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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

Shemot 13-6


Exodus 4:18-31

Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, "Please let me go back to my brothers in Egypt to see whether they are still alive." And Jethro said to Moses, "Go in peace."

Ex. 4:18 ESV

What lies in your heart?

After forty years with Yitro, his father-in-law, Moshe still had the children of his people in his heart. He called them "my brothers". The Torah reveals that Moshe had a strong feeling of brotherhood for his people (2:11b). His feelings had not waned after those forty years away from them. The Eternal felt strongly for his people (3:7) and Moshe felt the same because he cultivated his personal relationship with Him daily. The fact that he called his son Gershom a foreigner there also shows that his heart was with the children of Israel.

The one who is able to feel the compassion that the Eternal has for others will be able to help to alleviate the burden of the needy and to free the oppressed. The one who seeks to make healing and deliverance miracles in order to gain power, fame or money doesn't know HaShem's heart and will never be approved by Him. HaShem's compassion for His people was in Moshe's heart not only when he saw their hard labour when he was forty (2:11; Act. 7:23), but also during his encounter with the angel at the burning bush, where his fire of love and compassion (that doesn't burn but motivates to act and to help) was intensified.

When Moshe left with his family, he had to pay for his donkey, his means of transportation (4:20). Even if he had the right to be rewarded for serving in the mission of the people's redemption, he didn't claim it later (Num. 16:15). He took on the costs himself. This is a characteristic of a true servant of the redemption, he is willing to give all he has to help the people he has in his heart – in this case, his brothers.

May the Eternal fill us with His love, compassion and concern for our brothers; may we never consider the price too high for being collaborators in the redemption.


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