He would spend afternoons, late nights, and early mornings knocking on heaven’s door for the lost.  In boldness he claimed one salvation a day for his fellow laborers in the field of souls.  Because of his focus on seeking YHWH, he soon became known as “Praying Hyde.”  This saint understood that prayer precedes the outpouring of YHWH’s Spirit.  His testimony should help us to admit that prayer needs to be a greater importance in our lives.

For too long, seeking YHWH in quiet meditation has taken a back seat to many other issues.  We’ve been driven to study for hours and we’ve argued our theological ideas on Facebook.  And though we may claim to be having our mind renewed to the Hebrew Roots of the faith, most of us have not included prayer as part of that renewal.  It’s time we learn from Praying Hyde and the Torah regarding this subject so that we change our lives to prioritize prayer.

Hyde prayed because he knew how important talking to and listening to YHWH was to Him.  Ahdahm, Noach, Abraham, and Isaac knew the same.  In the fifth Torah portion we read about Isaac who didn’t want to be unequally yoked in marriage.  Isaac, or “Yitzchak” in Hebrew, sends a servant to his father Avraham’s family to find him a bride.  The messenger prays for favor to find the right woman.  His request is answered as Rivkah is revealed as the perfect partner.  She serves both the servant and his camels.  She also agrees to marry Yitzchak sight unseen.  As Rivkah approached her new home, she looked up and saw her groom in prayer.  Genesis 24:63 states that “Isaac went out to meditate in the field towards evening” when he first encountered Rivkah.  Prayer led the servant to find Rebekah and prayer introduced Rebekah to Isaac.  Today, true Biblical prayer will lead us to YHWH if we, like Isaac, take time to “meditate” and be still.

It’s interesting to note how Yitzchak was “in the field meditating” when the bride’s caravan came close.  Isaac could have been working the fields, cutting them, or even selling the fields but instead, we find him in deep introspection.  Notice that he was “meditating” and not just praying.  The Hebrew term written here is not the normal word for prayer either.  The Torah uses “lasu’ach,” which is the one and only time this word appears in the Scriptures.  Lasu’ach means to “think, cultivate, or watch over.”  This word is similar to “si’ach” which means “to plant” and “sichah” which is Hebrew for “speech.”  True prayer is planting words into the spiritual realm so that we can receive a harvest.  It is cultivating the Divine Will and watching over YHWH’s desires.  Yitzchak went to the field that afternoon so he could be alone with his praise.  It’s this type of meaningful prayer that our Messiah practiced and promoted as well.  “Y’shua Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray,” Luke 5:16.

The Gospels record how Messiah often withdrew from the crowds and the questions to quiet himself before YHWH.  “Early in the morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there,” Mark 1:35.  He would sometimes go to be alone and at other times, Y’shua would invite a few disciples for a prayer meeting for the ages.  Either way, Messiah seemed to avoid public or loud cries to heaven.  The Savior actually seemed to suggest and favor the lasu’ach type of meditation.  He told people to go into their “prayer closet” and to seek YHWH in private.  He cautioned us about the dangers of communion with vain repetition and called us back to personal prayer over and over again.

Indeed, Messiah’s teachings on prayer were simply reinforcements of established practices that started with Abraham on the mountain, Isaac in the field, and the priests in the Temple.  He taught prayer as a type of sacrifice and quiet communion that may sometimes causes us to leave our normal routines of life and seek YHWH.  “And when day came, He departed to a lonely place; and the multitudes were searching for Him, and came to Him, and tried to keep Him from going away from them,” Luke 4:42.

Y’shua rebuked loud prayers by religious people.  He also praised the humble confessions of those broken before YHWH.  Matthew 6 even alludes that talking a lot during prayer is a practice of the pagans that should be avoided.  “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him,” Matthew 6:5-8.  Maybe prayer should be a time of quiet surrender, praise, and admitting trust instead of repeating a shopping list of needs?

Once, when asked about prayer Y’shua responded with what has become known as the “Lord’s Prayer.”  His contemporaries who heard this initial message of the “Lord’s Prayer” accepted it as a model for prayer, and not something to repeat over and over again.  This petition explained by Y’shua actually matches the silent prayers of Judaism called the “Amidah” and other Older Testament passages.  Y’shua taught prayer based on the Tanakh to Father YHWH.  This concept further illustrate that there should be no distinction to the believer between the Older Testament and the Newer Testament, as both are the inspired word of YHWH.  The Israelite people, for millennia, have called the Almighty their “our father,” or “avinu” in Hebrew.  Starting a prayer with “avinu” is something that the Orthodox Jewish people often do as they “daven” or rock when they pray.  This rocking begins with silently meditating upon the phrase “avinu, malkaynu” or “our father, our king.”  Quietly focusing on the fatherhood and the kingship of YHWH is a good way to approach Him.  Do you have a prayer closet where you can go to be alone with the King of the Universe?  If so, try participating in this ancient practice by bowing in honor of His majesty and rising in view of His mercy.  Step aside from the cares of this world and call upon YHWH in confidence and faith.

It is interesting that Y’shua never spoke of unanswered prayer.  He told us to believe and receive.  He said that if we ask we will receive.  “‘Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him,” Luke 11:1-13.  Messiah knew that when we approach YHWH in agreement with YHWH’s Word then all of our prayers will be answered.

Y’shua, like Praying Hyde and the Patriarch Isaac, made prayer a priority.  Yes, they were all busy with missionary work, ministry, and marriage but all three took time to meditate and listen.  They knew they were actually too busy not to pray.  They understood that it is only when we are still and quiet that we can know YHWH.  That’s the essence of Ecclesiastes 5:2, “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before Elohim.  For YHWH is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”  When we stand, or kneel, before the king of the Universe we should spend more listening and less time talking.  YHWH is our Father and our King and He deserves the quiet worship of our heart from our prayer closet.  Will you begin to meditate before Him?

Portion Points to Ponder

  • What does the Hebrew name of this Torah portion mean?
  • The portion recounts the death of Sarah and not her life.  Why was it named such?
  • Read the Haftarah portion of 1 Kings 1:1-31.  How does this relate to this week’s Torah portion?
  • Read the Newer Testament sections of Matthew 1:1-17.  Why were these passages chosen to correspond to this week’s reading?  What did you learn from these words?
  • How old was Sarah when she died?  What is this number symbolic of?  How does this number relate to Queen Esther?
  • Where was Sarah buried?  Where is this today?
  • Why did Abraham insist on paying for Sarah’s burial ground when he could have received it for free?
  • Efron charged Abraham 400 shekels for the land and burial cave.  Was this a fair price?  What did this high price reveal about Efron?
  • Abraham sent a servant to find a bride for his son.  Genesis 24 states that this servant “placed his hand under Abraham’s thigh” as he took an oath to accomplish his task.  What does this strange custom mean?
  • Genesis 15:2 show’s that Abraham’s servant was named “Eliezer of Damascus.”  The name “Eliezer” means “mighty, divine helper or El’s helper.”  How did this name describe his actions?
  • Abraham’s servant, Eliezer, had to swear that he would NOT find a wife for Isaac from the Canaanites.  Why?
  • Yitzchak’s / Isaac’s wife was to come from his father’s family.  Why?
  • How many camels did Abraham’s servant have?   Why is this number important?
  • Eliezer placed a type of “fleece” before YHWH concerning the bride of Isaac.   This was also done by Gideon in Judges 6:36-40.  Is such prayer necessary or acceptable today?
  • Does a prayer fleece take faith or is such used in place of faith?
  • How does the fleece prayer compare to Ephesians 5:17, “Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of YHWH”?
  • The woman who draws the water for Eliezer is named “Rivkah” in Hebrew.  What does this moniker mean?
  • Rivkah fed the camels countless gallons of water.  What does such an action say about Rivkah’s attitude and spirit?
  • Where Rivkah and Isaac related?  How?
  • Who was Rivkah’s brother?
  • The servant Eliezer refused to eat with his host family until he had recounted the miracle of answered prayer that he experienced.   Do you regularly share the testimony of answered prayer with others?
  • When told of Eliezer’s actions and the proposal of Rivkah’s marriage, Laban refrained from making his own comments.  He said, “This is from YHWH; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.”  How could using such a response today glorify YHWH?  Is this statement repeated throughout the Scriptures in one form or another?
  • Was Rivkah willing to go with Eliezer immediately or did she want to stay with her family?
  • As the bridal caravan approaches the homeland, Isaac is out “meditating in the field.”  He lifted up his eyes and saw the camels approaching.  What is Biblical meditation?  What do the Scriptures teach about this practice?
  • Rivkah took a veil and covered herself before meeting Isaac.  How is this tradition continued today in Christian and Jewish weddings?
  • Where did Isaac and Rivkah consummate their marriage?
  • The Torah says that after Isaac took a wife, that he was comforted from the death of his mother Sarah.  How does this relate to Genesis 2:24 which states that “a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife?”
  • Abraham took another wife after the death of Sarah.  This new wife bore Abraham more descendants.  Where these the children of promise?
  • Genesis 25:1 and 1 Chronicles 1:32 seem contradictory as they speak of Keturah.  One text calls her Abraham’s “wife,” while the other says she was “Abraham’s concubine.”  Which is correct?  Are the terms interchangeable?  Also consider Jacob’s relationship with Bilhah in Genesis 29:29 and 35:22.
  • How old was Abraham when he died?  Where was he buried?  Who buried Abraham?
  • What did you learn from this Torah portion?  How can you apply this portion to your life and faith?  Who can you share the message of this portion with this week?

One Amazing Bible Verse

There are over 31,000 verses in the  Bible. And while many of these passages are inspirational in nature, there is one specific verse that many believers desperately need to read and understand today. Tucked away in the prophetic writings of Isaiah is a powerful passage that has the ability to change your entire life.  I […]

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Why Your Vote Doesn’t Count

Well, the midterm elections are history.  Decisions have been made that could change the course of our nation and put us back on track. Or not.  Politicians are politicians. They may start out with good intentions but things happen and allegiances are made. Those that go to Washington with an urgency to change the place […]

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Watch “Truth About Halloween” on YouTube

Truth About Halloween: http://youtu.be/yGzJXWIEHww

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5 Idols Messianics Still Worship Today

5 Idols Messianics Still Worship Today by  Daniel Rendelman Though Hebrew roots seekers shun anything that resembles paganism, there are idols galore in our congregations. Could you actually be worshiping something other than YHWH? If we’re honest we’ll recognize we’ve got some major idol issues. Idols used to be made of wood and stone. Today […]

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Torah Portion Bereshit

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It is our passion to encourage and equip you in the faith. The weekly Torah portion gives us spiritual food to digest and grow. Join us as we study the Torah together. We have in-depth teachings, a new children’s series, and a weekly reading guide all available at our website. CLICK HERE for the new […]

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Torah Portion Bereshit

wpid-img_35155630245150.jpeg

It is our passion to encourage and equip you in the faith. The weekly Torah portion gives us spiritual food to digest and grow. Join us as we study the Torah together. We have in-depth teachings, a new children’s series, and a weekly reading guide all available at our website. CLICK HERE for the new […]

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Here’s the Best Way to Fast

by Daniel Rendelman Fasting is an important spiritual practice that reminds us that we are not what we eat. When you choose to fast you are afflicting your appetites and allowing your spirit to reign instead of your flesh. It’s a cleansing experience that believers should practice more often.  Of course you can fast three […]

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What the Bible Says About Ebola

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Fear is beginning to grip people about an Ebola outbreak. News outlets and even Bible teachers are making the disease out to be an epidemic that can’t be controlled. What does the Bible say about Ebola? Well consider this promise… “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the […]

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