Last week's Torah portion was from Exodus. The verses document the spectacular, supernatural delivery of the Israelites from their slavery in Egypt. Almost everybody knows the story of the parting of the Red Sea, whether they are Christian or Jewish or atheist! It is a classic tale of a Mighty God who rescues His people from their cruel taskmasters who have kept them in bondage for 430 years. But it is not just a fairy tale. It is a historically proven, entirely true account, as documented in the ancient book of Exodus. And as I read it this year, I was overcome with all the similarities I see with God's people today, who are coming more and more under violent persecution and public shaming and disgrace.
Before the ancient Israelites are rescued, they are instructed by Moses, the man whom God has chosen to lead them, to commemorate this awesome day of their deliverance by keeping a special observance known as the Passover. Moses instructs the people in the keeping of this holy time, which included the roasting of a lamb for each household and seven days of eating bread without yeast. He says to the people, "On that day tell your son, 'I do this because of what the LORD did for me when I came out of Egypt.' This observance will be for you like a sign on your hand, and a reminder on your forehead that the Torah of the LORD is to be your lips. For the LORD brought you out of Egypt with His Mighty Hand. You must keep this ordinance at the appointed time year after year." (Exodus 13:8-10).
Not unlike the ancient Israelites, many today are crying out to the LORD for deliverance from the oppression of evil rulers, literal slavery and trafficking, and laws against God being imposed upon us. And I think about the sign that God puts on those who believe in Yeshua/Jesus, our true Savior and Deliverer, and put their trust in Him. It is found in Revelation 9:4, and refers to last days plagues and torment that mirror the plagues of the book of Exodus. It says, "They [the locusts tormenting those on the earth] were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those who did NOT have the seal of God on their foreheads."
I believe we can take these things literally and gain important understanding. In Deuteronomy 6:8 the LORD commands the Israelites to keep His commandments and to teach them to their children. He also says, "Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads." These are the specific places on our bodies that the God of the Universe has chosen to mark His own. So, it cannot be a coincidence that this is how the enemy will choose to mark his people in the end-time. Revelation 14:16 says, "He [the false prophet] causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads." It is a counterfeit mark. It is the mark that will be willingly taken by all who CHOOSE to worship Satan's counterfeit saviors. It is those who choose to save their lives but lose it. Those who sell their birth right for a bowl of beans. Those who would betray Yeshua, their true Savior, for 30 pieces of silver.
As the birth pains increase, food supplies get more scarce, jobs are wiped out, and disease touches our loved ones, it is imperative that we pray for God to increase our faith and strengthen our resolve to serve Him and no other! Keep the Passover - it is a sign between you and your Heavenly Father! Read again the ancient account of the Exodus, to remind yourself of the Mighty Power of our God, who saves and who provides for us. And I offer you these few verses to memorize (as I am) just to keep yourself mindful of these things. This is Psalm 62:1-2 in The Passion Translation:
I stand silently to listen for the One I Love
Waiting as long as it takes for the Lord to rescue me.
For God alone has become my Savior.
He alone is my Safe Place;
His wrap-around Presence always protects me.
For He is my Champion-Defender!
Kelly Ferrari Mills