Dr. Allen and Dr. Karen Ranney
October 20, 2018 (11 Cheshvan 5779) -- Lech Lecha "go out"
October 20, 2018 (11 Cheshvan 5779) -- Lech Lecha "go out"
This Torah study titled “Lech lecha” means “go out” in Hebrew.
Genesis 12:1 reads, “Now the Lord said to Abram ‘go out’ from your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you.”
God establishes a covenant with Abram, changes his name to Abraham and blesses this old, old couple with a child, thus keeping the lineage of Messiah pure.
Revelation 2:17 Romans 10:8-13
Genesis 1:28 Ephesians 1:1-6
Lech lecha “go out”
The Torah portion this week is titled “Lech lecha #1980” and means in Hebrew “go out.”
The passages are found in Genesis 12 through 17.
Genesis 12, records God’s promises to Abram and Abram going down into Egypt.
Genesis 13, records Abram inheriting Canaan.
Genesis 14, tells of Lot’s captivity and rescue and Abram’s meeting with Melchizedek.
Genesis 15, records God’s covenant with Abram.
Genesis 16, is the story of Hagar and Ishmael.
Genesis 17, the sign of the covenant.
The Haftarah or Prophets portion is in Isaiah 40:27-41:16.
Isaiah 40:27-41:16, Israel assured of God’s help.
The Gospel portion is in Matthew 1:1-17.
Matthew 1:1-17, records the genealogy of Christ.
Lech lecha “go out”
Genesis chapter 12:1 (Interlinear Bible) is where our Torah portion starts this week.
Genesis 12:1-3 reads, “and Jehovah had said to Abram, go out ‘Lech lecha #1980’ from your land, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation. And I will bless you and make your name great; and you will be a blessing. And I will bless those who bless you, and curse the ones despising you. And through you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
The Lord said to Abram, “go out,” “Lech lecha.” The Lord said, “I will make you a great nation.” The Lord said, “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Why was it so important that Abram leave Ur of the Chaldeans? Why would God move him? Wasn’t Ur Abram’s native city? Wasn`t Abram born there?
The city of Ur was/is in southern Mesopotamia on the Euphrates River and is part of southern Iraq (Babylon). The Babylonians worshiped hundreds of different idols. Chief among them was the worship of the moon.
Ur was a prosperous center of industry and religion. God needed to move Abram out of that polluted atmosphere so the seed, DNA, from Noah, Abraham’s great great something grandfather, that perfect seed, that unblemished and unspotted DNA, would not become corrupted (Genesis 6:1). That’s in the Bible. Another reason God called Abram out is, and this is Jewish oral tradition or extra biblical, Abram’s father and family made and sold idols for a living.
Okay, I want to jump back to the end of last week’s lesson, “Noach” in Genesis 11.
All of Noah`s descendants lived in and around Babylon. They helped build the tower of Babel and the city that surrounded it. Why did that make God so mad that He destroyed all their great works? Their city, their tower, their fortifications? Was it because they aspired to reach the heavens with their tower? Or was it that they wanted to make their name great? Was it their pride, arrogance, idol worship? Or because they wanted to be as famous as the Nephilim and Rephaim that lived before the flood? Well yes, we can say that God was displeased with all of the above, but mostly it was because the people broke covenant. They disobeyed God’s command to Go! “Lech lecha” and fill the earth (Genesis 9 v 1).
Genesis 1:28 says, “Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
In Genesis 17:4 it says, “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.” So, you see, you can’t be many nations by staying in one place like the people in Babylon when they said “come let us build a city and a tower whose top is in the heavens, let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”
God moved Abram out of Ur to fill the earth with the right DNA or seed for His great plan to redeem man and restore him to his rightful place as kings and priests and to return him back to a state of heaven on earth.
Abram was perhaps the first traveling evangelist! He was an ambassador of the kingdom of heaven, building alters to the One True God, The Most high, Everlasting God. Everywhere Abram went, on mountaintops all over the Middle East (Genesis 12:8-9), Bethel, Hor, Ai, Ebal, Gerizim, Moreh, Tabor and Hermon just to name a few. Abram’s descendants would one day fill the whole earth and be as innumerable as the stars (Genesis 15:5), but most importantly, God’s plan for man’s salvation came to fruition. Abrams seed, Noah`s perfect, unblemished, and unspotted DNA, was passed down to our Savior Jesus Christ, Yeshua Messiah, hallelujah! All because one man heeded God’s command to “Lech lecha” go out.
Jesus establishes Abram’s covenant, our covenant with God, in this passage of Scripture, Matthew 28:18-20. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go “Bo” or, “Lech lecha” therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age.’” Amen.
Our duty is clear. We are to go out, “Lech lecha,” and evangelize with the ministry of reconciliation; that God has reconciled man to Himself by the sacrifice of His Son. The pure blood of His Son, (that perfect and unspotted, unblemished DNA) is able to redeem all of mankind, if they would just repent of their evil idolatrous ways and believe in Him.
The last part of this week’s Torah study is Genesis chapter 17. Two things stand out, first, God takes and uses an old married couple who are as good as dead, already being 90 and 99 years old. God promises them a child and changes their names.
Second, God establishes the covenant of circumcision with Abraham for all his descendants
The child of promise
God starts by telling this old couple they are going to have a child, even though they are way beyond childbearing age. When they hear this, it makes them laugh and God tells them to name the child Isaac #3327, which in Hebrew means laughter. God had already changed their names from Abram to Abraham and from Sarai to Sarah by adding the Hebrew letter “hey” to their names.
“Hey” is the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Five is the number for Grace and adding the “hey” to a noun means fruitful or productive. So, by the grace of God, He made them productive, fruitful, even in the waning years of their lives. “Hey” also represents the divine breath of God, which is the Holy Spirit; and “hey #1887 in Hebrew means look or behold as something being revealed, a revelation.” There is so much here. Just by adding one letter, in essence God was saying, “look, behold, I have breathed new life into that which was dead!” Anyone who looked upon Abraham and Sarah could see without a doubt, a miracle of God.
The covenant sign
God promised Abraham an heir would be born at this set time next year (Genesis 17:21) then told Abraham to circumcise all the males in his household including himself. The sign of the covenant was already in place before Sarah became pregnant, as Abraham’s seed would have had to pass through the sign of the covenant, making it blessed and holy. Amen.
Do you realize God will one day give you a new name? He will, if you stay in covenant with Him.
Revelation 2:17 reads, “he who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.” Amen. Be faithful to the covenant God has given us. Lech lecha, “go out” and preach the gospel.
Names in ancient Israel, as well as in modern Israel are very significant and very important. They can be the keys to understanding a person’s character, attributes and traits. They are often deemed to be prophetic glimpses into one’s future.
We can see this with regards to the name of Jesus in Philippians 2:9-11. “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
In Genesis 14:18-24, we read about Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High. Abram met him upon returning from rescuing his nephew Lot from captivity.
Melchizedek in Hebrew is actually two words “melek#4428 and tsedeq #6664,” meaning king of righteousness. We see Abram giving tithes to Melchizedek, who brings out bread and wine and blesses Abram. These are types and shadows of the covenant meal we now call communion, perhaps leading the author of the New Testament book of Hebrews to compare Melchizedek to our high priest Yeshua Messiah, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 5:1-10).
One last thought on today’s Torah portion. “When you do go out “Lech lecha,” go with the Name above all names. Go in the name of God Most High, as David did when he confronted a giant (1 Samuel 17:50).
The Haftarah and the Gospel portion today are short, but both deal with the genealogy of Yeshua Messiah.
This is from our Haftarah reading in Isaiah 41:4, “Who has performed and done it calling the generations from the beginning? I, the Lord, am the first; and with the last I am He.”
And from Isaiah 41:8-10, “but you, Israel, are My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the descendants of Abraham My friend. You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest regions, and said to you, “you are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Amen.
In the above passages of Scripture, God is talking about Abraham’s descendants.
Adam, Noah, Abraham, David to Yeshua, all “tamim,” perfect, and unspotted, unblemished DNA. Seed, the lineage of Christ listed in Matthew 1:1-17; the bloodline, the genealogy.
Genealogy in Greek is “#1078 Genesis.” Now I don’t know about you, but I find that fascinating! With one simple word, God ties together the beginning of the Old Testament with the beginning of the New Testament. Fascinating!
Beginning, start, dawn, born, comes, develop, happen, made, origins, rose and start; all from the same root word and that beginning, that origin is from one source, from God Almighty Himself. Amen. Hallelujah!
Yeshua Messiah, Jesus Christ had no natural sons or daughters; so in Hebrew tradition, a man would adopt children to pass down his inheritance. You and I are those adopted children. In Hebrew law, as well as in some state statutes in America, once a man or woman adopts a child, that child can never be disowned. You can disinherit your own natural children, but you can never disown those you adopt. Think about that in light of this Scripture.
“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4-6)
You can be adopted right now, it’s as easy as A.B.C.
A. Admit you have sinned and ask forgiveness.
B. Believe Jesus died for that sin, then rose from the grave three days later.
C. Confess with your mouth Yeshua, Jesus is Lord and make Him King in your life.
Read Romans 10:8-13, then Pray, “Father, fill me with Your spirit that I would be Your adopted child that I may “Lech lecha,” go out into all the world to preach Your gospel. In Jesus’ name I pray Amen.
Bibliography for Lech lecha “go out”
Interlinear Bible, the, Hendrickson publishing, 2006
New King James Version of the Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, 2007
Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, Thomas Nelson publishing,