Torah Portion: Bo(Come)Ex./Sh’mot 10:1-13:16
Haftorah Reading: Jeremiah 46:13-28
Today we study another important Torah portion. I want us to search out what it has to say to us and how we live our lives. This portion is so much more than a history lesson on how the Israelites were set free from Egypt by the hand of G-d.
To begin let’s look at Exodus 13:8. In this verse Moshe sets out the beginning of responsibility for us as parents and grandparents. Moshe said, “And you shall explain to your child on that day, ‘It is because of what the L-rd did for me when I went free from Egypt.’”
The people of Israel, after years as slaves to Pharaoh, were about to be set free. Think about that for a moment. Neither they nor their parents, nor their grandparents had been free. How were they to act? Who would feed them? How would they live?
This story should remind us of the time we were set free from the slavery of sin. How did that decision change our lives? Did we wonder what this new life would require of us? Did we question how we should live? What changed in your life after you committed your life to the Messiah?
As they were preparing to leave, what did Moshe say to these people? Did he speak to them of their new liberty and the breaking of their chains? Did he talk to them about their destination, a land flowing with milk and honey?
In Exodus 12:26-27 he talked to them about the future and how important it would be to pass along what G-d had done for them when their children would ask what does this have to do with me? Here in our portion in Exodus 13:8 he said, “I do this because of what the L-rd did for me when I came out of Egypt.” Then in Exodus 13:14 he told them exactly what the L-rd did for him and as a result what he has done for them also. I encourage you to tell your children, grandchildren and other family members what G-d has done for you personally. Describe to them how your faith has changed you.
As Moshe did here, we too must be able to talk about our faith and what G-d has done for us, how He has changed us. Some might think that is not so important because the pastor will explain it all and we pass the responsibility on to others. However, we as believers have the responsibility to explain what G-d has done and is doing for us. Moshe is calling us to be spiritual educators.
So for us, Passover as well as other biblical holidays are perfect opportunities to teach our children and other family members about Yeshua and what He has done for us. We can share how He brought us out of our own personal slavery to a life living out His will to the best of our ability. G-d has called us to be teachers, to be light, to honor what He has done for us.
Moshe related to the Israelites that these commandments are to be an outline on how to live each day. Yeshua built on this message through his ministry and words to us. Faith needs a firm foundation to grow. When G-d’s word is engraved in us it gives us freedom from the ways of the world.
Now back to the question I sent you this week. In Exodus 12:7 G-d instructed the people to put the blood of a lamb on the two side parts and the upper part of the door to their home. Why did G-d pick this sign for the people? Sheep were an important symbol to the Egyptians. This was the form given to one of their gods. Therefore to kill one and smear its blood on your door was a clear indication that the occupants of that house were rejecting this false god of the Egyptians. This was a clear sign that the people in this house were not Egyptians but served another G-d, the one true G-d.
This idea caused me to question, what sets us apart from the false gods worshiped all around us? These false gods might include the worship of money, power or maybe other blatant sins we see around us each day. This blood on the door was a clear sign to the world around them that they were rejecting the gods of Egypt and had faith in what G-d said He would do that night to free them.
For us, we must be aware of the sin around us, the false gods. We must guard ourselves from falling into the silence so easily available to us. I have an example from an article I read yesterday. An orthodox man was flying on Delta from Florida to New York this week. Before taking off the stewardess came to him and began her sentence with, “You people always bring so many bags on the airplane!” She then told him to get his hat box from the above bin and put it under his seat. He told her he would be glad to do that. He got up to get the box and she continued to yell at him. People around the man began recording the conversation. She got his luggage from the above bin and proceeded to exit the aircraft and told him he would have to leave the airplane. It was clear from the pictures there was room for more luggage around his stuff so the luggage really wasn’t the issue. He was bumped from the flight because the stewardess refused to get back on the airplane until he was removed. So security came and removed him. A few passengers were interviewed after they landed in New York. Everyone was appalled. One Jewish man told his son to remove his kippah so they wouldn’t be singled out too. No one thought to say something or do something. What would have happened if a few people of faith had stood up and offered to put all that man’s luggage under their seats? Would the story have ended any differently? Maybe not but the man would have felt the support of the people around him instead of them sitting in silence. We are called to not accept the world standards. Maybe it’s time for us to think outside the box.
We should never be ashamed of who we are or worry about how the world sees us. It is much more important how G-d sees us and what do our children, family and friends learn from us. That night of Passover, many years ago, was a time to make clear to all the Egyptian neighbors what G-d the Jewish people served. Who knows, a time may come when you are in the same situation and our Heavenly Father asks you to make a statement either in actions or words of who you serve. Do we follow G-d or do we stay silent so we will be more acceptable. Scripture tells us how we are to live and how we are to relate to the world that strives to pull us away from G-d.
I pray we look at our lives and priorities. Are they in line with the world or are they clearly governed by the Father? Bless each of you this week.