The broken heart of the L-rd who saved Israel
In Exodus 14:30 we read: “And the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore.”
The victory of the L-rd over the Egyptians at the Red Sea 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 (Passover) 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 Holy One 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.
So, what does this mean to us as believers today?
Most of us rejoice in our salvation, so should we rejoice? Most Christians 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 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!’ ”.
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 the L-rd who saved the Jewish people at the Red Sea and who wants all of mankind saved…from slavery to sin and death to the Freedom and eternal life that comes through Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah.
Yeshua wept for Jerusalem then, and Yeshua weeps for His and my Jewish brethren today, aching for their 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 He has a broken heart. 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”.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own spirituality and doctrines that we become quite selfish. We argue and debate theology, disagree with one another, criticise church and ministry leaders, leave the church, focus on our idea of how we interpret scripture and sometimes join weird groups.
Instead of focussing on the L-rd and His mandate for the salvation of the Jewish people, we seem to focus on our love for the Jewish people and Israel to such an extent, that we are afraid to give them the gospel because it might offend them or they may stop being our friend. And before we know it, another Jew has died without Yeshua.
The church needs to stop allowing meaningless arguments and points of view cloud their judgment in doing what the Almighty truly wants us to do.
Stop allowing doctrinal differences make you ineffective for the Kingdom, and stop ‘waiting for the right time’ to give people the gospel - especially Jewish people, 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 the Jewish Messiah and Saviour of the world, Yeshua, the L-rd who saved Israel then and who has a broken heart for Israel now.