A Journey Into Exodus: Why Moshe?
Psalm 144;12 For our sons are like saplings, nurtured from their youth; our daughters are like cornerstones, crafted in palatial form. 13 Our storehouses overflow to their very corners, providing from harvest to harvest; our sheep increase by the thousands, by the myriads in our open spaces. 14 Our oxen are laden; there is neither breach, nor outburst, nor wailing in our streets. 15 Praiseworthy is the people for whom this is so; praiseworthy is the people whose God is HASHEM.
Exodus 1;8 A new king arose over Egypt, who did not know (YADA) Joseph. 9 He said to his people, “Behold! the people, The Children of Israel, are more numerous and it may be that if a war will occur, it, too, may join our enemies, and wage war against us and go up from the land.” 11 So they appointed taskmasters over it in order to afflict it with their burdens; it built storage cities for Pharaoh, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But as much as they would afflict it, so would it increase and so it would spread out; and they became disgusted because of the Children of Israel. 13 Egypt enslaved the Children of Israel with crushing harshness. 14 They embittered their lives with hard work, with mortar and with bricks, and with every labor of the field; all their labors that they performed with them were with crushing harshness.
–YADA (yaw-dah)- to know (to ascertain by seeing); observation, care, RECOGNITION.
The text of Shemot, which means Names (also known as Exodus) begins relating to us that there is new king over Egypt. It seems far fetched to believe that this king was unaware of Joseph, the savior of all Egypt (and the entire known world at that time). It would be irrational to assume that this king had never heard of Joseph and his immeasurable contributions. The word YADA, meaning know, can also mean to care or to recognize. This king chooses to ignore the incredible contributions Joseph and his people made to society (similar to what the ‘world’ seems to be doing toward Israel to this day, with atrocities such as the Boycott Israel movement). The king made a choice not to recognize the achievements, preservations and restorations the Children of Israel made in Egypt. This leader makes a conscious and intentional effort to poison the minds of his people into believing that those who lived, worked and thrived among them were somehow dangerous, a threat to ‘humanity’ (Much like Hitler and Nazi Germany). It is no coincidence that as this king passes on, the very thing that he chooses not to do (by failing to YADA, recognize Israel)…in attempting to extinguish the growth and eliminate the will of Gods chosen people, God so does YADA from heaven. Amazing, text below states God not only hears (SHAMA)-hearing with intention, attention), remembers (ZAKAR to mark, as to be recognized), and sees (RA’AH- to see; kjv: to have experience with)…but God YADA, knew them.
Exodus 2;23 During those many days, it happened that the king of Egypt died, and the Children of Israel groaned because of the work and they cried out. Their outcry because of their work went up to God. 24 God heard (SHAMA) their moaning, and God remembered (ZAKAR) His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25 God saw (RA’AH) the Children of Israel; and God knew (YADA).
Exodus 1;22 Pharaoh commanded his entire people, saying, “Every son that will be born- into the River shall you throw him! And every daughter shall you keep alive!”
Exodus 2;5 Pharaoh’s daughter went down to bathe by the River and her maidens walked along the River. She saw a basket among the reeds and she sent her maidservant and she took it. 6 She opened it and saw him, the child, and behold! a youth was crying. She took pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrew boys.”
Exodus 2;10 The boy grew up and she brought him to the daughter of Pharaoh and he was a son to her. She called his name Moses, as she said, “For I drew him from the water.”
Exodus 2;11 It happened in those days that Moses grew up and went out to his brethren and observed their burdens; and he saw an Egyptian man striking a Hebrew man, of his brethren. 12 He turned this way and that and saw that there was no man, so he struck down the Egyptian and hid him in the sand.
–Moses was raised in the palace of the most powerful ‘nation’ in the known world. He was taught all the things a prince of Egypt would learn including weaponry, warfare, strategy and leadership. We realize that he was well aware of the God of the Israel and His ways, and his moral center was established despite his time in the pagan royal assemblies. He could easily have assimilated and forsook his heritage but he chose to leave the ornate and sweet smelling enclosures of the pomp in his palace home to seek out his brethren in the cold grip of oppression.
The account of his intercession in the life of the Hebrew man of his people who was being brutally beaten by the Egyptian is the first in three related instances of Moshe’s intuitive involvement with those in distress, situations where he could have looked away but didn’t. It says Moshe looked, this way and that and found no man. What was he looking for? Why? Was it that he was making sure no one would see him? Or could it have been he was looking for another who would be willing to stand up for the dying man, and found none else? Keep this in mind when we consider Moshe and what is revealed about his nature in the Torah.
Isaiah 50;2 Why is it that I have come and there is no man? [Why is it that ] I have called and there is no one who answers? Is my hand too limited to grant redemption? Is there no strength in me to rescue?
Luke 18;6 Then the Lord commented, “Notice what this corrupt judge says. 7 Now won’t God grant justice to his chosen people who call out to Him day and night? Is He delaying long over them? 8 I tell you that He will judge in their favor, and quickly! But when the Son of Man comes, will he find trust on this earth at all?”
Exodus 2;13 He went out the next day and behold! two Hebrew men were fighting. He said to the wicked one, “Why would you strike your fellow?” 14 He replied, “Who appointed you as a dignitary, a ruler, and a judge over us? Do you propose to murder (HARAG) me, as you murdered (HARAG) the Egyptian?” Moses was frightened and he thought, “Indeed, the matter is known!”
–Moses again goes out into the vicinity of his brethren and the next action he takes, involving himself with his people, is the account of the sinful man quarreling with an associate. Moshe questions ‘the wicked one’ who then calls to attention the slaying of the Egyptian. It is interesting that this ‘wicked one’ uses the word HARAG- to smite with deadly intent, when describing what Moshe did…save the life of the afflicted man. Isn’t it just like the evil one to throw in our faces the sins we have committed, shining a spotlight on the transgression until it consumes our original goals toward a righteous act, or change. It should be noted that the man Moshe approaches speaks in very similar language as do Korah, Dathan and Abiram when they sought to ‘usurp’ the leadership from Moshe in the wilderness. [ Numbers 16;3 They gathered together against Moses and against Aaron and said to them, “It is too much for you! For the entire assembly- all of them- are holy and HASHEM is among them; why do you exalt yourselves over the congregation of HASHEM?”] The text states Moshe was frightened, this is the same word which is used in speaking of the Fear of the Lord. What ‘matter’ has become known? Is it the fact that Moshe killed an Egyptian and covered him with sand, or could it also be the fact that this people are very difficult to effect, to lead? If Moshe came with the heart to help and promote peace and justice and is met in such a fashion, it is not to hard to recognize this might have been something that deeply worried him.
Exodus 2; 16 The minister of Midian had seven daughters; they came and drew water and filled the troughs to water their father’s sheep. 17 The shepherds came and drove them away. Moses got up and saved (YASHA) them and watered their sheep. 18 They came to Reuel their father. He said, “How could you come so quickly today?” 19 They replied, “And Egyptian man saved (NATSAL) us from the shepherds, and he even drew water for us and watered the sheep.” 20 He said to his daughters, “Then where is he? Why did you leave the man? Summon him and let him eat bread!”
–This third account of Moshe finds him in a foreign land, where he could easily have stood aside while the daughters of Midian were threatened. This is more than just a mere harassment which was taking place, I believe the fact that the text says he YASHA- to cause to be safe; to free…the daughters and that they state that he NATSAL-to snatch away; kjv: to defend…them, points to the notion that they were in a certain danger which threatened their lives in some way. The imaginable imposing strength and severity of Moshe is evident in this case where right must be forefront over the threat of wickedness, Moshe is known as the most humble man [Numbers 12;3 Now the man Moses was exceedingly humble, more than any person on the face of the earth!] yet his physical strength and obvious tact can not be ignored in this case where he was outnumbered by plural shepherds and prevailed. He saves these women and waters their flocks. I can not help but think of Yeshua, the “prophet like unto Moshe”. Moshe came out to his brethren and was rejected, then finds sanctuary with a foreign people. He rescues them and waters their flocks. He takes a wife from them but never forgets or forsakes his own people, he will return to them and deliver them from the bondage and slavery of Egypt, and lead toward the mountain of God and the covenant a multitude of peoples.
Psalm 90;8 You have set our iniquities before Yourself, our immaturity before the light of Your countenance.
Exodus 3;1 Moses was shepherding the sheep of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; he guided the sheep far into the wilderness, and he arrived at the Mountain of God, toward Horeb. 2 An angel of HASHEM appeared (RA’AH) to him in a blaze of fire from amid the bush. He saw (RA’AH) and behold! the bush was burning in the fire but the bush was not consumed. 3 Moses thought, “I will turn aside now and look (RA’AH) at this great sight- why will the bush not be burned?” 4 HASHEM, saw (RA’AH) that he turned aside to see (RA’AH) ; and God called out to him from amid the bush and said, “Moses, Moses,” and he replied, “Here I am!”
–Before Moshe would become a shepherd and leader of men, he guarded and led flocks of sheep. He guided them deep into the wilderness, the very place he later will trek with the Children of Israel, to Horeb.
The Hebrew word RA’AH- to see, literally or figuratively… is used five times in this text. First we should note that Moshe stops and notices this amazing sight (vision) and turns aside from his focus and stride to seek out the answer to “Why?” God sees that he notices, values this vision and has moved toward knowledge and understanding, this is when He speaks to Moshe. Moshe replies “Hinneinei!” which means “Here I am, ready to do your will….” ready and willing to be a participant, actively in the lives and fates of others. Moshe was willing to break away from the comforts and security the world offered him and seek out his brethren, to seek out justice, to encourage greatness and to rescue those in harms way. For this and many other reasons I pray we will be blessed to uncover in this Journey Into Exodus, that can begin to understand, the answer to the question, “Why Moshe?” When God presents us with opportunities to stay in the comforts of our ‘box’ or to ‘turn aside’ and help someone in need what will we do? Furthermore, when there is the chance to go out on a limb and stand up for what is right, even if it means a big change for your life, what vision or future charge might be placed right in your path?
When God calls your name, will we recognize that and wonder or will we pass on by?
John 10;14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own, and my own know me- 15 just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father- and I lay down my life on behalf of the sheep. 16 Also I have other sheep which are not from this pen; I need to bring them, and they will hear my voice; and there will be one flock, one shepherd.”
Baruch attah ADONAI Eloheinu Melech haOlam
Blessed are You Lord our God King of the universe
You alone have planted among us life eternal
Blessed are You Lord, Gracious Giver of the Torah
B’Shem Yeshua HaMashiac
–Lord there is so much we do not know, so much we seek, so much which escapes us….
please give us understanding. Give us the ears to hear You beckon us to move from our comfort zones. Give us a heart to feel for those who suffer, even those in our own ‘backyard’. Assign for us a role in Your kingdom, here and now, while we await our King….and identify for us our role, the one You will designate and assign . Please help us not to seek our own vengeance and justification when we are wronged and attacked. Please vindicate us according to Your will, humble us according to Your great mercy on us.
Thank You my King for Your Torah and for the entire counsel of Your word.
Thank You for the hope that comes with believing our Savior and redeemer…our deliverer Yeshua is returning to lead us home. It is in his name, and by the power of the holy spirit I ask these things…