Hayyei Sarah
For the week of November 10, 2001 / 24 Heshvan 5762
Torah: Bereshit / Genesis 23:1 - 25:18
Haftarah: 1 Melachim / 1 Kings 1:1-31

God's Will Be Done

My lord the king, did you not swear to me your servant: "Surely Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne"? Why then has Adonijah become king? (1 Melachim / 1 Kings 1:13).

We all know that things don't always go the way we expect. Sometimes our expectations are reasonable, and sometimes they are not. Our most reasonable expectations are those based on something reliable.

At our home I try very hard (not always successfully) to only promise my family things that I will actually do. I don't like giving my children expectations, only to disappoint them later. I want my kids to know that when I give them my word (whether I literally say, "I promise" or not), that they can fully expect what I told them will happen.

Of course no matter how good my intentions are, various kinds of obstacles can get in the way, preventing my intentions from coming to pass. Depending on how committed I am to what I say, I may or may not seek to overcome those obstacles. But if I were both fully committed to my word and all powerful, then no obstacle in the world could ever prevent whatever I was determined to do to come to pass.

Unlike myself God is both true to his word and all powerful. No obstacles can thwart his will. It would be reasonable to deduce that everything should then work out exactly the way he says. And I believe that at some level - one that we are not aware of - it does. But from our perspective, it doesn't seem to work that way. In fact, from our perspective, at times things appear to be not going God's way at all.

You may be wondering what this has to do with this week's Haftarah. King David was nearing the end of his life. His wishes were that Solomon would succeed him as king, but that's not what was happening. Contrary to David's wishes, one of his other sons, Adonijah, with the help of several others, including David's army commander, proclaimed himself as king.

Solomon's mother Bathsheba, and Nathan the prophet, knew that Solomon was David's (and God's) choice for the next king. They knew this was a bad situation - one that David never intended. So they did something about it. They went to the one who was able change the situation, David. David then took care of it, establishing Solomon as his successor.

The solution to the problem was not difficult, but it did require action on Bathsheba and Nathan's part.

This serves as an illustration of what our response should be when we see life's circumstances not going the way we believe God intends. Apart from our philosophical difficulties, this is exactly what the Messiah taught us to do when he told us to pray, "May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10).

Our need to pray that God's will be done, implies that his will is not always done. Just like David needed to be told about the situation regarding Adonijah and Solomon, so we need to pray to God about the situations we are encountering each day that are contrary to his wishes. I don't know why it works like this; it just does.

Is it possible then that there are things in our lives that are happening that shouldn't be? Is it possible that whole situations could be radically transformed if we would simply bring them to God's attention? Don't let our difficulty in understanding this get in the way of doing what Yeshua told us to do.

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