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BeshalachRead / Listen to Portion
The Israelites understood that they were to escape through the midst of the sea, but the sea had not yet split. Jewish legend says that Moses bade the Israelites step into the sea, but they were unwilling to do so until Nahshon sprang forward and plunged into the water. He struggled under the waves and nearly drowned.
The children of Israel left Egypt, Pharaoh, and slavery behind as they descended into the water, and they arose on the other side as free men. Immersion into the name of Messiah represented the transition from death to life. Paul saw the same imagery at work in the crossing of the sea.
The journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai symbolizes spiritual growth. Israel leaving Egypt can be compared to the new believer, a born-again infant. The baby has to learn to walk, to talk, and to eat solid foods. Israel's first forty-nine days in the wilderness were filled with growing experiences.
Belief in Moses implies more than simple theism. To believe in God is one thing, but to believe in Moses requires believing in God as He revealed Himself through the Torah of Moses. Many people believe in God, but not so many believe the Torah. Not many people believe in God as He is revealed through Moses.
We are often in a hurry to reach our dreams and our goals in life. It is frustrating to take long cuts through the wilderness. God is more interested in seeing us develop in spiritual maturity than He is in seeing us arrive at our dreams and goals. He wants to build our character.