A Journey Into Exodus; Part 2 : A Compassionate Leader Inspires the Hopeless
Psalms 28;3 Do not cause me to be drawn with the wicked and with the doers of iniquity, who speak peace with their companions though evil is in their hearts. 4 Give them according to their deeds and according to the evil of their actions; according to their handiwork give them, render their recompense to them. 5 For they do not contemplate the deeds of HASHEM or His handiwork; may He tear them down and not rebuild them. 6 Blessed is HASHEM, for He has heard the sound of my supplications. 7 HASHEM is my strength and my shield, in Him my heart trusted and I was helped; and my heart exulted, with my song I praise Him: 8″HASHEM is strength to them; and the stronghold of salvations for His anointed is He.” 9 Save Your nation, and bless Your inheritance; tend them and elevate them forever.
–Moshe has very reluctantly agreed to take up the mission God has ordained for him, to be the leader and savior of His people…to go to the king of Egypt and be the messenger of the One true God. We learned that Moshe was the most humble man on the face of the earth and that he was also exceedingly strong. Here we will consider some of the vital attributes to Moshe’s outstanding leadership as we Journey into Exodus further.
Exodus 5;20They encountered Moses and Aaron standing opposite them, as they left Pharaoh’s presence. 21 They said to them, “May HASHEM look upon you and judge, for you have made our very scent abhorrent in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of his servants, to place a sword in their hands to murder us!” 22 Moses returned to HASHEM and said, “My Lord, why have You done evil to this people, why have you sent me? 23 From the time I came to Pharaoh to speak in Your Name he did evil to this people, but You did not rescue Your people.”
–The people are utterly spent, they are replete with sorrow for the daily deaths of their brethren whom Egypt considers, expendable slaves. The people are engorged with the bitter flavor of hopelessness, working ceaselessly day and night, their workload having been doubled, the quota of bricks nearly impossible to meet as Pharaoh removes the free access to straw (which they must now provide for themselves). When Moses and Aaron had assembled them and shown them the signs God provided, even giving them an ancient Name to believe in (Eyeh, Asher, Eyeh! I shall be as I shall be!)…it was a moment of clemency from their catastrophic living conditions. But now, it seems things are worse than ever…the text reveals their hearts. Are we forbidden to question God? Is it wrong to ‘challenge’ God?
Moshe was chosen by God to lead His people for many reasons, one of which is explicitly clear from our text. Moshe will ask the tough questions, he will take on the big challenges, even when he does so before Almighty God. Moshe will ‘stand up’ to God, so to speak, and the heart behind this is clearly favorable in Gods sight…because God does not chastise him. What could be a more difficult question to ask, “God, I know You make the rules, I know there is suffering and that You are in control…but why can’t You, who makes these boundaries and designs all things…change them, for the sake of your people, and alleviate their discomfort?” Furthermore, Moshe asks the question himself, “Why me?” What is the meaning of this question? The sages suggest that Moshe knew he would not be the one who would actually take the Children of Israel into the Land of Canaan. Also, we are taught that Moshe was asking God to send the Mashiac, the Messiah (Yeshua) instead…at this, the ‘darkest hour’ for the Jewish people, their humble intercessor is not feeling sorry for himself, rather he knows there is a Redeemer greater than he and asks God to sent Him at that time.
Psalm 110; 1 The word of HASHEM to my master, “Wait at My right, until I make your enemies a stool for your feet.” 2 HASHEM will dispatch the staff of your strength from Zion; rule amid your enemies! 3 Your people volunteer on the day of your campaign; because of your majestic sanctity from the inception of [your reign], you retain the dew like freshness of your youth. 4 HASHEM has sworn and will not relent, “You shall be a priest forever, because you are a king of righteousness.” 5 The Lord is at your right; He crushes kings on the day of His anger.
Exodus 6;1HASHEM said to Moses, “Now you will see what I shall do to Pharaoh, for through a strong hand will he send them out, and with a strong hand will he drive them from his land. 2 God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am HASHEM. 3 I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as El Shaddai, but with My Name HASHEM I did not make Myself known to them. 4 Moreover, I established My covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojourning in which they sojourned.
–HASHEM answers Moses, first declaring with severity that he will see what power and strength will be displayed over Pharaoh his kingdom and people, and then more gently he says to Moses drawing him close…’I appeared to your father and his fathers as God Almighty but you will know me as HASHEM (the yud hey vav hey, YAHWEH) as a groom, not only that…the promise I made to your fathers will come true in the lives of your children, and furthermore…it is You who will be given the Torah, and You who will witness My glory on the mountain.’ In other words God is telling Moses ‘there is so much wonder in store, specialized and unique for you and the people of your generation….and you will witness it!’
Think about this, Abraham walked in the ways of God and taught his household in kind even without the ‘giving of the Torah’ he was obedient to God, he looked forward to the Day of Yeshua in faith yet he did not see his children numerous as the stars of heaven in possession of the land of Canaan. Moses and his generation were crying out for a Messiah they awaited and when they in faith were obedient to God He took them from their bondage brought them to the mountain and gave them the Torah and divine revelation at Pentecost. The generation of Yeshua were anxiously awaiting the Messiah’s appearance, their language to John the Immerser is evidence that they were well aware He was expected…Messiah came in that generation, many believed, many rejected and in this period of the revelation of the Torah made flesh, the ultimate sacrifice was made. Now what about us? What about the generation of our children or grandchildren? I believe that God wants us, like Moses, to be encouraged…that we have been created for such a time as this…to perhaps bear witness to the return of our King and Messiah! If the believers of past generations grew progressively more expectant and anxious for this revelation, how much more so should we be encouraged and excited today!
John 6;32 Yes, indeed! I tell you, it wasn’t Moshe who gave you the bread from heaven. But my father is giving you the genuine bread from heaven; 33 for God’s bread is the one who comes down out of heaven; 34 for God’s bread is the one who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread from now on.” 35 Yeshua answered, “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty. 36 I told you that you have seen but still don’t trust. 37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will certainly not turn away. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of the One who sent me. 39 And this is the will of the One who sent me: that I should not lose any of all these he has given me but should raise them up on the Last Day. 40 Yes, this is the will of the Father: that all who see the Son and trust in him should have eternal life, and that I should raise them up on the Last Day.”
–The Lord has not forgotten His people, He has not turned away nor hidden His face from them. As a Father to His firstborn son He feels the pain in every tear and drop of blood, as their Head and Leader He shares the sting of every strike upon their shoulders. In their woes He shares woe, in their lament He laments, in their affliction He is afflicted. The Lord reminds Moshe that He hears His people and this text is a recollection of the Oath God made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…and a new profession of sevenfold promise: I shall take you…YATSA-(yaw-tsaw), to go out with a directive, in order and with a charge.
I shall rescue you… NATSAL-(naw-tsal), to snatch away…defending you, as a firebrand rescued from flames. I shall redeem you…GA’AL-(gaw-al) to pay the price for you, and ransom you, purchase your freedom and give you a life. I shall take you…LAQACH (law-kakh), bring you as a wife, reserve you as a treasure, and send for you from the four corners of the earth, and I will be…HAYAH-(haw-yaw), become, as real as your very existence, your God. You shall know…YADA-(yaw-dah), to ascertain by seeing, intimately in relationship with Me. I shall bring you…BO, to come, to carry and preserve you on your way. I shall give NATHAN-(naw-than) without fail, commit…to you the Land of Israel as a MOWRASHAH- (mow-raw-shaw), possession.
Exodus 6; 5 Moreover, I have heard the groan of the Children of Israel: ‘ I am HASHEM, and I shall take you (YATSA) out from under the burdens of Egypt; I shall rescue (NATSAL) you from their service; I shall redeem (GA’AL)you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 I shall take (LAQACH) you to Me for a people and I shall be (HAYAH) a God to you; and you shall know (YADA) that I am HASHEM your God, Who takes you out from under the burdens of Egypt. 8 I shall bring (BO) you to the land about which I raised My hand to give it to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and I shall give (NATHAN) it to you as a heritage (MOWRASHAH)- I am HASHEM.’ ”
Isaiah 63;7 HASHEM’s kindnesses I will proclaim as the praises of HASHEM, in accordance with all that HASHEM has bestowed upon us and the abundant goodness to the House of Israel that He has bestowed upon them in His compassion and in His abundant kindness. 8 For He said, “Indeed they are My people, children who will not be false,” and He became their Savior. 9 In all their troubles He was troubled, so an angel from before Him saved them. With His love and with His compassion He redeemed them; He lifted them and bore them all the days of this world.
Psalm 102; 18 “He will have turned to the prayer of each devastated one and not have despised their prayer.” 19 Let this be recorded for the final generation, so that the newborn people will praise God. 20 For He gazed from His exalted Sanctuary; HASHEM looked down from heaven to earth, 21 to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to liberate those doomed to die, 22 to declare in Zion the Name of HASHEM, and His praise in Jerusalem, 23 when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to serve HASHEM. 24 He has afflicted my strength on the way; He has shortened my days. 25 I say, “O my God, do not remove me in the midst of my days; Your years endure through all generations. 26 Of old, You laid the earth’s foundation, and the heavens are Your handiwork. 27 They will perish, but You will endure; all of them will wear out like a garment, You will exchange them like a cloak to pass on. 28 But You remain the same, and Your years will never end. 29 Your servants’ children shall be settled and their children will be established before You.”
Exodus 6;9 So Moses spoke accordingly to the Children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of shortness (QOTSER) of breath (RUACH) and hard work.
–QOTSER (ko-tser)- shortness (of spirit); impatience.
RUACH (roo-akh)- wind; breath; a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; life.
Moshe tells the people of the beautiful outstanding promises of God, but this message is not received because of a shortness of spirit and an intolerance for the life they are leading. The physical labor has actually drained the holy spirit from them and there is no room for hope. In Romans we read about the glory that is to come, where our physical pains will be relieved and that the actual bondage to death will change to an eternal liberation. Just as soon as we are born, we begin to die…and at the same time as our cells expire, new cells replace them. What is life but a series of experiences and interactions where we can choose to embrace the Spirit and let it work in us, sustain us and regenerate…our ruach, invigoration that which moans and groans transforming us into vessels of praise and hope throughout the duration of tragedy and woe. This is the choice we have and that Paul explains that these hardships are not even worth taking inventory of when we remain watching earnestly, looking forward to the dignity and magnificence God will disclose for us in the future.
Romans 8; 18 I don’t think the sufferings that we are going through now are even worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed to us in the future. 19 The creation waits eagerly for the sons of God to be revealed; 20 for the creation was made subject to frustration- not willingly, but because of the one who subjected it. But it was given a reliable hope 21 that it too would be set free from its bondage to decay and would enjoy the freedom accompanying the glory that God’s children will have. 22 We know that until now, the whole creation has been groaning as with the pains of childbirth; 23 and not only it, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we continue waiting eagerly to be made sons- that is, to have our whole bodies redeemed and set free. 24 It is in this hope that we are saved.
Exodus 6;12 Moses spoke before HASHEM, saying, “Behold, the Children of Israel have not listened to me, so how will Pharaoh listen to me? And I have sealed lips!”
–What does it take to be a good leader? What defines leadership? Today we might say wealth, power, prestige, credentials…but are these God’s requirements? God chose a leader who would not only share in the fate of his own people but feel for them on a level that is beyond our understanding today. God chose a leader who was willing to put himself last, even to the point of death…if it meant he could save his people. God chose a leader who’s depth of compassion would bring out a level of response…Moshe’s compassion elicited that distinction and verification of a truly Godly leader, Moshe’s leadership generated inspiration.
God chose Moses because he had a selfless passion that would drive his continual intercession. He was the only one who would willingly stand in the gap for this people. As amazing as Moshe is, it is awe inspiring still when we realize that like some of us, he had a sort of self- esteem impairment, he questioned his own ability to perform…he realized the weight of the people and the responsibility, and though it could seem that he didn’t desire it…his only concern was that he would somehow fail them. This is why the Lord takes this point in the Torah to stop the whole narrative and explain just WHO, Moshe was. God has hand picked Moshe and Aaron, Levites from descendants who walked in the way of the Lord. The men who would take on the big encumbrance and who would chastise the most powerful mortal in the known world.
Exodus 6:26 This was the Moses and Aaron to whom HASHEM said: “Take the Children of Israel our of Egypt according to their legions (TSABA).” 27 They were the ones who spoke to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to take the Children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; this was the Moses and Aaron.
Exodus 6;28 It was on the day when HASHEM spoke to Moses in the land of Egypt. 29 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, “I am HASHEM. Speak to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, everything that I speak to you.” 30 Moses said before HASHEM, “Behold! I have sealed lips, so how shall Pharaoh heed me?”
–Moses may not see himself as the lofty leader God has chosen but the Lord lovingly and intensely wants for him to know the height of the potential he will reach. This is why the language God himself uses is such a motivation for His handpicked leaders. He invigorates, empowers and animates them just as they are about to meet and challenge Pharaoh, head on.
Exodus 7;1 HASHEM said to Moses, “See, I have made you a master (ELOHIM) over Pharaoh, and Aaron your brother shall be your spokesman (NABIY). 2 You shall speak everything that I shall command you, and Aaron your brother shall speak to Pharaoh, that he should send the Children of Israel from his land. 3 But I shall harden Pharaoh’s heart and I shall multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 Pharaoh will not heed you, and I shall put My hand upon Egypt; and I shall take out My legions (TSABA)- My people, the Children of Israel- from the land of Egypt, with great judgments.
–ELOHIM- (el-o-heem) in the ordinary sense= gods
NABIY- (naw-bee)= generally, an inspired man; a prophet.
TSABA- (tsaw-baw)=a mass of persons organized for war (an army)
The Lord strengthens Moses and Aaron with the terms, ‘You will be like a god over Pharaoh and Aaron will be your Prophet.’ He reiterates that the Almighty in whom they trust is in control and that He will made Himself known to His own people as He breathes on them, into them…a spirit which will cause them to remember a life worth living; He will make Himself known with might and glory to the mortal who dared to say, “I don’t know HASHEM, and I will not take heed…” [Exodus 5;2 Pharaoh replied, “Who is HASHEM that I should heed His voice to send out Israel? I do not know HASHEM, nor will I send out Israel!” ]
Furthermore God expresses that his people will be ready, armed with His spirit, covered by His shield…and that they will assemble as a legion and army inspired once again by their general and leader Moshe.
Nehemiah 9;6 You alone are HASHEM; You made the heavens, the most exalted heavens and all their legion (TSABA), the earth and all that is upon it, the seas and all that is in them, and you give them all life; and the heavenly legion (TSABA) bows to You. 7 You are HASHEM the God, You selected Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldees, and you changed his name to Abraham. 8 You found his heart faithful before You, and You sealed the covenant with him to give him the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Jebusite and the Girgashite- to give it to his offspring; and You affirmed Your word, for You are righteous. 9 You observed the suffering of our forefathers in Egypt, and You heard their outcry at the Sea of Reeds. 10 You imposed signs and wonders upon Pharaoh and upon all his servants and upon all the people of his land, for you knew that they had sinned willfully against them; and You brought Yourself renown, as clear as this very day.
–Before a person comes to know our redeemer, our savior Yeshua…he is like a slave, bent under the heavy weight of sin and sorrow. Our Messiah, our teacher, our shepherd and leader…looked upon our bondage and saw our fate, death…he tasted every bit of our tribulation and more, for he submitted even to the grave for our sake’s. Yeshua is the true leader who shared in the fate of His people, and in his compassion and grace…in his insurmountable mercy he forgave us and even offered us a path to freedom. Yeshua is the inspiration and hope every slave needs, he is the general every covenant and legion member will train and sweat and await with bated breath…to follow, and obey his every order and command.
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 our God, Gracious Giver of the Torah.
B’Shem Yeshua HaMashiac, amein.
Lord amid our challenges You have shone a brilliant light, as we see the dark invading it is as if He shines all the brighter. Among the unbelievable chaos, Lord everything seems as if it is upside-down and backwawrds, but Your everlasting Word and Truth remains steadfast and relevant to us in this very day, for this very time. I shout thanks and praise to You for giving us this truth and light, it does lead us through our strife and we continue to look to You and to our teacher. Make a place in our hearts, training ground where we can prepare for the day our accusers will assemble…open our eyes to the ways we are supposed to, ourselves, shine amid the darkness. Give us the strength to pursue You more my King, not less as our burdens increase. Give us the Spirit to draw nearer to You and rejoice rather than despair because we believe our redeemer is near and we know that he is coming for us. Prepare a place for Your maidservant, last, least and small…but please may I serve You in reverence for eternity. Bless Your children, according to Your will, by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the beautiful Name of Yeshua. Amein.