Get Ready | IFCJ
Skip Navigation
Jerusalem

Get Ready

default image for holy land moments posts

And the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people.” — Exodus 19:10–11

The Torah portion for this week is Yitro, which means “Jethro,” from Exodus 18:1–20:23, and the Haftorah is from Isaiah 6:1–13.

Last week we read about the Israelites’ exodus from Egypt. This week we come to another monumental event. Two months after the exodus, the children of Israel were encamped at the foot of Mount Sinai. Here, we read about the revelation of God and the giving of the Torah, and we encounter the moment that changed human history and shaped civilization.

But just before God descended on Mount Sinai, the children of Israel, via Moses, were commanded to prepare for this big event: “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow . . . and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down . . . in the sight of all the people.” The Israelites had to spend two days getting ready so that on the third day they would be able to receive God and His Word.

As we might imagine, preparing for God’s revelation was not just physical in nature. It was far more than putting on the freshest and nicest clothing after taking a shower. Two days aren’t needed just for that! Rather, it was a spiritual preparedness that was required of the people. From this the Jewish sages learn the following: “There is no holiness without preparation.”

There is an old story about a Japanese emperor who commissioned an artist to paint a bird. Months and years passed by and no painting arrived. In anger and frustration, the emperor stormed into the artist’s home one day, demanding to see what he was paying for. The artist showed him a blank canvass. Then, he proceeded to paint a masterpiece. “Why couldn’t you do that sooner?” demanded the emperor. The artist took out a stack of sketches with wings, heads, and feathers of a bird. “I could not have painted that masterpiece without preparing in advance,” he explained.

Preparation is necessary for any achievement. It’s true in the physical aspects of our lives and it’s true in the spiritual realm as well. Just as we wouldn’t attempt running a marathon without months of training and preparation, we cannot expect to be in peak spiritual shape without sufficient groundwork. If we want to become holy people, worthy of receiving the Lord, we can’t expect to wake up one day and be ready. It takes days, weeks, months, and years of consistent preparation.

How does one prepare spiritually? The same way we would physically. Make a plan and stick to a schedule. Prayer, bible study, and acts of kindness are all character-builders that help with our spiritual preparedness. When we intentionally make these a central part of our daily lives, we will surely be ready on the day of God’s ultimate revelation.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

Hebrew Word of the Day
January 28, 2016
Theme: Health

Ke’ev Garon —
Sore Throat

LATEST DEVOTIONAL

Only Passing Through

September 25, 2018

The sukkah breaks us free of the illusion that we will live forever and reminds us that we are only passing through this world.

Read More

NEW TEACHING RESOURCE

Keys to Israel Spring 2018

What are the Keys to I.S.R.A.E.L.?

Study 6 eternal truths about God's Holy Land and His people.

Learn More

HOW TO HELP

Bless God's People

God promises to “bless those who bless [Israel].” You can take part in His promise by being a blessing to a lonely elderly Jewish person like Sofia who has nowhere else to turn. Your gift will help provide food, medicine, and shelter to someone in desperate need. We cannot stand idly by as the elderly like Sofia suffer through the last years of their lives. Join us in helping these forgotten survivors with your best gift today.

Donate Now