This week’s Torah Reading (Parasha) is called Chayai Sarah (The life of Sarah). The passage read is Genesis 23:1-25:18. Here is a brief commentary from Baruch:
How is your prayer life? Most people struggle with this area of their life. Usually the problem is that a person does not dedicate enough time to prayer. In this week’s Torah portion we meet a man who, although he was not a strong believer in G-d, he learned the value of prayer. Perhaps it is better to say the necessity of prayer. This man was Eliezer, a trusted servant of Avraham. Eliezer was given the assignment to go to the land of Aram Naharaim and the city of Nahor in order to find a wife for Isaac and bring her back to marry him. This would be a very difficult task.
It was because of the difficulty that one sees from the text that this man, who lacked a deep and abiding faith in G-d, began to pray. What can one discern from this account from our parasha? One learns that when he agrees to obey G-d that the assignment is too difficult to do by means of one’s own strength. He will be forced to rely and trust on HaShem. Even a quick reading of this section of Scripture (See Genesis 24) shows how many times Eliezer felt a need to pray and ask HaShem to be involved in this work.
This is the reason why HaShem calls one into service; so that he will realize his inadequacy and turn to G-d and learn firsthand about the faithfulness of HaShem. In other words, it is not due to some need that G-d has (as HaShem is perfect and lacks nothing) that He calls one into service; but rather so that a person can be drawn closer to the Living G-d and grow in intimacy with Him. It is important to see that at the beginning of this passage Eliezer spoke about G-d in the terms— “the G-d of my master Avraham”, but at the end of this story Eliezer spoke about HaShem personally.
In other words, it is not sufficient for one to know that there is a G-d or even all about what this G-d has done and what He is like. One needs to know this G-d personally, which is to have a personal experience with Him. Such knowledge of G-d can only begin by means of redemption. Redemption is when the barrier of sin is removed by a blood sacrifice. Passover is called the festival of redemption in Judaism. Although there were numerous blood sacrifices, it was the Passover lamb that established the redemption for the children of Israel. This exodus from Egypt is a typology of what the perfect redemption will be. This is why the Lamb of G-d, Messiah Yeshua, laid down His life on the fourteen day of Nisan, so He could be our Passover sacrifice and establish an eternal redemption.
In the same way that Eliezer would have never encountered HaShem unless he took the first step into obedience; today one can never experience the power of redemption unless a person takes that first step of applying the word of G-d to one’s life. Namely the message of the Gospel of Messiah Yeshua!