A Sign of Faith

Yael Eckstein  |  June 19, 2023

Teenage boy sitting on a wooden bench flipping through a small book.

The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt. — Exodus 12:13

In Judaism, faith is more a verb; it is something that we do, rather than something we have. These devotions explore the idea of faith as living out our lives in a way that reflects our belief and trust in God. Enjoy!

Rabbi Avishai David is a rabbi in the town of Beit Shemesh in Israel. He is known as a brilliant scholar, community leader, and teacher of the Talmud. He is also known for his lengthy and passionate prayers that can sometimes go on for hours, especially on the High Holy Days!

The other thing that Rabbi David is also known for is his personal custom to wear a raincoat throughout the winter months, even on days when the sky is blue and the sun is shining.

A member of his community once asked Rabbi David why he wears his raincoat even on beautiful sunny days. His answer taught the questioner a lesson in faith he’ll likely never forget.

“In the winter months we add a special prayer for rain into our daily prayers. How can I ask God for rain without showing Him that I trust that He’ll answer that prayer?” Rabbi David explained.

A Sign of Faith

In the story of the Exodus, God commanded the Israelites to put the blood of the lamb on their doorposts. We read, “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.”

The blood would be the sign for God to “pass over” their houses during the plague of the death of all the firstborn in the land. But why did God need a sign to know which homes were Jewish? No doubt, God knew full well which homes were owned by Egyptians and which belonged to the Israelites.

The blood on the doorposts wasn’t really for God’s sake. It was for the children of Israel. Of course, God knew where the Israelites lived. God wanted His people to demonstrate their faith in Him to protect them from all harm.

In ancient Egypt, sheep were considered sacred. So when God required that the Israelites slaughter these lambs, He was asking them to kill an Egyptian god. Imagine the faith and trust in God that it took for a Jewish slave in Egypt to do this!

This was stepping out in faith to the fullest. The blood on the doorposts, like Rabbi David’s raincoat, was a sign of faith and trust that God would hear their prayers—and answer them!

Your Turn:

What “sign” might you adopt to show your faith in God?