Torah Portion VAYERA – Beresheet (Genesis) 18:1–22:24. Haftarah: 2 Kgs. 4:1–37
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. 2 Corinthians 4:7
Shabbat Shalom, dearly beloved!
We never outgrow the need for Grace in our lives! I have found out that most people are either in need of forgiveness themselves or in need to forgive others, YHVH (God), or themselves.
Interestingly enough, most people fail in the area of receiving or giving forgiveness. Even the most righteous and holy one among us needs to pay attention to the subject of forgiveness.
But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Psalm 19:12
The Word instructs us that we shall be judged in the same way we will judge others. Yeshua instructs us to stay humble all the days of our lives, knowing that we all err in many ways. I prefer to extend grace and forgiveness to my fiercest enemies, so when I need grace and forgiveness for my errors, I do not “run out of credit”!
“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. Matthew 7:1,2
Though Elohim’s love is unconditional, He demands obedience to His Word and Principles. Amazingly, He conditions our own release from judgment according to how we have forgiven others. If we forgive others, we will be forgiven, and if not, we won’t!
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. Matthew 5:14, 15
The torment that happens to an unforgiving soul is normally both mentally and physically. Unforgiveness makes us sick in our minds and bodies! Out of all of Yah’s Commandments, the Forgiveness Commandment, which is a Love Commandment, is by far the Most Important.
Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:37.38
If we are merciful and forgiving, we will experience mercy, but if we are judgmental, we will experience judgment.
With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; with a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless. 2 Samuel 22:26
Forgiveness does not condone sin
In the same way that YHVH did not condone sin but rather nailed it to the Cross in the form of his Son, we are actually imitating Him when we forgive.
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
Yeshua said: Forgive them as they do not know what they do. He Himself did not judge His Roman executors!
Yeshua said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:34
The Word of Yah says: Vengeance is Mine, I will repay. But furthermore, it says: Repay evil with good and blessing with cursing.
Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19
Somehow forgiveness has the power to dismantle sin. Most hard people melt when they are forgiven. In any case, judgment belongs to YHVH, and we can cry out for justice in any righteous and holy cause. However, when we do, we need to make sure that we do not carry a fleshly, carnal, self-centered, prideful, self-righteous attitude and Root of Bitterness.
See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled. Hebrews 12:15
If we believe we have been wronged and justice is needed, we need to cry to Yah from a pure heart responding to the Holy Spirit within us. Is the Holy Spirit leading us to cry for Justice, or is it our own anger, hatred, and bitterness?
Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. Ephesians 4:26
The highest form of self-righteousness and pride is when we think we are good by our own merit! When we harbor this kind of deathly pride, we will find it very hard to forgive ourselves when we make mistakes. This makes us and everyone else around us quite miserable. I can picture Yah holding His Royal Nose and saying: Uuuh, it stinks!
But He gives a greater grace. Therefore, it says, “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Yaakov (James) 4:6
When we minister healing, we call for forgiveness as the key to healing. Many times, people say that they have forgiven others but not themselves. When they do, many get miraculously healed in their minds and bodies!
The highest form of pride is not forgiving and especially not forgiving ourselves. Yeshua says to forgive our brother, who repents 70 times 7. He also said to love our neighbor as ourselves, so should we not forgive ourselves 70 times seven as well?
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Yeshua said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21, 22
And if He tells us to forgive our brother, don’t you think that He will forgive us as many times as we need as we seek to walk in righteousness with Him?
Willful sin incurs judgment
Of course, if we willfully sin and on purpose defy Him, we can expect judgment.
For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:26-31
Unforgiveness and bitterness lead to all other sins
Most sins of immorality and violence are preceded by harboring a bitter root of judgment.
Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears. Hebrews 12:14-17
A root of bitterness leads to immorality and then immorality leads to judgment. If we keep our hearts clean from all bitterness, we will remain pure.
If we seek to walk with Him and we “lose it” or err in some way, as we turn to Him, He will forgive us and cleanse us.
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.1 John 1:8-10
When we believe that His Grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in our weakness, we will be quick to forgive others and ourselves also. Forgiving others comes from a place of Faith and Trust in Yah’s Grace and Goodness to us.
For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. John 1:16
If we are good receivers of Grace and Forgiveness, we will also be good givers!
Freely you received, freely give. Matthew 10:8b
Trusting His Grace is not a “license to sin”; it is actually a “ticket to sanity.” For nothing good dwells in me besides His Spirit, and when I surrender to His Word and Spirit in me, I walk like Him. And when I don’t and try to be good with “my own resources,” I fall. (Romans 7:18)
We can praise Yah that through Yeshua and in vital connection with the Holy Spirit, we can do all things and walk in righteousness.
Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Yeshua Messiah our Lord! Romans 7:24,25
The sobering fact is that without Him, we can do nothing! Only through Him can we do all things!
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:4,5
That is why we need Forgiveness!
Being Human Vessels, we will spend all our lives on Earth learning how to surrender to Him and walk like Him. If, on the way of learning, we make mistakes, then ask and receive forgiveness, forgive others and yourself (even God!). Get up, and keep running the race until the finishing line!
We have a Great Treasure, but it is still in Earthen (human) Vessels. Stay humble and live in Grace and Forgiveness!
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