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Parashat Sh’mot

by Muriel Stern

“Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.” Exodus 4:13

Writing a little bit about the weekly Torah portion was not something I planned on doing. The portion about Sarah’s death spoke to me and I shared about it on my personal facebook page. The following week I had some more thoughts and wrote them up. And before I knew it this had become a weekly thing.

I like writing and I like reading. Escaping into a good book is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. While I enjoy reading books that make me think and challenge me, I really love historical fiction. Stories about real people who lived through historic events.

And this is what I share here. I am not a theologian. As a matter of fact, I don’t hold a degree in anything. I don’t research the rabbinical texts. I don’t study what certain words mean in ancient Hebrew and what insights we can gain from those. I read the Torah portion and share what speaks to me on a personal level. The people in the stories were real. And just like us, they faced struggles.

This week we meet Moses, who miraculously survived infancy. His upbringing in the palace gave him the best education possible. He could not have been more prepared to be a leader. A disastrous incident has Moses fled from Egypt into the desert of Midian. He became a shepherd. The man who was born to be a great leader is now in charge of a flock of sheep.

And then the Lord appeared to Moses, in a burning bush. The Lord revealed himself to him. God showed up! The Lord spoke to Moses, told him His name and showed him several miracles.

And what did Moses say?

“Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else”

For us reading the story it is hard to understand how Moses didn’t see how special he was and that the Lord must have a plan for his life. Just the story alone of how he wasn’t killed as a baby and ended up in the palace. And now he has a supernatural encounter with the God of his fathers. Why was he not super excited about this?

Reluctantly Moses agreed to go back to Egypt. His brother Aaron would meet him on the way. The brothers did as instructed and went to the Pharaoh. But instead of agreeing to let the people of Israel take a three-day journey into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the Lord God, Pharaoh made the life of the Hebrews even harder. He reasoned that if they had time to complain and make plans, they clearly were lazy.

“Moses returned to the Lord and said, Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me?” Exodus 5:22

The Lord had a plan for Moses. But Moses was content being a shepherd. He didn’t want to do more. He told the Lord loud and clear; “send someone else”. And when things didn’t go as Moses thought they should go he complained; “Is this why I am here?”

This week’s portion ends with the Lord telling Moses to trust Him. It is all part of the plan. Moses ended up doing what God told him. The Lord was true to His word and delivered the people of Israel out of Egypt.

How about us? How do we respond when the Lord wants us to leave our comfort zone? Do we complain or do we trust Him? It is easy to look back and see the hand of God, but do we also trust Him when we don’t see how it is going to work out?

About Muriel Stern

Muriel Stern has a lifelong love affair with words, specifically with the Word. It is her hope that with her writing she does honor to the Author and inspires others to fall head over heels for the Creator as well. Muriel & her husband Daniel reside in the City of the Great King. Their four children love books as much as their parents.

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1 Comment

  1. Jim Pierce on December 30, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Beautiful, thank you for your timely words of insight, may the LORD bless you and keep you and make his face shine upon you and give you his Shalom!

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