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Parasha Chayei Sarah: Heart of Service!

Parasha Chayei Sarah Readings

B’reisheet (Genesis) 23-25:18
Melachim Aleph (1 Kings) 1
B'rit Chadasha
Mattityahu (Matthew) 2

Shalom and welcome to this week’s “Parasha Chayei Sarah” which means “the life of sarah”. I am your host, Ulices Rodriguez.

As we continue on in our story for this week, we see that Sarah lived 127 years and died in Kirjath Arba (that is Hebron). It says that “Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her”.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 23:1-2
1 “Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah.
2 So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.”

In the two previous chapters, it states that Abraham was living in Beersheba prior to him traveling with the Yitzak to Mount Moriah. And after the incident on Mount Moriah, Abraham returned to live in Beersheba. Scripture makes no mention of Sarah being there with him or not being there with him. I do not know this for sure, but it is possible that when Abraham took Yitzak up to Mount Moriah, Sarah was unaware of this and wondered where they might have gone.

Perhaps on the way back, Abraham and Yitzak were not together (I mean they could have possibly been together), but either way, it is likely that Sarah had heard that Abraham left with Yitzak to perform a sacrifice to Elohim, but they did not have an animal to sacrifice with them. That more than likely worried her as any mother would. We must remember that it was a three-day journey up to Mount Moriah and a three-day journey back. I am sure that if I grab my children and left for a week and did not tell my wife, she would be worried sick. I do not know if this is what happened with Sarah, but it seems likely.

She also would have known that Abraham loved Elohim and would do anything for Him so when she heard of the sacrifice, but no animal was taken with them, most likely she thought the worst had happened. And understandably so. Upon Abraham’s return (whether Yitzak was with him or not) this incident more than likely caused strife between Abraham and Sarah because Scripture says, “Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.”

B’reisheet (Genesis) 22:19
19 “So Abraham returned to his young men, and they rose and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.”

I think it is fair to assume that Abraham returned alone because later we read that Yitzak lived in Beerlahai Roi which is near Beersheba. I think it is also fair to assume that Abraham did not tell anyone about what Elohim had commanded him; or at the very least, he gave very vague details about it. Because he kept this as a secret, it caused an argument between him and Sarah. This argument or strife eventually led to Sarah moving away to Hebron and she lived the remainder of her life there until her passing. This would explain why Abraham had to come to mourn and weep for his wife.

Again, I do not know this for sure or if this is what actually happened, but this is just my opinion on why Sarah was in Hebron and why Abraham was in Beersheba. I think that if this did happen, there are some lessons we can learn from this.

Some lessons that I think both husbands and wives can learn from this are outlined in Ephesians 5 verses 17-21.

Ephesim (Ephesians) 5:17-21
17 “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of Yahweh is.
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to Yahweh,
20 giving thanks always for all things to Elohim the Father in the name of our Adon Yeshua Messiah,
21 submitting to one another in the fear of Elohim.”

So as husbands and wives (and really just as the body of Mashiach), our focus should be on submitting to one another in the fear of Elohim. If we start off there, then we can walk in wisdom with one another. Elohim never tells Abraham not to tell Sarah anything or to keep it as a secret, yet it seems like he does. I do not blame him. But perhaps it was not the wisest thing that Abraham could have done for the sake of his family. Abraham was still immensely blessed because of his faith, but I still think that Abraham could have handled this much better. I think because Abraham failed to communicate as the leader of his family and his house, this stirred up a lot of unnecessary trouble.

Again, these are not things that Scripture outright says, but I think it is safe to infer that it might have happened this way. So husbands and wives must learn that it is not about us at the end of the day, but it is about serving our spouses. We have different genders which means that there are different roles within the marriage, but the precept is still the same across the board; we are to serve one another. Husbands need to maintain good communication with their wives just as wives need to do the same with their husbands. If there is a breakdown in communication, love, and respect, then even the most devoted and loving families can find themselves split apart.

After Abraham was done mourning Sarah, he seeks to find a place to bury her which is out of his sight. We must remember that Abraham was a wealthy man, but he was still a foreigner in the land of Canaan. The land did not technically belong to him, and this is why he had to ask the sons of Heth for land to purchase so that he may bury Sarah. The response from the sons of Heth was quite remarkable in my opinion. They acknowledged that Abraham is a mighty prince that lived among them and that none of them will withhold a place for him to bury his dead.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 23:5-6
5 “And the sons of Heth answered Abraham, saying to him,
6 “Hear us, my master: You are a mighty prince among us; bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places. None of us will withhold from you his burial place, that you may bury your dead.”

To me, it seems pretty amazing to look back on how Yahweh has exalted Abraham through the years of his life. He started off from humble beginnings by leaving his father’s household and being led to the land of Canaan where he started off as a small clan of people and grew and exalted to the title of Nasi in the eyes of the people. This should remind us all of Kepha’s letter.

Kepha Aleph (1 Peter) 5:6-7
6 “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of Elohim, that He may exalt you in due time,
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

It does not matter where we come from in this life. It does not matter if we come from humble beginnings or from a life of prestige and wealth. All Yahweh wants is for us to be humble and willing to follow Him in all areas of our life and He will take care of us. If we notice that after the sons of Heth gave Abraham this title, he stands up before the people of the land and bowed himself to the people. Abraham was not letting the prestige and wealth go to his head. He understood very well that it was Yahweh Elohim who had given him favor and honor all these years since leaving his father’s house.

When we further examine this interaction between Abraham and the sons of Heth, I think it lines up really well with the entirety of Romans chapter 13 which in its basic premise is that we are to live righteously and love others regardless of where we find ourselves sojourning.

Romim (Romans) 13:7-8
7 “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

Abraham was a foreigner and a sojourner in the land of Canaan among the Hittites and many of other clans and people groups that lived there. Yet, after the promise that Yahweh gave to Abraham, Abraham never tried to lead a rebellion against these people groups and to conquer the land for himself. He trusted in Yahweh’s promise. He did not seek to try and make Yahweh’s promise come true according to his own plan, but instead he patiently waited on Yahweh to deliver this promise in the right time. While he was patiently waiting and living in the land, he had good relations with the people of the land, rendering love and honor to all.

When we read chapter 13 Shaul says things like, “rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of Elohim. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.”

The one thing that ties it all together is “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the Torah.”

Romim (Romans) 13:7-8
7 “Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

So how does this exactly apply to us in the Renewed Covenant? Almost everywhere we find ourselves, Shabbat is not widely recognized. Eating kosher is not widely recognized. That can make grocery shopping difficult let alone just trying to find restaurants and places to eat. There are many things that are not conducive for those that love Yahweh and keep His Torah, yet we should not let that deter us from going out into the world and letting our love be the thing that transforms the hearts and minds of the people just as Abraham was doing.

Did many or anyone in the land Cannan convert? I don’t know, Scripture does not say but, they deeply respected him and that itself speaks volumes. It shows the sort of influence that he had with the people around them. This is still what is expected of us today. The governments we currently live under (no matter who they are) whether Spanish, French, English, Russian, or Chinese, they are all put in power by Elohim. We should do our very best to live in peace with our neighbors under these forms of government and be careful not to rebel unless we are standing for our faith.

That is basically what Shaul’s message is here in Romans chapter 13. That is also basically the premise of Yeshua’s message when asked if it is lawful to pay taxes to Caesar because at the end of the day, what does it matter if we have our own nation with the Torah as the law of the land, but we do not keep it? What does it matter if at the end of the day we have all this and we do not love our neighbor? At the end of the day, what does it matter if we have all this, but we cannot love our own family? At the end of the day, what does it matter if we have all this but do not love Yahweh?

Yahweh does not care about our physical kingdoms as much as people like to think He does. He has His own kingdom in heaven so what He really cares about is the transformation and the condition of our heart because that is where a nation is made. That is where families are united. That is where communities come together. Abraham could have acted arrogantly with the sons of Heth demanding that they give him a place to bury his dead, but what would that have gotten him if not the same treatment that our ancestors did?

First, our ancestors would get kicked out of the land for not following after Yahweh wholeheartedly and then upon their return and living in the land for some time, they rejected Yeshua. At that time, the Romans had conquered Judea but for the most part allowed our ancestors to worship in freedom. Yet, they rebelled against Yeshua, and they never sought to win the war on sin by fixing themselves first and loving their enemies just as Yeshua taught.

Because they rebelled, the temple was destroyed, and they were exiled out of the land only to return almost two thousand years later. That should go to show us the hate, anger, and pride are not the way to go. That did nothing for our Jewish brothers and sisters. Had they chosen to love their enemies as a united nation of Judea, then things could have turned out quite differently.

Many people forget that the war is not with our neighbor. The war is not with the foreigner overseas. The war is not with anything but our own sin. Sin is what separates us from Elohim. Sin is what destroys our families and communities. Sin is how the devil creeps into your mind and leads you to hate your neighbor in the same way that Cain hated his brother.

When Abraham was very old, he needed to find a wife for his son Yitzak. Abraham said to his oldest servant of his house; “Please put your hand under my thigh and I will make you swear by Yahweh, the Elohim of heaven and the Elohim of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of Canaan”.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 24:2-3
2 “So Abraham said to the oldest servant of his house, who ruled over all that he had, Please, put your hand under my thigh,
3 and I will make you swear by Yahweh, the Elohim of heaven and the Elohim of the earth, that you will not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell.”

The reason for this is that back in B’reisheet 15:16, Yahweh tells Abraham that eventually this land will belong to his descendants, but they would be taken as slaves first and then return in the fourth generation. This was to happen because the sin of the Amorites was not yet complete. The Amorites were a tribe of Canaan thus the Canaanites (as a whole) had been devolving into sin (much like Sodom). This is why Yahweh was giving the land to Abraham and his descendants. Abraham did not want his son to intermarry into that and thus possibly partake in their sin.

So very much like today, we would not want our children to intermarry with groups of people that sin like it is a hobby. Then the servant asked, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came? Abraham said to him, beware that you do not take my son back there. Yahweh Elohim of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, to your descendants I give this land.”

B’reisheet (Genesis) 24:5-7
5 “And the servant said to him, “Perhaps the woman will not be willing to follow me to this land. Must I take your son back to the land from which you came?”
6 But Abraham said to him, “Beware that you do not take my son back there.
7 Yahweh Elohim of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and from the land of my family, and who spoke to me and swore to me, saying, ‘To your descendants I give this land,’ He will send His angel before you, and you shall take a wife for my son from there.”

When we look at this interaction between Abraham and his servant, there is really a spiritual lesson on two fronts. The first is that we should not be unequally yoked and the second is we should not go back the way that we came. If Yahweh has called us out of sin and the world, then we should not be returning to it (especially just because of comfort and security). This also applies to when we are picking our spouses. Once we have discovered the truth and once we are walking in the truth, not only should we not be going back to the world and our world of sin, but we should not desire to marry anybody who is still there and not on this walk of true faith with us.

We must learn to trust in Yahweh just as Abraham had told his servant to trust in Yahweh and that Yahweh’s angel will go before him and help. This is a lofty goal for the servant of Abraham. He could have gone to the land of Mesopotamia, spoken to a few women, gave a mediocre effort, and returned back to Abraham as a failure and been free of his oath, but as a good servant, he stepped out in faith and prayed to Elohim for success.

This should be our attitude as well as servants of Yeshua. We too have a lofty goal which is to go into all nations and immerse disciples in the name of Yeshua. On our own it is possible, but we have seen how we have been doing it all wrong for almost two thousand years. Now it is time we actually let the Spirit lead and guide us on how to do it.

As we move on, next we read about how Rivkah quickly let down her jar to give Abraham’s servant a drink and how she was quick to give water to all his camels. Technically this would have been an answered prayer for Abraham’s servant, but because she did not respond with an attitude, it is actually an upgrade to the prayer. Abraham’s servant was specific, but he never mentioned that this woman needed to be a woman who loved and feared Elohim.

Because she was quick to serve him and his camels, I think there are two things we can draw from this. One is that when we pray, Yahweh answers our prayers with a blessing that is even better than what we originally thought if we are seeking His will for our lives. Using myself as an example, I have always desired to be a warrior to fight evil and pursue justice. I wanted this in a secular fashion, and I prayed that Yahweh would lead and guide me in this pursuit (which I firmly believed was His will for my life). But I was blessed with something greater. I have been blessed with the opportunity to be a warrior in His spiritual army. To fight and pursue His righteousness and His justice and not my own.

The second thing I think we can learn from this is that Rivkah had a servant’s heart. A heart like this one really only comes from someone who loves Yahweh. So just as Abraham said I think the angel of Yahweh went ahead and prepared the way for Abraham’s servant by cultivating a relationship with Rivkah and her family. When the servant is welcomed into the home of Rivkah’s family and he shares the story with them of Abraham and his success through Yahweh, the family cannot deny that all this has happened because of Yahweh. After the servant had stayed the night in her family’s house, he rose the next morning and said, “send me away to my master”.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 24:56
56 “And he said to them, “Do not hinder me, since Yahweh has prospered my way; send me away so that I may go to my master.”

Again, there was this sense of urgency in the servant of Abraham. This servant was seeking to be successful in all that he did for his master Abraham and this servant was seeking to be quick in all his dealings for his master (very much like we should be in our servitude to Yeshua). How many of us complain that life is short yet live as if our days are not numbered? How many of us delay the building of Yeshua’s kingdom in favor of building our own (only to watch it tumble down time after time)? Then before you know it, here we are in the latter half of our life before we finally realize that we have wasted so much time in seeking our own pleasures and comforts instead of what really matters (which is being in service to Yeshua).

So reading about the servant of Abraham really puts things into perspective for me. If he was so willing and committed to serving Abraham this way, then why can you and I not (at the very least) be this way with serving Yeshua? Remember, if the kingdom of heaven is likened to the parable of the talents, then when we enter into the joy of our Master for having run the race faithfully, Yeshua does not call us His friends. Instead, He says, “Well done, My good and faithful servant”.

Mattityahu (Matthew) 25:21
21 “His Master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Master.”

After all this conversation with the servant, Labon, and Bethuel they wanted Rivkah to stay 10 days. The servant of Abraham insisted that he left with Rivkah immediately. Rivkah agrees to this. She says to her family “I will go” with this man which is really a testament to her faith.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 24:58
58 “Then they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?”
And she said, “I will go.”

She does not know this servant or if he is even really telling the truth, but like I had said earlier, I think that the angel of Yahweh went ahead and prepared the way for the servant and Rivkah. Sometimes in this walk of faith, you end up doing things that do not always make the most sense, but you cannot ignore when the Spirit is leading you. So despite it not always making sense, you step out in faith anyways and trust that Elohim has prepared the way for you.

For the end of this parasha, we conclude with the end of Abraham’s life.

B’reisheet (Genesis) 25:7-9
7 “This is the sum of the years of Abraham’s life which he lived: one hundred and seventy-five years.
8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people.
9 And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite”

What we can learn from the life of Abraham and Sarah is that Yahweh does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. When Abraham was called out of his father’s house, Sarah could not have children of her own. Yet Elohim promised Abraham that He would make him into the father of many nations. Along the way, Abraham and Sarah had their faith tested multiple times with Pharaoh, Abimelech, and even with them stepping out and trying to conceive a child through Hagar and not trusting in Elohim to provide the opportunity to conceive a child through Sarah. I think this is why it took 25 years for Yitzak (the promised son) to be born.

Abraham and Sarah’s life was one of constant testing and endurance (which is required to produce faith). How can we call ourselves faithful if we are never tested? Abraham and Sarah stumbled and tripped many times along the way, but when it all came down to their obedience and love for Yahweh, that is unquestionable. Can we be like Abraham and Sarah? Can we be willing to drop everything from our old life and what we thought was the truth and just trust in Yahweh at His word? To let Him work a symphony out of our lives?

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Complete List of Parashiot

Parashiot List
Suggested Torah Portion Schedule 2023-2024
Feast Chart 2024-2025 (To be Confirmed)
1B’reisheetComing SoonGenesis 1:1-6:8Isaiah 42:5-43:10John 1:1-18
2NoachComing SoonGenesis 6:9-11:32Isaiah 54:1-55:5Luke 1:5-80
3Lech LechaComing SoonGenesis 12:1-17:27Isaiah 40-41Matthew 1
4VayeiraComing SoonGenesis 18:1-22:242 Kings 4Luke 2
5Chayei SarahComing SoonGenesis 23:1-25:181 Kings 1Matthew 2
6ToldotComing SoonGenesis 25:19-28:9Malachi 1-2Matthew 6
Hebrews 12
7VayetzeComing SoonGenesis 28:10-32:2Hosea 12-14Matthew 3-4
8VayishelachComing SoonGenesis 32:3-36:43Hosea 11-12
Obadiah 1
John 1-2
9VayeshevComing SoonGenesis 37:1-40:23Amos 2-3John 2-4
10MiketzComing SoonGenesis 41:1-44:17Zechariah 3-4Luke 4
11VayigashComing SoonGenesis 44:18-47:27Ezekiel 37John 5
12VayechiComing SoonGenesis 47:28-50:261 Kings 2Luke 4:31-5:11
13ShemoteComing SoonExodus 1:1-6:1Isaiah 27-29Luke 9 (all)
14Va’eraComing SoonExodus 6:2-9:35Isaiah 66Matthew 12 (all)
15BoComing SoonExodus 10:1-13:16Jeremiah 46Mark 3 (all)
16B’shalachComing SoonExodus 13:17-17:16Judges 4-5Matthew 5
17YitroComing SoonExodus 18:1-20:23Isaiah 6-9Matthew 6:1-8:1
18MishpatimComing SoonExodus 21:1-24:18Jeremiah 33-34John 10 (all)
19TerumahComing SoonExodus 25:1-27:191 Kings 5-6John 15-17 (all)
20TetzavehComing SoonExodus 27:20-30:101 Samuel 15Mark 4:35-5:43
21Ki TisaComing SoonExodus 30:11-34:35Ezekiel 36-37 (all)Matthew 15, 23 (all)
22Vayakhel/PekudeiComing SoonExodus 35-40 (all)2 Kings 22-23John 14
1 John 2, 5
23VayiqraComing SoonLeviticus 1-5Jeremiah 7
Hosea 8
Romans 6
Hebrews 10
24TzavComing SoonLeviticus 6-8Malachi 3-4Matthew 25
25SheminiComing SoonLeviticus 9-112 Samuel 6-7
Proverbs 23
Psalms 78
Acts 10
26Tazria/MetzoraComing SoonLeviticus 12-15Proverbs 6:16-19
Proverbs 31
Colossians 3
27Acharei Mot *Coming SoonLeviticus 16-18Ezekiel 22Ephesians 5
28Kedoshim *Coming SoonLeviticus 19-20Amos 91 Corinthians 6
Galatians 5
29EmorComing SoonLeviticus 21-24Ezekiel 44Luke 11-12
30BeharComing SoonLeviticus 25:1-26:2Jeremiah 32Luke 13
31BechukotaiComing SoonLeviticus 26:3-27Jeremiah 16-17Luke 14-15
32BemidbarComing SoonNumbers 1:1-4:20Hosea 2Luke 16-17
33NassoComing SoonNumbers 4:21-7:89Judges 13-15John 11
34Beha’alotchaComing SoonNumbers 8:1-12:15Zechariah 2-4Luke 17-18
35ShelachComing SoonNumbers 13:1-15:41Joshua 1-2Matthew 10
Acts 13
36KorachComing SoonNumbers 16-181 Samuel 11-12John 19
37ChukatComing SoonNumbers 19:1-22:1Judges 111 Peter 4
38BalakComing SoonNumbers 22:2-25:92 Kings 5
Micah 5-6
39PinchasComing SoonNumbers 25:10-30:11 Kings 18-19
Psalms 106
Matthew 5
40Mattot/MasseiComing SoonNumbers 30:2-36:13Jeremiah 2-3Ephesians 5-6
41DevarimComing SoonDeuteronomy 1:1-3:22Isaiah 1Mark 14
42Va’etchananComing SoonDeuteronomy 3:23-7:11Isaiah 40Luke 22
43EkevComing SoonDeuteronomy 7:12-11:25Isaiah 49-51John 13-15
44Re’ehComing SoonDeuteronomy 11:26-16:17Isaiah 66Ma’asei (Acts) 15
45ShoftimComing SoonDeuteronomy 16:18-21:9Isaiah 51-52Matthew 26-27
46Ki TetzeComing SoonDeuteronomy 21:10-25:19Isaiah 54Luke 22-23
47Ki TavoComing SoonDeuteronomy 26:1-29:8Isaiah 60Luke 22-23 (again)
48NitzavimComing SoonDeuteronomy 29:9-30:20Isaiah 61-63Luke 24 (all)
49VayelechComing SoonDeuteronomy 31:1-31:30Hosea 14
Micah 7
Joel 2
James 1-2 (all)
50Ha’azinuComing SoonDeuteronomy 32:1-32:522 Samuel 221 Corinthians 1
51Vezot HaberakhahComing SoonDeuteronomy 33:1-34:12 Matthew 5-7
 52Our CommissionComing Soon  Galatians 1-6
 53Month ThirteenComing Soon  1 Timothy
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