And it came to pass in process of time, that Melech Mitzrayim (King of Egypt) died; and the Bnei Yisroel (children of Israel) groaned by reason of haAvodah (the Bondage), and they cried out, and their cry came up unto HaElohim (The Most High) by reason of haAvodah.
And Elohim heard their groaning, and Elohim remembered His brit (covenant) with Avraham, with Yitzchak, and with Ya’akov.
And Elohim looked upon the Bnei Yisroel, and Elohim had da’at (knowledge / aknowledge) of them. Shemot / Exodus 2:23-25 (OJB)
For two weeks now I keep saying good-bye to everybody I know. I am moving to another country for God knows how long.
I prayed for a long time for this change. I longed for it and saw it as my own personal redemption. And now that it’s here it’s scary…
I thought a lot about that passage in Shemot (Exodus) in the last couple of weeks. Jews were slaves in Mitzrayim for a long time. Their conditions were so bad that they were crying and didn’t even know to whom and if that someone even cares anymore. Their pain was beyond reason or faith… it was just raw suffering. But that cry made its way into Elohim’s heart. And Elohim listened. In Hebrew it says ‘v’yishma Elohim’… He didn’t just hear, He had listened. It’s the same word that is used when Israel is told to listen to the commandments of the Torah, and every Jew that recites Shema Israel twice a day knows this. It’s a way to listen in order to do something about it. And Elohim LISTENED to the cries of the Jewish people. Elohim looked at them and didn’t just see their conditions. He knew. The verse says in Hebrew “v’yar Elohim, et bnei Yisrael v’yeda Elohim” – God looked at the children of Israel and God knew. He didn’t just see… He knew. Knew their pain and their tears and their faults and their shortcomings. He saw it all and He knew. Not just another bit of trivia or mundane fact. He knew and He was moved. And He decided to help them. And He chose Moshe to go and command on His behalf to the one that kept them slaves ‘Shlach et ami!’ (Let my people go). It’s like ordering someone to let go, or hands off. And pharaoh refuses. And Elohim insists. And Jews got to see just how much He insisted on their behalf. And Jews have been freed and began their journey towards their promised land.
It’s an amazing story of God’s goodness. Of how He will stop at nothing to get that which is His to safety. You would think that His people would have been exited and exhilarated. They were free! This was redemption! But redemption doesn’t always feel like you expect it to.
You know you need it. You pray for it. You beg and bargain and think that’s all it takes for you to feel complete. An open door. Even a window will do. And then it’s yours. And you don’t know what to do with yourself anymore. You try to assimilate that concept and it’s totally lost on you. You reach out to open that door and you don’t know why your hand is shaking and your feet are so slow. Wasn’t this what you wanted? And things get blurry and you don’t know why your stupid eyes won’t clear because it’s your redemption and you want to see it clearly. Whatever is beyond that door has to be better than everything you leave behind!
I sound crazy don’t I?
Redemption is good. Awesome even.
Jews moved into a better future but still had to deal with the pain of everything they left behind. Their redemption was not all tambourines and dancing.
And neither is mine.
Bat Melech בת מלך