January 28, 2023: Parashat Torah Portion Bo
This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Bo is taken from Exodus 10:1-13:16. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he compares the exodus of the children of Israel, leaving their old ways of Egyptian culture behind, to our spiritual journey of leaving the old life behind, when we choose to follow YESHUA HA'MASHIACH!
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 Bo - Exodus 10:1-13:16
In this week’s parashah we are about ready to see the exodus from Egypt. It has all come to a head and with a strong hand Adonai has brought them out of Egypt. In a spiritual sense, we leave Egypt when Messiah saves us, that is what it means to be born again. We are to leave or die to our old way of life and begin life again as new creatures. We have to leave our old ways behind us. Paul said in I Cor. 5:7-8, “Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Yeshua, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore, let us keep the festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” The old starter dough leaven represents our old way of life. It represents sin, godlessness, bad company, bad habits and all things that taint our lives. Just like an old culture of leavened starter dough, these things continue to leaven our lives from day to day, conforming us to our past. Like Israel, we need to make a clean break with the old culture and start over as a new batch, like unleavened bread.
As the children of Israel left Egypt, they were leaving behind their old culture. While they were in Egypt that had absorbed much of the wickedness and idolatry of Egyptian society. This unleavened bread symbolized a “new beginning”! They were starting over! As with us, we were supposed to start over, to die to our old way of life as believers. Leave it all behind! This requires us to break with the past, carve out new patterns of behavior, and develop new healthy habits. This can be hard because leaven lies within the wicked and malicious attitude of our hearts.
Adonai delivered ten plagues to Pharaoh and his people revealing Adonai’s power and desire. The final plague- the death of the first born- will strike at the very heart of Egypt, breaking through Pharaoh’s hardened heart. Since Pharaoh’s firstborn was heir to the throne of Egypt, he was alleged to be divine as well, so his death proves Pharaoh’s mortality and helplessness before the true Elohim.
From our Messianic perspective, the imagery and implications of the Passover are unmistakable. The Passover Lamb is the first sacrifice that Israel, as a nation, is commanded to make. The stakes are high. Death is coming to the land of Egypt. The Israelites in their midst will not be spared if they don’t apply the blood to the doorposts. Adonai is coming to strike the firstborn of man and beast. It is a judgment from heaven, a terror in the night! Merits of innocence and guilt are not considered, faith and creed do not enter this equation, and the righteous will perish with the wicked. The previous plagues had shown particularity, sparing the Israelites in the midst of Egypt. However, the tenth plague will be completely impartial; just as in life itself, death knows no boundaries. Only the houses marked with the sacrificed blood of the Lamb will be spared—Jew or Gentile! The blood was the only criteria for salvation, in this instance at least, the blood on the doorposts. Deut. 10:12-13 says, “And now, Israel, what does Adonai your Elohim ask of you but to fear Adonai your Elohim, to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve Adonai your Elohim with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe Adonai’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
What does it mean to walk in Elohim’s ways: It means we are to imitate the ways of Elohim in as much as we are able. This is one of the most fundamental principles of the life of faith. Yeshua expresses the idea in Matthew 5:45 encouraging us to imitate Elohim that we may be sons of our Father who is in heaven. Moses laments that even though Israel has experienced Elohim’s great salvation, seen His miracles, and experienced His provision in the wilderness, they still have not been “given a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear.” (Deut. 29:4)
The question is that after seeing all of this and experiencing Elohim in such a tangible and intimate way, are we in need of reproof or warning at all? Why wouldn’t they just wholeheartedly follow Elohim? It is because their hearts are wayward. They need a “new heart”! Ezekiel spoke to the chosen people in Ezekiel 11:18-21, telling them about their unfaithfulness, their hearts of stone, which is pure stubbornness. They were unable to be moved to love. Elohim in covenant fidelity with Israel, meaning the quality of being faithful and loyal conveys a sense of moral commitment or obligation to someone or something, a moral commitment should result in action. In other words, the heart of stone is unable to be circumcised for faithfulness. The “new heart” would enable them to repent and return in obedience, but this can only come from a sovereign act of Elohim. If left to herself, Israel is without hope. If left to ourselves, we are also without hope!
Yeshua gave us the promise of forgiveness of sin, the promise of a “new heart” on which the Torah itself is written, our hope is in our Messiah. Jeremiah 31:33 says, “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after these days, says Adonai; I will put My Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their Elohim, and they will be My people.” The Torah teaches that when Israel repents and returns to keeping the commandments of the Torah, Elohim will rejoice over the nation just as He rejoiced over Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Deut. 30:9 says, “Adonai will again rejoice over you for good, just as He rejoiced over your fathers.” In these last days, let us allow Him to continue to write His Torah on our hearts. Let us be the example and witness to the world.
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,
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As we celebrate on this “appointed day”, let us keep our focus on Elohim! The Creator of us all, the One who sustains us and watches over us. We have come to give Him praise and exalt his name. I pray your Sabbath is sweet and may His shalom rest upon you!
See you at the altar!