Inviting ADONAI to Dinner

Rabbi Eric Tokajer Torah Portions Leave a Comment

table outsideImagine if you can that you are sitting in a chair on the front porch of your home relaxing from the heat of the day when you look up and see three men walking towards you. You rise up to greet your visitors and suddenly realize that one of the visitors is G-D himself. You run out to greet Him falling on the ground in humility. Well, this scene is what takes place in the book of Genesis chapter 18:

1 Then ADONAI appeared to him at Mamre’s large trees while he was sitting in the entrance of his tent during the heat of the day. 2 When he lifted up his eyes to see, suddenly, three men were standing right by him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed down to the ground.

Each year when I read these verses, I stop and think to myself how would I act if this scene took place in my life? What would I do? What would I say?

As we read on, we find out what Abraham did. He invited G-D to dinner.

3 Then he said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in your eyes, please do not pass by your servant. 4 Please let a little water be brought so you can wash your feet, and make yourselves comfortable under the tree. 5 And let me bring a bit of bread so that you can refresh yourselves—then you can pass on—since you have passed by your servant. They said, “Do just as you have said.” 6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quick! Knead three measures of fine flour and prepare bread loaves!” 7 Then to the herd Abraham ran and took a young ox, tender and good, and he gave it to the servant, who prepared it quickly. 8 Then he took butter and milk and the young ox that he had prepared and set it before them. While he was standing by them under the tree, they ate.

There is an abundance of lessons we can learn from this text but for this article, I would like to focus on only three. These three lessons are not in order of importance nor in the order, they take place in the text.

First:

What jumped out of the text, when I read it, was the last two words above, “they ate.” Think about this for a moment the Creator of the Universe is an immortal being that doesn’t need to eat earthly food to sustain Himself. Yet He has eaten. He did something He didn’t need to do simply because Abraham loved Him, and He loved Abraham. Abraham invited His G-D to lunch and to honor this gift from the heart G-D allowed Abraham to serve Him. It makes me wonder how many times in my life someone wanted to bless me in some way, and I refused because “I didn’t have a need.” How many times have I robbed someone of the blessing of service, because I was more concerned with what I needed or didn’t need, instead of honoring their need to serve?

Second:

Abraham served the best he could offer. He personally picked out a young and tender ox to be prepared. He didn’t just offer that old ox that was about to die anyway. Then he served, notice he stood, and they ate. He gave without needing to receive anything himself.

Third:

I believe this is a very important key when Abraham saw G-D approaching the first thing he asked of G-D was: “Have I found favor (grace) in Your eyes?” Abraham’s didn’t come running to G-D with a list of requests, He didn’t run up to G-D proclaiming all of the blessings and wealth he had amassed. His only thought was “Have I found Favor in Your Eyes?”

The more I thought about these verses and this experience the more I realized that the truth was that every day we have the same opportunity as Abraham. If we want to find favor in G-D eyes we only have to remember what Yeshua (Jesus) said in Matthew 25:40:

40 “And answering, the King will say to them,‘Amen, I tell you, whatever you did to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’”

About the Author
Rabbi Eric Tokajer

Rabbi Eric Tokajer

He is Rabbi of Brit Ahm in Pensacola, FL and author of "Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians", "#ManWisdom", "With Me in Paradise", "Transient Singularity", and "OY! How Did I Get Here? - Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry".

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