Haftorah Reading: I Kings 7:40-8:21
Tonight we finish the book of Exodus. Let’s take just a moment and think of how far this book has taken us. We began this book seeing Jacob and his children going down to Egypt. Then we read tonight about the people leaving Egypt behind and beginning their forty year boot camp in the desert. This forty years was school for these former slaves. This time of learning was not just for them but for us as well. Even with all their failures G-d never gave up on them nor does He give up on us. He called them His prized possession. Think of that whenever you fall. Our G-d is a loving G-d and wants the best for each of us. All He requires is our faith and our obedience to follow Him each day.
Torah Portion: Va’era (And I Appeared) Ex. (Sh’mot) 6:2-9:35
Today we read about a huge change in the world’s concept of G-d, or at least for those of us who have a faith in the L-rd. It begins with our Jewish brothers and sisters and later through Yeshua was made available to all who believe.
In Exodus 6:2 we read, “And G-d spoke to Moshe and said to him, I am the L-rd. “ This word L-rd, in Hebrew, is the Holy Name of G-d, which encompasses the entire nature of G-d. Here in Exodus we see G-d instruct Moshe to go to the people and tell them that, “The G-d of your fathers has sent me to you,” Exodus 3:13-15. Moshe asked, when I go to them and they ask what is His name what shall I say? The L-rd replied, “I Am who I Am sent me.” Further on in these verses the L-rd went on to say, “This is My Name forever.”
Torah Portion: Vayelekh (He Went) D’Varim (Deuteronomy) 31:1-30
Haftorah Reading Hosea 14:1-10, Micah 7:18-20, Joel 2:15-27
Tonight, our Torah reading covers only one chapter in D’Varim. In Judaism this Shabbat is known as Shabbat Shuva because it is the last Shabbat before Yom Kippur. The word shuva means repentance. This time of year calls us to remember, to think back over our life, over the last year and set right anything that stands between us and the Father or anything between us and another person. According to the Jewish faith, on Yom Kippur the book is closed. In the Messianic scriptures we see the same thought in Revelations 20:15. I would pray for all of us to use this time in G-d’s calendar to take a spiritual inventory and set right those things that need our attention.
Torah Portion: Yitro (Jethro) Exodus 18-23
HafTorah: Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6
Let us look at Parasha Yitro, so named after the father-in-law of Moses. We read of their reunion after some time apart. We read of Jethro’s advice to Moses to split up the work load between himself and others. Further on we read of G-d speaking to the people telling them that they all are to be a nation of priests. (Shemot 19:6). In I Peter 2:9 we read the phrase again. What is the meaning in each case? I Peter gives us our answer that we, they, “can show others the goodness of G-d.” We can and should be able to share the goodness of G-d based on what He has done for us. The Israelites here were to be able to also share with the world what G-d had done for them. They, and we, should live our lives each day governed by His word and compassion. Israel lived in a tough neighborhood but they were called to be different, to live each day each moment as G-d’s people, G-d’s people who behaved differently, lived by G-d’s direction and not their own. This was a task that could sometimes be difficult. Sometimes they and we fail but our failure should not be allowed to defeat us. We learn from it. We repent and go on stronger than before.