Cheshvan 21, 5770 First Day--Yom Reeshone
My Dear Mishpacha, yes that means you...family and friends, I cannot believe it is already the middle of this month! Soon it will be Kislev and Hanukkah will be here. I am getting excited already!
We are having unseasonably warm weather here in my little part of the world. But it gives my husband and son a few more nice days to ride their bikes and that is a good thing!
Our Torah portion for this week is Hayyei-Sarah (Sarah's Life)..but forgive me.....I can't stop thinking about our Parashah from last week.....
This is the Torah teaching from First Fruits of Zion...it is so very good..."Remember Lot's Wife".
Thought for the Week
For Lot's wife, who went forth with him, being of a different mind from himself and not continuing in agreement with him as to the command which had been given them, was made an example of, so as to be a pillar of salt unto this day. This was done that all might know that those who are of a double mind, and who distrust the power of God, bring down judgment on themselves, and become a sign to all succeeding generations. (1 Clement 11:2)
But his wife, from behind him, looked back, and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:26)
The Apostle Peter tells us that "righteous Lot" was oppressed by the sensual conduct of the men of Sodom, and his "righteous soul" was "tormented day after day by their lawless deeds." Nevertheless, Lot was reluctant to leave Sodom.
The Torah attributes Lot's rescue to Abraham, saying, "God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow" (Genesis 19:29). The angels compelled Lot and his family to flee from Sodom, dragging them by the hands. Then they told them, "Escape for your life! Do not look behind you" (Genesis 19:17). As they fled, though, Lot's wife looked back and "became a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19:26).
Why did she turn to salt? The region of Sodom and Gomorrah is in the area of the Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea. The Dead Sea is famous for its extremely high salinity. The shores of the Dead Sea are frosted in salt deposits. Because she turned into a pillar of salt, the natural salt of the Dead Sea area became a reminder of Lot's wife for the generations to come.
Yeshua often warned His disciples about the troubled times to come. He foresaw days of persecution, the coming destruction of Jerusalem and a catastrophic day of judgment at the time of His second coming. He warned His disciples that at the time of His second coming, people will be caught unaware and unprepared. They will be like the people Sodom and Gomorrah, utterly unprepared for the moment of judgment:
In the days of Lot they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. (Luke 17:28-30)
Yeshua warns that we must be ready to let go of our things, our hopes, and our plans in an instant. We need to be able to let go of everything without turning back as Lot's wife did. He says, "Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it" (Luke 17:32-33).
He was referring to literally fleeing for one's life in a time of tribulation and cataclysm, but His warning also carries an important spiritual lesson. Lot and his family were nearly swept up in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah along with the rest of the inhabitants, not because they were wicked like the rest of the city but because they had allowed themselves to become attached to the place and the people. They did not indulge in all the vices of the material culture around them, but neither had they maintained a healthy distance from that culture. When it came time to flee, they found that they could not let it go. The angels had to drag them from the city, and even then, Lot's wife could not help but look back.
Disciples of Yeshua are to be in the world, but not of the world. It is easy to let the comforts and mundane things of everyday life lull us into a sense of complacency. We tend to cling to the material world. It's busyness, pleasures and concerns distract us from matters of spirituality and godliness. If we cannot let go of materialism, we will be double-minded like Lot's wife.
While this is mainly comparing the ways of Sodom and Gomorrah to the way things are now and that so many will be unprepared for what is to come, I keep thinking "she looked back." Did she look back to see the destruction? No, I don't think so. I think she looked back because she was leaving her life behind. That was her city. Yes, a city full of debauchery but she was living well and must have been somewhat happy there. It may have been like cities today, you move there, people are nice, most are decent and as the city grows the morality changes. Look at San Francisco. It was not always the city of homosexuals and sin....it became that over time. Many generations of decent people lived there before it was transformed into what it is today.
All her memories were there...her life with Lot, raising her children and maybe she had some friends..who knows. She looked back because she desired what she was leaving behind.
She looked back because she didn't quite agree with Lot and their leaving....she was on a different page than her husband.
We must heed this lesson..not only for the days ahead that will be full of tribulation and distruction but for NOW.
Most reading this understand what I am saying when I describe our lives before the truth. We were Christians....from many different denominations. We were under the doctrines and traditions of the different churches who for the most part were and still are following the teachings and doctrines of the Catholic church. We all celebrated their holidays...Christmas and Easter and any other that seemed ok. We believed all the half-truths or lies that had been the mainstay of our religion.
But I know I am in a better place. I was desperately seeking Yeshua. I needed the truth in my life! I was saved at 12, filled with the Ruach Ha Kodesh at 23 and then finally after seeking the deeper meanings..the completness of Him....I became a true follower of Messiah at 51. There is no going back...there should be no looking back.
BUT we all do it for one reason or another. It is hard not to do when the old holidays are upon us. I do not desire to ever celebrate them again but I do remember the excitment, the anticipation.....the music, the smells....so many memories.
This is why making our new memories is so important. Our Father's Holy Days are exciting...yes, even more than the man made ones because He is truly in them. It is very important to make the days exciting for the children. Decorate the house, bake and cook special foods. Get articles and books about the holiday you are celebrating and read them, get coloring pages and crafts for the kids to do.....make the momories now that will last their lifetimes.
One day we will not look back at all...those days will be blotted out of our minds as if they never occured. We will have truly left the pagan days behind. No looking back...no looking back!