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February 4, 2023: Parashat Torah Portion Beshalach

This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Beshalach is taken from Exodus 13:17-17:16. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he reviews some powerful principles in this week’s Parashah: Stand still; Do not run away; Do not give up hope; Go forward; Step out in faith; Stop looking behind. Instead, “LOOK UP” your Redemption draws near!

Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Parashah Torah Portion:

Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Beshalach - Exodus 13:17-17:16

There are some powerful principles in this week’s Parashah: Stand still; Do not run away; Do not give up hope; Go forward; Step out in faith; Stop looking behind. As the children of Israel were headed toward the Promised Land, they could have simply followed the coastal route up and out of Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea. They would have arrived in Canaan in a few months. It was the shortest route! However, Elohim does not take shortcuts with Israel or with us. Elohim had important principles and lessons to teach His people and the only place to do that was in the wilderness. Elohim wanted not only to deliver them but to teach them about His provision and give them the Torah, His instructions for life, before bringing them to the Land.

Today all of us are in a hurry to reach our goals and live our dreams. It frustrates us to go through the wilderness. However, Elohim is more interested in seeing us develop in spiritual maturity than He is in seeing us arrive at our dreams and goals. So, what does Elohim do? In order to build character, increase our integrity, enlarge our faith, He takes us down roads that are not so comfortable. He teaches us and prepares us for what lies ahead so we can be successful in His purpose. If we rush in without His leading or training, we find ourselves surprised by the challenges and then are quickly defeated.

The children of Israel will receive one of many opportunities to learn important lessons. They faced a Red Sea…an impossible situation! In addition, the Egyptian army arrives behind them to crush them where they stand. This Egyptian army was the mightiest in the ancient world. Their weapons and chariots were well-renown and a force of destruction. Elohim told Moses to speak to the people and tell them to, “Stand still, and they shall see the deliverance Adonai will bring to them today…Adonai will fight for you; you need only to be silent”

(Ex. 14:13). In other words, Elohim will do it for you…and He did!

Once they were free and the Egyptian army was swallowed up and drowned, they begin to grumble. Where is the food, water, and our rest? Elohim teaches them to rely on Him…He will provide the food, water and He will reinstate the appointed day of rest, which they had abandoned, with stipulations and instructions. Their lessons have just begun!

In Exodus 17:8, the Amalekites came to destroy the tribes. They were a people who aligned themselves with Egypt, and sought to continue to fight against Elohim’s people. They were the lineage of Esau and they represent the “city of the world” as Israel represents the “City of Elohim”. In Jewish tradition, Amalek represents: pure evil; those who have given themselves over to the state of impurity; an “evil eye of doubt”. Amalek represents spiritual blindness acting arrogantly in the world and therefore Adonai vowed perpetual warfare against them. Exodus 17:16 states, “He said, Indeed, my hand is lifted up toward Adonai’s throne. Adonai will be at war against the Amalekites from generation to generation. “Adonai’s throne” is written incompletely in Hebrew as “kes Yah”, rather than “kisei Adonai” – which suggest that Elohim’s rule will be incomplete until the powers of darkness are totally wiped off the face of the earth by the breath of Yeshua (Rev. 19-20). Elohim is teaching them that we must “go and fight” Amalek, which is a call to ongoing spiritual warfare in our lives. We can’t sit by and passively accept evil nor can we ignore it or pretend that it doesn’t exist. We must call evil by its name and exercise spiritual authority over it (Eph. 5:11, Luke 10:19). The weapons of our warfare have divine power to destroy the enemy’s strongholds. So, the battle was fought! Moses said to Joshua in Exodus 17:9, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of Elohim in my hands.” They waged war!

The parashah focuses on Exodus 17:10-12, as long as Moses’ hands were lifted, Israel would win but if his hands fell down, they would begin to lose. The people were encouraged to “look up” and it gave them the confidence and courage to win. What a powerful fundamental principle of leadership that is being taught here: A leader must empower the team- He cannot do the work for them! You must do it for yourselves. We see that Moses is responsible for the mood and morale. He must not show signs of weakness, doubt or fear. It’s not always easy. We can become exhausted and our hands become heavy, which is why, like Moses, we need each other’s support. We need to stand strong, believe Adonai, do not fear because if Elohim is with us then who can be against us?

Adonai saved them from the Egyptians but their first battle was against Amalek and they had to fight for themselves. Moses gave them the confidence but they had to fight their own battle, remembering that Adonai is on their side! We lose many battles because we forget to “look up”! Isaiah 40:26 says, “Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things.” In Psalm 121:1,2 it says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills from there will my help come from. My help comes from Adonai, which made heaven and earth.” Moses said in Deut. 11: 10-25 paraphrased, “The Promised Land is not like the flat plain of the Nile Delta where water is plentiful and in regular supply. It will be a land of hills and valleys, entirely dependent on unpredictable rain. A landscape that forces you to “look up”. Moses taught his people to “look up” when confronted with formidable obstacles; We need to confront things, change attitudes, be overcomers. Yes, there are immediate problems we have to deal with and goals that often frustrate us and certainly plenty of wilderness experiences. But if we look down at the difficulties it gives way to despair. The only way to sustain energies is to turn and “look up” where your help comes from! Zechariah 4:6 says, “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, said the prophet.” If we, in the face of difficulty, continue to “look up”- we will win great victories and achieve great things. Exodus 17:12-13 says, “…and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” The word “steady” is the Hebrew word “Emunah”. This word means “faith”. Moses steady faith in Elohim gave the people faith to overcome darkness, the world, evil, doubt, and allowed them to overcome! We are in this world but we are not of this world. “LOOK UP” as you walk through your wilderness and fight your battles because that is where your help comes from!

Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,

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As we arrive on this Sabbath day…” look up”. Let His presence inhabit you! Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! Have a powerful Sabbath and don’t forsake the assembly! There is power in corporate worship! See you at the altar!

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