Shemot

Shemot

Names

Exodus 1:1-6:1
Isaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23 (A);
Jeremiah 1:2-3 (S)

“God’s Promises Require Faithful Deliverers”


by Mark Huey

We begin our Torah reading this week, by turning to the second book of the Pentateuch. The English title Exodus is derived from the Septuagint label of Exodos, which thematically communicates the overall message of Ancient Israel’s deliverance from, and transference out of, Egypt. The traditional Hebrew title, taken from Exodus 1:1, is Shemot, as this text begins with a listing of the Twelve Tribes of Israel that constituted the fledgling nation. However, beyond simply naming the descendant tribes of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the theme of the entire Book of Exodus is a sure record of how God fulfilled His promise to Abram to deliver his progeny from a foreign land by judging the oppressive nation of Egypt, after a long period of exile from the Promised Land:

“Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, terror and great darkness fell upon him. God said to Abram, ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with many possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you will be buried at a good old age. Then in the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete’” (Genesis 15:12-16).

Abraham’s God was bound by His promises to restore His people to the territory He promised them. But, as is generally the case in His intervention in the affairs of humanity, He typically uses chosen individuals to accomplish His will. In our Torah reading for Shemot, the life of Moses and his initial interactions with the Almighty are described, as he was uniquely chosen to be the Lord’s instrument for leading Ancient Israel from the clutches of slavery to the Egyptian Pharaoh. Despite the magnitude of Moses’ unique accomplishments, on the Lord’s behalf, in His ongoing plan of salvation history—something that is seemingly beyond duplication—the Torah student should always recognize that God is constantly, throughout history, surveying humanity for those people who can be used for His Divine purposes. As the Psalmist informs us,

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance. The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men; from His dwelling place He looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth, He who fashions the hearts of them all, He who understands all their works. The king is not saved by a mighty army; a warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory; nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name. Let Your lovingkindness, O LORD, be upon us, according as we have hoped in You” (Psalm 33:12-22).

With this in mind, God’s pattern of choosing faithful men and women, to fulfill His promises, should inspire each of us as His children to faithfully and fearfully seek Him—knowing that in whatever capacity, large or small, He who fashions the heart has prepared good works (Ephesians 2:10) for each of us, which can serve as integral aspects of His plan for the ages. How humbling is it to know that the Creator God can use anyone He chooses? As recorded this week in Shemot, the testimony of Moses reveals a mere man who recognized that it was not him (Numbers 12:3), but rather the Holy One through him, achieving a great deliverance for His people.

As the parashah opens, naming the twelve tribal leaders, some significant time has passed since the death of Joseph—and because his influential works had been forgotten, coupled with the emergence of a blessed and fruitful Israel—the new Egyptian regime felt threatened by some of their own subjects. This led the reigning Pharaoh to impose harsher labor requirements on the Israelites, in order to keep them at bay, completing many of his construction projects:

Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt with Jacob; they came each one with his household: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. All the persons who came from the loins of Jacob were seventy in number, but Joseph was already in Egypt. Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation. But the sons of Israel were fruitful and increased greatly, and multiplied, and became exceedingly mighty, so that the land was filled with them. Now a new king arose over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, ‘Behold, the people of the sons of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal wisely with them, or else they will multiply and in the event of war, they will also join themselves to those who hate us, and fight against us and depart from the land.’ So they appointed taskmasters over them to afflict them with hard labor. And they built for Pharaoh storage cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out, so that they were in dread of the sons of Israel. The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously; and they made their lives bitter with hard labor in mortar and bricks and at all kinds of labor in the field, all their labors which they rigorously imposed on them” (Exodus 1:1-14).

Since the elders of Israel knew of the promises made by the Lord to Abraham regarding the period of oppression, which would come to a timely conclusion—rumors about the birth of a “deliverer” must have surfaced, to compel Pharaoh to put to death all of the newborn male children:

“Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other was named Puah; and he said, ‘When you are helping the Hebrew women to give birth and see them upon the birthstool, if it is a son, then you shall put him to death; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.’ But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt had commanded them, but let the boys live. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, ‘Why have you done this thing, and let the boys live?’ The midwives said to Pharaoh, ‘Because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous and give birth before the midwife can get to them.’ So God was good to the midwives, and the people multiplied, and became very mighty. Because the midwives feared God, He established households for them. Then Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, ‘Every son who is born you are to cast into the Nile, and every daughter you are to keep alive’” (Exodus 1:15-22).

This wicked decree by the king of Egypt obviously foreshadowed what would occur centuries later, when Herod the Great ordered a similar execution of infant males prior to the birth of Yeshua the Messiah (Matthew 2:16).

Here in Shemot, it is noted that the Hebrew midwives feared God, and hence by faith, disobeyed the edict and saved the lives of many children, including a son of Levi in Moses. Significant details about the birth, rescue, adoption, naming, and eventual altercation that led to Moses’ escape to avoid death, are recorded as our Torah portion continues:

Now a man from the house of Levi went and married a daughter of Levi. The woman conceived and bore a son; and when she saw that he was beautiful, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got him a wicker basket and covered it over with tar and pitch. Then she put the child into it and set it among the reeds by the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to find out what would happen to him. The daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe at the Nile, with her maidens walking alongside the Nile; and she saw the basket among the reeds and sent her maid, and she brought it to her. When she opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, ‘This is one of the Hebrews’ children.’ Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, ‘Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women that she may nurse the child for you?’ Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Go ahead.’ So the girl went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, ‘Take this child away and nurse him for me and I will give you your wages.’ So the woman took the child and nursed him. The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter and he became her son. And she named him Moses, and said, ‘Because I drew him out of the water.’ Now it came about in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brethren and looked on their hard labors; and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his brethren. So he looked this way and that, and when he saw there was no one around, he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. He went out the next day, and behold, two Hebrews were fighting with each other; and he said to the offender, ‘Why are you striking your companion?’ But he said, ‘Who made you a prince or a judge over us? Are you intending to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?’ Then Moses was afraid and said, ‘Surely the matter has become known.’ When Pharaoh heard of this matter, he tried to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the presence of Pharaoh and settled in the land of Midian, and he sat down by a well” (Exodus 2:1-15).

This unusual upbringing for Moses, likely created some conflicts in his heart, regardless of how much or how little Moses realized that he was a Hebrew, up until he slew the Egyptian. According to the author of Hebrews, by faith in the Holy One of Israel, it was in Moses’ heart to choose ill-treatment with the people of God, rather than partake in the passing pleasures of sin, as he reached a point where he refused to continue to be recognized as an Egyptian:

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the reproach of Messiah greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen” (Hebrews 11:24-27).

With this amplification of what was transpiring in the heart of Moses, one discovers the choice that every child of God must contend with on a moment-by-moment basis. By his example of faith in the Almighty—above the physical influences of riches, power, fame, and all of the attendant devices that vie for carnal consumption—God found a heart which was focused on Him, rather than personal gratification, when the time was right for His plan to take shape. When Moses left Egypt, he was drawn into a rather nomadic and isolated lifestyle, which lasted for some forty years in the Midian region, where he married a wife, had children, and became a shepherd:

“Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters; and they came to draw water and filled the troughs to water their father’s flock. Then the shepherds came and drove them away, but Moses stood up and helped them and watered their flock. When they came to Reuel their father, he said, ‘Why have you come back so soon today?’ So they said, ‘An Egyptian delivered us from the hand of the shepherds, and what is more, he even drew the water for us and watered the flock.’ He said to his daughters, ‘Where is he then? Why is it that you have left the man behind? Invite him to have something to eat.’ Moses was willing to dwell with the man, and he gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses. Then she gave birth to a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, ‘I have been a sojourner in a foreign land.’ Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them (Exodus 2:16-25).

As noted in due time, the cries of the Ancient Israelites for deliverance were finally heard. Because God remembered His promises and covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses’ previous forty years growing up in Egypt, and even murdering an Egyptian, coupled with forty years shepherding flocks—would now all be used to commission him for the deliverance task at hand. We might be reminded of how, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans (8:28).

At God’s appointed time, He revealed Himself to Moses in a very dramatic way. The experience of the burning bush, Moses standing on holy ground, and the amount of direct communication the Lord had with Moses—must have been quite incredible to consider. As is seen, Moses never considered himself a useful tool for the Lord’s work, and hence what is witnessed is a back and forth discussion, that Moses was totally incapable of doing anything in his own strength apart from God’s leading:

“Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. The angel of the LORD appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, ‘I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.’ When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.’ He said also, ‘I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. The LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite. Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. 1Therefore, come now, and I will send you to Pharaoh, so that you may bring My people, the sons of Israel, out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’ And He said, ‘Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain’” (Exodus 3:1-12).

Just the magnitude of the task described, was overwhelming to Moses, as he proceeded to question God. So, God took some time to fill in some of the details. God affirmed that He was ehyeh asher ehyeh, “I AM WHO I AM,” as He had every means to accomplish His will for the Israelites. The Lord then gave Moses some specifics about how the deliverance of His people was going to take place:

“Then Moses said to God, ‘Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you.” Now they may say to me, “What is His name?” What shall I say to them?’ God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”’ God, furthermore, said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, “The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, ‘I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt. So I said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, to a land flowing with milk and honey.’” They will pay heed to what you say; and you with the elders of Israel will come to the king of Egypt and you will say to him, “The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. So now, please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God.” But I know that the king of Egypt will not permit you to go, except under compulsion. So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go. I will grant this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you will not go empty-handed. But every woman shall ask of her neighbor and the woman who lives in her house, articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing; and you will put them on your sons and daughters. Thus you will plunder the Egyptians’” (Exodus 3:13-22).

Needless to say, after hearing some of the things that were to occur, Moses continued to doubt that he could possibly convince the Israelites that he had been chosen to be their human leader, and deliver them from their bondage in Egypt. So once again, the Lord mercifully filled in some of the gaps, by giving him three signs which would persuade the people that Moses had indeed been, not only in the presence of the Holy One, but chosen for this special assignment:

“Then Moses said, ‘What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, “The LORD has not appeared to you.”’ The LORD said to him, ‘What is that in your hand?’ And he said, ‘A staff.’ Then He said, ‘Throw it on the ground.’ So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. But the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail’—so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand—‘that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you.’ The LORD furthermore said to him, ‘Now put your hand into your bosom.’ So he put his hand into his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous like snow. Then He said, ‘Put your hand into your bosom again.’ So he put his hand into his bosom again, and when he took it out of his bosom, behold, it was restored like the rest of his flesh. If they will not believe you or heed the witness of the first sign, they may believe the witness of the last sign. But if they will not believe even these two signs or heed what you say, then you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water which you take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground.’ Then Moses said to the LORD, ‘Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.’ The LORD said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now then go, and I, even I, will be with your mouth, and teach you what you are to say.’ But he said, ‘Please, Lord, now send the message by whomever You will.’ Then the anger of the LORD burned against Moses, and He said, ‘Is there not your brother Aaron the Levite? I know that he speaks fluently. And moreover, behold, he is coming out to meet you; when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do. Moreover, he shall speak for you to the people; and he will be as a mouth for you and you will be as God to him. You shall take in your hand this staff, with which you shall perform the signs.’ Then Moses departed and returned to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, ‘Please, let me go, that I may return to my brethren who are in Egypt, and see if they are still alive.’ And Jethro said to Moses, ‘Go in peace.’ Now the LORD said to Moses in Midian, ‘Go back to Egypt, for all the men who were seeking your life are dead’” (Exodus 4:1-19).

However, despite watching the staff turn back and forth from being a serpent, to his hand turning white with leprosy—the inarticulate Moses was still concerned about how he was even going to communicate what he had seen and heard to the Israelites. The Lord resolved this apprehension with the mention that Moses’ older brother Aaron would be commissioned to work with him, as his speaker. At this point, the objections are overcome, and Moses went to his father-in-law Jethro, receiving his blessing, and then obeyed the command of the Lord to go back to Egypt.

On the way to Egypt with his wife Zipporah and two sons, Moses received an appropriate rebuke from his wife, because he had not followed the basic instruction from God to circumcise his two sons. In this revealing aside, the wisdom of a wife is highlighted, because Zipporah was most concerned about her two sons not having the sign of the covenant made with Abraham. In a dramatic fashion, she actually circumcised her sons while on the trip to Egypt, and cast the foreskins at the feet of Moses with the railing declaration that Moses was a “bridegroom of blood to me,” because the rite had not been performed. Husbands need to be very thankful for the wives they have been given by God, perhaps knowing that they can have significant limitations, and that their wives are leaders of the family along with them:

“So Moses took his wife and his sons and mounted them on a donkey, and returned to the land of Egypt. Moses also took the staff of God in his hand. The LORD said to Moses, ‘When you go back to Egypt see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders which I have put in your power; but I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I said to you, “Let My son go that he may serve Me”; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son, your firstborn.’”’ Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, ‘You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.’ So He let him alone. At that time she said, ‘You are a bridegroom of blood’—because of the circumcision. Now the LORD said to Aaron, ‘Go to meet Moses in the wilderness.’ So he went and met him at the mountain of God and kissed him. Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD with which He had sent him, and all the signs that He had commanded him to do. Then Moses and Aaron went and assembled all the elders of the sons of Israel; and Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken to Moses. He then performed the signs in the sight of the people. So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD was concerned about the sons of Israel and that He had seen their affliction, then they bowed low and worshiped” (Exodus 4:20-31).

While Moses and Zipporah were having their revealing encounter, the Lord spoke to Aaron, telling him to go into the wilderness to greet his brother. After Moses described to Aaron what he had been called to do by the Lord, the two of them assemble the elders of Israel, with Aaron now as his designated speaker. When the elders heard the words and saw the signs Moses performed, they believed that perhaps the Lord has heard their cries, and that the time of their deliverance was soon at hand. The choice of someone who had been away for forty years after growing up in Pharaoh’s palaces, and fleeing after murdering an Egyptian, is overcome—as they all worshipped the Lord, believing that this was His will for the deliverance of Israel.

The difficult part began as Moses and Aaron approached the Egyptian Pharaoh, with the demand of the Lord God they represent, to let His people go into the wilderness to celebrate a feast to Him. But a quick release was not granted. Instead, the request to a Pharaoh who believed he was a god, and who did not know or acknowledge the God of the Hebrews, was to send the Israelites back to their hard labor. In fact, because Pharaoh believed that the Israelites might have started to stir up a revolution of sorts, he made their daily work even tougher, by not supplying straw for their quota of bricks to be produced. Consequently, the troubles for Moses and Aaron, now burdened with the Israelites starting to complain about this great plan of deliverance going awry, were just commencing:

“And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness.”’ But Pharaoh said, ‘Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go.’ Then they said, ‘The God of the Hebrews has met with us. Please, let us go a three days’ journey into the wilderness that we may sacrifice to the LORD our God, otherwise He will fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.’ But the king of Egypt said to them, ‘Moses and Aaron, why do you draw the people away from their work? Get back to your labors!’ Again Pharaoh said, ‘Look, the people of the land are now many, and you would have them cease from their labors!’ So the same day Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters over the people and their foremen, saying, You are no longer to give the people straw to make brick as previously; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the quota of bricks which they were making previously, you shall impose on them; you are not to reduce any of it. Because they are lazy, therefore they cry out, “Let us go and sacrifice to our God.” Let the labor be heavier on the men, and let them work at it so that they will pay no attention to false words.’ So the taskmasters of the people and their foremen went out and spoke to the people, saying, ‘Thus says Pharaoh, “I am not going to give you any straw. You go and get straw for yourselves wherever you can find it, but none of your labor will be reduced.”’ So the people scattered through all the land of Egypt to gather stubble for straw. The taskmasters pressed them, saying, ‘Complete your work quota, your daily amount, just as when you had straw.’ Moreover, the foremen of the sons of Israel, whom Pharaoh’s taskmasters had set over them, were beaten and were asked, ‘Why have you not completed your required amount either yesterday or today in making brick as previously?’ Then the foremen of the sons of Israel came and cried out to Pharaoh, saying, ‘Why do you deal this way with your servants? There is no straw given to your servants, yet they keep saying to us, “Make bricks!” And behold, your servants are being beaten; but it is the fault of your own people.’ But he said, ‘You are lazy, very lazy; therefore you say, “Let us go and sacrifice to the LORD.” So go now and work; for you will be given no straw, yet you must deliver the quota of bricks.’ The foremen of the sons of Israel saw that they were in trouble because they were told, ‘You must not reduce your daily amount of bricks.’ When they left Pharaoh’s presence, they met Moses and Aaron as they were waiting for them. They said to them, ‘May the LORD look upon you and judge you, for you have made us odious in Pharaoh’s sight and in the sight of his servants, to put a sword in their hand to kill us.’ Then Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘O Lord, why have You brought harm to this people? Why did You ever send me? Ever since I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your name, he has done harm to this people, and You have not delivered Your people at all’” (Exodus 5:1-23).

The great lesson which is going to be taught in the coming weeks as the Book of Exodus continues, is that freedom from the bondage of slavery—and/or by extension being freed or delivered from the bondage of sin—never comes without a struggle. Whether on a physical plane or a spiritual plane, the Lord will use the challenges, trials, tests, discouragements, and triumphs of life to mold people for His specific use and tasks in the world. In the coming weeks this will become more and more evident, and for the purposes of God today, hopefully used in the lives of contemporary Messianic Believers to persevere through all of the challenges of life.

Finally, our Torah reading concludes with a promise from the Lord to Moses, that the Pharaoh will eventually let His people go:

Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh; for under compulsion he will let them go, and under compulsion he will drive them out of his land’” (Exodus 6:1).

It is not going to be a pleasant exercise for Pharaoh and the Egyptians, as the ten plagues or judgments upon them are going to decimate and humiliate this great, Ancient Near Eastern power. But is this not what was promised centuries earlier to Abram by the Lord? Hopefully, by reading and meditating upon this week’s Torah portion, there will be some spiritual benefits to those today, who are turning to the Torah to learn about their spiritual inheritance. These are instructions written for the admonitions of Messiah followers, as they learn to handle the circumstances of human life:

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:11-13).

The Torah has been recorded and preserved by His grace, in order that those reading it today—who are closer to the culmination of the ages—will decisively grow in their walks with Yeshua the Messiah. After all, “God is faithful” to fulfill His promises to His people. The question is whether each of us will have the faith required to walk into His promises, and their resultant blessings. May we each take our personal responsibility to be faithful servants to heart, and by His grace continue to advance His Kingdom!


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