Bo – “Go”

This week’s Parasha is entitled Bo which in Hebrew is the command form of “come” and covers Exodus 10:1 – 13:16.

In the previous Parasha, due to the hardness of Pharaoh’s heart, the first seven of ten plagues were unleashed on the inhabitants of Egypt. We now pick up in Chapter 10 where The Lord commands Moses to enter or go before Pharaoh once again in order to continue to demonstrate Adonai’s superiority over the false gods of Egypt.

Moses was instructed to announce to Pharaoh the next plague, the plague of locusts.

In reply, Pharaoh stated that he would only allow the Israeli men to go worship the Lord in the desert. But this was only partial obedience. The Lord wanted all Israel there to worship Him.

Once the plague of locusts passed, God hardened Pharaoh’s heart once more, and Pharaoh would not let the Israelis go.

So, Adonai told Moses to lift his hand toward the sky so that darkness could spread over all of Egypt. This was a darkness that could be felt and was so dense that no light could penetrate it. What a terrible darkness engulfed all of Egypt, except in the land of Goshen where the Children of Israel lived.

In his misery, Pharaoh summoned Moses and said he was willing to let him leave with the people, but not with their flocks and herds. This was yet another attempt to compromise by Pharaoh.

At this point, Pharaoh has had enough but his heart is too hardened now to just give up. So instead, he threatens Moses by telling him that he will have Moses killed if he steps foot inside the palace again.

Did Pharaoh not realize that Moses could send plagues without needing to see his face?

To threaten Moses with death, this prophet who was empowered by the Creator of the Universe showed how hard Pharaoh’s heart had become. A hard heart, contemptuous of God’s word and His commandments can bring us all to certain destruction.

Adonai then prepares Moses and the nation of Israel for the last and final plague: the death of the firstborn son.

The Lord gave Moses and the nation of Israel specific instructions concerning every portion of the Passover.

When you look at these instructions with the hindsight of knowing that Yeshua is the Messiah, we can clearly see the foreshadowing and symbolism of the greater Lamb of God.

First, they were instructed to pick out a lamb without blemish and take care of it and watch it for four days.

Then they needed to remove any leaven (which in scripture represents sin) from the house.

They were to slaughter the lamb and place its blood on the doorpost of their houses, and they were to roast the lamb and ensure there was nothing left over.

For a foreigner to participate in the Passover, he had to first be circumcised. And they had to stay in the house as the Angel of Death went forth to complete God’s will.

This Passover lamb which was set aside for the specific purpose of death, was selected on the tenth day, and killed on the evening at the end of the fourteenth day.

In contrast, Yeshua is the Lamb set aside before the foundation of the world. The lamb was to be a male without blemish, a picture of the perfect Lamb of God in whom there was no spot or stain.

From the tenth to the fourteenth day, the people watched the lambs to make sure they were satisfactory, just like Yeshua was tested and watched during His earthly ministry, especially during the last week before He was crucified.

If the lamb was found to be without defect, then he became your lamb. It’s the same when it comes to choosing the ultimate Lamb, the Messiah.

Killing a lamb seemed like foolishness to the wise Egyptians, but it was God’s way of salvation. Sins cannot be forgiven without a blood sacrifice.

The blood had to be applied to the doorposts of their homes just like the blood of Jesus must be applied to the doorposts of our hearts.

The feast was to be eaten among the people of the covenant. No stranger could participate, nor could a hired servant or one who was uncircumcised. These regulations remind us that salvation is a birth into God’s family – no outsiders are there. It is by grace – no one can earn it.

The people had to believe and then they had to put that faith or belief into action. If they said they believed but did not apply the blood, their firstborn died. Only by believing and then acting was the first born saved.

This teaches us that faith without works is dead. If we say we believe that Jesus is our personal Savior, then we should have some actions or fruit to back up the claim.

After this last plague Pharaoh finally admitted defeat and allowed the Israelis to go free.

For years, the Jewish people had slaved for the Egyptians without pay, now God permitted them to ask for (not borrow) their just wages. Generations earlier Adonai made a promised to Abraham saying: My people will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years, I will punish the nation that they served as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. The Three-In-One God had now kept the promise He had made with Abraham.

The God of Israel is always faithful, His Word is true, and He is always true to His Word.

The God of Israel has instructed us to place our faith in Yeshua, who has acted as our sacrificial lamb.

A living lamb in and of itself, was a lovely thing, but it could not save. We are not saved by Messiah’s example or even by His life; we are saved by His death and his Resurrection.

It’s not enough to call Messiah “A Savior” (as in one among many), or just “THE Savior” (like He’s for somebody else).

Each of us needs to make it personal and must be able to say, “He is MY Savior.”

If at this very moment you are unable to say that, then I encourage you to pray and receive Yeshua the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world into your heart.

And, for those that have already done that, may you draw close to Yeshua daily, getting closer to Him and drawing strength from Him for the journey to the New Jerusalem!

Shabbat Shalom!