בְּשַׁלַּח
B’Shelach / When He Let Go
Exodus 13:17-17:16
HafTorah Portion
Brit Chadasha

When Fear Displaces Faith…
     Fear is a powerful emotion, an emotion that renders us immobile.  Fear changes our perception, makes us doubt ourselves, the plan and then question and doubt God, even lashing out at Him.
     In this Torah portion, fear grips the Israelites turning their joy of freedom into anxiety and anger towards Moshe and Elohim.
     Exodus 14:10-14 ‘ And when Pharaoh drew near, the children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, the Egyptians marched after them. So they were very afraid, and the children of Israel cried out to the Lord. 11 Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us up out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.” 13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
    God’s answer: ‘ And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. 17 And I indeed will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them. So I will gain honor over Pharaoh and over all his army, his chariots, and his horsemen. 18 Then the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained honor for Myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen.” Exodus 15:15-18.
      Basically, what God is saying: “Get up and get going.  Do not fear for I am with you and this will once again bring honor to Me.”
    Is there glory given to God when we are stagnant and locked in fear?  Is there any glory to God when we worry about the events in our lives?  Where is the honor and glory when we complain and whine and plead to move backwards instead of moving forward?
    However, there is great honor- kavod - and glory to God when we rise to the occasion and press on.  It is when we overcome the situation, with Elohim and because of Elohim that glory bestows Adonai.
     Isaiah 41:10 ‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
     Joshua 1:9 ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’
     Psalm 118:6 ‘The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’
     Proverbs 29:25 ‘Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.’   
     2 Timothy 1:7 ‘ For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’
     Psalm 27:1 ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
     The first mention of fear in the Bible is just after Adam and Eve sinned.  As God came looking for them in the garden they hid themselves because ‘they were afraid’.  Genesis 3:10.
  
Abraham was afraid to say that Sarah was his wife, Genesis 26:7-9. Saul was afraid in 1 Samuel 28:5-7. Elisha feared Jezebel, 1 Kings19:3.  Jonah and the men were afraid, Jonah 1:10.
     Through out Scriptures we can find that there are really only three types of fear. The first type of fear is of earthly troubles and men- which is considered a sin. The second fear is of the Lord which denotes our reverence and love for Him.  Fear and awe are found in the same Hebrew word: Yirah and according to Proverbs 1:7 – ‘The fear – Yirah - of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.’ The third kind of fear is the fear that we should feel to keep us from sin. That is found in 1 Timothy 5:20.   And what is sin? Lawlessness/Torahlessness. 
     1 John 3:4-9 states exactly what sin is:  ‘Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in Him; and He cannot sin, because He has been born of God.’
    This is a powerful set of Scriptures.  First it clarifies without a doubt what is sin: living a life outside of the instructions of God.  Second, these verses describe the ‘why’ Yeshua, the Living Word was made manifest: to take away our sins as we walk in His way, the Torah, which is the opposite of sin.  1John 3 continues with the explanation that the person who abides in the Son Of God, Yeshua, the Light of the World, the Living Torah ‘does not sin’. This verse also says that if we ‘practice’ righteousness.  Not that we are suddenly righteous.  If we know the entire Truth and we walk outside or contrary to the Torah, the teachings and instructions of Adonai are we truly abiding in the Messiah?
     If we submit our lives to The Living Torah, we truly abide in Yeshua.

   Baruch Hashem!