Abraham and the Holy Trinity
The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. (Genesis 18:1-2)
The Lord appeared to Abraham when he was in a very difficult situation. Difficult, because the sun was shining brightly and the scar of his circumcision was still painful. Moreover, he knew nothing about his future. He received the promise of a great descent, but no vision for its realization. He was waiting for the Almighty because he knew that he needed Him and he knew that He would arrive in due time. The LORD appeared to him, and yet three men stood before him. Who are they? Angels? The three Archangels? Not really, because one of them has fallen, so there are only two left. The Jewish tradition considers that these men were three angels each with a specific mission to fulfill. The first must reveal to Abraham and Sarah the birth of Isaac, the second must pass judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah and the third comes to save Lot. As far as I’m concerned, this story carries a deeper meaning. It is to Abraham that the Lord reveals Himself for the first time as Holy Trinity. After Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High, presented to Abraham for the first time the model of what will later be the Lord’s Supper, יחוח is revealed to him in his entirety as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But then the question arises, how could anyone be born again at a time when the redemption of Christ had not yet been fulfilled? Great is the mystery. However, it should be noted that the redemption of Christ is not limited in time. It is, was and will be. Redemption having occurred both in the visible world and in the spiritual world, its timelessness allows it to have been proposed in Spirit to characters who lived before the coming of Jesus Christ into this world. The promise of redemption was further sealed in part by the consent of our patriarch to sacrifice Isaac, his only son. His only son indeed, because his 7 other physical sons were not really in the same Spirit as their father. (Although, the other sons of Abraham do also have their place in the history of Redemption and they have the promise to get into the true spirit according to the divine promise).
There is therefore an Alliance not only through circumcision, but also through Melchizedek, the priest of Most High, the prefiguration of Yeshua HaMashiach. The covenant is made with bread and wine, and then the whole of יחוח appears to Abraham. Elohim then lets him know that the promise of his descendants will be through a son whose birth is revealed to him. Sara is going to have a son within a year and Sodom and Gomorrah will be judged. Abraham goes on with faith and as incredible as it may seem, accepts the idea that the Lord gives them a son at this very advanced age. On the other hand, he intercedes for his neighbor. He asks the Lord of Hosts to spare those who have remained clean in an unclean place and among unclean people.
As for Abraham, our task is the same. To implore the Almighty so that what is pure should not perish with the unclean. But who are the pure, when we see only chaos and sin around us? Moreover, why should we pray for those who have been cleansed, because Christ has already redeemed them? Concerning our brothers and sisters, we must pray only for their edification and protection. For the lives of whom should we pray then? Nowadays, we must pray so that the pure part of everyone can blossom and gain ground against their “sodomic and gomorric” side. Since all humans have something pure in them, life that has been given by the Creator together with this original flame implanted in the heart of each one that are Elohim’s basic laws. These are what we must fight for in spirit, in prayer. So that this tiny seed implanted in each of us should die and get to Life by Christ. We have to ask for our neighbors to be cleansed from their old man that is leading them to death. May this unclean part of man be judged and destroyed such as Sodom and Gomorrah, but let the individual be saved like Lot. May the old man die in us all to give way to the new creation. The seed of this new creation has been placed in all of us before birth.
We can read that only two angels went on their way to the two sinful cities. One stays with Abraham. For a long time, I did not see whether it was the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit who remained with our beloved patriarch. I have finally found the answer in the New Testament. Just as the disciples received the promise of the Comforter and were filled with the Holy Spirit who descended upon them, so the LORD, as Father and Son, goes his way on to announce the judgment. Christ left the disciples and returned to sit on the Father’s right so that the Holy Spirit might cover his followers down here. It is the Holy Spirit who remains with the purified man. The Holy Spirit could not reside in a desecrated environment where sin is king. Nevertheless, the Eternal is present in these places too. He is there as the Father and the Son, but not as a protector or as a comforter, but as the Creator and the Redeemer who comes to offer forgiveness and to judge when it is rejected. So will Christ come again to judge the living and the dead on the last day.
The Lord took to Sodom and Gomorrah the possibility of repentance, for he promised Abraham not to destroy the city for 50, 45, 30, 20, or 10 righteous. Finally, the inhabitants of the city refused this proposal by their ruthless behavior. So the only righteous man found on the spot was Lot, who took his wife and two daughters with him.
Lot the righteous
Lot’s life is a real fiasco. We see a man who stumbles at every step he makes. Even his circle must suffer the harmful consequences of his missteps. We do not know why Abram took Lot with him. By humanism or tolerance, in any case the Lord did not give him the order to do so. Only Abram was invited to leave his people and the land of his ancestors. Lot follows him anyway. Maybe he should have stayed. Lot still wanted to follow Abraham. He probably also wanted to take advantage of Abram’s blessings, no doubt he too wanted to learn to know the Lord. His intentions were undoubtedly good and pure. Nevertheless, we see him as a kind of thorn in the foot of Abraham. No doubt it would have been better to stay at home while Abraham would occupy his place and take root in the will of the Lord. Then Abraham could have returned to his people in full knowledge of his vocation to testify to others the need to recognize and follow the one and only Lord. Lot could then have started on the path of submission as soon as his uncle had become a solid model to follow. Perhaps the decision to take him with had been a little bit too hasty? I can not say for sure, but I strongly tend to think that way.
Lot’s life is not really what we could call a series of positive testimonies that worth being followed by today’s believers. Althought, he is later quoted as being righteous by the apostle Peter in 2Peter 2:7. But, when someone chooses green and watered meadows, because they are more attractive and more promising for the flocks. When someone moves into the most vile and frivolous city of the known world at the time from which he is unable to decide wether he should come out or not. When the Lord of Hosts goes as far as to go and take him out in person and as if that was not enough, Lot still has the nerve to refuse to cooperate and asks the permission to go and find refuge into another city which also was to be destroyed. And when his daughters fall into one of the most incredible sin that is to sleep with their own father in order to have children from him. It is hard to believe that such a man has the priviledge to be called righteous (Tzaddik)! This means that the Lord testifies in person that Lot is a pure character. This means that Lot has put his relationship in order with the Eternal at some point. The morality of this is that it is better to avoid waiting for the last moment to leave our benevolent but stubborn religiosity before choosing the path of submission and obedience to the Lord. Because it can cost us a lot, if I may say so and as in Lot’s case we can even lose our family. Lot’s wife froze, her daughters became incestuous sluts who brought to life the worst enemies of the Jewish People, Midian and Amalek. Similar mistakes were of course also committed by Abraham when he procreated 7 children besides Isaac who had not been scheduled by the Lord.
Let’s not wait for such destructive mechanisms to deceive us for finally be saved in extremis and by the incredible mercy of the Eternal. Do not pay such a price for our title of Righteous. Let’s always have in front of us the bad example of our ancestors, be it Lot or Abraham. We have the free choice to say no to Sodom, to Gomorrah, to Hagar and to all “good” unconscious and incredulous advices of our close relatives of friends. If, on the other hand, we wish to follow the Lord at all costs, very well! But let’s wait for our turn. Let us have patience with ourselves and do not cling to the call of others, but wait for your time to come. There is a time for Lot, one for Abraham and one for us.
The birth of a child
The prophetic part (haftara) also tells us the story of the birth of a child. We can aslo read how Elijah met the Sunamite woman to whom he predicts the birth of a son. Then, a few years after his birth, the child gets sunburn and dies shortly after. He dies and then resuscitates. A child dies, then comes back to life.
I’ve been thinking for a long time this week about why adults are so repulsive to each other? How come when I was a child, I loved everyone, including adults, and saw them with a totally different eye than today. Would people have changed so much? Were the adults of the past so different from what they are today? I just found out the truth about all this: it was in me that something had changed, something had died in me. In the preceding story, Abraham testifies precisely of that pure heart of child through which he perceives the world. He was really awaiting the Lord and accepting his neighbor without conditions as those children Yeshua was talking about in the Gospel. It is this child who died in many of us. This child who does not basicaly see the evil in the other, but who sees his neighbor as divine creations. This child who was able to accept the other unconditionally and who was curious to know who was the person in front of him. This child who did not yet know the Law and therefore saw no sin in the other and had no vision over the dark side of the people. Then we find ourselves in the arid and sunny field of adulthood where spiritual sunstrokes do hit us deeply in the hearth. Here, this pure child dies in us. To be able to intercede as Abraham did, it is essential that this child would rise again in me. It is very difficult because today I know the Commandments, I know the difference between the good and the evil, thus I clearly percieve all the sin around me. I can not fail to see the dirty part of men. I must in no way give up this vision of adult, because it is vital at this age, but in my behavior, in my judgment, it should not influence me negatively in any way. I must recover my child’s heart. We must ask that the darkness visible in the others does not reach me. It is good if I can’t stand darkness, but it should never overwhelm me, touch me, weaken me in spirit and put me in danger. Ignorance of the law is a protection for the children. However, the adult is in danger if he remains uneducated. We need a more complex protection here, because ignorance of the Law is mortal, its knowledge without love is lethal too. So the first one for whom we must implore the Lord’s mercyness is our own person. Being restored and strengthened is the condition for us to intercede for others.
Berfore Isaac is to be sacrified, we read the story of a covenant made between Abraham and men. Abraham makes a covenant of peace with the Philistines who thus get the control over a part of the promised land. Nevertheless, the Lord has promised this land to the seed of Abraham.
Then comes a request that may seem insane. The Eternal firmly forbids any form of human sacrifice. It does seem that now he is asking Abraham to do something that contradicts his Word. He asks for the life of the son that was offered as a promise, the one in whose seed all the nations will get blessed. According to some Jewish commentators, the trial of Isaac’s sacrifice was inflicted on Avraham so that he could redeem himself from this fault and prove his devotion to Elohim.
Anyway, the Eternal never wanted the physical death of Isaac. He still asked Abraham to give back Isaac’s life to him on the altar. It is not precisely his death that he has asked for, but his life. At that time, before the Covenant on mount Sinai, such a request could not be interpreted otherwise: the child must die. The Lord was obviously aware of that. He asked for Isaac’s sacrifice knowing that Abraham would think that he had to kill the child. The Almighty wanted to put Abraham to the test, to see if he was able to give up what he cherished the most. Was he going to choose the man (his son) or remain faithful to his covenant with the Lord?
In a man of this age, the arrival of a firstborn is an inexpressible source of joy. Moreover, it was the Lord himself who came to announce the news to them. The child comes directly from above. Thus the temptation is even greater to fall into the idolatry of such a child. Following an alliance with the Philistines, Abraham has definitely shown his human weakness. When he has only presented his wife as his sister, he has not yet sealed any alliance with Elohim. His humn weakness and lack of faith became clear. Now, a human and foreign tie has interfered between Abraham and the Almighty. He has made a covenant with someone other than the Lord.
Elohim has undoubtedly also wanted to purify Isaac in the heart of his father. It was precisely in the heart of Abraham that the child was to die so that he too could reborn free from any human bond coming from his father. Indeed, Abraham may have put Isaac between him and the Lord. Therefore, we must say that the sacrifice of Isaac did really happen. But this sacrifice took place in spirit. Isaac had to die spiritually in order to be free to accomplish his own mission. I believe that the death penalty has come into effect here several centuries before its promulgation. That capital punishment which is still in force today, but in spirit and applied by the High Priest Yeshua. The old must give way to the new, the old man must die for his sins in order to allow the new man to be born again. In other terms, all that is not under the power of the Lord must be swept away so that the new creation may bloom in Christ. Something was born again on Mount Moria following to what 3000 years later and a few meters further another Sacrifice could happen. The Father offered his only Son for the benefit of mankind. If such a testimony of faith was asked from Abraham for having made a foreign covenant with men, we can say that this sentence was the manifestation of the Lords’s merciness who turned Abraham’s fault to his advantage and to the advantage of the whole humanity.
zeev shlomo 18.10.2013