Shabbat Shalom!

In Israel this week.

This week’s Torah reading covers Genesis 12:1-17-27. It is the beginning of the life story of Abraham, the first patriarch of the Jewish people. Here is a brief commentary by Baruch:

Frequently when individuals experience an unpleasant situation, they feel that they are a victim of unfortunate circumstances or simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. In other words, they fail to consider that perhaps they are enduring a hardship of their own making. In this week’s Torah portion, Abraham’s nephew Lot was captured by evil men with all of his possessions. The text states,

And they took Lot and his possessions, the nephew of Abram- and they departed; for he (Lot) dwelt in Sodom.” Genesis 14:12

The last part of this verse reveals that this bad thing happened to Lot because he dwelt in Sodom. Lot could not lament, “why me” as if he had not played any role in being captured and losing his wealth. Rather, it was because Lot could not control his servants and therefore had to separate from his uncle and chose without prayer to reside in Sodom, that he found himself in this difficult situation.

The next time that you are suffering and find yourself in an unpleasant situation, prayerfully consider that you may have played a major role in entering into your current plight. The fact of the matter is that most believers neglect the necessity of the Holy Spirit leading them and directing their ways. The guidance and council of the Holy Spirit is critical in the life of every believer. Yeshua admonished His followers of this necessity when He said,

But when that One should come, the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you in all the truth…” John 16:13

Likewise, Paul instructed that one needs to seek HaShem diligently when making requests to Him, for he states, “everything with prayer and supplication”. One cannot over emphasize the importance of this statement. All too often people fail to seek direction from the Holy Spirit on the “smaller things”, only praying when facing a major decision. King Solomon, however, taught that it is actually the smaller things that have the greatest potential of bringing hardship into one’s life.

Grab the foxes, little foxes (which) ruin the vineyards…” Song of Songs 2:15

The little foxes are hard to see and they enter into the vineyards undetected; and without assistance, they will truly bring destruction. In a similar manner it is the very things that we tend to ignore and fail to bring before the L-rd that position us in a place where hardships will find us out.

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