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Parashah 15: Bo

by Michael Bugg

Torah:  Sh’mot (Exodus) 10:1-13:16

Haftarah:  Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 46:13-28

B’rit Chadasha:  Revelation 16

The Theme

Last week’s theme, that of judgment against Egypt—and by extension, against all nations—for their treatment of Israel, continues through the last three plagues and Jeremiah’s warning, just like the warning of Ezekiel, that God would use Babylon to punish Egypt for her treatment of Israel.  At the conclusion of the prophecy, the Holy One gives this promise to Israel:

Don't be afraid, Ya'akov my servant,"
says ADONAI, "for I am with you.
I will finish off all the nations
where I have scattered you.
However, you I will not finish off,
I will discipline you as you deserve,
but not completely destroy you."

Egypt, of course, still exists on a map as we see it today, but the distinctive ethnic culture of the Egyptians was utterly destroyed, being subsumed under the Greek Ptolemy culture, and later by the culture of Islam.  The Jewish people, on the other hand, in accordance with God’s promise, have never lost their distinctive ethnicity or culture, retaining it even after two millennia without a homeland.

This realization should cultivate a sense of humility in all those grafted into Israel by union with Israel’s Messiah.  A thousand nations have come and gone into the mists of history, but Israel, the Goy Kodesh (Holy Nation), remains set apart for the Eternal One’s purposes and because of His promises.  Even though the Jews were for centuries considered by all a cursed people (exactly as Moses predicted; Deu. 28), God has never forgotten His covenant with our forefathers, the same covenant for which sake He sent the Ten Plagues against Egypt, to bring us up into the Land He had promised them.

There will come another day, very soon, in which the Judge of all the earth will once again sit in court and judge the nations for how they have treated Israel.  Where once He sent Ten Plagues against Egypt to bring Israel into the Land, then He will send Seven Plagues against the whole earth in order to preserve our people there.  Where, I wonder, will America stand?  Will we stand along with Israel?  Or will we be judged as was Egypt in last week’s Parashah, a broken reed that gave Israel no true support, worthy therefore of being given over to the very enemies we were trying to placate?




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