Vayera (He Appeared)
The Rewards and Challenges of Listening
The journey to Canaan taught Abram and Sara much about listening. They have learned so much that their names have been changed. What has been added to each of their names? It is the Hebrew letter hey, which is a picture of breath and authority. HaShem’s voice has now become a part of them. Is it all just fun and games from here? Absolutely not, though the rewards will definitely overcome the challenges.
Imagine Abraham there in front of his tent by the oaks of Mamre. Maybe he was engaging in a bit of afternoon daydreaming about where he had come from. He is suddenly startled out of his daydream by three men standing in front of him. As they greeted one another Abraham caught something. The voice of one of these men was a voice he had heard before. It was the voice of the Creator, but now it was coming from a man standing in front of him. No wonder he was hurried in the dinner plans. Can you imagine his face when he ran into the tent and told Sarah, “You won’t believe who is coming to dinner tonight!”
Abraham has come a long way from listening to the inaudible voice become audible. That growth of listening will now put him in line to listen and act on greater instructions. You know, things like “I need someone to intercede for their nephew who has made all the wrong decisions.”
The listening will come with wonders and miracles like, “You just thought you were too old to have children!” The listening would also cause him to hear something he never dreamed of when he was told to sacrifice his son on an altar on Mt. Moriah. It was not the listening that day that would determine his future, but rather his trained response to the words he heard.
Stop for a moment and put yourself in the shoes of Abraham. When he hears HaShem call his name his response is, “Here I am.” In Hebrew it is the word “hineni.” Before we go further, consider how we respond to the sound of our name from a spouse, child, parent or friend. We normally say something like “What do you want” or another conditional response. Abraham’s response, the word “hineni,” is much different. It is more like, “I am here and whatever you need or ask the answer is already yes.”
Abraham did not think to question what he heard, because hineni is never linked to questioning, just yes and obedience. Let’s pull this week and last together. I would imagine we are all in agreement that our desire is for and to listen to HaShem’s voice better. We desire the inaudible to become audible at times. We may even go so far as to say we would like to hear that voice as clear as if it were manifested in front of us. The question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we willing to listen with the attitude of hineni?” Have we grown past putting conditions to the voice? Abraham gives us a great example and footsteps to follow. Since it is revealed to us that he was just a man with issues and failures it kind of takes our excuses away for not trying. (Click to Source)