This Sabbath’s video Torah study at 4pm Central Time with the staff and friends of Sabbath Keepers Fellowship.
Here is the Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/4731209848
This week’s parasha is:
Lek L’ka – לֶךְ-לְךָ – “Get thee out”
Torah: Genesis 12:1 – 17:27
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27 – 41:16
Ketuvym Hatalmidym: Ma’asei 7:1-8
Shalom aleykhem, achym, b’shem YHWH Avinu, u’v’shem Yehoshua b’no ~ Peace to you, my brothers, in the name of YHWH our Father, and in the name of Yehoshua, His Son.
V’he’enin b’YHWH vayach’sheveha lu tzedekah ~ “And he had faith in YHWH, and He counted it to him as righteousness.”
This verse sums up the entirety of scripture, and the desire of YHWH for His people—that they have faith in Him.
The Hebrew word for faith is “emunah.” It is described in scripture as “the substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen.” It is probably best defined as trusting-belief. Avraham is our father and the primary example of that faith which YHWH desires from us. YHWH called Avraham his friend, and there is no greater honor than that. Friendship and sonship with YHWH should be the goals toward which we all aspire.
The righteousness that YHWH ascribed to Avraham for his faith is “tzedekah”—right-standing before YHWH on account of performance of a duty or command. When YHWH said, “Go,” Avraham went. When YHWH said, “Do,” Avraham did. He did not question YHWH or second-guess Him. He simply obeyed YHWH in complete trusting-belief: in faith. And, he persisted in acting in faith throughout his lifetime even though he never realized the reward for it – only seeing it “afar off”, as the hazy vision of a distant future. Such absolute faith, YHWH considers to be righteousness.
Most people think righteousness comes only from the perfect keeping of the law and is therefore unattainable by sinful man. Others think righteousness comes from just raising the hands and proclaiming, “I believe!” without any works at all. Neither of these is correct. The keeping of the law is only the physical evidence of righteousness and can mostly be done without any real conviction of the heart. Saying, “I believe,” is only mental assent and cheap words, if it is not accompanied by actions. True righteousness is something that exists deep within a person. It is the product of complete and utter faith in YHWH. It manifests itself in acts of charity, works of the law, and anything else YHWH desires of us—things that we do willingly and without question, because we truly believe in Him; because we love Him as He has loved us, even to the point of giving His only begotten son in our place because of our unfaithfulness and our unrighteousness.
May He increase your faith, and may you, too, be found righteous in His eyes.
B’Shalom, Ovadyah Ben Yisrael