The broken heart of the L-rd who saved Israel
Exodus 14:30: “And the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.”
This speaks of the account of how the L-rd saved the Israelites from Pharaoh and his army who had trapped the Israelites at the Red Sea and how, after the Israelites had crossed to the other side on dry ground after the L-rd had parted the sea, when Pharaoh and his army pursued, G-d caused the waters to come back together drowning Pharaoh and his entire army.
However, this victory was not a victory in which a feeling of pride or self-exaltation could enter. Unlike any other nation that has thrown off the yoke of slavery, neither Israel nor its leader, Moses, claimed any merit of glory for the victory.
In fact, in the ‘Haggadah’, the book that is read at every ‘Pesach Seder’, the story of the Redemption is told without hardly any reference to Moses. In the entire ‘Seder’ service, only once, indirectly in a quotation, does the name Moses occur, showing that it was the L-rd – and only the L-rd – who saved Israel.
However, the completeness of this victory was marred by the fact that the Egyptians had to perish.
The Rabbis say that when the Egyptians were drowning in the Red Sea, the angels in heaven were about to break forth into songs of jubilation. But the Almighty silenced them with the words: “My creatures are perishing and you are ready to sing?”
And it is in this spirit that a drop of wine is poured out of the wine cup at every ‘Seder’ at the mention of each of the plagues that were inflicted on the Egyptians.
You see, Israel’s cup of joy cannot be full if Israel’s triumph involves suffering - even of its enemies.
Most of us who have come to faith in Yeshua rejoice in our salvation. So should we rejoice? Most of us will say “of course we must rejoice”.
But what about those of our families, friends, colleagues and strangers who are not saved and like the Egyptians of old, will perish…for eternity?
And what about my unsaved Jewish brethren, the flesh and blood brothers and sisters of Yeshua, who like the Egyptians of old, will perish…for eternity?
In Matthew 23:37-39, we see that Yeshua wept for Jerusalem: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate; for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”
We see here the broken heart of the L-rd who saved Israel thousands of years earlier from slavery in Egypt to freedom and ultimately to the Promised Land, known today as Israel.
I am forever and extremely grateful that Almighty G-d saved me, but I can never completely rejoice in my salvation until I have, to my dying breath, fulfilled the ‘Great Commission’ by telling as many people as I can about Yeshua who:
• Saved the Jewish people in the account of the Exodus.
• Wants all of mankind saved.
• Weeps for His and my Jewish brethren to this day aching for their salvation.
Because the L-rd wants all of mankind saved from slavery to sin and eternal death to freedom that only comes through Yeshua, forgiveness of sin, and ultimately to eternal life in heaven.
As we rejoice in our salvation, I believe Almighty G-d silences our rejoicing (not our gratitude) with the words: “My creatures are perishing and you are ready to sing?”
You see, G-d who saved Israel is a G-d of utter compassion.
And this is why Rav Shaul (Paul) in Romans 9:1-4 says: “I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites”.
The church needs to stop allowing their judgment clouded in doing what the Almighty truly wants us to do. To fulfil the ‘Great Commission’ and to begin with the Jewish people as declared in Acts 1:8: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
And stop ‘waiting for the right time’ to give people the gospel, because when you finally decide to share Yeshua with them it may be too late – because they may have just died, doomed to a dead eternity forever apart from G-d.
So, no! I cannot rejoice in my salvation; because like Rav Shaul, “I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, who are Israelites – as well as for all the unsaved”.
I am eternally grateful for my salvation, but I can only rejoice when I see all my family, friends, my unsaved brethren and mankind in general having come to faith in Yeshua.
And at that time, I will truly rejoice.