Learn Hebrew

Learn Torah

Hebrew for Christians
Teshuvah of Waste Places...
Marc Chagall Etching

Teshuvah of Waste Places

Further thoughts on Parashat Shemot

by John J. Parsons

Forty years before encountering the LORD in the burning bush, Moses was full of himself, a prince of Egypt "mighty in word and deed" who regarded himself as Israel's deliverer (Acts 7:22-25). But Moses' "Egyptian-styled" ego led him to regard murder and human uprising as the means of deliverance, and consequently God sent him into exile to think things through... It was there, in the waste places of the desert, that God's education began - the school of brokenness, teshuvah, and heart-listening... Only after this did God appear to him, calling out to the man who had lost all confidence in the flesh. Moses' humility mirrored the emptiness of the desert: "Who am I?" he protested, "I can't do this thing..." (Exod. 3:11). Exactly! Now he understood. Similarly, we must be careful not to regard ourselves as "strong," since the power of the flesh is useless for the purposes of heaven (Zech. 4:6). As it is written, "Thus says the LORD: 'Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the desert, in an uninhabited salt land" (Jer. 17:5-6). It was only after Moses' question, "Who am I?" was answered by God's "I AM who I AM," that the "useless shrub" became aflame with God's power... 

Moses' rod, which he had relied upon for years in the desert, was transformed to be used as an instrument of Divine Power (Exod. 4:1-5). God entrusts the rod of His authority only in the hands of a truly broken man.... Similarly, though Moses was described as a man "mighty in word and deed," these were attributes of the flesh unrefined by the Spirit of God. Therefore, after being humbled in the desert, Moses confessed that he was kevad peh - "heavy of mouth" and kevad lashon, "heavy of tongue," and unable to speak on behalf of the LORD. God then told him that He would "be with his mouth" to teach him what to say (Exod. 4:10-12). This likewise teaches that God entrusts the utterance of his word to the tongue of a genuinely broken man...

<< Return


Hebrew for Christians
Copyright © John J. Parsons
All rights reserved.