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Parashat Yitro

Updated on February 3, 2018

Synopsis of the Parashat

Yitro, as we learned early in the book of Exodus, is Mosheh’s father-in-law. Yitro was not with the Yisra’el-ites during the plagues on Mitzrayim nor during the crossing of the Sea of Reeds, but he heard about the miracles that YeHoVaH had performed for the children of Yisra’el. As the Yisra’el-ites were encamped at the Mountain of God, Yitro brought to Mosheh Tsipporah (Mosheh’s wife) and Mosheh’s two sons (Gereshom and Eliezer). It is here, at this time, that Yitro advises Mosheh on the wisdom of sanctioning judges to help govern and maintain the people.

It is also here at Mount Sinai that YeHoVaH chooses to covenant with His people and to make them “a reign of priests and a set-apart nation” (Shemot (Exodus) 19:6). The people responded to YeHoVaH’s wish in a collective manner, “All that YeHoVaH has spoken we shall do.” (Shemot (Exodus) 19:8).

YeHoVaH descended upon the mountain amidst thunder and lightning, thick cloud coverage, and a very loud sounding of the shophar, and when the people standing before the mountain saw and heard the thunder, lightning, billowing smoky cloud, and heard the shophar, they were frightened and begged of Mosheh to be their spokesperson. The people wanted Mosheh only to speak to YeHoVaH, and then to speak to them the words that YeHoVaH had spoken.

Mosheh became an intercessor for the people; he spoke to YeHoVaH for them, and then took back to the people that which YeHOVaH wished for them to know. Though the people saw YeHoVaH working on their behalf in Mitzrayim, even dividing the waters of the Sea of Reeds for them to pass to safety and freedom, the people still saw only with their physical eyes. And, with YeHoVaH’s glory surrounding them as it did, they were fearful and wanted that Mosheh speak for them to YeHoVaH and for YeHoVaH to them. There came a time when Mosheh was filled with the glory of YeHoVaH that his appearance frightened the people as much as YeHoVaH’s did, and he wore a veil to cover his face in the people’s presence.

What does this mean for the Believer and Follower of Yeshua ha-Meshiach today?

The Torah was given to a set-apart (or made holy) nation, Yisra’el, while they were encamped around Mount Sinai- if you are a Believer and Follower of Yeshua ha-Meshiach, you are a part of this set-apart nation, and the Torah is for you.

Shemot (Exodus) 12:49--”There is one Torah for the native born and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”

Mattityahu (Matthew) 22:37-40--”And Yeshua said to him, ‘You shall love YeHoVaH your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and great command. And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commands hang all the Torah and the Prophets.”

The question is … Do you accept the Torah as it was given by YeHoVaH of your own free will and with obedience, or do you not?

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 30:19--”I have called the heavens and the earth as witnesses today against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore you shall choose life, so that you live, both you and your seed.”

There is so much excitement when we approach the throne of grace and accept YeHoVaH’s gift of salvation through the shed blood of Yeshua ha-Meshiach- we remember where we once were and we are so glad, happy, and full of joy to know that we are not in that place anymore; but, in the midst of our joy, we must remember there is work to do. Ya’aqov (James) 1:22 says, “And become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” This means that as we exclaim, “Na’aseh v’nishma!” (We will listen and obey!), we allow YeHoVaH to implant within us His Torah, we listen to the prodding of Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit), and we obey, because we have that gladness, happiness, and joy of being saved by YeHoVaH’s grace through the saving work of Yeshua ha-Meshiach so we can be led by Ruach HaKodesh in order that we might bear fruit through our obedience.


Haftarah … Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 6:1-13


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