Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah # 3 Lekh L’cha (Get yourself out) Genesis 12:1-17-27
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 40:27-41:16
B’rit Chadashah: Romans 3:19-5:6
This week we are introduced to the idea that G-d will choose a people for himself from among all the other nations. Many tend to adopt an elitist attitude concerning this subject, but such an attitude could not be further from what G-d had in mind. The Israelites were chosen to be a blessing to the nations. That is, to live a lifestyle learned from taking instruction from G-d’s Torah alone, and not the practices and enticements of the world around them (and us). The parallels between our parashah and the present are indeed incredible. Picture it: One man living comfortably within a society of idolaters in Haran which is located in upper Mesopotamia in south-eastern Turkey. It was one of two principle cities of the moon god Sin and a major trading center. Not only was this an idolatrous society, more significantly the moon-god was represented by the moon in its crescent phase. The sun-goddess was the wife of Sin and the stars were their daughters. Istar was one of these daughters. In the Ugaritic texts, the moon-god was sometimes called kusuh. G-d explicitly rebuked the worship of the moon-god (Deut.4:19; 17:3; II Kings 21:3, 5; 23:5; Jer.8:2; 19:13; Zeph1:5) to name a few. When Israel fell into idolatry, it was usually the cult of the moon-god. Allah was the title for the moon-god even in Muhammad’s day. Under Muhammad’s tutelage in the 7th century CE, the relatively anonymous Ilah, became Al-Ilah, the god, or allah, the supreme being. This fact answers the question of why allah is never defined in the Qur’an and how Muhammad could assume that the pagan Arabs already knew who allah was. Muhammad was raised in the religion of the moon-god, allah. But he took the religion one step further than that of the fellow pagan Arabs. While they believed in allah as the moon-god who was the greatest of all gods, Muhammad decided that Allah was not only the greatest, but he was the only god. The fact that Muhammad took away the worship of all other gods including allah’s wife and daughters is reflected in the first point of the Muslim creed that “Allah is the greatest” indicating a polytheistic context. The Arabic word is used to contrast lesser to greater. Pagan Arabs never accused Muhammad of preaching a different allah than the one they already worshipped. Muhammad attempted to have it both ways. To the pagans, he said that he still believed in the moon-god allah. To the Christians and Jews, he said that allah was their god too. However, we know that this was rejected and this is why Jews and Christians who cannot be converted are to be killed according to the Qur’an. The following verses support this statement lest anyone doubt:
Qur’an 9:29-Fight against Christians and Jews ”until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low.”
Qur’an 4:91- If the unbelievers do not offer you peace, kill them wherever you find them. Against such you are given clear warrant.
. Qur’an 9:7-9-Don’t make treaties with non-Muslims. They are all evildoers and should not be trusted.
Qur’an 9:12-14-Fight the disbelievers! Allah is on your side; he will give you victory.
. Qur’an 9:5 Kill the nonbelievers wherever you find them.
Qur’an 2:191-2-Kill disbelievers wherever you find them. If they attack you, then kill them. Such is the reward of disbelievers.
Qur’an (5:51) – ”O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.”
Qur’an (2:65-66) Christians and Jews must believe what Allah has revealed to Muhammad or Allah will disfigure their faces or turn them into apes, as he did the Sabbath-breakers.
Qur’an (4:48, 4:116)-Those who ascribe a partner to Allah (like Christians do with Jesus and the Holy Spirit) will not be forgiven. They have “invented a tremendous sin.”
Qur’an (4:51)-Jews and Christians believe in idols and false deities, yet they claim to be more rightly guided than Muslims.
Qur’an (5:51) Don’t take Jews or Christians for friends. If you do, then Allah will consider you to be one of them.
Qur’an (5:80) – “You will see many of them befriending those who disbelieve; certainly evil is that which their souls have sent before for them, that Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide.” Those Muslims who befriend unbelievers will abide in hell.
Qur’an (3:85) – ”And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.”
. Qur’an 9:6-Those who submit and convert to Islam will be treated well. (Those who don’t submit will be killed. See previous verse.)
Qur’an 5:53 Jews and Christians are losers.
Qur’an 5:59 Jews and Christians are evil-livers.
Qur’an 5:63 Evil is the handiwork of the rabbis and priests.
Qur’an 5:72 Christians will be burned in the Fire.
Qur’an 5:73Christians are wrong about the Trinity. For that they will have a painful doom.
Qur’an 9:30Christians and Jews are perverse. Allah himself fights against them.
Qur’an 9:34 Give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom to the rich and greedy Christian monks and Jewish rabbis.
Qur’an 19:35-37“Woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of an awful Day.”
Jesus was not the Son of God. Those who say he was (Christians) are going to hell.
Qur’an 28:62-64 Allah will taunt Christians on the day of their doom, saying: Where are My partners whom ye imagined?
Qur’an 40:73Allah will taunt the Christians in hell, saying: Where are all my parnters that you used to believe in?
Qur’an 3:67 ”Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was a true Muslim, surrendered to Allah (which is Islam), and he joined not gods with Allah.”
Therefore, unless a Muslim who professes to believe and follow the Qur’an practices moral relativism as do many other people who profess any belief in a Deity, yet pick and choose which laws of their Deity they will follow, there is nothing peaceful about the religion of Islam. Indeed, Christianity committed its own atrocities during the inquisition and at other time in the name of their god. I did not capitalize the previous name because the god of the Christian faith is not the same G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Islam and its god allah did not come from the Bible but from the paganism of the Sabeans. There is no reason to accept that allah passed to the Muslims from the Christians and Jews. The Arab worship of the moon-god as a supreme deity was not a biblical monotheistic worship demanded by the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Islam has proven itself to be a separate, antagonistic religion rooted in idolatry. It is no longer possible to avoid the fact that allah was a pagan god in pre-Islamic times. It should not be surprising therefore, that the symbol of Islam is the crescent moon. Islam is nothing more than a revival of the ancient moon-god cult. It has taken the symbols, rites, ceremonies, and even the name of its god from the ancient pagan religion of the moon-god. It is sheer idolatry and must be rejected by all those who profess a belief in the written Torah of G-d. Moreover, those who follow the observance of Easter, Halloween and Christmas are also observing pagan-based celebrations rooted in idolatry. Rejection of these practices is no-less commanded by G-d than those of the Muslims.
The aforementioned discussion is necessary to understand the environment in which Avraham lived as he sought the one true G-d. It was an environment similar to that in which we live today. He could have been killed for his belief and yet he stood his ground. We have the freedom of speech; that is some have the freedom of speech yet many of us are even afraid to wear tzitzit, kippot, or refrain from pagan practices followed by our families in order to keep the peace. We dare to buy and sell on Shabbat thinking it is alright because the commerce is recreational. We must remember who Yahshua said were his family; “My mother and brothers are those who hear G-d’s message and act on it!”(Luke 8:21). Avraham did not have the Torah, yet his priorities were biblical. He heard G-d’s instructions and acted on them. This requirement is stated seven times in the book of Revelation which invalidates the Christian doctrine of “grace only.” Avraham dared to openly profess a G-d he could not physically see, although in retrospect we know one of the angels that visited him was Yahshua. Avraham had faith in G-d’s words and he did not hesitate to act on them. However, his humanity is addressed in his lack of trust that G-d would provide for his security as he prepared to enter Egypt (Gen. 12:11-13). In his defense, Sarah was related to Avraham and her survival was his priority. G-d knows the heart!
Avraham’s hospitable character is described in several places in this parashah. These examples provide us another behavioral blueprint consistent with that of Yahshua’s examples. The V’ahavta we recite after the Sh’ma is taught and the second most important command only to Deuteronomy 6:4 according to Yahshua (Mark 12:31-32). Avraham’s behavior exemplified obedience to these commands. He was willing to obey G-d at the expense of his own son; the son of promise. He exemplified humility and going the extra mile by offering Lot the choice of pasture land even though Avraham was fully entitled as the elder to make the first choice. His compassion for others whom he did not know was demonstrated in his prayer for S’dom and ‘Amora.
Gen. 15:6 is often misconstrued and generally misunderstood in the Christian arena. Once again it is because few if any people take the time to look up the etymology of the Hebrew text. In this case the word of contention is “believe” To believe on someone or in something carries responsibility and action; not simple acknowledgement that something is true. All one must do is look at Avraham’s behavior, his character, response to G-d’s instructions and testing to know it is not by faith and grace alone that we may be saved in the end. Faith is action based on our beliefs and this is how Avraham demonstrated his faith and belief in G-d. Only through his demonstrated lifestyle was he considered righteous. This is explained and reiterated in Hebrews 11:17-19. The rules did not change with Yahshua’s appearance. Chapter 16 informs us that Yishma’el and his descendants will always be at war with Isaac’s and that his hand will be against everyone. Yet we wonder why we are still fighting in the Middle East and why sanctions aren’t working! The Arabs will never succumb to peace talks. Peace is not in their vocabulary. Conversely, G-d tells Avraham He will make His covenant with Yitz’chak, not Yishma’el. Again, G-d’s covenants stand whether or not man keeps his end. G-d will not be mocked. As G-d promised Avraham he would be his shield and protector, so He will be for those who follow Him as did Avraham.
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 40:27-41:16
G-d explains the life that Avraham must lead. G-d tells Avraham to leave everything both material and physical and follow Him to an unknown land, no questions, and no further information given to Abraham at that particular time. He reminds Israel they like Avraham were taken out of (sin) Egypt and everything familiar, set apart, and chosen to serve only G-d. G-d’s words are so comforting I will repeat them here so we may all find continual comfort as we are lead from our own “distant parts.” “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you; don’t be distressed, for I am your G-d. I give you strength, I give you help, I support you with my victorious right hand… Your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel [Yahshua].”
B’rit Chadashah: Colossians 2:11:17 and Romans 3:19-5:6
In this book, Paul (Sha’ul) taught the Messianic community on Colossae. In this passage he spoke about what spiritual circumcision through the sacrifice of Yahshua means compared to the physical circumcision. Verse 13 reads “You were dead because of your sins, that is, because of your ‘foreskin’, your old nature. Note we are talking about a physical or genetically imputed sin inherited from Adam of which no one can rid themselves without Yahshua’s sacrifice. But G-d made you alive along with the Messiah by forgiving you all your sins.” Christian clergy love to teach this means sins past, present, and future. This is an incorrect interpretation. For further validation we may examine Romans 3:25 that applies to our parashah: “G-d put Yahshua forward as the kapparah for sin through His faithfulness in respect to his bloody sacrificial death. This vindicated G-d’s righteousness, because, in his forbearance, he had passed over [with neither punishment nor remission] the sins the people had committed in the PAST; and it vindicates his righteousness in the present age by showing that he is righteous himself and is also the one who makes people righteous on the ground of Yahshua’s faithfulness [ not our own].” The futility of following legalistic observance of Torah in the passage that precedes and follows this one addresses rabbinic law, the oral Torah, NOT G-d’s written Torah. If you are not clear on the difference, ask me! Referring back to Col. 2:14 we read: “He wiped away the bill of charges against us. Because of the regulations, it stood as a testimony against us; but he removed it by nailing it to the execution-stake. This was a list of indictments against us as sinners by G-d and those against Yahshua for claiming He was the King of the Jews. Stripping the rulers and authorities of their power, he made a public spectacle of them. Triumphing over them by means of the stake.” We can clearly read that Yahshua died for our PAST sins (Rom 3:25; 2 Pet. 1:9) as He took them upon Himself, becoming sin for us. He released us from the death indictment we all would face but for His faithfulness in carrying our His mission and provided a way to be reconciled to Himself and G-d so that we may obtain eternal life. So it was with Avraham through his trust and obedience to G-d and G-d’s provision for redemption through the sacrifice of the ram.
This is interesting in relation to the discussion on Muslums and their belief that Ishmael was the son of promise. These numbers are derived from the Hebrew number system called Gematria.
When G-d changes Avram’s name to Avraham, he tells Avraham that he will be av hamon, “the father of many.” The Gematria for this phrase is 104. This phrase is used twice during the conversation, with a total value of 208. The Gematria of Yitchak, Avraham’s son, is also 208. From this we see a hint that the chosen nation is going to stem from Yitzhak and not Yishma’el.
Rabbi Tamah Davis