Parashat Bo: Come

Parashat Bo: Come- Exodus 10:1-13:16
Haftarah: Jeremiah 46:13-28

This week’s Torah portion contains the final conversation between Moses and Pharaoh. Moses’ last words to Pharaoh were, “You have spoken correctly. I shall never see your face again” Exodus 10:28. Even though Pharaoh called to Moses after the slaying of the firstborn, he never did see Moses again. In this passage Pharaoh only sent word to Moses that the Children of Israel could depart from Egypt (see Ex. 12:31ff). What was the significance to Moses’ statement that he would never see, i.e. speak to Pharaoh again?

The expression “to see one’s face” is a Hebrew idiom that carries with it the meaning of receiving a blessing; as in Numbers 6:25-26, “May the HaShem shine His face upon you and be gracious to you. May HaShem lift up His face upon you and place upon you peace.” When Moses informed Pharaoh that he would not see his face again he was communicating to Pharaoh that this was his final opportunity to find the L-rd’s blessing in his life. G-d is gracious and long suffering, but eventually His patience runs out and His judgment comes.

One of the deceptions of Satan is to mislead people in thinking that there will always be time to repent. It was not that Pharaoh did not know the truth, for he saw many examples of G-d’s unmatched power.  The problem was that he was unwilling to respond to the presence of G-d. Believers must also beware of this deception. A believer can fall into sin and believe that G-d is gracious and He will forgive him. Although this is true it does not mean that there will not be any discipline from Him. Frequently G-d allows one to confess his sin and repent before he responds. Sometimes considerable time can pass without any response from Him. Be careful not to equate the lack of a swift response from G-d as a statement that He is not so concerned with one’s behavior. As Paul says in Roman 2:4b, “…and do you not understand that the goodness of G-d is to lead you to repentance?”

When one ignores the conviction of the Holy Spirit and continues in sin, he is forfeiting the opportunity to turn and find blessings from G-d. In this week’s Torah portion we read about Passover. We learn that there were many people other than Hebrews that turned to G-d and kept the Festival (see Ex. 12:38). They did not find death in their homes, but life. Pharaoh, in remaining unmoved by all the signs that HaShem did, finally tasted a personal consequence to his hard heart—the death of his firstborn son. Although Pharaoh agree to send the people out of Egypt to worship HaShem, he did not turn to G-d and worship Him, but rather he allow HaShem’s discipline to anger him to the point that he decided to attack the people of G-d. It was in this pursuit that he died with all his army in the sea.

An unrepentant heart causes such pain and loss. Why not join me in striving to be more sensitive to the conviction of sin in one’s life. Pray with me that we would humble ourselves to not only acknowledge sin, but to turn from it. Let us thank HaShem that is merciful, forgiving, and slow to anger.

Shabbat Shalom

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