This weeks reading from Parashat Shemot (Shemot / Exodus 1:1-6:1) lists the sons of Yisrael who had come and died in Egypt. A new king arose who did not know Joseph (1:1-7). The king of Egypt feared the people of Israel and placed them into slavery (1:9-14). Pharaoh commanded all the Hebrew boys to be put to death at birth and Moshe is born (1:15-2:10). Moshe grew up knowing who he was a Hebrew (2:11-12). Later in life Moshe killed an Egyptian man. Being afraid for his life he fled from Egypt to Midian (2:13-15). In Midian he married Zipporah (2:21-22) and worked as a shepherd. God heard the cry of His people and remembered the covenant that he made with Avraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Lord reveals Himself to Moshe from the midst of the burning bush on the mountain of Horeb (2:24-3:10). Moshe speaks to the Lord out of fear of Pharaoh (3:11-22-4:1) and interestingly the first thing that the Lord does is reveal something about Himself and gives him the sign that He is with him. Moshe travels to Goshen, assembled all of the elders of Israel and spoke to them the words of the Lord and performed the signs (staff/serpent and leprous hand) before the people. The people believed Moshe and the Lord. Moshe and Aharon speak to Pharaoh but Pharaoh would not let the people go (5:7-9) and as a result he increased their labor and the people cried out to Moshe and to God.
כתבי הקודש / The Holy Scriptures
ספר שמות פרק ג
יא וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים מִי אָנֹכִי כִּי אֵלֵךְ אֶל-פַּרְעֹה וְכִי אוֹצִיא אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל מִמִּצְרָיִם: יב וַיֹּאמֶר כִּי-אֶהְיֶה עִמָּךְ וְזֶה-לְּךָ הָאוֹת כִּי אָנֹכִי שְׁלַחְתִּיךָ בְּהוֹצִיאֲךָ אֶת-הָעָם מִמִּצְרַיִם תַּעַבְדוּן אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים עַל הָהָר הַזֶּה:
Shemot / Exodus 3:11-12
3:11 But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?’ 3:12 And He said, ‘Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.’ (NASB)
When the Lord told Moshe that He was sending him to Egypt, Moshe’s response was מִי אָנֹכִי “who am I?” It appears as if Moshe is trying to find excuses not to go to Egypt saying “I am not eloquent in speech” (4:10) and “what if the people do not believe me?” (4:1). The Lord tells Moshe saying יב וַיֹּאמֶר כִּי-אֶהְיֶה עִמָּךְ וְזֶה-לְּךָ הָאוֹת כִּי אָנֹכִי שְׁלַחְתִּיךָ בְּהוֹצִיאֲךָ אֶת-הָעָם מִמִּצְרַיִם תַּעַבְדוּן אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים עַל הָהָר הַזֶּה: 3:12 And He said, ‘Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain.’ (NASB) The Lord declares that He will be with him and the sign He gives Moshe is that He will bring the people out to worship at this mountain. In addition to this statement, The Lord God reveals something about Himself in Shemot / Exodus 3:14-15 saying 3:14 God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’‘ 3:15 God, furthermore, said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations. (NASB) Isn’t it interesting that the first thing the Lord declares is not a proof of miracles but that the people will stand in His presence and this is the power of God to deliver His people. Signs (miracles) and wonders never saves anyone and even the most awesome of miracles is not capable of making a person believe in the Lord. Of all the miracles Yeshua performed during his ministry here on earth, there were still many who would not believe (i.e. those from among the people and leaders in Israel). The miracles performed in Egypt or in Yeshua’s ministry were not meant to save people. The miracles themselves were a testimony of the Power of God to save, to heal, to provide for, demonstrating the all sufficient Saving Power of God. It is the power of God to save souls by His presence in our lives that is so important. The testimony of the miracle of the resurrection of Yeshua is the Power of God to save souls in His Messiah! Have you asked for this from the Lord God Almighty? In your life are you looking for a miracle or for the Saving Power of God? BTT_Parashat Shemot-2013