During times of challenge and difficulty, many ask - “God, where are You? - “Do you hear me when I pray” - or are my circumstances every going to change?” In our frailness, and lack of focus on the Lord, we often forget that Adonai is always watching, always protecting and will never forget the promises he made to you, reminding that He has always given us Hope and a Future in Him.
In this week’s Torah reading of Parashah Vayetze (Genesis 28:10-32:3) Ya’akov (Jacob) leaves his hometown of Beersheva and journeys to the land of Haran. In route he encounters a location which the Scriptures simply refers to as makom (or, “the place”). At this place our Patriarch and sleeps there and while dreaming, Adonai gives him a vision of a ladder connection both heaven and earth and angels of God descending and ascending upon it. Of this strange dream and “dream vision,”, the Spirit of God gives the prophetic interpretation where God appears to the man He has chosen and promises (as He did to Avraham (Abraham) and Yitzchak (Isaac), proclaiming that the land upon which he slept will be given to his descendants forever! Of this, the Torah powerfully reminds,
“I am Adonai, the God of Avraham your grandfather and the God of Yitz’chak. The land on which you are lying I will give to you and to your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the grains of dust on the earth. You will expand to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. By you and your descendants all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 28:13-15, CJB)
From this, we see two central points - First, that Adonai is a God who both makes promises and keeps them, and Secondly, nothing happens in our lives apart from holy visitation. This echoes Parashah Terumah (in Exodus 25:8), where Isra’el was to make Adonai a sanctuary, so that He might “live (or dwell) among them!”
Here we find both Promise and Revelation, Assurance and Impartation and that of Hope and Visitation - and miraculously this is all verified and confirmed in our weekly Parashah!
Thus, in Vayetze, we find that God had to first bring our Patriarch to the (makom) “place” for him (Ya’akov) to receive His Appearing and Prophetic Direction! It was from this “makom” (place) that God continued in reminding him that ALL He had promised from generations past would in fact be fulfilled!
This is a powerful word for us today as well, in that as we seek Adonai, He will not only lead us to the place we need to be, but he will always reveal to us all that He has promised and desires to fulfill in our lives. From this we are assured that we are never alone and that we have a God who is lovingly active in every aspect of our existence!
Be blessed and know you are chosen by Him and for Him!
~ Rabbi Mark Rantz
Erev Shabbat | November 27, 2020, 12th of Kislev - 5781
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