We are starting the reading of the book of Exodus. All the synagogues in the world will be reading the first chapters of the book of Exodus. The reading of Exodus is the greatest story of salvation and redemption and deliverance from slavery to freedom, from idolatry to faith in One God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is also one of the great historical dramas that has the elements of “From Riches to Rags” and “from rags to riches,” and actually this story has every element of drama that imagination can conjure up. The point that amazed me is the attitude and action of Amram and Jochebed – the father and mother of Moses. The first verse of chapter 2 of Exodus just caught my attention.

Ex. 2:1-3, “Now a man from the house of Levi went and took as his wife a Levite woman. The woman conceived and bore a son, and when she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could hide him no longer, she took for him a basket made of bulrushes and daubed it with bitumen and pitch. She put the child in it and placed it among the reeds by the river bank.”

This is an interesting text. What makes it interesting is that it comes right after the declaration of Pharaoh’s decree to kill all of the male babies and drown them in the Nile River. Here you have some interesting hints: Amram – the father of Moses is called here “A man from the house of Levi” and his wife Jochebed is called here “a Levite woman.” This Levite man – the father of Aaron and Miriam and Moses “went.” Where was this Levite that suddenly he “went?” The implication is that this Levite – the father of Moses whose name is well known as Amram – left his wife Jochebed because he could not imagine that a baby boy would be born that would have to be drowned in the river of Egypt. At the point that this Levite man understood that Pharaoh’s scheme is to destroy Israel and take away the promises that the Lord had given to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. At this point this Levite man decides to go back to his wife and make a baby – a baby boy – a baby that was a fine child (a healthy and beautiful baby). The Levite woman, Moses’ mother, decides to keep this baby boy hidden for three months. The three months of living and hiding this healthy baby were both wonderful and terrible. They were wonderful because it gave this mother of three children now a period of bonding with this baby that was born as an act of defiance and demonstration of rejection of Pharaoh and Egypt’s authority. The birth of this baby is a rebellion against the forces and powers of this world, the forces of colonialism and racism, and enslavement of the stranger and the weak and the outsider. What this act is saying to us today is: You Pharaoh think that you can stop the Almighty God from keeping His promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – and Israel. This Levite man and woman – with two older children, Aaron and Miriam, are now in this hour of great danger to every baby boy that is born to an Israelite woman, take the bull by the horns and make a baby. This is the baby that is hidden for three months is set a float on the waters of the Neil River in a small basket and delivered into the hands of history – the hands of the ONE GOD WHO directs History. This small act of desperation and creative courage that the mother of Moses makes – to save her household and the life of this baby by putting this child in the hands of God, floating in the water of the river – not knowing where and how and who will save this baby, how this baby will be raised. Idea that this baby will land in the hands of the princes of Egypt – the daughter of Pharaoh and be raised and educated and as prince of Egypt was for sure so far from the wildest imagination of Jochebed the mother of Moses.

The Lord had prepared the right person for the task. The Lord took the most unlikely person. A person who even the wildest imagination could not imagine to be the person who will find the basket floating on the waters of the river and find a Hebrew baby in this basket and save this baby and raise this baby as the prince of Egypt. Pharaoh’s own daughter – a nameless person – a woman who becomes the most important women in the whole Bible. Without this gentile woman, an Egyptian! A pagan woman raised in the great palaces of Egypt with golden spoons, and silk sheets, she apparently is chosen by God to find this Hebrew Baby. The Rabbis presume that Pharaoh’s daughter was already in the process of converting to the Hebrew faith. They interpret that she went into the waters of the Nile River alone not to take a bath and not to play, but to make a ritual immersion in the water for the monthly purification rite. This is why her maidens that accompanied Pharaoh’s daughter did not enter the water with her.

This woman, nameless, is the woman that saved Moses, raised this baby as a prince of Egypt in Pharaoh’s grandson. She saved the holy history of Israel and the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel and to the whole World. If this one gentile woman would not have made this one act of kindness and saved this Hebrew child – salvation from slavery and preparation for the salvation of the whole world by a Hebrew son born in Bethlehem and crucified in Jerusalem, Yeshua. This Egyptian woman is the pivoting point of history. She takes the right turn and saves this Hebrew baby – who saves Israel and brings the Torah from God and carries the Hebrew Children to the edge of the Promised Land. The whole story is contingent on this chain of events that leads to the Savior of the world a son of David and a son of Abraham.

Israel is in great need of prayer these days. Our prime minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved the government and declared new election on April 9th, 2019. The whole Middle East is boiling with the USA troops moving out of Syria and for the first time in over 100 years there is no USA presence anywhere in the Middle East. Israel is in a turmoil both from inside of Israel and from what is happening in Syria. Russia is now the sole world power that has a military and civilian presence in the Middle East. Iran has now a free range and a land corridor to build forces and modern weapons right next to the Israeli border and supply the Hezbollah. All this is a very dangerous situation that could blow up in a minute into a major regional war with heavy and difficult circumstances.

We need your prayers – please pray for the following points:

  1. The government of Israel and our Prime Minister Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu to have wisdom, divine wisdom, and provide the tools to do good for Israel and bring progress in starting a more serious peace initiative with our Arab/Palestinian neighbors.
  2. Pray for the situation in Syria that the Russians and especially Putin wake up and stop the incursion of Iran into Syria and into Lebanon with accurate weapon systems that can hit anywhere in Israel with precision. God can do this in many ways, He can also use Russia to stop Iran’s threats against Israel.
  3. Pray for the horrible atmosphere and drop of moral in Israel will be changed and the next elections in April 9th will bring a new wave of tolerance and openness and seeking of peace both inside of Israel and outside of Israel.
  4. Pray that we, the Disciples of Yeshua the Messiah, will find ways to work together and to increase the influence of the local believers in Israel in this land.
  5. Please pray specifically for Netivyah and the Roeh Israel Congregation to have the right spirit and the right opportunities and means to continue doing the work of the Lord in this great land of Israel. Pray that we can increase the number of families that we are feeding, and the number of scholarships that we give students, and the number of books and magazines that we write and publish, and the video teachings that Yuda and I are doing to feed the brothers and sisters worldwide. We need your prayers and your financial support.
  6. We are half way to reach the goal of buying a new van for Netivyah. Please pray for this van to be available before the Passover Holiday in the month of April.
  7. Please pray for the international conference in Portugal in Castelo de Vide from May 17-19 and followed by a four-day prayer tour in the places where Jews were tortured and burned by the Inquisition between 1497 – 1821. This will be a significant conference for the awakening of both Jews and Christians and hopefully the state of Israel for the need to open the doors of Israel and absorb several million Jewish victims of the Inquisition back home in Israel. This ought to be the next major wave of Aliyah to Israel and the resettling of the Negev Desert according to the prophecy of Obadiah the prophet.
  8. Please pray for Netivyah and pray for our 40th Anniversary Tour to be a success and an opportunity for us all here in Jerusalem to show our joy and gratitude for your prayers and support.

Remember our dear brother Jacob Damkani and ask The Lord to give strength and healing to Jacob.

Keep a dear sister in the Lord named Courtney in your prayers. Courtney has a number of health challenges and I ask you all to pray for this dear sister and her healing of all those challenges.

Please continue praying for baby Lion from the Huch family in DFW. Little Lion is doing better in the last week and is back receiving Chemo-Therapy.

Please continue to pray for our Jewish brother Hillel from Helsinki. Pray for Patty, Andrea and Tineke are all in Netherlands and need healing from God. Continue to Pray for Julia and Victor our dear sister and brother who both need healing and God’s help. Please add a dear sister that is suffering from prejudice in Switzerland. Her name is Paula and she needs divine breatkthrough.

Please keep praying for a dear sister named Zhou WenriIan living in China. There is a dear brother Isaac in Chenai, India, who has a deep love for the Lord and for Israel. He is sick with kidney problems and needs a dialysis treatment several times per week. He is Pastor and a leader in a church in his city and I am asking you all to pray for the Lord to heal him.

Margareta, keep her in your prayers she is a dear woman who is going through some real hardship and anguish for her faith. Pray for Kenneth and Margarite G. in Tennessee. They are worthy for God’s grace and we are privileged to pray for the healing of these dear mother and son who suffer. Pray for Um Abu-Eid is a dear old Arab sister. Please pray for her healing and strength. Keep the following brothers who are improving with their health, but still lneed God’s merciful hand to touch them with healing, George, Gary, Melanie, Aharon, Yuri Marianenko, Sarit, Ahuva, Leah, Ilana, Miraim, Yehuda H., David Stern, Paulo, Noami, Tim Tucker, Anne-Mirjami, Satu-Maria and Anna-Majia, Sinni Tuuli, Erki and Sirpa, Keijo and Salme, Evelina, Eva H., Horace and June Marcia’s father and mother, Marcelo’s parents. Curita Sensei, the Abe family, Toru, Takeo Sensei, Daisuke Sensei, Tomoko San, Sadako San, Yumi, her husband has just died last week, and keep praying for her father, Pastor Oharah in Okinawa.

Please pray Ritva Huhtala and for sister Oksanen they need prayer for illness. Please pray for Louisa and Tony in Hong Kong. I have special concern for our dear brother Goh and his family, and for Sister Christy, Sister Laurel, and for Brother Michael Knezevich. I want to add a brother from Brazil who is living in Portugal now and is having some serious family problems. His name is: Ismael Alves.

If you would pray for those whom you know that need this prayer – the Lord will surely cover those for whom you pray and those for whom I pray. It is hard enough to live in this world and work and business-related issues make it harder and as much as we pray for the spiritual issues and health issues.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem and believe in God’s promises!

Joseph Shulam

P.S. – For registration and reservation of hotels in Portugal for the important international conference on the Marranos/Anussim issue in May 17-19 and tour May 20-24. Contact Ana Mendes (see information below) For Hotel Reservations, Transportation in Portugal and the prayer tour to four cities where Jews were tried by the “Holy Office of the Inquisition” and sentenced to torture and death.

Ana Mendes
Incoming Department
Avenida Marquês de Tomar, 35 A 1050-153 LISBOA | PORTUGAL
Phone: (+351) 21 132 79 61| Fax: (+351) 21 318 26 69
E-mail / Skype: ana.mendes@osiris.pt