We are in the Torah series titled The Covenant of God – Repentance Series –
As we study the Torah portions, Parshiot Lech Lecha, Vayera, and Chayei Sarah, we are faced with the idea of growing old. Old age has many frightening aspects, such as the aging body is more susceptible to illness; declining strength; feelings of uselessness (especially after retirement); the loss of friends and loved ones through death; the reality of one’s own death drawing nearer; loneliness; feelings of alienation from one’s children and grandchildren, who are busy with other interests and pursuits; and, financial concerns due to the decrease in income. The American culture does not esteem the elderly as a self centered society. This is emphasized by America’s pursuit of pleasure and success, viewing the elderly as a financial burden as opposed to a treasure of knowledge and insight. As we grow older, we should involve ourselves in looking at our lives and asking the question “what was I like then, as opposed to what I am like now?” This question is centered around the fact that we should be on a journey of becoming people of ever increasing faith. For example, if you are a negative and a anti-social person now, you will not be a positive, social, and cheerful person in the future. We need to be involved in developing our walk with the Lord God of Israel now and in this moment, because if we do not actively seek this for our lives, it will not automatically, mysteriously, and miraculously come about at a future time. For example, the circumstances in which David found himself at the time of Absalom’s rebellion, he said was “shame” (Tehillim / Psalms 71:1); “oppressed by evil men” (71:4); “enemies speaking against him and seeking to kill him” (71:10-13, 71:24); “a life of many troubles” (71:7 and 71:20); and we are told that “he had trusted God from his youth” (71:5 and 71:17); and “now he was old and gray” (71:9 and 71:18). The major aspect of his walk with the Lord which helped him to stand strong in those troubling times, was in developing a deep relationship with the Lord God of Israel. The psalmist speaks of having “been taught of God even from his youth” (71:17). He knew the Lord as “his refuge” (71:1, “strong refuge,” 71:7) and “his righteous Savior” (71:2). He speaks of the Lord’s mighty deeds (71:16), “His strength and power” (71:18), and all the great things He has done (71:19). It is obvious, based upon the words of the psalm, that he had developed into a greater faithfulness in his old age. Through the difficult situations in his life he maintained his faithfulness to the Lord God of Israel. In Parashat Chayei Sarah, we see the faithfulness of Abraham in a similar manner, growing more faithful to the Lord in his old age. The question is, are you growing in your relationship and in your faith with the Lord as you get older? Has your faith increased? The process of growing in faith involves growing in the knowledge of God and in applying His Word to your life! One of the most important things that each one of us can do to prepare for the future is to spend time in God’s Word and to spend time planning to serve Him every day! i.e. “How can I be a blessing to others in a way that demonstrates my faith and the faithfulness of our Father in heaven?” Like we discussed in Parashat Vayera last week, does your congregation place an emphasis upon these things as we have been taught by Abraham, Yeshua, and the disciples?
While studying the Bible, it is important to take a multidisciplinary approach by considering the history, the culture, the people, and the languages in order to help us understand the Scriptures and how to apply God's Word to our lives. MATSATI.COM Teaching Ministry examines the Hebrew Scriptures (Masoretic Text), the Aramaic (Targumim), and the Greek (Septuagint), coupled with studies in the rabbinic literature (Talmud Bavli, Mishnah, Midrashim, with the classical commentators: Rashi, Sforno, Rambam, etc). Our goal is to immerse ourselves in the language, the history, the culture, and the people who lived in the time of Moshe, the Prophets, and the Messiah, in order to deepen our understanding of Scripture, increase our faith, and grow in our relationship with the Lord!
I hope you enjoy this short study.
Take care and God bless!