Wednesday, January 23, 2013



Shemot (Exodus) 13:17 - 17:16

This weeks sidra is title BeShalach and its meaning is "When he let go." The sidra begins "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’" This was it, Israel’s time of liberation. They are now on their way to establishing the nation that was promised to Abraham so many years prior. But not without one last conflict with Pharaoh.

As the Israelites are encamped at the Red Sea, Pharaoh and the Egyptian army are discovered by the Israelites in their pursuit. The children of Israel, for good reason, are in fear for their lives as the Egyptian army draw nearer with what must have seemed with every breath. As the Israelites cry out to Moses in question of why he had brought them out to the desert to die, Moses was pleading with HaShem to save them. The emotions of this situation must have been intense. Moses attempts to rally the courage of the Israelites in Exodus 14:13-14 by stating, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Up to this point Moses had been the conduit between HaShem and Pharaoh regarding the plagues and miracles that HaShem had performed to bring Israel to this point in their journey. With this in mind, it is understandable why Moses spoke with confidence in HaShem’s deliverance as he gives this advice and encouragement to his brothers. We will see from this point on and over the next forty years in Israel’s journey that HaShem will indeed provide for the needs and protection of His children but it will no longer be without any effort on their part, but will need to be mixed with action out of faith and trust. After Moses’s words of encouragement HaShem has something a little different to say to encourage Israel in their situation in V. 15 "Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.’" How many times have we gotten this same message during our times of seeking HaShem to save, or to provide for, or to guide us. We can only hope this is the message that we get rather than not being able to hear His voice at all. This situation seemed hopeless to the children of Israel, a wall of water in front of them and their oppressors approaching behind them. Where are they to go? Where are we to go when faced with our own crossing of the Sea. HaShem tells His children, at least those that are able to hear His voice, "There is no crying when you are walking with Me, you need to continue to move with me in faith and trust where I lead you." That’s what I hear from this anyway. Sometimes it seems we have gone as far as we can possibly go, and there seems to be nowhere else for us to turn except back to that which held us in bondage. And if we have not sanctified ourselves to hear HaShems voice and there is no Prophet such as Moses there to tell us, "HaShem says to move on", we may find ourselves in a very tough, life challenging event. This one verse tells me that sometimes when we are waiting on the Lord, we probably could have been moving already. As we know from this point that the Israelites make it to the other side of the Sea and the entire Egyptian army is drowned. The following verses speak of Israel celebrating the death of their oppressors. The song of Moses and Miriam and Miriam leading the women with tambourines and singing and dancing would show the great joy Israel had in their deliverance. The Sages teach that during this time of celebration HaShem was grieving the death of the Egyptians.

From this point Moses leads Israel for three days through the desert with no water. They reached Marah and there the water was bitter. HaShem shows Moses a tree and Moses throws the tree into the water and the water becomes sweet and good to drink. After this HaShem begins to teach Israel the benefits of keeping His commandments.

The nation continues their journey to Elim where there are seventy palm trees and good water, and from there they travel to the desert of Sin. The children of Israel begin to complain about having no food so HaShem provides for them Manna by morning and quail in the evening. Through HaShem’s providing the manna for His children, He uses this as an opportunity to begin to teach about the Sabbath. Exodus 16:26 says concerning the manna, Six days you are to gather it, but on the seventh day, the Sabbath, there will not be any." After this the Israelites continue their travels and once again find themselves in need for water. At Horeb, HaShem directs Moses to strike the rock from which water flowed for the nation.

Israel now begins their long feud with the Amalekites. The Amalekites begin to attack Israel from the rear and mostly take advantage of the elderly and the sick by doing so. Joshua is put in charge of the army to go to war against the Amalekites. As Joshua is in battle, Moses, Aaron and Hur go to the top of the Hill to observe the battle. As we look at the men in this battle story there are some fine points that can’t be ignored. First, what is the importance of Moses, Aaron and Hur being on the hill and what it is that they are doing. We have a picture of Moses as Prophet, Aaron as Priest and Hur, coming from the tribe of Judah, a picture of a King. This portion tells us that when Moses’ hands are lifted Israel is winning the battle and when his hands drop they are loosing. This can possibly be a picture of Moses in prayer and interceding for Israel while in battle. Moses, as prophet and intercesor, is the first role introduced to us in the Torah as in relation to Yeshua’s functions relating to us a Prophet. Hebrews 1:1-2 says about Yeshua, "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his son-" Aaron in his role as Priest was the second role introduced to us in the Torah as in relation to Yeshua’s functions relating to us a Priest. Hebrews 5:1-10 describes how after Yeshua’s ascension He began to fulfill the roll as High Priest of our confession. Hur being a representative of the tribe of Judah from which Kings come from, is the third role introduced to us by way of King David as in relation to Yeshua’s functions relating to us as King. We cant forget about Joshua, whose name is a derivative of Yeshua, functioned as a warrior king to lead Israel into the Promised land. At Yeshua's second coming He will come as a ruling King to bring us into the millennial kingdom (the Promised Land) for believers. It seems that the Torah is trying to teach something about the Messiah in this short story dealing with the Amalekites.

Trying to identify the pictures of Messiah in the Torah should be taken seriously and diligently every time we study. In John 5:46-47 Yeshua says, "If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?" Those that know the Torah but do not know Yeshua are unable to recognize or identify Yehsua in the Torah. Those that are blessed enough to have had HaShem introduce both Torah and Yeshua to them, it is their responsibility to recognize His voice and identify Yeshua in the Torah in order to fully teach what Moses wrote so they may also believe what Yeshua says.

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