Beshalach בְּשַׁלַּח - When He Sent Out
Haftarah: Judges 4:4-5:31
Apostolic Scripture: Matthew 14:22-33
Reading #7 - Exodus 17:1–16
I think the Aaron and Hur miraculous story, and holding up Moses arms, is about friendship and support. Yes Hashem did a powerful miracle by providing success when his arms were raised, but I think it’s more than that. Think of the difficult times in your life when a spouse, friend or relative was there for you. You could not have done so well if you were alone. But, they were there for you and made a difference. Recently, a good friend of mine lost her husband. They are not that old so it was really sad. I tried to be “there” for her in many different ways. First I continually prayed for her, sent her Bible verses and listened to her struggles. Secondly, I asked her what practical needs she had, and helped her with those. Truthfully, just being there to help her with tangible things, showed her my support and encouragement. That’s just like Aaron and Hur, it was tangible evidence of their support because they physically held up his arms. The really cool thing is when they did that, Hashem did miracles! And there was success!
If there is someone in your life that is going through a tough time, see if you can be their “Aaron or Hur”. Do something practical and tangible that shows them you are supporting them! Then watch what Hashem does, He will give them success and most likely a miracle! Thank you Elohim for good and faithful friendships, and how You reward us when we do what You have taught us to do. To love others and serve them with a grateful heart!
Reading #7 - Exodus 17:1–16
17 All the congregation of the children of Israel traveled from the wilderness of Sin, starting according to Hashem’s commandment, and encamped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Therefore the people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.”
Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test Hashem?”
3 The people were thirsty for water there; so the people murmured against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?”
4 Moses cried to Hashem, saying, “What shall I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.”
5 Hashem said to Moses, “Walk on before the people, and take the elders of Israel with you, and take the rod in your hand with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb. You shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink.” Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 He called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because the children of Israel quarreled, and because they tested Hashem, saying, “Is Hashem among us, or not?”
8 Then Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose men for us, and go out to fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with Elohim’s rod in my hand.” 10 So Joshua did as Moses had told him, and fought with Amalek; and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 When Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed. When he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses’ hands were heavy; so they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side. His hands were steady until sunset. 13 Joshua defeated Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 Hashem said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under the sky.” 15 Moses built an altar, and called its name “Hashem our Banner”. 16 He said, “Hashem has sworn: ‘Hashem will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.’”
Here we see a mighty warrior asking for Deborah to accompany him in battle. Even strong people need support and encouragement. Barak had two great supporters -- Hashem and Deborah. And the battle was won! Needing help from others is not a bad thing. In fact, I believe Hashem honors it.
Do you need support and encouragement? Are you going through a tough time or do you know someone who is? Be their “Deborah”. Even if you don’t think they really need your help because they have Hashem’s help. Be there for them and ask them how you can help them in a tangible way. This is important for our world to be healed and delivered.
Haftarah: Judges 4:4-5:31
4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, judged Israel at that time. 5 She lived under Deborah’s palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. 6 She sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh Naphtali, and said to him, “Hasn’t Hashem, the Elohim of Israel, commanded, ‘Go and lead the way to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? 7 I will draw to you, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into your hand.’”
8 Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go.”
9 She said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the journey that you take won’t be for your honor; for Hashem will sell Sisera into a woman’s hand.” Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.
10 Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh. Ten thousand men followed him; and Deborah went up with him. 11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, even from the children of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh. 12 They told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles, to the river Kishon.
14 Deborah said to Barak, “Go; for this is the day in which Hashem has delivered Sisera into your hand. Hasn’t Hashem gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. 15 Hashem confused Sisera, all his chariots, and all his army, with the edge of the sword before Barak. Sisera abandoned his chariot and fled away on his feet. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth of the Gentiles; and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword. There was not a man left.
17 However Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; don’t be afraid.” He came in to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug.
19 He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink; for I am thirsty.”
She opened a container of milk, and gave him a drink, and covered him.
20 He said to her, “Stand in the door of the tent, and if any man comes and inquires of you, and says, ‘Is there any man here?’ you shall say, ‘No.’”
21 Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and struck the pin into his temples, and it pierced through into the ground, for he was in a deep sleep; so he fainted and died. 22 Behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you seek.” He came to her; and behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent peg was in his temples. 23 So God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel on that day. 24 The hand of the children of Israel prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.
5 Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day, saying,
2 “Because the leaders took the lead in Israel,
because the people offered themselves willingly,
be blessed, Hashem!
3 “Hear, you kings!
Give ear, you princes!
I, even I, will sing to Hashem.
I will sing praise to Hashem, the Elohim of Israel.
4 “Hashem, when you went out of Seir,
when you marched out of the field of Edom,
the earth trembled, the sky also dropped.
Yes, the clouds dropped water.
5 The mountains quaked at Hashem’s presence,
even Sinai at the presence of Hashem, the Elohim of Israel.
6 “In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath,
in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied.
The travelers walked through byways.
7 The rulers ceased in Israel.
They ceased until I, Deborah, arose;
Until I arose a mother in Israel.
8 They chose new gods.
Then war was in the gates.
Was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?
9 My heart is toward the governors of Israel,
who offered themselves willingly among the people.
10 “Speak, you who ride on white donkeys,
you who sit on rich carpets,
and you who walk by the way.
11 Far from the noise of archers, in the places of drawing water,
there they will rehearse Hashem’s righteous acts,
the righteous acts of his rule in Israel.
“Then Hashem’s people went down to the gates.
12 ‘Awake, awake, Deborah!
Awake, awake, utter a song!
Arise, Barak, and lead away your captives, you son of Abinoam.’
13 “Then a remnant of the nobles and the people came down.
Hashem came down for me against the mighty.
14 Those whose root is in Amalek came out of Ephraim,
after you, Benjamin, among your peoples.
Governors come down out of Machir.
Those who handle the marshal’s staff came out of Zebulun.
15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah.
As was Issachar, so was Barak.
They rushed into the valley at his feet.
By the watercourses of Reuben,
there were great resolves of heart.
16 Why did you sit among the sheepfolds?
To hear the whistling for the flocks?
At the watercourses of Reuben,
there were great searchings of heart.
17 Gilead lived beyond the Jordan.
Why did Dan remain in ships?
Asher sat still at the haven of the sea,
and lived by his creeks.
18 Zebulun was a people that jeopardized their lives to the death;
Naphtali also, on the high places of the field.
19 “The kings came and fought,
then the kings of Canaan fought at Taanach by the waters of Megiddo.
They took no plunder of silver.
20 From the sky the stars fought.
From their courses, they fought against Sisera.
21 The river Kishon swept them away,
that ancient river, the river Kishon.
My soul, march on with strength.
22 Then the horse hoofs stamped because of the prancing,
the prancing of their strong ones.
23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said Hashem’s angel.
‘Curse bitterly its inhabitants,
because they didn’t come to help Yahweh,
to help Yahweh against the mighty.’
24 “Jael shall be blessed above women,
the wife of Heber the Kenite;
blessed shall she be above women in the tent.
25 He asked for water.
She gave him milk.
She brought him butter in a lordly dish.
26 She put her hand to the tent peg,
and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer.
With the hammer she struck Sisera.
She struck through his head.
Yes, she pierced and struck through his temples.
27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay.
At her feet he bowed, he fell.
Where he bowed, there he fell down dead.
28 “Through the window she looked out, and cried:
Sisera’s mother looked through the lattice.
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
Why do the wheels of his chariots wait?’
29 Her wise ladies answered her,
Yes, she returned answer to herself,
30 ‘Have they not found, have they not divided the plunder?
A lady, two ladies to every man;
to Sisera a plunder of dyed garments,
a plunder of dyed garments embroidered,
of dyed garments embroidered on both sides, on the necks of the plunder?’
31 “So let all your enemies perish, Hashem,
but let those who love him be as the sun when it rises in its strength.”
Then the land had rest forty years.
Seems like all of today’s readings are about Hashem’s miracles and man’s short memory of His faithfulness. Yes, we are all guilty of this. And so are these Bible characters and people. In this Matthew reading we see Peter witnessing a huge miracle -- Yeshua walking on water. But, a few moments later Peter doubts and starts to sink. He forgot. He forgot how big Hashem’s faithfulness is. And truthfully, as I am writing this, I too have forgotten. We are in the middle of a huge life change and every day I worry about what is going to happen. Instead of remembering His many, many miracles in my life and His continuing faithfulness -- I worry and forget. I am just like Peter. Sinking in doubt. We all need to stay strong in our faith and resolute. He will come through for us, He always does.
If you are worried about something and it seems like your prayer requires a miracle, then pray. Ask Hashem if He will help you with this miracle. Be patient and thank Him for all the wonderful things He has done in the past. And be sure to BELIEVE. Believe He will help you, and He will answer your prayers.
Apostolic Reading: Matthew 14:22-33
14:22 Immediately Yeshua made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23 After He had sent the multitudes away, He went up into the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening had come, He was there alone. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, distressed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. 25 In the fourth watch of the night, Yeshua came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It’s a ghost!” and they cried out for fear. 27 But immediately Yeshua spoke to them, saying, “Cheer up! It is I! Don’t be afraid.”
28 Peter answered him and said, “L-rd, if it is You, command me to come to You on the waters.”
29 He said, “Come!”
Peter stepped down from the boat and walked on the waters to come to Yeshua. 30 But when he saw that the wind was strong, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “L-rd, save me!”
31 Immediately Yeshua stretched out His hand, took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got up into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Those who were in the boat came and worshiped him, saying, “You are truly the Son of G-d!”