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B'resheet/Genesis 13:5 And also to Lot, who travelled with Avram, there was flock, herd and tents
At the start of the chapter, the text has already told us that Lot was travelling with his uncle, Avram: "And Avram went up from Egypt ... and Lot with him" (13.1), so why does the Torah tell us again, only four verses further on, that Lot was travelling with Avram?Rashi comments on this phrase, "What caused him to have this? His going with Avram." The Sages of the Midrash (B'resheet Rabba 41:3) and the Talmud (Bava Kamma 93a) tell us that the apparently redundant phrase is to indicate that is was precisely because he went with Avram that he had come into possession of many sheep, cattle and tents. Perhaps this is the first example of the blessing HaShem gave Avram when He called him to leave Haran at the start of this parasha: "I will bless those who bless you, but I will curse anyone who curses you; and by you all the families of the earth will be blessed" (B'resheet 12:3, CJB). Already, association with Avram brought blessing and prosperity.
Sh'lomo tells us, "He who walks with the wise will become wise, but the companion of fools will suffer" (Proverbs 13:20, CJB) and Rav Sha'ul writes to the Corinthians, "Bad company corrupts good morals" (1 Corinthians 15:33, NASB). These teach us not only that we learn from those we spend time with, but that that learning - be it language, behaviour, dress - is obvious to others.
The Torah relates that when Moshe had been with G-d, "Moshe didn't know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him" (Shemot 34:29, NASB) and Moshe had to wear a veil over his face when he was not speaking to G-d because even Aharon his brother and the elders were afraid to come near him. In Mark's account of the arrest and trial of Yeshua, we read how Kefa was identified and challenged: "One of the Chief Priest's servant girls came in and seeing Kefa warming himself there, looked hard at him and said, 'You were with the Nazarene, Yeshua' ... The girl spotted him and began telling the people standing around, 'He's one of them' ... After a little while, the bystanders brought it up again, 'You've just got to be one of them. You've got Galillean written all over you'" (Mark 14:66-67, 69-70, The Message). People could tell that Kefa had been spending time with Yeshua.
So from Lot, who was blessed materially because he travelled with his uncle Avram, and whose blessing stopped when they separated and Lot went down to the cities of the Plain, to the wise and foolish people of King Sh'lomo's time who became like the people they spent time with, to Moshe who didn't even know that he was glowing in the dark because of being face to face with G-d, to Kefa who couldn't hide the fact that he was a disciple of Yeshua, the Scripture tells us that we become like those we spend time with and sound like those we talk to.
Further Study: Proverbs 2:20-22; Hebrews 6:11-12
Application: Do you spend enough time with Yeshua that people cannot help knowing that you have spent time with Him? If not, then now is the time to start: set aside special time to be with Him and become like Him each day.
© Jonathan Allen, 2005
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