BESHALLACH | WEEK 16
By Ari Sorko-Ram
Ex 13:17 – 17:18
As we begin our Parashah for this week, we see that God has delivered Israel out of Egypt. What must first take place, however, is the re-educating of the newly freed nation of Israel. Having been in bondage for 430 years, this young nation has never possessed a land. They also have not learned to defend themselves against any aggressors. They have not yet been to battle or war.
So, God led them by the way of the wilderness (Hamidba).
The use of Hebrew words “derech haMidbar” implies “the way of the Word,” and also “the way of learning.” (Ex. 13:18) “Hence God led the people around by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea.”
Israel would not be ready to enter the Land of Promise until they learned to govern.
They did know that the God of Israel was supernatural, so they could follow the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
Their first test came when Pharaoh pursued them in order to return them to slavery and bondage.
God had them camp before Pi-Hahiroth (the mouth of freedom) by Migdol and The Sea of Reeds (the Red Sea) and opposite and in front of Baal-Zephon (lord of the north) which was synonymous with Pharaoh who was pursuing them.
Having escaped from bondage, their captor (Pharaoh) was pursuing them to return them to slavery. They had a choice: yield to Pharaoh and his bondage, which they knew, or escape to a new-found freedom, which they had not yet known.
In Chapter 14, verse 13, it says, “But Moses said to the people, ‘Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today.’” Moses, having faith in God, told the people that God would bring salvation for the people. However, God made it clear to Moses that he was to use what God had already given him, his staff and faith. He was to do what he could in the natural, and God would then do the supernatural.
The Israelites had been delivered from judgment by the blood of the lamb over the doorposts of their homes, but were now faced with the choice to go back to Egypt and their known bondage (Baal-Zephon lord of the north), Pharaoh, or towards the Pi-Hahiroth (the mouth of freedom), which was to go through the Red Sea and require a miracle from God through Moses.
Both putting the blood over the doorposts of their homes and going forward into and through the Red Sea were physical acts of faith by both the Israelites and the mixed multitude that went with them. According to their faith, the Lord delivered them from judgment of sin: the Lord passed over the homes that had the blood of the lamb over their doorposts on the evening of Passover, and then delivered them from the hand of the pursuing army of Pharaoh as they passed through the Red Sea on dry land, while Pharaoh and his army were destroyed by the returning waters.
Those who had placed the blood of the lamb over the doorposts were in blood-covenant relationship with God, and, as they passed through the Red Sea, the waters of the Red Sea (a type of immersion) separated them from Pharaoh and his army as they continued in faith to freedom and the Land of Promise.
They were delivered by blood and water as stated in the New Covenant scriptures (John 3:5…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.). The new Spirit is, of course, the result of repenting and receiving the atoning blood of the Lamb of God. The waters of immersion separate the born-again believer from the world of spiritual bondage.
Like in Exodus 14:28 – the waters returned and covered the chariots and the horsemen, even Pharaoh’s entire army that had gone into the sea after them; not even one of them remained. “29-But the sons of Israel walked on dry land through the midst of the sea, and the waters were like a wall to them on their right and on their left. 30-Thus the… Lord saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians.”
As Israel was obedient to God’s instructions through Moses, their needs were met. When they did not follow God’s instructions through Moses, God’s blessings, provisions, and protection were not with them.
Israel was like a young child, testing God and experiencing failure, repenting and again seeing the faithfulness of God.
Whether it was the manna in the wilderness, lack of clean water or water flowing out of the rock, or even the desire to return to the bondage of Egypt from the wilderness, the Israelites saw the hand of God and His faithfulness even delivering them from Amalek, and Moses declaring: “The Lord is my Banner.”
This pattern of God’s deliverance and provision is still valid in today’s world.
And, as we follow God’s Word and instructions, we can be confident that we can accomplish our destiny and have a fruitful life.
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About the Author
A man of varied backgrounds, Ari was a professional rugby player in France playing for the French National Rugby team, then signed as a professional football player in the NFL for the St. Louis Cardinals. He went to undergraduate and graduate school at the University of Southern California, studying psychology.
He worked as a Deputy Sheriff in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department until he became a film actor. He has appeared in over 100 films and TV shows in Israel and the United States, such as Hawaii 5-0, Entebbe, and The Finest Hour, and was a lead actor in the first TV seasons of Chips and Sweating Bullets. He left Hollywood to return to Israel, the land of his forefathers, and became an Israeli citizen in 1976.
Ari and Shira Sorko-Ram married in 1977, pioneers in the Messianic Jewish movement in Israel, and have been ministering in Israel since then. As Messianic Jews, Ari and Shira direct Maoz Israel Ministries. Together, they have pioneered several Messianic Jewish congregations in Israel and sponsored national conferences for the Israeli believers.
They have translated and published over 170 books on Biblical faith into the Hebrew language. Ari and Shira both have authored various books relating to the importance of Israel and the Biblical Jewish foundations of the faith. They provide immigrants with language and career courses, give university scholarships to Messianic students, support Arab leaders who have a heart for evangelism, and assist in the fight for the civil rights of Jewish believers in Yeshua (Jesus) in the land of Israel. They are passionate about using today’s technology of—internet, music, and social media—to reach Israel with the Good News of their Messiah, Yeshua, and to reach the nations with the truth concerning Israel and the Middle East.
In September 2002, they established istandwithisrael.com, a benevolence fund for the poor and needy among Messianic Jewish believers in Israel, and victims of terrorism. Since that time, they have distributed more than $5,000,000 to the hurting of Israel.
Ari is a member of the Israel Empowerment Lobby, registered and approved by the Knesset. He has hosted several Knesset members to the President’s Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. and is working through the Israeli Empowerment Lobby to bring international businesses to Israel to invest in Israeli technology.
Tel Aviv, Israel is the home to Maoz’ ministry headquarters. The U.S.A. administrative office is located in Grand Prairie, Texas, with other offices in Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Brazil, South America, Ireland, and Hong Kong. Maoz Ministries is endorsed as a Jewish Ministry to Israel by the Union of Messianic Jewish Congregations, the Messianic Jewish Alliance, and many churches and organizations around the world. They are members of ECFA and registered with charitynavigator.org.
Ari and Shira reside in Ramat HaSharon, Israel. They have two sabra (born in Israel) children, and six grandchildren.
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