Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #16: B’shallach (After he had let go) Sh’mot (Exodus) 13:17-17:16
Haftarah: Shof’tim (Judges) 5:1-31
B’rit Chadashah: Revelation 15:1-4
The saga of the Exodus continues in this week’s parashah. Right away G-d’s omniscience is demonstrated when He chooses to lead the Israelites the “long way” to the land, knowing that if they were able to look back and see Egypt, would turn back due to their lack of trust in G-d with the possibility of war (Ex. 13:17-18).
Even after experiencing so many extraordinary events(miracles) early in their journey to G-d’s destiny for Israel, the people were feint of heart. As Pharaoh approached, the people immediately grumbled against Moshe, making statements that were untrue regarding their slavery in Egypt. In Ex. 14:12 we read “Didn’t we tell you in Egypt to let us alone, we’ll just go on being slaves for the Egyptians?” How quickly we forget!
In contrast, we read of Moshe’s confidence and trust in G-d that He would save them that very day, doing battle for them. Comparing this event to the one where Moshe strikes the rock twice, disobeying G-d’s instructions which cost him a trip to the Land, we learn that no one, not even G-d’s people are perfect. It is much easier to judge the events and people in G-d’s Torah in the comfort of our homes and relative freedoms that we enjoy, at least for now. For many in the United States, we only need turn on a faucet for water and make a weekly trip to the grocery store for food. But life was not so easy in biblical times. In the context of the Exodus, the people had to make choices that contradicted human nature and instinct. They left a familiar albeit horrible environment of slavery, slaughtered a young lamb or goat , ate it according to G-d’s instructions, spread the blood on the lentils of their doors to protect them from the plague of death of the firstborn, literally ate and ran out of Egypt, and then walked on dry land as the Sea of Suf was separated and “held” on each side by the hand of G-d as the Israelites crossed safely. They witnessed the destruction of the Egyptian army and were then led through the desert by a cloud and a column of fire by day and night respectively. So, we must take care to consider how we might have felt had we been the ones going through this phase of redemption and deliverance from sin; Egyptian paradigm in this case.
The attitude of the people changed at least for a short time after they crossed the sea, singing the song of Moshe (Ex. 15:19) with Miryam singing with the women as they danced (Ex. 15:21).
The next phase in the deliverance of G-d’s people is one which repeated reading, internalizing and striving to consistently apply to our lives. Exodus 15:25-6 reads “There Adonai made laws and rules of life for them, and there he tested them. He said,” If you will listen intently to the voice of Adonai your G-d, do what he considers right, pay attention to his mitzvot and observe his laws, I will not afflict you with any of the diseases I brought to the Egyptians; because I am Adonai your healer.”
Today we know that the majority of people have been taught in Christianity that G-d’s laws were abrogated on the execution stake, meaning they no longer apply to mankind. They are taught that all sins, past, present, and future have already been forgiven and there is no danger of “losing” salvation. This is a critically erroneous teaching and attitude that will cost those who subscribe to it their souls. Recall that Yahshua told us that the road to destruction is broad, and many will enter through it and that small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matt.7:13-14). Further support that loving obedience to G-d’s laws, commands, and rulings are required of all whose names will be written in G-d’s Book of Life is found throughout the Old and “New” Testaments, including the Book of Revelation.
One example alluding to the fact that our spiritual growth is based on our loving obedience to G-d’s instructions is found in Exodus 16:4 where “Adonai said to Moshe, ‘ Here, I will cause bread to rain down from heaven for you. The people are to go out and gather a day’s ration every day. By this I will test whether they will observe my Torah or not.” This is an example of a statement with multiple meanings. G-d’s Word is the Bread of Life. Like the man that was to be gathered daily, we are admonished to hear, internalize, and act upon G-d’s Word daily (see Deut. 6:4-11; John 6:25-59). Unfortunately, the peoples lack of trust and faith that G-d would provide man every day prompted them to hoard the leftovers from the previous day. G-d remedied their disobedience by causing worms and rot to destroy the leftovers (Ex. 16:19). Similarly, we are not to hoard our blessings, G-d’s provision in our lives. We are to use what we need, then share with others so that there is no excess or shortage; that there is no rust, decay, loss of value (Matt. 6:19-33). I find it interesting that a parallel teaching is found in numerically the same chapter and verse in the Old and “New” Testaments!
Another conceptual parallel is found in Ex. 16:32 and Matt. 6:34 where G-d tells us not to worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” We are also told by Yahshua in Luke 12:22-26 that “Therefore, I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens; they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet G-d feeds them. The two quarts of man that Moshe was instructed to set aside before the testimony to be kept throughout all generations is symbolic of G-d’s promise to feed us and His promise to provide the Bread of Life, G-d’s Torah for all who choose to partake of it and become reconciled to G-d through Yahshua’s sacrifice.
An interesting side note concerning the man, subsequently used to symbolize the Bread of Life is the fact that anyone considered a true believer in G-d’s eyes must partake of the Bread of Life(lovingly following G-d’s laws, commands, and rulings).All who choose to reject G-d’s Word for apostate religion identified in Revelation 17 as Protestant and Christian systems are described in Isaiah 4:1 concerning the End of Days. We are told “On that day, seven women will grab hold of one man and say, ‘We will supply our own food and wear our own clothes. Just let us bear your name; take away our disgrace.’” This statement tells us that in the End of Days there will be people who will attempt to identify themselves as G-d’s people, but who do not follow G-d’s Torah; do not partake of the Bread of Life. They are counterfeit believers of whom G-d says to them including many prophets and teachers when compared to the definition of a true believer in G-d’s Torah, (John 14, Rom. 1-3; Seven-fold witness in Revelation) “Many will say to me on that day, ‘L-rd, L-rd, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and, in your name, perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me you evildoers!” (Matt. 7:22-9).
So we can learn much more about the consistency of G-d’s Torah by researching additional scriptures relating to subjects and concepts found in the five books of Moshe comparing them to the B’rit Chadashah (Refreshed, renewed Covenant) man that was to be set aside through all generations, and the implications of that command.
Finally we are told in Ex. 17:114-15 “Adonai said to Moshe, “Write this in a book to be remembered and tell it to Y’hoshua: I will completely blot out any memory of ‘Amalek from under heaven.” Moshe built an altar, called it Adonai Nissi[Adonai is my banner/miracle], and said, “ because their hand was against the throne of Yah, Adonai will fight ‘Amalek generation after generation.”
We previously learned that Amalek still exists through Hamas and Hezbollah and that it has not been exterminated to date. Recall that Amalek is not one man. Rather it is a way of life; of evil and antinomianism against G-d and His people. We can say with confidence that Amalek will not be completely destroyed from under heaven until Irael is safe in the land and no longer has any enemies. We read in Deuteronomy 25:19 “Remember what ‘Amalek did to you on the road as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you by the road, attacked those in the rear, those who were exhausted and straggling behind you when you were tired and weary. He did not dear G-d. Therefore, when Adonai your G-d has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies in the land Adonai your G-d is giving you as your inheritance to possess, you are to blot out all memory of ‘Amalek from under heaven. Don’t forget!” This final battle is yet to come, and Israel (true believers) will be the victor! Amein!
Haftarah: Shof’tim (Judges) 5:1-31
This narrative described the victory of the Israelites led by Devorah who was a judge of Israel. She took the lead in this battle when Barak, the son of Avino’am informed her that he would not go to battle unless she went. D’vorah reminded him that he would not receive the glory because G-d would hand Sisra, who was the captain of the army of the Canaanite King Yavin who oppressed Israel for 20 years “over to a woman.” Obviously, Barak respected D’vorah and relinquished all glory for a victory to her. However, she and Barak gave all praise to Adonai, where all praise truly belongs.
Similar to the crossing of the Sea of Suf by the Israelites described in our parashah, G-d caused the chariots to bog down while pursuing the Israelites and destroyed the entire army, in complete panic (Jd. 4:7,16). The difference is that this time the Israelites are fighting, and the battle is taking place inside the Land of Promise, and the victory song is led by D’vorah and Barak.
B’rit Chadashah: Revelation 15:1-4
In this narrative, seven angels sing the song of Moshe, the servant of G-d, and the song of the Lamb included in this week’s parashah. G-d is identified as the one true G-d “For you alone are holy.” Like the justice G-d exacted on Pharaoh and the Egyptian army, we read that “Adonai, G-d of heaven’s armies! Just and true are your ways, king of the nations.” The truth of reliable information we are given in G-d’s Torah about His character flies in the face of those who teach a description of G-d as “all love.” The fact that the Bible describes His wrath numerous scriptures including Ex. 15:7-10; Deut. 6:15; Rom. 1:18-19; Joel 2:10-11; Zeph 1:15, 18;2:2-3; Rev. 6:12-17 Rev. 11:18; Rev. 16:8-9; 19:15-16; Col. 3:6 to name a few, defies the idea that G-d has only a single attribute of love.
It is extremely important for those who hope to be included as the Bride of Yahshua described in Revelation who is not the Church as mistranslated in several versions of the Bible, do not cling to the false idea that G-d is all love and that He will not send anyone to Hell. We must get our facts straight, reconcile ourselves to G-d through Yahshua’s sacrifice and follow His path to redemption and an eternity with Him. This necessarily includes lovingly following G-d’s Torah/instructions/commands once we have “crossed the sea” from “Egyptian” slavery and taking on the yoke of G-d which is “easy and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30). It can and must be done while it is still day(John 9:4).
R. Tamah Davis-Hart