Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Exodus a legal transaction

Last week's Parasha was called "Bo," a word that most English translations render as "Go." However, "bo" is actually a command form of "come." If I were to ask you to come along with me to go somewhere, I would call out: "Bo!" Perhaps what YHVH was suggesting to Moses, in choosing this particular word here (and in several of the other instances when He sent him to Pharaoh), was that He Himself was going to Pharaoh and wanted His servant to accompany Him. Knowing that YHVH was actually the one addressing Egypt's king would certainly have given Moses a great sense of security.

At that particular encounter, YHVH continued to speak saying: "I have hardened his [Pharaoh's] heart and the hearts of his servants, that I may show these signs of Mine before him" (Exodus 10:1 emphases added). Elohim was telling Moses that although He was taking him along 'for the ride,' everything that was going to take place would be of Him and from Him. Over and over again YHVH reminds His people that He brought them out of Egypt. He never says, "Remember when Moses brought you out of bondage." Through Moses and Aaron YHVH spoke to Pharaoh in first-person: "How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me? Let My people go, that they may serve Me" (Exodus 10:1 Emphases added).

In that Parasha, as well as in the one for this week, there are very important lessons for us to learn about our own spiritual exodus out of bondage to "sin and death," and how the Father provided a Lamb, so that "light" would shine in our tents while the rest of the world is in tangible (feel-able) darkness.
Along with these two Torah Parashot, we should also study Paul's commentary in Romans chapters 5 and 6, where he explains how YHVH redeemed and saved His people from slavery and bondage to the "kingdom of darkness."

In dealing with this topic Paul's 'argument,' aside from being founded on the intimate knowledge that he had of his Elohim and Messiah, is based upon the Torah laws that govern redemption and were fulfilled in Yeshua's death, burial, and resurrection. Had YHVH not acted sovereignly, there would have been no possibility for man to extricate himself from the bondage to Satan's kingdom. YHVH, through fulfilling the legal requirements for "atonement," enabled mankind to receive the grace to be justified and reconciled to Himself. If it were not for the Torah's instructions, we would not even begin to understand and know the love, mercy, and justice of the Elohim of the Hebrews. The Israelites found grace when YHVH delivered them out of Egypt, as YHVH Himself declares: "Thus says YHVH: 'The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness -- Israel, when I went to give him rest'" (Jeremiah 31:2). The mercy or grace of the Father is always part of His justice.

YHVH's laws are active throughout the Torah, but 'behind the scenes' of those rulings is revealed His heart toward His people; for example, Pharaoh and his firstborn had the power to keep Israel under their authority as long as Israel was in their kingdom. The only way that YHVH could remove their influence was to put Egypt's firstborn to death.
He could have also destined the king to the same fate, but in order for this to remain a legal transaction YHVH had to extract "permission" from him to let His people go. Remember, Joseph needed the consent of his boss in order for his family to have land and property in Egypt. This verbal contract could not be broken without both parties' mutual agreement.

The final execution of YHVH's plan in regards to Pharaoh took place while Israel was hidden under and behind the blood of the lamb (on their doorposts). Thus, as they were receiving grace the law was being fulfilled. Similarly, when Yeshua died on the execution stake, YHVH judicially or legally took away Satan's rights over mankind. "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it " - in Yeshua's death (Colossians 2:15). YHVH disarmed, that is, removed the principalities and powers' authority to rule and reign over humanity. But then He also had to destroy the armed forces that kept these authorities in power. For the Israelites He accomplished this by having them pass through the Reed Sea in order to annihilate Pharaoh's army in the very same place. The (spiritual) counterpart in our life is water immersion (see Romans chapter 6:3-4). Our acceptance of redemption through the blood of the lamb has to be confirmed by being immersed in water (passing through the proverbial Reed Sea).

When our ancestors did likewise and arrived on the other side, they turned around and watched the waters cover and destroy their enemy's army and then sang the Song of Moses (see Exodus 15: 2-19). Upon emerging out of the water every believer should follow suite, by either singing or reading the same Song. If you have never done this, then this week's Parasha gives you the opportunity to reflect back on your immersion and recount this great and awesome act of the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. "They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works…(Revelation 15:3).

As mentioned in the beginning, these earth shuttering events were not about Moses or Aaron, YHVH's chosen servants for that time, but about bringing glory to Who was and is the Elohim of the Hebrews.

"So YHVH saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Thus Israel saw the great work which YHVH had done in Egypt; so the people feared YHVH, and believed YHVH and His servant Moses" (Exodus 14:30-31).
In regards to the New Covenant "exodus," may we fear YHVH and believe Him and His Servant/Son Yeshua.

No comments: