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Parashat Beshalach

Updated: Feb 20

16th Portion

[21-27 Jan 2024]

Theme of the Book of Exodus:

About pursuing the instructions in order that we can build a dwelling place for Yeshua.

Meaning of "beshalach" = "when he sent / let go"

This week's Torah portions:

Sunday: Ex 13:17-14:8

Monday: Ex 14:9-14

Tuesday: Ex 14:15-25

Wednesday: Ex 14:26-15:26

Thursday: Ex 15:27-16:10

Friday: Ex 16:11-36

Shabbat: Ex 17:1-16 & Judges 4:4-5:31

Apostolic Writings:

John 6:15-71

1 Corinthians 10:1-5

Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:

1 Kings 1-6

Psalms 92-97

Luke 17-21

Did you know that the route through the desert (from Egypt to the Promised Land) was actually only a 11 day journey? Yet the Israelites spent 40 years in the desert!

In this week's portion we read that God instructed Moses to lead the Israelites SOUTH and camp next to the Red Sea (Ex 14:1-2). But when you look at a map, you'd see that the shortest rout from Egypt to Canaan would have been to travel NORTH of the Red Sea, along the Mediterranean Sea.

Had they traveled north along the Mediterranean Sea - the journey would have taken approximately 11 days. That's the shortest route.

But as per Abba's instruction to Moses, they travelled South along the Red Sea - a journey that should have taken them approximately 40 days (to the point where they had to cross the Red Sea) and enter Midian. That's the longest route.

There was also a medium length route - through the middle. But that route had no water and thus wasn't an option for the Israelites.

The time it took to complete the journey is based on the amount of people they were and the pace at which they could travel each day. There were young and old when they left Egypt. And the principle according to the Bible is to move at the pace of the weakest link. So yes, some might have completed the north route in less than 11 days and the south route in less than 40 days. But as a group together, that's the estimated time it would take to complete the journey respectively.

Later on, part of the reason why the Israelites remained in the desert for so long was due to their disobedience. But another initial part of the reason was because of Abba's protection.

If the Israelites have taken the short route (North), they would have encountered the Philistines. And they'd see war as the Philistines were advanced in skills and war. And God knew that seeing war so soon after the Israelites have left Egypt, might have made them turn back. Too scared to proceed on their journey.

Remember that Egypt and the journey out of Egypt is a symbolic representation of us today as well. Egypt is our bondage and fleshliness. And Yeshua came to set us free from it.

Once we are set free - we will also (just like the Israelites) would have to go through the desert. And we now know that in order for us to enter into the Promised Land which Abba has in store for each one of us - we have to face our past. We have to deal with hard things. There are battles to be fought and enemies to be defeated.

I always say that Abba will meet you right where you are at! And this Torah portion proves it once again. God knew that the Israelites would turn back to Egypt if they had to face battle just after leaving Egypt. In the same way, Abba knows that many who have accepted Yeshua as their Saviour might turn back to the world if they immediately had to face their battles.

Just like Abba took the Israelites on the journey, so He will take you and me on a journey as well. When we surrender our lives to Yeshua, we will have to go through a sanctification process. That's our brutal desert season. Where Abba will strip us from everything that's not in line with His heart for us.

In this portion we read how the Israelites traveled from Egypt and got to the place where they had to cross the Red Sea. By the time that the Israelites arrived at that spot, Pharaoh had changed his mind about allowing the Israelites to go. And he sent his horsemen & chariots after the the Israelites.

So how was it possible for the Pharaoh's men to catch up with the Israelites you might ask? The Israelites traveled down against the coast and then up against the coast again (in a V-shape almost) - the long route. They traveled by foot. But Pharaoh's men were on horses & chariots so they were able to travel much faster and to take the medium route. The horsemen were all equipped and healthy, strong, ready-for-war men. Where as the Israelites had young and old with them. The Pharaoh's men took the medium route so that they could intercept the Israelites.

But the Trustworthy God we follow will always make a way for His children - even if it means parting the Red Sea!

So that's what He did for the Israelites. And we know that once the Israelites had all passed through - God allowed the waters to return again and all Pharaoh's men, horses and chariots were destroyed.

With this route God did not only protect them from early battle (Philistines) but He also proved to them that will protect them - His people.

The Israelites were able to witness with their own eyes what Abba has done for them. And they rejoiced with singing and praise and worship!

But just three days after, we read that they complained to Moses because they didn't have water to drink. When they got to Mara, the water was bitter. And Mara is poorly translated as bitter / bitterness - but it actually means healing. The water at Mara was full of myrrh which brings healing but had a bitter taste. Moses prayed to God and He turned the water sweet.

Do you realise the amazing spiritual richness of this? The water had the ability to heal them like a cleanse or a detox. But all they could focus on was the bitter taste.

How often in life when we come face to face with things in our lives which Abba wants us to deal with, we miss the point of the healing which it could bring forth - and we are stuck in bitterness because its hard for us to face the things Abba is asking for us to face.

Even after the Israelites saw the miracle of the bitter water which Abba had turned into sweet water, they still complained. The started demanding food from Moses. And Abba once again provided for them. In the evenings there were quails which covered the earth. And in the mornings manna covered the earth. Manna was a type of seed, which the Israelites were able to use to bake bread or make what they wanted to eat. They were instructed by Moses to pick up quails and manna every day, enough for the day. But on the sixth day of every week, they had to pick up a double portion - as there would be no new quails and manna on the Shabbat (sabbath day / day of rest).

The next time on the journey where the Israelites didn't have water, Abba instructed Moses to strike the rock with his staff. And the Israelites experienced another miracle right in the middle of the desert! Can we all just take a moment and appreciate the God whom we serve? When we face our desert (hard) seasons in life, we are so quick to question where God is in all of it or whether He would come through for us. But when we look at the Israelites - it proves to us that God can and will do the impossible for His children when we align with His instructions. He will do literal miracles in our lives when we surrender it all to Him! Maybe the reason why we don't experience breakthrough / remain stuck in the desert and without water is not about God not hearing us or not coming through for us. Have you ever considered that your sin and the sin of your bloodline is the very reason why you're not experiencing God's hand and His miracles in your life?

In this portion we also read about the Israelites' first encounter with battle. Moses was interceding on behalf of the Israelites on the mountain in prayer. As long as Moses were interceding, the Israelites had the upper hand in the battle. And we read that the moment when Moses lowered his arms, the Amalekites had the upper hand.

From this portion we can learn that whenever we pursue God's vision for our lives... When we stand on the promises which He has called over us - we should know that we WILL experience persecution. We will encounter battles. We will encounter resistance. Just like the Israelites did! When we rely on God, we will continually see His hand and Him coming through for us.

In the beginning of this portion we read how Abba came through for the Israelites when the Egyptians came after them. And at the end of this portion we see how Abba came through for them once again when they faced the Amalekites. But what we often fail to realise is that Abba continuously came through for them in between the encountering with the Egyptians and the encountering with the Amalekites. Throughout their entire journey in the wilderness, Abba was there and held them in His hand - providing in their needs, performing one miracle after the other. And He can and will do it for me and you as well.

What we do need to realise as well, is that at this point - after the encountering with the Amalekites - the Israelites still had a very solid slave mentality, which they struggled to overcome. Although they were free from slavery physically, they were still stuck in bondage in their minds. And Abba calls upon them to change their vision, change their mindset. Instead of focusing on the troubling situations and the enemy, Abba told them to start focusing on the promise which He had in store for them.

This confirms last week's portion as well! Where we have to live from our future and not from our past! Abba tells the Israelites to live from their future (the promises which God had in store for them) whilst they remember (not forget) what Abba has done for them in the past.

The entire challenge which the Israelites experienced in this portion was for water and for food. And what we can learn from this portion is that when we want to experience Abba's hand in our lives, we have to feed ourselves with Living Water and the Bread of Life from His Word! And while we feed on that, we have to go through a cleansing process (Mara, bitter water). We need to get rid of the toxic, carnal minded mindset. And then we have to replace it with His mindset. We have to get to the Rock, which is Yeshua (rock which Moses struck), so that we can get Yeshua's mindset! And when we do that, we will start to gain victory.

Remember that the book of Exodus is all about pursuing the instructions in order that we can build a dwelling place for Yeshua. And if we want to build a dwelling place for Him, we have to start by overcoming our fleshly mindsets and getting the mindset of Yeshua. And in order to do that, we have to face our past and deal with things so that we can be cleansed and renewed. We need to get a heavenly perspective and that's a perspective of overcoming!

We have to ask ourselves: What am I feeding on? What am I drinking? Do you feed on the food of Heaven? Do you drink the water that might be bitter in your life but will bring cleansing to your body?

Whenever we are pursued by the enemy, we have to keep our eyes on the victory. But in order for us to keep our eyes on the victory, we have to deal with the slave mentality. We have to deal with the toxic thinking. We have to break away from the slave mentality. We have to start walking in the victory which Yeshua has already gained for us.

It's up to each individual to make the choice and say that you will start to walk in that victory. And that you will make the mind shift from the slave mentality to an overcomer's mentality.


If you are new here, you can follow the Torah portions with us every week!

(Simply click on the one you want to read)

  1. Portion 1: Bereshit

  2. Portion 2: Noach

  3. Portion 3: Lech Lecha

  4. Portion 4: Vayera

  5. Portion 5: Chayei Sarah

  6. Portion 6: Toldot

  7. Portion 7: Vayetzei

  8. Portion 8: Vayishlach

  9. Portion 9: Vayeshev

  10. Portion 10: Miketz

  11. Portion 11: Vayigash

  12. Portion 12: Vayechi

  13. Portion 13: Shemot

  14. Portion 14: Vaera

  15. Portion 15: Bo

  16. Portion 16: Beshalach (This blog you are reading now)

  17. Portion 17: Yitro

  18. Portion 18: Mishpatim

  19. Portion 19: Terumah

  20. Portion 20: Tetzaveh

  21. Portion 21: Ki Tisa

  22. Portion 22: Vayakhel & Pekudei

  23. Portion 23: Vayikra

  24. Portion 24: Tzav

  25. Portion 25: Shmini

  26. Portion 26: Tazria / Metzora

  27. Portion 27: Achrei Mot / Kedoshim

  28. Portion 28: Emor

  29. Portion 29: Behar / Bechukotai

  30. Portion 30: Bamidbar

  31. Portion 31: Nasso

  32. Portion 32: Beha'alotcha

  33. Portion 33: Sh'lach

  34. Portion 34: Korach

  35. Portion 35: Chukat / Balak

  36. Portion 36: Pinchas

  37. Portion 37: Matot / Masei

  38. Portion 38: Devarim

  39. Portion 39: Vaetchanan

  40. Portion 40: Eikev

  41. Portion 41: Re'eh

  42. Portion 42: Shoftim

  43. Portion 43: Ki Teitzei

  44. Portion 44: Ki Tavo

  45. Portion 45: Nitzavim / Vayeilech

  46. Portion 46: Ha'Azinu

  47. Portion 47: Vezot Haberakhah

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