Chayei Sarah

Torah – Genesis 23:1-25:18 Haftarah – 1 Kings 1:1-31 Brit Chadashah – Matthew 1:1-17

Chayei Sarah (the life of Sarah) is a fairly short portion of Torah, but it contains some extremely important lessons. This year we are going to look at one small portion and draw out of it two lessons for you to consider as you study for yourself this great parasha (portion.)

Genesis 24:14-19, “Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your pitcher that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I will also give your camels a drink’–[let] her [be the one] You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And by this I will know that You have shown kindness to my master.” 15 And it happened, before he had finished speaking, that behold, Rebekah, who was born to Bethuel, son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, came out with her pitcher on her shoulder. 16 Now the young woman [was] very beautiful to behold, a virgin; no man had known her. And she went down to the well, filled her pitcher, and came up. 17 And the servant ran to meet her and said, “Please let me drink a little water from your pitcher.” 18 So she said, “Drink, my lord.” Then she quickly let her pitcher down to her hand, and gave him a drink. 19 And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw [water] for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” (NKJV)

First, notice in verse 14 the prayer that the servant offers up. The sign included that the girl would give him a drink and give drinks to his camels. I bring this up to point out that G-d did not answer him exactly the way he prayed. Because he was seeking His will and because this indeed was the woman G-d had chosen that the woman responded above and beyond the request. She did not just give the camels drink, but she went well beyond. She offered, and HURRIED to give the camels enough to satisfy their desire to drink.

It would have been enough and technically an answer to prayer if she gave the servant water and then put out some water for the thirsty animals. But again she went above and beyond on this one.

Have you ever thought to consider how much water that had to have been? According to National Geographic, a thirsty camel can drink 30 (thirty) gallons of water in as short a time period as 13 minutes! That’s a lot of water! But we are not talking about a single camel, Scripture tells us the servant had ten camels with him. That is quite possibly 300 (three hundred) gallons of water! No wonder she hurried!

Let’s do a little more math here. Water weighs approximately 8.3 pounds per gallon. If the girl had a five gallon container, it would have weighed 41.5 pounds! Are you seeing where I’m going with this? She would have had to run to the well and draw out about forty-one and a half pounds of water up to sixty times! It would have taken sixty trips to provide the 300 gallons of water weighing a total of 2,490 pounds!!!

This is extraordinary to say the least. I wonder how many of us would be willing to go through so much trouble to meet the needs of a single stranger and his animals. I especially wonder if we would do it even if we had no idea that there would be any immediate blessing attached to our act of kindness. I further wonder if we would be so inclined if we would do so with enthusiasm so that others would look at us and say that we were quick to perform such an act of kindness?

How much of yourself are you willing to give for the Kingdom of G-d without expectation of some tangible, immediate return? Are you willing to give all to the Messiah Yeshua? Will you do so quickly and whole-heartedly? Let us all examine our hearts this Shabbat and coming week of study. Shalom!