Bo / Come
HafTorah Portion Jeremiah 46:13-28
Brit Chadasha Luke 22:7-30
Faith~Obedience~Faith and the Light in Our Dwellings...
This Torah portion begins with God declaring to Moshe that it is He who once again has hardened the heart of Pharaoh and the heart of the Egyptians. Bo contains the last three plagues; locust, darkness and death.
In Exodus 10:16-20 Pharaoh says to Moshe once again, that he has sinned and implored, to take away ‘… from me this death only.” 18 So he went out from Pharaoh and entreated the Lord. 19 And the Lord turned a very strong west wind, which took the locusts away and blew them into the Red Sea. There remained not one locust in all the territory of Egypt. 20 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not let the children of Israel go.’
It is in Midrash that the ninth plague was so dark it could be felt; ‘So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23 They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.’ Exodus 10:22-23.
Rambam states that ‘no man could see his brother nor could anyone rise from his place.’ Why could the Egyptians not move just because it was dark? Because he explains that the darkness was tangible and physical.
It wasn’t darkness as in the night; it wasn’t void of light as in the nighttime, which a light could still penetrate. It was “thick darkness” meaning that a very thick midst came down from the sky. This is why God said to Moses: “Stretch forth your hand to the heavens” - Moses had to bring down this darkness. It removed the normal darkness called “night”. The reason this was necessary was that the night consists of air ready and capable to absorb light in the morning. The darkness that would occur now was something unable to interact with light at all. The reason for this inability to interact with light was the density of the texture of this darkness. As a result of this totally different kind of darkness even a lit up flare would not be able to make a “dent” in the darkness. (Bereshit Rabbah 12:6).
‘But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.’ Exodus 10:23. They had the Light of Life.
In Exodus 11 God explains the 10th and final plague to Moshe and continues in Exodus 12, with the instruction for the final night, which is the Passover instituted, Exodus 12:14. The instructions in Exodus 12 regarding the the lamb, the blood on the lintel and doorposts, and the unleavened bread are exact and intricate and given by Adonai. The entire process involves faith to obey, obedience to carry it out and faith to wait.
Faith brings obedience which strengthens our faith.
The Light in our dwellings brings the faith that circumcises our heart to obey the Word of God which causes our faith in His faithfulness to increase. Faith brings the birthright, obedience brings the blessing.
Yeshua declares more than once that He is the Light, of men, of the world and life; John 8:12, John 9:4-5, and Matthew 4:14-16, quoting Isaiah 60:1: ‘… that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.
3 The Gentiles shall come to your light,
And kings to the brightness of your rising.’
Was it the Light that the Hebrews had and felt in their ‘dwelling’ that caused their faith to continue in their obedience? Does faith empower obedience?
In Hebrews 3:18-19 disobedience is equated with disbelief. ‘And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.’ In Romans 3:31 it is faith that allows the Torah to stand.
Romans 1:-6 ‘Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, 6 among whom you also are the called of Yeshua.’
Romans 16:26-27 ‘…but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— 27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Yeshua HaMashiach forever. Amen.’
Emunah is translated into ‘faith’. But the Hebrew word is deeper than just ‘faith’. A person can have blind faith; as in trusting a person. He may have faith because he is not interested or incapable of reasoning for himself. Therefore, his faith does not belong to him; he is simply relying on others.
However, King Solomon explains this in Proverbs 14:16 ‘The simple believes every word,
but the prudent considers well his steps.’ And where do we get our steps? Solomon goes on to tell us in Proverbs 16:9 ‘A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.’ Wisdom, understanding and knowledge can further enhance true emunah. But it cannot be our reasoning or our wisdom, but rather that would come from only God Himself.
1 Samuel 15:22 explains our obedience ‘So Samuel said: “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed than the fat of rams.’
The Light in our life gives us the faith to obey God which gives us The Faith.