The Parashah this week is called Vayeira which means "And He appeared" which refers to the appearance of HaShem to Abraham while he was sitting at the entrance of his tent in the heat of the day. Actually, three men appeared to him, but the Rabbis insist that they were angels in the form of mere men. Abraham immediately instructed his servants to prepare a feast of a roasted calf for his guests while he entertained them and gave them cheese to eat. This in itself counters the traditional Rabbinic injunction not to eat dairy and meat together; after all, if Abraham could serve this combination to angels, certainly it is okay for mere mortals! Oh well, that's another lesson not for today.
One of these messengers told Abraham that his wife Sarah would have a child within the year. Sarah, listening at the tent, laughed! But the birth of a promised son was not the actual reason for their coming. it was to warn Abraham of the soon destruction of Sodom, the city wherein dwelt his nephew, Lot. Abraham negotiated with them until it was agreed that for the sake of only ten men, the city would be spared. Alas, even these were not to be found. But the really important verse in the parashah is one that is easily overlooked. Genesis 18:33 declares, "As soon as He had finished speaking to Abraham HaShem departed, and Abraham returned to his place." While living in Israel, I was often confronted by Orthodox Jews who had a really hard time with the issue of the divinity of Y'shua. Yes, they admitted He could be the Messiah, but that He was in no way divine. They postured that to believe so was to create another G-d. This one verse from Vayeira was part of my answer.
If HaShem could appear to Abraham as a man; if He could wrestle with Jacob in a dream as a man, why then, I ask, could He not appear to an entire generation as the Man, Y'shua? None had an answer, but none were convinced yet either. Please keep praying!
After the birth of Isaac, life in the camp was not all it should have been. Abraham's two sons were always fighting each other; this was a sign of generations to come, still at war to this very day. But, Sarah had enough and insisted that Hagar and Ishmael be cast out of the camp. And so they left. But HaShem found them in the desert and the Angel of the L-rd saved them from death and promised to make of him a great nation.
But, later in the text, we read of another greater test. In chapter 22, HaShem tested Abraham once again. "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you." You see, Abraham, once again had to trust G-d to lead him in the way he should go. And, once again, our hero passed the test. Notice too that G-d tells Abraham to sacrifice his son, his only son. But, you say, Abraham had two sons. Yes, but G-d only deals with what is of Him, not what we do on our own. He had given Abraham Isaac and it was what G-d had given that He required be returned to Himself. In verse 8 Abraham prophesied of the coming Messiah. He declared that G-d will prepare for Himself a lamb. In the thicket, they found not a lamb, but a ram; the lamb was yet to come in over a thousand years as the One who would remove our sin forever.