Updated: Oct 11
[31 Dec - 6 Jan 2023]
Theme of the Book of Exodus:
About pursuing the instructions in order that we can build a dwelling place for Yeshua.
Meaning of "shemot" = "names"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Ex 1:1-17
Monday: Ex 1:18-2:10
Tuesday: Ex 2:11-25
Wednesday: Ex 3:1-15
Thursday: Ex 3:16-4:17
Friday: Ex 4:18-31
Shabbat: Ex 5:1-6:1
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
2 Samuel 20-24
1 Kings 1
Welcome to the first parashat (portion in Hebrew) of Exodus! Last week we finished off with Genesis. The theme of Genesis was about a desire for life. And we finished off the book by stating the importance of having discernment, being able to see the bigger picture, standing boldly on Abba's promises and also about being blessed and blessing others. It's all part of the bigger picture - Abba's Redemption Plan!
The book of Genesis covers a time period of approximately 2500 years. And the other four books of the Torah, Exodus to Deuteronomy, all together covers only 120 years.
I'd say of Abba gave instruction to write 4 books of the Bible about such a short period of time, what happened in that time must have been pretty important in Abba's eyes.
In Exodus we read about Moses' birth and in Deuteronomy we read about his death. And Moses' life can basically be split into three portions of 40 years each. In the first 40 years Moses thought he was this big shot guy. In the second 40 years of his life, he learned that he wasn't the big shot he thought he was after all, he was "only" a sheppard. And in the last 40 years of his life - it's a testimony to all of us of how Abba can use a "nobody" to make His plans fall into place and play out according to His plans.
Now that we got to Exodus with the Torah Readings... The Hebrew name for the book of Exodus is called "Shemot" which means "names."
The book of Exodus is about Abba taking Israel as His bride. And we know that through Yeshua, we are now part of the new Israel and we have the opportunity to be His bride as well!
Usually the first sentence of the books of the Torah, summarises the theme of the book. In Ex 1:1 we read "Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob.”
We thus read about a multiplication, the nation grew. Just like Abba promised Abraham in Genesis. Through him (Abraham) all nations would be blessed. Abba made a promise and He brought it into fulfillment! Because He ALWAYS keeps His Word!
As one could only imagine, the Egyptian Pharaoh wasn't too impressed with the growing number of Israelites in Egypt. He saw how blessed the Israelites were and that they kept on multiplying. In an attempt to get the Egyptians' numbers to rise and the Israelites' to decrease - Pharaoh enslaved the Israelites and he called for all Hebrew boys that were born to be killed. The midwives whom Pharaoh instructed to kill the babies, didn't comply. So Pharaoh then instructed everyone to throw the Hebrew newborn boys into the Nile river.
There was a massive loss of newborn lives during that time. During that time we read about the birth of Moses. Moses's mother was Jochebed, Levi's daughter. (Abraham - Isaac - Jacob - Levi - Jochebed) Amram was Moses's father. After Moses was born, his parents nursed him and made sure that he was healthy. They placed Moses in a basket on the Nile and told Moses's sister to keep an eye on him from a far.
When Pharaoh's daughter came to bath in the river, she discovered Moses in the basket. She knew that he was a Hebrew boy, but she said that the Nile had given her this baby. So she took Moses and raised him as her own. Moses was the name that Pharaoh's daughter had given him.
Moses grew up in the palace and was basically next in line for the throne. But Moses knew that he was a Hebrew and not an Egyptian, so he left the palace. And then he left the palace and saw how the Egyptians treated the Hebrews. He witnessed an Egyptian hit a Hebrew and Moses then went over to hit the Egyptian. And from Scripture we know that Moses actually killed the Egyptian.
The next day Moses saw two Hebrew men fighting and he went over to break up the fight. But they told him that he can't tell them to not fight when they knew that he killed a man the day before.
Moses feared the fact that people knew that he killed the Egyptian. Many might say that he had no reason to be scared. He grew up in the Pharaoh's house and would basically be exempted from any punishments. But Moses was scared because he knew his identity. He knew who he was. In this parashat we see that Moses then fled Egypt and went to Midian.
Moses encountered Jethro's daughters, who were in trouble when Moses encountered them. So he saved them and then later on Moses also ended up marrying one of the daughters, Zipporah.
Moses was a shepperd for Jethro's sheep. Coming from a life of the Pharaoh's "son" to being a sheppard in the desert.
Whilst Moses was herding the sheep, he saw a burning bush. And God spoke to Moses through the burning bush. Commanding Moses to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let the Hebrews go from Egypt.
The last time that Moses was in Egypt was after he killed an Egyptian and then fled. He hasn't returned since and now God asked of him to go directly to the Pharaoh.
By that time the man that was Pharaoh whilst Moses was raised in the palace was no longer reigning. But the new Pharaoh was also raised in the palace during the time which Moses was raised in the palace. So Moses and the new Pharaoh knew one another - it was his "half-brother!"
Moses then told God that he can't go to Pharaoh because of his speech problem. So God said to him that Aaron, his elder brother should go with him as his spokesperson. Moses was the youngest of his parent's, Amram & Jochebed's three children (Miriam, Aaron & Moses).
What's a little ironic is that Moses said to God that he can't speak, so God send Aaron with him. But when they came to Pharaoh, Moses spoke to Pharaoh himself! He didn't use Aaron as his spokesperson.
After Moses spoke to the Pharaoh and asked him to let the Israelites go from Egypt, Moses went to speak to the Israelites. They agreed with Moses's plan that it's time for all of them to leave Egypt and no longer be slaves.
We all know how Pharaoh refused to let them go. But furthermore, Pharaoh didn't only refuse to let them go - he also intensified their suffering and slavery circumstances.
Moses then went back to God and questioned what was happening. He couldn't understand why God would make him come to Egypt and speak to Pharaoh only to make things worse for the Israelites. Moses had the Israelites' interest at hand it it was hard for him to see how their circumstances worsened in a moment of time where he thought that they would find some relief. And he spoke to Abba and told Him that it felt like it was a mistake to come to Pharaoh. Looking at the worsened circumstances which the Israelites faced, we can understand Moses' heart. But Abba then promised Moses that their redemption is coming soon! God promised Moses that there will be deliverance to the Israelites!
The theme of this portion, and also for the entire book of Exodus, is about the redemption plan which God has prepared for His people. But the redemption has to play itself out. And Abba had chosen / appointed very specific people to play important roles for this redemption plan to play itself out.
The time it took for this redemption plan to play itself out was about a time of preparation.
God has a destiny / redemption plan for each one of us. And we have to fulfill that destiny.
It's all about the destiny of Abba's redemption plan!
Abba has destined for his people to receive redemption. And during the time before the redemption plan played out, it was a time of preparation. Just like it was in the times of Moses, the same applies for us today! If we want to enter into the redemption plan which Abba has in store for each one of us, we have to be willing to do the preparation which He requires from us.
The entire book of Exodus is about the greater plan of Abba's redemption. And it's our responsibility to discover what our part in this redemption plan is and what His destiny for each one of ours lives are.
Each one of us are born for a very specific time. The Israelites that lived in the time of Moses was chosen by God to live in that time. And in the same manner, you and I are chosen to live now. You are not here by mistake or born at the wrong time! Your life is destined by Abba! It's His plan for each one of us, who are currently alive, to be alive and well and to fulfil our destiny!
Abba wants us to live in and experience His redemption plan. He wants that for each and every generation. He wanted that for the Israelites in the time of Moses, He wants it for us today and He wants that for every generation to come until Yeshua returns!
God has chosen a specific role for each person to play in His redemption plan. That means that each one of us has a responsibility to attend to. I need to do what He expects of me and you need to do what He expects of you. If either one of us don't do what Abba askes of us - we're not only harming / impairing ourselves. But we're bringing harm to the entire redemption plan of God.
It's each one of our own responsibility to determine and hear from God what our destinies are. In order to do that, we have to confront the Pharaohs in our lives. We have to confront the darkness, the sin in our lives, our past. And we have to tell the Pharaoh to let the people go! We have to get free from the bondage of the past in order that we could experience the redemption plan of God!
We need to be bold enough to stand up and proclaim that we will fulfill our God-given destinies! We need to get out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of God!
Just like Pharaoh increased the Israelites suffering after Moses asked him to let them go, in the same way the enemy wants to increase our suffering. But Abba's heart is for us to experience His redemption which is way better and bigger than the very best of what the enemy has to offer.
Just like God told Moses that the Israelites' redemption was drawing close, so we can know in today's day and age - that His redemption is also drawing close! And we have to stand up and confront our fears. Moses definitely wasn't keen on going back to Egypt after all those years and after what has happened and caused him to flee. But none the less, he chose to be obedient to Abba's instruction. We could learn a lot from Moses from this alone! We have to confront our fears and do whatever is required - so that we could walk into our destiny!
There's an individual destiny for each one of us, but there's also a bigger picture / a corporate destiny of Abba's redemption plan for the whole world - and we all have a role to play! We don't have to be someone "special" for Abba to use us. He loves to use the "nobodies!"
Just like Joseph was a type / shadow of Yeshua our Messiah - Moses was also. He had a massive destiny. But for Moses to walk into his destiny, he had to hear from Abba. The same applies to us! We also have a great God-given destiny, but we have to hear from Abba!
Just like Moses was specifically born for the time in which he lived. Yeshua was called for the time in which He lived on earth, to fulfill His destiny on earth. In the same way, we can know with certainty that Abba chose us to live NOW! You are born for a time such as this. Abba chose for me and you to live in this day and age and He has a destiny for each one of us to fulfill. And it's up to us to go sit at His feet and figure out what the destiny is for our own lives!
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Portion 13: Shemot (This blog you are reading now)