Messianic Torah Portion Shemot "Names"
Shemot (Exodus) 1:1 6:1
The rejection we experience when we try to do HaShem's will is difficult to overcome. Even the mature believer finds it difficult to overcome the pain of rejection that comes when his or her desire to do HaShem's will is not accepted by friends and family. Clearly Moshe also experienced rejection. For example, Moshe was continually fighting the Children of Yisrael's resistance to the will of HaShem. Moshe became so discouraged in this struggle that He became disobedient. Bamidbar 20:11-13 states "Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also. The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, because you believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, from now on you will not bring this congregation into the land, which I have given them. This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them." Moshe's disobedience caused him to forfeit leading the Children of Yisrael into the Promised Land. We can also become disobedient when we respond hastily to the rejection that we receive from others. Anytime HaShem is actively involved in our lives, we will encounter resistance from other individuals that makes us fell rejected. Understanding, how other people use resistance to prevent us from fulfilling HaShem's will in our lives is crucial if we are going to avoid feeling rejected and responding inappropriately. Shemot makes it clear that when HaShem is moving in the midst of Yisrael the Yisraelites experienced resistance to the will of HaShem. In Shemot the resistance the Yisraelites experienced can be categorized as internal and external.
Internal resistance is the personal struggle that occurs between HaShem and an individual. Moshe experienced this type of resistance. Shemot 4:1 states "Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor listen to my voice: for they will say, The LORD has not appeared to you." Moshe was afraid to speak to the Children of Yisrael, because he thought they would not believe that he had spoken to God. This resistance to HaShem's will, came from Moshe's personal fear of what people might think. Moshe had no physical reason to be afraid. Moshe was basing his fear on what might happen. As a reassurance HaShem gave Moshe signs and wonders to convince the Children of Yisrael that he was truly sent by HaShem. Even with the signs and wonders Moshe was still afraid. Therefore, Moshe tried to convince HaShem he was not a good speaker. Shemot 4:10-11 states "Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the LORD?" This internal struggle prevented Moshe from using HaShem's strength to overcome. As a result, HaShem became angry and replaced Moshe as the primary speaker to Yisrael. Shemot 4:15-16 states, "the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet you: and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. And you shall speak to him, and put words in his mouth: and I will be with your mouth, and with his mouth, and will teach you what you shall do." HaShem replaced Moshe as the primary speaker, because Moshe succumbed to the internal resistance, he faced. As a result, Aaron completed part of the mission that was originally given to Moshe.
The other type of resistance to HaShem's will is external. External resistance always manifests its self in group situations. This is because any individual externally resisting a movement of HaShem desires company. In other words, people chose up sides to justify their positions. This type of resistance to HaShem fractures the body. The Pharaoh mentioned in Shemot is a good example of this type of resistance. HaShem's promise was manifesting as fruitfulness in the Yisraelites. As a result, the Yisraelites were growing in numbers as Shemot 1:6-7 states "Yosef died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them." Seeing HaShem bless the Children of Yisrael angered the Pharaoh. Therefore, the Pharaoh tried to get the midwives on his side. To accomplish this he applied pressure by ordering the midwives to kill all newborn Hebrew males. Shemot 1:15-16 states "the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of which the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said, When ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them upon the stools; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him: but if it be a daughter, then she shall live." Through murder Pharaoh intended to intimidate the Children of Yisrael and destroy their ability to fulfill HaShem's promise. However, the midwives feared HaShem more than Pharaoh as Shemot 1:17 states "But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men children alive." As a result, the Pharaoh's plan would not succeed through the midwives. Therefore, Pharaoh made his threat publicly, thereby trying to convince all the people to be on his side. Shemot 1:22 states "Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, Every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive." However, Moshe's parents feared HaShem more than they feared the Pharaoh. Shemot 2:2-3 states "the woman conceived, and bare a son: and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink." If Pharaoh's resistance to HaShem's will succeeded the newborn Moshe would have been murdered. As a result, HaShem's plan of deliverance would not have been fulfilled, and the Children of Yisrael would not have been led to the Promised Land. The midwives and the parents of Moshe displayed a strength of character seldom seen. The midwives and the parents feared HaShem more then they feared the repercussions of the Pharaoh. Therefore, HaShem was able to use them to fulfill his promise and deliver Yisrael.
When HaShem moves in our congregations or our lives it is inevitable that resistance will come. As believers we need to understand that this resistance comes internally and externally. Internal resistance is when we desire to put our will ahead of the will of HaShem. As a result, we do what we want and not what HaShem wants. External resistance is from an outside source that wants to stop HaShem from fulfilling His plan. Yeshua warns us that overcoming resistance will not be easy. In fact, when we make Yeshua Lord of our lives it is guaranteed that we will encounter resistance. We can see this in Mt 10:33-37 which states "whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." To overcome we must learn to place the will of Yeshua above our will and we must fear HaShem more than we fear the resistance. To overcome we must be bold in Yeshua and focus on His strength and not on the resistance that we encounter.
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