PARASHAH SH’MOT (Exodus 1:1-6:1) Week 13
We must know (Yada’) that when the spirit of fear overtakes a life, there will be DARKNESS! In the fear-based decisions made by the King of Egypt, the Hebrew people were to be intimidated and abused at new levels of cruelty. As part of the King’s plan to control the Hebrew blessings, he ordered the Hebrew midwives to murder every male child born during this time of orchestrated containment of the people of Israel.
This is where THE TAPESTRY OF TORAH ~ Lessons from the Wilderness takes up the needle and punctures the blueprint of heaven. This is the place where the delicious irony of Adonai begins swirling on heavenly canvas into a breathtaking design.
The two midwives’ names are forever inscribed in God’s word, as Sifrah and Pu’ah. They were the lowliest of slaves, as Hebrew women. We must know (Yada’) that when the spirit of courage overtakes a life, there will be LIGHT!
In an act of supernatural courage, Sifrah and Pu’ah held hands in civil disobedience, between holding out their hands to birth each new Hebrew baby, and safely ushered them to their mother’s breast. God blessed them because of their obedience to dive deeply into His tapestry design, saving the male babies for the new Nation, and for the Kingdom of God.
We learn of a husband and wife, both of the tribe of Levi, son of Jacob. The birth of their son intersects the history of the King of cruelty. Jochebed gave birth to a son whose head was caught in the blessed hands of these midwives. Their obedience to lay baby Moses on his mother’s chest that day instilled in Jochebed the courage to go to any length to save her son. Not only was Moses pulled out of Jochebed’s womb by the midwives, but his mother pulled him out of her home where he would have been discovered, and placed him in a tiny, pitched Ark made by her own hands. The tiny Ark of life carried baby Moses along the currents of Adonai’s will, to a place where it rested within arm’s reach of Pharaoh’s daughter. The swirl of delicious ironies of Adonai bursts forth with a sweetness almost too savory to express in words; better yet, with sighs and laughter!
See sister Miriam in childlike defiance, standing at the place the tiny Ark came to rest on the riverbank. With supernatural courage she watches and waits to see what Adonai will do for tiny brother, Moses. The tapestry design of heaven is woven as seven-year-old Miriam offers to find a Hebrew wet nurse for the newly-found and adopted Moses, by Pharaoh’s daughter. Moses is returned to his mother’s breast, as she is paid a fair wage by the Princess of Egypt for the greatest of blessings for Jochebed; to nurse her own son. This, dear seeker, is the delicious irony of the Lord!
See young Moses as an Egyptian Prince, contending with the chasm in his own heart; one side, Hebrew slave; the other, Egyptian Prince. A bloodline of courage runs deep in Moses, as he finally discovered who he truly was. In his second escape, for murder in Egypt, Moses steps onto the canvas as a Hebrew, and dives deeply into the heavenly tapestry, puncturing the linen of leadership, the color of purple royalty, spreading and fanning outward, reaching the Hebrew Nation by his obedience.
This is the Lesson of the Reluctant Leader. Moses was reluctant to accept his identity. Moses was reluctant to lead the Hebrew Nation out of bondage. Even as Moses called out ‘HINENI’ (Here I am Lord) to Adonai, he was reluctant to accept the mission to go back to Egypt as the deliverer. Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the people of Isra’el out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11 CJB)
This is the Lesson of the Reluctant Leader. It was in the moment of Moses’ reluctance that the Lord responded with a new name for Himself, YHVH. Because of Moses’ reluctance, the Lord explains, He is not only Adonai, meaning My Lord, but He is the God of the Nation of Israel!
CANDLEGLOW LESSON FOR SHABBAT
On this late December Shabbat night, it is beautiful and encouraging to remember the miraculous turn of events in the lives of the Patriarchs! From the lowliest recorded testimonies we read about, like Sifrah and Pu’ah, to Moses and brother Aaron, who courageously led the new Nation of Isra’el out of bondage in Egypt, there were supernatural, miraculous turns of events that changed personal and National destinies for all time, which we can be see thousands of years later from our vantage point.
For those of us who believe that the Lord God Almighty is the same, yesterday, today, and forever, this means that our small part on His historical tapestry has meaning and profound impact, not only for our family legacies (MORASHA), but for the Kingdom of God!
Take heart and take-to-heart, that each day you live and sow into the lives of those whom you love, into your community, and the world, be confident that your life matters…just as profoundly as the lives of the Patriarchs of Biblical History! If we remember this every day, especially on each Sabbath rest, we will be graced with a heavenly zeal to finish our part of this beautiful tapestry design from our Creator!
May the blessings of this Christmas envelop us in the warmth, grace and humility of His Spirit, and of the Season, as we pause to celebrate the birth of The Light of the World!