Ohr Hachayim Genesis: Vayera
Playing with Predestination
“Our character…is an omen of our destiny, and the more integrity we have and keep, the simpler and nobler that destiny is likely to be.”
-George Santayana (1863 – 1952)
The people of ancient Sodom were reportedly a highly unsavory crew. God, despite Abraham’s pleas, decides to literally wipe the city off the map. One man and his family however, are destined to be saved. Lot, nephew of Abraham, is the only half-decent man in the entire metropolis. His wife and two unmarried daughters are absconded out of the city by an angelic task force.
However, according to the Ohr Hachayim (Genesis 19:1) Lot was not necessarily deserving of the destined salvation. He claims that the first purpose of the angels’ visit to Sodom was to create a merit, a reason, a justification for Lot to be rescued from the impending doom. Lot does achieve that merit, by graciously hosting the visiting angels. By offering his hospitality in an inhospitable city, by showing kindness where cruelty surrounded him, Lot earned deliverance. If Lot had not lived up to this Abrahamic heritage, he would not have survived Sodom. However, God first had to give Lot the opportunity, the chance to perform this good, even heroic deed in order to save himself.
Lot grabbed the chance God gave him with both hands and thereby merited salvation and the destiny in store for him. He had no way of knowing, of course, that his hospitality was a direct cause of the predestined rescue.
Destiny does await us and opportunities to achieve it surround us. May we realize the chances God gives us to do good, in order to reap the rewards.
To all the Alyn bikers, for their predestined and amazing completion of the ride. You are inspiring.