Parsha Thought – Shemot

Aaron’s Staff Becomes a Snake (Exodus 7, 10). Wood engraving, published in 1886.

This week we begin the second of the five books of the Torah, Shemot. Its name in Hebrew means, “names”, because the first significant word in the Hebrew text is, “And these are the names…” (וְאֵ֗לֶּה שְׁמֹות).

In just a few short months we will be celebrating the events that we read about over the next few weeks. It is a time, in the history of Israel, of great hardship, uncertainty. Many were probably beginning to lose hope of being freed from Egypt. Some, according to tradition, had already left their Hebrew heritage to become Egyptian in hopes of getting better treatment.

The word that came to mind as I read the portion was “trust”. Elohim was asking the people to trust in Him, and in the prophet He sent to them. Even Moshe had to learn to trust that Elohim was behind the events of his life. Consider the following passage from Exodus 4:1-4

And Mosheh answered and said, “And if they do not believe me, nor listen to my voice, and say, ‘יהוה has not appeared to you?’ ” And יהוה said to him, “What is that in your hand?” And he said, “A rod.” And He said, “Throw it on the ground.” So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent. And Mosheh fled from it. And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Reach out your hand and seize it by the tail” – so he reached out his hand and took hold of it, and it became a rod in his hand

Exodus 4:1-4 The Scriptures 2009

Mosheh’s response to the serpent was exactly what mine would have been…he ran! Keep in mind that this wasn’t a simple rat snake, it was probably a poisonous cobra. Yet, when Elohim commands Mosheh to, “reach out…and seize it”, Mosheh obeys. That took a lot of trust, that even if he was bitten, it would be okay.

That kind of trust didn’t happen overnight, Mosheh had been building this trust for 80 years. Is it something you are working on?

And those who know Your Name trust in You.

For You have not forsaken those who seek You, O יהוה

Psalm 9:10 The Scriptures 2009
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