Parashat Shemot (Names)
Shemot (Exodus) 1:1–6:1
As we read God’s Word, we can find certain verses that shed light on other parts of the Scripture, helping us to understand the entire story. In our weekly portion from the Book of Shemot (Exodus), there is a key verse that can illuminate the entire Scripture! For our purposes in this blog, I want to focus on Chapter 5 of Exodus:
And afterward Moses and Aaron came and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Let My people go that they may celebrate a feast to Me in the wilderness. But Pharaoh said, “Who is the LORD that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and besides, I will not let Israel go.””
As I wrote previously, one needs to understand that during that time, Egypt was a powerful- if not the most powerful- kingdom on earth, and Pharaoh was viewed as a god. Moses and Aaron required a great deal of courage to come and say something like this to Pharaoh! Pharaoh’s response in verse 2 is the key verse here, however, as it shows us something that repeats throughout the Scriptures.
Pharaoh, who was considered a god, questions not only the authority of Moses and Aaron, but also the very authority of God. Who is this God who tells mighty Pharaoh what to do? We see a similar questioning of God’s authority over and over again throughout the Scriptures, and it reveals a prideful heart at its very core. The fact is, it’s ALL about God, and who are we to question His authority?
My dear brothers and sisters, we would be wise to remember that the story here, like so many of the Biblical stories, has to do with the One and only TRUE God, and His desire to display His power and might so that He will be glorified. Yes, Moses was a great man of faith and he and Aaron were very courageous, but this is not about them. It’s not even about the nation of Israel! It is all about God, His power, faithfulness, and grace!
This Shabbat, take some time to reflect upon that.
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