PARASHA: “B'shalach” (when he let go)
EXODUS 13:17-17:16......................JUDGES 4:4-5:31......................MATT 26:1-75
…..We are coming down to the “show down” where Pharaoh gets his just desserts, and gets what he deserves for defying the God of Israel, going back on his word to “let Israel go”, you can not persue Israel without getting hurt, and Pharaoh and his army got to drink bitter waters, went off the “deep end” received a very fatal “water baptism”.
…..We might wonder how many Israelites left Egypt, probably about 2 million, plus those Egyptians that “saw the light” plus the sheep and cattle, it was a huge people group that headed eastward across the Sinai peninsula
and then headed south after reaching “Migdol” (an Egyptian army base, where weapons were stored).
…..We are told...”and it was told the King of Egypt that the people were fled”...14:5. What? Didn't he already know that? Of course he did, he let them go! It was probably a team of scouts that were sent out to track down the Israelites to see where they were going, and they gave their report back to Pharaoh. Now this took place a few days later, now Pharaoh is sorry he let them go. What? Didn't he remember the plagues? Some people never learn, they love misery. Now Pharaoh musters together his entire army! Another mistake, never send out your entire armed forces, always leave behind reserve units. But Pharaoh was not a wise general. This probably took another few days, thus giving Israel about a week's head start, it would take quite a few days for about 2 million people to cross the Sinai peninsula.
…..The name “Elohim” and “YHVH” are both used in this Parasha, “Elohim” is used in the beginning of this parasha, in Chap 13:17 meaning the “Strong, powerful God” yet the name YHVH later on, shows the personal name, (coming from “Havayah” meaning “to exist”) shows the personal relationship as “Adonai” which we also say when reading YHVH, anytime the word LORD is used in scripture, it is the name YHVH.
…..YHVH takes them across the Sinai peninsula to thus entice the Egyptians, to utterly finish destroying them thus ends the powerful rule of Egypt, Egypt never recovered from that defeat, it formed another army years later, but it never had the power it once had with Rameses, Thutmose, Narner, and other pharaohs of the past dynasties.
…..When the Israelites get to the beach, they get ready to cross, in Hebrew it is known as “Yam Suf” in English, it is known as “Nuweba Beach” it is a tourist resort today in Egypt's Sinai peninsula. We see that YHVH goes behind the Israelites to protect them, in the form of darkness to the Egyptians, yet light to the Israelites. To us as believers, Yeshua is our light, for us to follow, but to Satan, Yeshua is the conquering king, without the light of Yeshua, without the light of the Torah, we live in darkness, spiritual darkness.
…..Now YHVH tells Moshe to “lift up your rod and your hand” and cause the sea to part, and it did, divide in two, we read that Israel crossed on “dry land” what with a strong wind to dry up the sea bottom, today this area is known as the “Gulf of Aqaba” they crossed a small stretch of sea bottom, about 10 miles across, to get to the land of Midian, now known as Saudi Arabia, if you go to Google earth, and look up “Nuweba Beach” you can see the area that the Israelites crossed over at.
…..Then, YHVH gives the order to Moshe to raise his hand over the water again, and the waters closed up again and drowned the Egyptian army, the army was half-way across, We see something in the words, “hand” (Yad) and “rod” (Matah) that make us think. The “rod” is a symbol of authority, of rulership. The “hand” is a symbol of “power and strength” the Torah speaks of YHVH reveling his “Holy Arm” the “arm is connected to the hand” the ancient Hebrew symbol of the “Yod” is the extended “arm and hand” so we can see the message here, “Moshe” is the authority as he shows his leadership by raising his rod, and his hand opens and closes the sea, thus demonstrating his strength and power, but of course, it is not HIS, it is GOD's leadership and strength, being revealed THROUGH Moshe.
…..When the people follow Moshe, it is as if they are following GOD, trusting in his leadership and strength. When we receive Yeshua as Messiah, we trust in HIM as our leader and our strength, and we follow HIM through his WORD, yet many hope that Yeshua will follow THEM! (not going to happen) .
…..Today, you can see on YouTube what is left of the Egyptian chariots at the bottom of the Gulf of Aqaba, they are coral formations that look like mushrooms, probably the axle and wheels of the chariots, look up, “The real Exodus Crossing”
…..When we look at all this from a moral and spiritual insight (derash) We have been rescued from HaSatan, by our Leader, who is strong, whose “hand” struck the death blow to Satan, whose “hands” bore the nails of Calvary's cross, and who leads us to a new life, we have been “kadoshed” (set apart) to follow HIM for all of our days, (Should we choose to) of course it is a choice, but the “good Shepherd always “looks back” for his lost or misguided sheep, to lead them back to the fold.
…..We see other events that show God's protection and provision for his people, in verses 22-27 we see the “bitter waters made sweet” Moshe threw into the water “a tree” probably cut it down and threw it in, the waters were made sweet, the Torah is also called , “The TREE of LIFE” (Etz Chaim) that changes our bitterness to sweetness, from sorrow to happiness, from lost to saved.
…..In chapter 16, the provision of “Manaa” in the desert “Bread from Heaven” (Lechem b'Shemayim) anther provision from YHVH, It symbolizes “Yeshua the Bread of Life” and in chap 17, “Water from the Rock” this rock is there today in the Saudi Arabian desert very close to Mt. Sinai, it seems to be about 50 feet tall and has a crack down the middle. Go to “google images” and click on “The water rock at Horeb” Moshe was told to “strike the rock” and he did with his staff/rod” and out flowed water so that the congregation and the livestock could drink. This symbolizes “Yeshua the Solid Rock” (Yeshua HaTzur) and Yeshua who is the Living water. (Yeshua Mayim Chayim). It also symbolizes that Yeshua was “struck ONLY ONCE for our sins at Calvary, ONLY ONCE meaning “nailed to the cross and died one time” and when Moshe got mad later on and struck the rock again, he was punished by God and couldn't enter the promised land, since he “misrepresented” who God is,
…..In this reading, we read about Devorah and Jael, two women of God who played an important role in Israel's history. We read about many “men of God” but very few “women of God” but they are out there, and today, we have many women who are used mightily by God in ministry. Through Deborah and Jael, Sisera and his army was vanquished, just as Moshe was an example as leader, Deborah was also a leader, and Jael, whose name in Hebrew “Yah-El” means “El (God) is YHVH (Yah) “his Holy Arm revealed”
…..If you are a woman and reading this Parasha, never say “because I am a woman, God can not use me” Yes he can, there are ministries for women, mostly , women ministering to other women, reaching out to those who have been abused in marriages, victims of rape, assault, homeless women, etc. YOU my sister, have a place in ministry. Venture out and discover what it is, just be available.
…..This chapter deals with Yeshua's final days with his talmidim on earth, His anointing by the generous woman who poured the “nard” perfume on him, the betrayal by “Y'hudah Ish kariot” (Judas, the man from the region of kariot) in every group of disciples, there are always a few who are “fakers” We have the final “Pesach” dinner with his disciples, and Kefa's denial,
…..But there is a lot we can learn from this, Peter denied knowing Yeshua, out of fear, but Judas openly rejected him by identifying him by a kiss on the cheek. Both sins forgivable, the only difference is that Peter confessed and received forgiveness, while Judas felt remorse, but did not cry out for forgiveness, but went out and committed suicide. There is sin that leads to remorse and a “feeling sorry for one self” and sin that leads to remorse, and from remorse to confession, and from confession to forgiveness, and from forgiveness to restored fellowship. How many readers out there have chosen the later? We are all sinners, and have fell short of the glory of God, but confession of sins, and receiving forgiveness is something only you can do, I can not do it for you. Yeshua receives ALL who come to him, no matter how bad or evil you have been, nor what you have done, no sin is beyond forgiveness. Just ask, and turn from your sin, and forgiveness and restoration is yours.
Rabbi Ben Avraham...........shabbat Shalom (reaching the big 6-3) on 2/9/17