By Joseph Shulam
This Shabbat the reading is from the book of Exodus. Last Shabbat we finished the reading of Genesis and we are starting from chapter 1 of Exodus. There are several things in chapter 1 of Exodus that excite me. One is the role of two Egyptian women that were working as midwives among the Israelites. These two women are little known amount Christians. I never heard anyone in church say much about them. Before I speak about these two midwives I want to share with you a key verse for understanding the Israelite mentality: “But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel.” (Ex. 1:12) The Egyptians had the impression that if they make life harder for the Israelites “and they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens.” Remember dear brothers the above verse 12 – the more you are afflicted them more they multiplied and grew. We are a stiff necked people and we don’t give into those who wish to harm us and terrorize our families. The most dangerous thing that can happen to the Jewish nation is to give them easy life of plenty and relaxation. May be this is true not only about Jews but about people in general. If they don’t have challenges and some trouble they get fat and lazy and selfish and the worst of all they get complaisant and assimilate. The Pharaoh made life really easy for the Israelites. He gave them the land of Goshen which was the most fruitful part of Egypt. They were under the protection of Joseph. Life was easy and they multiplied and grew to the point that the Egyptians started to envy them and feel threatened by their number and their wealth and their power. This period of prosperity lasted several hundred years. However, the Israelites did not loose their most characteristic trait. The same attitude and stubborn tenacity we see in the New Testament in the book of Acts after every persecution and hardship that was put on the disciples in the early chapters of Acts we read something like: “Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6:7) The Israelites would not have been saved only on their attitude. They had to have God’s help and a “Savior” to take them out of Egypt, and when they cried to the Lord HE saw their anguish and sent them a savior.
The second thing that I want to point out from this Shabbat’s reading is the two midwives of the Hebrews Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah and commanded them to kill all the male babies at birth and only allow the female babies to live. “But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.” In this verse stands a very important principle that is often forgotten. To Fear God sometimes and I would say more often means not to fear man and his authority, that includes unrighteousness and evil governments. When Shiphrah and Puah were discovered and it became known that they are not doing their job and not killing the Hebrew male babies it says: ״So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive? And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.” )Ex. 1:17-19). In the story of Exodus we see that because of Pharaoh’s daughter, a non-Jewish woman, who did the same thing, disobeyed the Law of the Land, deceived her father the Pharaoh and saved a Hebrew child that was floating on the Nile River in a basket – Moses survived and was raised as an Egyptian Prince and used by God to save the people of Israel out of Egypt. Let us as disciples of Yeshua have the kind of faith that is full of the fear of God much more than fearing man and sitting in the safe zone of political correctness and not doing a thing for the sake of righteousness and truth. Pray that you and a your leaders and Teachers and Elders in your churches and in your Synagogues have the fear of God and stand for what is right and Godly and righteous in your community and in your country.
The USA has a new President today! This new President Donald Trump has made many promises including promises that are directly involving Israel and Jerusalem. We all need to pray that God would give President Trump wisdom and understanding and moral fiber to keep all his promises and stand by the principles that he proclaimed during the election campaign. Pray that President Trump will make American Great again, the kind of America that stands for Biblical values and moral principles of Godliness and true and charity, equality and care for the poor and suffering. I am praying and praying for the United States and for divine wisdom to do what is good and right not only by the USA.
Pray for Kol HaYeshua Radio broadcasts. We have new challenges that with God’s help will help us spread the Good News in the Hebrew Language better and more effectively. We you to pray to the LORD to open doors and provide the right staff and talented young men to do all that is necessary.
Please keep praying for Israel as a nation! We are facing similar difficulties to the rest of the world and our government is in need of prayer for wisdom and guidance no less than that of the USA and other countries.
I just spoke to Barry my son. He is feeling better but it will take a long time for the wound in his stomach to heal and close. He is not yet able to go to work. Please join us in prayer for Barry. We pray for healing of the wound from inside without infections and problems. Our prayer is for the Lord to speed up the healing and the drying of the hole and for Barry to be able to return to work soon.
As you know for us to pray for people we don’t know is considered a big Mitzvah (privilege). This principle is both very Jewish and also very New Testament. To do good to those who can’t return the favor to you is a privilege that pleases God more than to do good to people whom you know and are close to you and will return the favor to you sooner or later.
So, please pray for the prayer list and for people in Japan, Korea, China, the United States, Finland, Israel, and Brazil. We are not praying only for brothers and sisters who need healing, but also for brothers who need financial healing. For brothers and sisters who gave sacrificially for the Lord’s Kingdom, and now need a blessing from God in their work and in with their finances.
Please pray for the Netivyah workers. Every one is working very hard and we are looking for an additional young, energetic, talented in media work and in P.R., good in Hebrew and in English, and willing to work just as hard as all our workers now. We would appreciate your prayers so that we can either find a worker like this or the Lord will send us someone that fits this job description.
The Israeli politics is in really bad shape – it seems like everyone is looking for mud to sling against everyone. Our Prime Minister is being dogged and his family are being dogged for many months. I am praying for our judicial system to act sensibly and honestly. Israel’s biggest asset in my opinion is a very effective and honest judicial system. I am praying for Israel to just be the kind of country that has good honest not corrupt. This has to do with the way God wants this nation to conduct itself. The real power of this nation and other nations as well is found in pleasing God and receive His blessing on the actions and events of the nation. Especially for Israel these principles are essential. If God is not with us and blesses us as a nation we have no chance to withstand the challenges and the hate of our enemies. Only with the LORD’s help we have hope and the Lord is going to help and bless and give victory only if we are a nation that is a light to the nations. Please pray for Israel to be again a light to the nations, a sign of justice and righteousness walking upright before both God and man.
Here is the prayer list for this week:
Pray for Danah and Noaam our daughter and granddaughter. I realize how difficult it is for Danah and Noaam to cope as a single mother and a daughter that lives between and betwixt her mother and her father’s house. I pray for wisdom and emotional strength for both. Above all I pray that my granddaughter will appreciate everything that her mother is doing for her and understand the the difficult hurdles of life that they both have to overcome.
Please keep Mr. Chung and Sister Lee in your prayers. Also especially pray for our dear brother Goh and his family and work. I pray for sister Christy in Korea, and sister Laurel in Israel and Brother Daniel L., and the company, and Brother Michael Kenzevic and his company. The LORD of all is also the LORD gracious and loving full of grace and truth. I don’t understand HIM but I do know for sure that HE is faith and just and kind in all HIS ways. We need to be happy with all God’s judgments and blessings and always thank HIM for the bitter as for he sweet, for the the blessings that HE give us and for HIS chastisements.
Our dear brothers in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, covet your prayers: Gloria D., Emmet M., Bobby M., Joe M., and special strength to Francis B., and Anne B., and Ernest B. – it is a faithful thing to pray for our brothers and sisters.
Keep praying for Ruby our dear sister, and for Dr. John McRay, and Dr. George Howard, and Dr. Tim Tucker, and Anna H., Anne-Mirjam, Anna Majia, and Satu-Maria, and give strength to Keijo and Salme, and Erkki and Sirpa.
Aaron Hook and Yuri Marianenko, Sarit, Marcia Shulam, David Stern, Ilana, Leah, Ahuva Ben-Maier, Naomi, Sinai Tuuli, Liz J., Paulo, Clara, Takeo Sensei and Tomoko San, Daisuke Muraoka, We have a brothers in Japan that is coping with cancer Toru San, and Curtis Sensei. Keep this dear brothers in your prayers. In Brazil we pray for Marcelo’s mother and father and for all our dear ill brother and sisters in the congregations and especially for Paulo.
Keep Marcia my wife in your prayers. She has to cope with her diabetic and Rheumatoid Arthritis and some challenges in her memory. Pray for Horac and June Saunders, Marcia’s parents. The need your prayer for health and stamina.
Pray for me too. I have just returned from Holland. It was a pleasure to fellowship and teach in Beit Yeshua for three days. The topic was a comparative study of the differences and similarities between the teaching of Yeshua and the Apostle Paul. It is a complicated topic but I hope that I did a good job presenting it and reasoning it out. The people seem to have enjoyed it and said that they learned many new things. However, I went to Holland sick with a sinus infection and returned today home to Israel with a sinus infection.
God bless you all and bless all that you do and especially all that you do for the KINGDOM of the LORD.