Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”—Exodus 14:13–14
A note to our readers: Beginning at sunset April 22, 2016, the Jewish celebration of Passover will take place for the next eight days through April 30. Since some of the days during the Passover celebration are non-working days, the devotions were prepared for you in advance.
One of the most encouraging messages of Passover is that when things seem most hopeless, there is always room for hope. The climax of the Passover story occurred when the children of Israel were sandwiched between the entire Egyptian army bearing down on them and the Red Sea. If ever there was a time to lose faith, it was at that moment.
Yet, from that moment of desperation comes one of the greatest moments of salvation – and a message of hope for all time.
Things only seem hopeless when we make the mistake of thinking that we are in control. If we can’t do it, then it simply can’t be done – there is no hope. The doctor can’t operate – so healing won’t come. I don’t earn enough money – so I’ll never get out of debt. When we are so sure that we alone hold the keys to our salvation, it’s no wonder that so many doors seem closed. It’s only when we give those keys to God that miracles can happen and hope can be found.
I love this story about a sparrow who loved to fly high in the sky, innocent and free. One day, the sparrow sensed imminent danger. She looked down to see a hunter pointing a rifle right in her direction. As the sparrow tried to flee from the danger, she noticed more trouble coming from above. An eagle was eyeing her like a piece of candy. The sparrow realized that she had no choices left and decided instead to surrender her life to God. In that precise moment, God sent a snake to bite the hunter, causing him to misfire his rifle, sending a bullet flying toward the eagle, killing it, and setting the sparrow free.
The message: Don’t surrender to life; surrender to God. Don’t give up hope; place your hope in God. Take comfort and encouragement from the words of Moses to the Israelites in their most desperate moment: “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today . . . The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
When all hope seems lost, God will fight for us. When there is nothing left that we can do, God can do anything. We need only to have hope, hang on, and give up our lives to God.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President