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(Gen 23:1 - 25:18)

B'resheet/Genesis 24:27   Adonai had lead me in the way of the house of my master's brothers

This is the concluding phrase of the prayer of thanks prayed by Avraham's servant, on the mission to find a wife for Yitz'chak, when he sees that The Name ...

HaShem: literally, Hebrew for 'The Name' - an allusion used to avoid pronouncing the Tetragrammaton, the so-called 'ineffable' name of G–d
HaShem has answered his earlier prayer for guidance: that he has indeed been led to the Avraham's family in Haran. Who Is ...

Rashi: Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki (1040-1105 CE), French rabbi who wrote commentaries on the Torah, the Prophets and the Talmud, lived in Troyes where he founded a yeshiva in 1067; focuses on the plain meaning (p'shat) of the text, although sometimes quite cryptic in his brevity
Rashi comments: "On the way: the way which has been prepared, the straight way, on the way which I needed." This brings together three important aspects of G-d's guidance and sovereignty. First, G-d had already prepared the way for Avraham's servant to follow; HaShem already knew and planned that Yitz'chak was to marry Rivka, and He knew perfectly well where she lived, what she would be doing that day and how best to introduce Rivka and Avraham's servant; the way was prepared. Secondly, the way was straight; all the obstacles, twists and turns had been removed - this is not to say that the journey across the desert from Canaan was not dry, arduous, long, cold at night or did not have other difficulties that the servant had to overcome, but that the way was direct and straight. Thirdly, the way was the way that the servant needed to follow; no other way would have got him from there to there, it was the one way that he needed to fulfill his master's commission to find a wife for Yitz'chak.

When HaShem spoke to the northern of the two divided kingdoms, Israel, through the prophet Amos, Amos was challenged and rebuked by Amaziah the priest of Bethel. Amos responded by saying, "I am not a prophet, nor am I the son of a prophet; for I am a herdsman and a grower of sycamore figs. But the L-rd took me from following the flock and the L-rd said to me, 'Go prophesy to My people Israel'" (Amos 7:14-15, NASB). This was not Amos' natural role in life, neither had he been born or brought up to it, but G-d had prepared the way by calling him, removed the obstacles so that Amos had access to the right people and places to deliver G-d's message, and this was the way that Amos himself needed to follow after G-d had shared some of His heart for His people (see Amos 7:1-9).

When King David wanted to build a house - the Temple - for the ark and G-d's presence to dwell in, Nathan the prophet was sent to give David a G-d's-eye view of his life: "I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be ruler over My people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you have gone ... and I will make you a great name ... when your days are complete and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant ... and your house and your kingdom shall endure before Me for ever" (2 Samuel 7:8-9,12,16, NASB). All of a sudden, David could see the way that G-d had prepared his way, what a straight way - in spite of the difficulties, the years running from King Saul, living rough - it had been and how much he needed to follow it in order to be what he was now.

It is no less true today, for G-d does not change, that G-d prepares a way for each of our lives, a way that has been carefully straightened so that we can walk along it - for G-d does not want us to fall off or be unable to walk in His way - and is the way that we need to follow, for there is no other way that leads where we need to go. G-d provides a custom-made way for each of us and He takes us from where we were and places us upon the way that leads to life and relationship with Him.

Further Study: Proverbs 3:5-6; 2 Samuel 7:18-29

Application: Which way are you going today? Are you walking in G-d's way - the straight way, the way you need - or have you gone off on a way of your own planning and devising, away from G-d and among the thorns and thistles of life? If so, then take heart that you are neither the first nor the last to do so, but know that G-d has a way for you, a better way, His way. Today, you are at a cross-roads and have a choice to make: which way will you go today?

© Jonathan Allen, 2006

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