Ate Lunch with Abraham?
This Thursday, the 22nd of July, is the wedding date for a dear friend and team member of Revive Israel. There will be many family and friends in attendance, who have yet to receive Yeshua as Messiah, and we are praying that they will be blessed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in this wonderful couple’s public declaration of love and covenant before the Lord.
The Katzir conference continues to move forward as many of the Israeli youth in attendance are passionate and hungry for an encounter with the Lord, while others may be meeting Him for the very first time. Asher spoke at the conference this week. We are praying that the Lord will pour out His Spirit upon the youth of this country as the coming generation rises to take its place in the body of Yeshua.
Asher’s New Book
After a long hiatus, Asher has written a new book! His latest work is in the final editing stages and is nearing its completion. We are praying that the powerful message of this book will impact those who read it. We've included a short excerpt below for you to get an idea of the topic.
Who Ate Lunch with Abraham?
By Asher Intrater
One of the popular beliefs of Judaism is that it is impossible to see God. From the thirteen foundational principles of the faith of Ramban and the popular prayer hymn "Yigdal," we find the words:
אין לו דמות הגוף ואין לו גוף
"God has no form of body and has no body."
This understanding is also derived from Deuteronomy 4:12 –
And the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire. You heard the sound of the words but a picture you did not see; you only heard a voice.
וידבר יהוה אליכם מתוך האש קול דברים אתם שומעים ותמונה
אינכם רואים זולתי קול .
However, this verse does not say that God has no form. It says that the people at Sinai did not see any form. The verse in context is not making a statement about the visibility of God. It is a warning against the making of graven images and worshiping idols (verses 15 – 23).
The belief that it is impossible to see God is partially true and partially not true. The invisibility of God is also reiterated in the New Covenant:
John 1:18 – No man has ever seen God…
John 5:37 – You have not seen His form
John 6:46 – Not that any man has seen the Father
Colossians 1:15 – He is the image of the invisible God
I Timothy 1:17 – To the eternal king… who is invisible
I Timothy 6:16 – No man has seen Him, and no one can see Him
I John 4:12 – No man has ever seen God…
I John 4:20 - …love God whom he has not seen
With all these verses, it is easy to understand why people think that it is impossible to see God. However, when taken in context a different picture arises. The fact that people do not normally see God does not mean that He is un-seeable. Rather, because of our fallen condition, we are not able to see Him, and if we were to see God in the fullness of His power, it would kill us (Exodus 33:20). We will deal with this difference at length in part two.
On the one hand, it is impossible to see God. On the other hand, our patriarchs and prophets did see "Someone" from time to time. Abraham saw this "Someone" on several occasions:
Genesis 12:7 – Then YHVH appeared to Abram…
ויירא יהוה אל-אברם ...
Genesis 15:1 – The word-YHVH came to Abram in a vision
היה דבר-יהוה אל-אברם במחזה
Genesis 17:1 – YHVH appeared to Abram
ויירא יהוה אל-אברם
Genesis 18:1 – Then YHVH appeared to him at the oaks of Mamre
ויירא אליו יהוה באלוני ממרא
In the verses above the word "appeared" in Hebrew is the passive form of the verb "to see." It clearly means that Abraham saw something, and could even be translated as "was seen by Abraham."
On the first three occasions we have no description of whom or what Abraham saw. However, in chapter 18, the description is quite detailed and specific. University professors and rabbinic commentators go to great lengths to explain that this chapter cannot be taken in its literal or plain sense meaning (פשט ). However, the text is explicit and even quite physical in the detail of its descriptions.
The staggering and inescapable truth is: YHVH Himself comes to visit Abraham in the form of a human being. He eats lunch with him and they discuss together a number of important issues, from the upcoming pregnancy of Sarah to the impending destruction of Sodom. (Please take a few moments to read the entire chapter of Genesis 18 and then follow along in your Bible as we analyze it.)
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