Bearing the Power of the Promise

Saturday, December 28
Exodus 6:2—7:7

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A frustrated Moses comes before the Lord. Ever since Moses went before Pharaoh with the command he received from the Lord to let God’s people go, life became worse for the Hebrews. However, Moses always turns his troubles over to the Lord. This will become a habit for him.

Hear the strength of the promise. Moses and God’s people will need to bear the power of the promise to carry them through the continual resistance that Pharaoh will make.

Allow the promise of God do the same for you. You will encounter times of temptation, doubt, and discouragement. When that occurs, allow the power of the promise of God held out to you in Christ Jesus to fire the “internal combustion engine” of your life.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
“I the Lord will deliver.” 6:6
You redeem with outstretched arm. 6:6
We Your people, You our God 6:7
You giving me words to speak 7:2

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Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

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3 thoughts on “Bearing the Power of the Promise

  1. I subscribe to the weekly commentaries on the Sabbath Torah reading from the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City.
    For more information and links to subscribe, visit http://www.jtsa.edu/Conservative_Judaism/JTS_Torah_Commentary.xml

    Taste of Torah
    Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz

    Mosaic intransigence continues in this week’s parashah as our prophet continues to resist his prophetic role. In response to Moses’s self-deprecation (referring to himself as “one of impeded speech” [Exod. 6:30]), God seeks to bolster Moses’s self-confidence. Declaring to Moses, “See, I place you in the role of God to Pharaoh, with your brother Aaron as your prophet” (Exod. 7:1). God tells him that his brother Aaron will speak to the Egyptian ruler. How are we to comprehend that God has seemingly diminished the divine ego for the sake of Moses (i.e., telling Moses that he will play the role of God to Pharaoh)?

    Professor Zeev Falk comments, “Standing before Pharaoh, God appoints Moses as God and Aaron as a prophet because Pharaoh views himself as a god. The relationship between God and a prophet is described in fuller detail in Deuteronomy 18:14-16 and in II Chronicles 20:20 . . . Very similar to this is the Muslim declaration of faith: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet” (Falk, Divrei Torah Ad Tumam, 130).

    As God works on allaying Moses’s very real fears of appearing before Pharaoh and being taken seriously by the latter and his own people, there is a keen understanding of the issues at play. First, God understands that Moses must be seen as an equal by Pharaoh; only then will there be a chance of Pharaoh’s acquiescence. Pharaoh sees himself as a god and so protocol dictates that he must interact with a fellow “god.” Second, Moses’s confidence is fragile at best. By appointing him as God to Pharaoh, God hopes to boost Moses’s stature and self-image and, in so doing, make him a successful messenger. Finally, though Moses has been chosen as the leader, God seeks to teach Moses that he cannot do this alone. His brother Aaron will be his right-hand man and, in this respect, their relationship will resemble that of God and a prophet. Just as God needs a prophetic messenger to mediate the divine word, so too does Moses need Aaron. Overall, it is a humbling experience to realize that one cannot succeed singlehandedly; it “takes a village” in so many different ways. These three lessons are important fruit gleaned from the literal text in light of Falk’s commentary. May we, like Moses, have the gumption to diminish our own egos in an effort to empower and embolden others as new leaders blazing their own path.

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  2. It is significant that we read Exodus 6 on New Year’s Day, about God’s choosing Moses to lead God’s people to freedom; it is the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863.

    The covenantal name of God, “Yahweh” lifts God from being a distant deity to one that offers mutuality in relationship. We need God, and God has allowed God’s self to need us. Together we are to move toward the freedom that God wants for us and for every human person.

    Feeling inadequate to collaborate with God? You’re in good company with Moses and with Paul who felt the same way. 2 Corinthians 10:10 refers to some difficulty he was alleged to have about speaking. Paul adds: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

    The Bible Breath “We Your people, You our God” in Exodus 6:7, could be breathed in reverse order, “You our God, we Your people,” for the relationship is circular, looking like the sync icon in various computer applications.

    A joyous New Year to everyone!

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