PARASHA: “Yitro” (Jethro)
EXODUS 18:1-20:26.......... ISAIAH 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6....... MATT 27:1-28:20
We see in this parashah, a lot of wisdom on the part of Moshe and Yitro, his father-in-law. First, we learn that Moshe had sent his wife and children back to stay with father and grandfather. I believe for safe-keeping, when one sees danger, it is wise to care for one's family, as Moshe did, His wife and children might have been in danger, the Egyptians might have retaliated, might have kidnapped his wife and children, or killed them, so Moshe took precaution, which is a good thing.
The second piece of wisdom comes from Yitro, He is a man of experience, so he says; “Moshe, what are you doing to these people?” hey, you are only one man, and a few million of them? Come on dude, get wise-er, this isn't a one-man deal here, no such things as “lone-rangers” in ministry, even the “Lone-Ranger” was not alone, he had “Tonto”. Ministry is to be shared with other believers, that is why the Ruach Ha Kodesh has given the Spiritual gifts, to be shared, to minister to others, by many, not just one. The rabbi cannot do it alone, neither can the pastor. The rabbi needs his co-workers, and so does the pastor, if not, they are going to run themselves ragged. This is called “pastor/rabbi Burn-out”
This is the parashah of the “Ten Mitzvoth” the “Ten Commandments” but before the giving of these, YHVH presents the deal to the people, kind of like when the bride-groom presents himself to the bride, these are beautiful words;
” Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you unto myself, therefore IF you harken unto my voice and keep my covenant, THEN ye shall be my own treasure from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation” (19:4-6)
It is all conditional, like all contracts, covenants, we see the “IF” and “THEN” He says that He bore Israel on eagles' wings. An eagle will carry her young on her wings to protect them from harm. So did YHVH, He brought Israel through the Sea on dry land, and brought them nigh unto Har Sinai, now, they have to decide, will they accept YHVH as their one and only God? And obey HIS words? It is like asking the bride to accept the groom as her only husband, provider, and loving ruler, (not tyrant) BUT…even though Israel broke the covenant many times, YHVH has remained faithful and we are HIS HOLY PEOPLE, his ELECT, whether we were born and raised in Israel or from the nations, doesn't matter, we are HIS because we have accepted HIS sacrifice in YESHUA our “Goel” (Redeemer), and we choose the follow his Torah, his LIVING Torah. The HE lays out the first 10 of the 613 commandments, which generalize, one can say “all” of the Torah: We need to realize that the first ten were given directly by Adonai to his people, HIS voice to HIS people, the other 603 were given to the people THROUGH Moshe, but still, they are all GOD’s commandments. Moshe simply did not make them up.
”ANOCHI YHVH ELOHEIHA” ( I AM ADONAI YOUR GOD) with the I AM emphasized, one can say “Ani” (I) or Anochi (I really AM) He is saying, I am who I have claimed to be, the God who took you out of Egypt and brought you here, I am ready to be your God, so if that is the case, there can only be ONE God in your life, that is ME, I don't want statues of me, that what the Egyptians did, so, don't do as they did, (It took one day to take Israel out of Egypt, but 40 years to take Egypt out of Israel if you get the meaning). Don't bow down and worship other gods, that will NOT be accepted. It is interesting to see that the word “Egyptians” and “Egypt” is the same in Hebrew, it is the word “Mitzraim”.
It is interesting that the phrase; "do not have other gods before me" translates into the original Hebrew; "Do not place false gods in front of my face" It is like someone is looking at you, or you are looking at someone. You might be a husband looking at your wife, or a wife looking at your husband. Yet you, all of a sudden, place a "basketball" between both of your faces. This would be like saying; "playing ball is more important than attending your needs, playing ball comes first" it could be anything, (even a lover, ugh!, hope not)
When Israel crossed the Red Sea, the “Egyptians” were drowned in the sea, yet “Egypt” followed Israel still, in the manner of “mindset” “philosophy”, “influence”. Today when we reject the ways of the world, and come to “Yeshua” there are still “world-ways” one tends to follow, sometimes we do things even without thinking, which reminds us of the “ways of the world” (evil things).
Yet we see today, even though we don't make or bow down to silver, gold, wooden statues that symbolize who God is, or TRY to symbolize who he is, sorry guys, they didn't have cameras back then to take pictures, many bow down and consider more important things like; football, soccer, money, sex, TV, fast cars, work, you name it, if these come before our worship and service to our God YHVH, then those things ARE OUR gods!! put them in their proper places, least YHVH takes them from us by force!!
THOU SHALT NOT TAKE THE NAME OF YHVH IN VAIN... What is being said here? When many take oaths, promises, many times the name of GOD is used; like “I swear to God I'll pay you back next week”
Well, if next week rolls around and you pay back what you owe, you will have HONORED the NAME of GOD, yet if you don't, you will have taken the NAME of God in vain! It is better not to make promises and use God's name, we can always say “I'll do my best to pay you back as soon as I am able” and leave it at that. One can take the name of the LORD thy GOD in vain without words, our mere actions and comportment speak of God and who He is, if we behave unlike born-again believers, if we behave like a lost person, using foul language in front of others, getting upset and throwing temper fits, we are TAKING HIS NAME IN VAIN. And using those ugly 4 letter words, And other sorts of ugly language...well. that is not swearing, that is being just plain vulgar.
REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY....The sabbath is and always will be Saturday, it was never changed to Sunday, nothing wrong with going to church on Sunday, to me, it is a “double blessing” to worship Adonai two days straight. Yes, the early believers met on the first day of the week (Sunday) to break bread and have fellowship, this was “Havdalah” this was the close of the Sabbath and the welcome of the new week. This was a “custom” that they did, and we still do, it was not a CHANGE of sabbaths. Yeshua resurrected on the first day of the week, Baruch HaShem!! great! And we also can worship on Sundays at local churches, but it was NEVER a change of sabbaths. We should dedicate the sabbath day to be in the Synagogue or at church, to worship, learn from his word through God's chosen ministers, Sunday school teachers, Torah teachers. Go home and rest, or take the family out to lunch, give the wife a break from the kitchen, or eat lunch at the synagogue (Oneg) leave the material things and worldly things to the next day. Rest means rest! I have read in rabbinical commentaries that when “The World keeps the Sabbath perfectly...THEN… Messiah will return!” well, He still has never returned, does that mean that the world has not kept Shabbos perfectly? Guess so. Shabbat is HaSatan's perfect and favorite time to stir up trouble and tempers so that we will NOT have a restful Shabbat. Be aware of that.
HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER...This really needs no explanation, it is common sense to honor our parents and respect them because of WHO they are, and what they have done for us. My mom and dad used to say to me; “We went without many times to give you the things that you have today” Our parents give us love, raise us, hopefully, to love God, ( I can't speak for all of you readers since everyone is different) But, if our parents gave us love and taught us about God and Yeshua/Jesus, then, we ought to do the same for our kids. Honoring father and mother does not mean sticking them in a rest home when they are old and going off and forgetting about them. It doesn't work like that. Were your parents rotten to you? Did they mistreat you? Well, love them anyway! It is what Yeshua taught.
THOU SHALT NOT MURDER, THOU SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, THOU SHALT NOT STEAL.....ever wonder why those three commandments are together? If one commits adultery, sleeps with another man's wife or husband, one is “murdering” a marital relationship, and “stealing” what does not belong to you, being another person's spouse. Yeshua explains it even better, He said if you only “think” of sleeping, having sex with another person's wife or husband, that person has already committed adultery in his or her mind, it gets pretty intense if you look at it that way. “Murder” does NOT include going to war and fighting for your nation, you are DEFENDING your family and homeland. “Stealing?” that can be a two or three-page explanation, if you come back late from lunch, you are “stealing” time from your employer, if you do not do your very best, then you are “stealing” from your employer, your own ability and usefulness. Can a man rob God? Malachi says, “Yes” God speaking through his prophet, “You have ROBBED me of your tithes and offerings” One can rob from God when we do not utilize our spiritual gifts, or waste them on worldly things.
DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS....This is another lengthy subject, but with simple words, always tell the truth, and do not hide the truth from others. To know that some thieves are planning to rob your neighbor, and you remain silent and do not alert your neighbor, it is if you opened your neighbor's door for the thieves, you are being false. To tell a half-truth is to be false. Yes, the truth at times can be costly, and painful, but being false can be worse.
DO NOT COVET... Be satisfied with what you have, the job you have, the bank account you have, with the car you have, with the wife or husband you have...Coveting can lead to worse crimes, look at Aachen, who coveted the Babylonian tunic and gold from Jericho, it cost him his life, and his family's lives too. If you want more than you have already, take it to the LORD in prayer, if the LORD sees that there is nothing wrong with giving you a little more, HE will give it to you in HIS perfect time. You never know, people with “more things” usually have “more headaches” or “more” to worry about. I remember what the TV preacher Rex Humbard said once, “God may give you what you want, but you're not going to want what you get!” So, give thanks for what you already have, when we go to heaven, we will leave it ALL BEHIND.
” KADOSH, KADOSH, KADOSH, ADONAI TZEVA’OT” .... Holy, Holy, Holy, is YHVH of hosts” When the Torah mentions the “Holiness” of God, the word is KADOSH, the “O” is there, (the letter “vav” in Hebrew) but when “holiness” is mentioned referring to mankind, the “O” is missing, and we have KAD_SH, this “missing “vav” symbolizes our “incompleteness of our holiness, because of our inborn “sin nature”
Yeshayahu (Isaiah) is being asked by God, “Whom shall I send, who will go for US?” (Elohim) The Prophet answers, “Here am I, send me!” and God responds, “Go, and tell the people!” That should be our attitude as well, we have those orders too from God, to “tell the people” about Yeshua, to teach those who will listen, his WORD, even though many will not understand at the beginning, or will refuse, we have to try, WE (all believers) are responsible for taking the “Good News” to others who will listen, and with the modern technology, the internet, this has become possible, what used to be almost impossible, now is possible, with fingers going across the keyboard and with the click of the mouse, the word is sent out.
Isaiah must be saying right now, “Oh how I wish I had a laptop back then!”
This relates the age-old story of Yeshua's trial, execution, and resurrection, this story we know well, He did it to pay the price of our sins, past, present, and future, His onetime only sacrifice was good forever, and still IS good forever. But many people still reject this sacrifice, reject this free gift of salvation, for a short-lived world of pleasure, for an eternity of suffering and pain.
When we look at Passover, which is coming up soon, we are reminded of the “Passover lambs” which were sacrificed/slaughtered on the eve of Passover. The blood of the lambs sprinkled on the doorposts of the Israelite houses in Goshen, thus protecting them from the Angel of Death. We could also presume that if an Egyptian family did the same, they also would have been spared being struck dead by the Death-Angel. (the firstborn that is).
All those sacrificed lambs point to Yeshua, who was the “Lamb of God” who took away the curse of sin from the world. The unleavened bread which was eaten that night, which we still eat on Passover, is “Yeshua the Bread of Life”. The Lamb of God and the Living Bread go together.
Pilate wrote these words on the cross, YESHUA OF NAZARETH, KING OF THE JEWS, in Hebrew it would have been 'YESHUA HA NOTZRI, V'HA MELECH Y'HUDIM. Within this title are the letters YHVH, which explains who Yeshua is really, God on earth, made flesh and blood, whose blood was shed to set us free.
Shabbat Shalom......Ben Avraham