Beshalach - January 30, 2021

Torah Portion:
Beshalach - January 30, 2021

Torah: Exodus 13:17-17:16
Haftarah: Judges 4:4-5:31
Portion Summary:
—Moses leads the people the long way out; they carry arms and the bones of Joseph.
—Pharaoh changes his mind, and takes men and chariots to capture the people.
—Moses splits the sea, the people escape, and the Egyptians are caught in the sea.
—Moses and Miriam lead the people in songs of victory.
—The people grumble about what they don’t have. God provides for their needs and gives manna.
—Shabbat is observed.
—Israel battles Amalek with the help of the Lord.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
The Point of No Return
“After Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, although that was nearby, for God said, ‘The people might change their minds if they see war and return to Egypt.’” Exodus 13:17 (TLV)

God took the people the long way around on their journey to The Land because the children of Israel might have been frightened by the threat of war and possible re-enslavement. Earlier in the story we see that they brought their weapons with them; but this passage clearly shows us  that they were not warriors. They were really just easily frightened ex-slaves!

The “point of no return” is a tactical term used to describe a point during an operation where, due to the amount of supplies and fuel necessary to complete the objective, one cannot return to their point of origin without completing the mission.

God was employing this strategy as He moved the children of Israel to The Land. He led them on a path that would have made it difficult for them to return to their former lives (although there were certainly times they wanted to)! There is a saying, “Change is good; you go first!” because change is usually hard. Everything was changing for the people: their status, homes, leaders, and way of life.

In my own life, I have recently undergone a life-altering change: retirement. Even though retiring was an anticipated and welcome change, it also required many adjustments (and lots of paperwork). Once everything was filed, I was able to begin the life of a retiree and enjoy this new phase of life. I certainly would not want to go back to the way things used to be!  

Has God asked you to make changes, some of which might be hard to make? These adjustments might be difficult to make, but when we begin to act on them we will experience His freedom, and His joy. If God takes you the “long way” in journeying to the new horizons, remember that He will use the time to equip us with everything we will need to accomplish His purpose for us. Even though we may want to return to where we came from, it is far wiser for us to embrace the change!

Dear Lord,
I thank You for all You have given and for all You want to give. I pray that You will guide me through the changes and encourage me when life seems too hard. I don’t want to go back to the way things were because You are my Rock!
In Yeshua’s name, amen.
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