Faith in the Future

Yael Eckstein  |  June 29, 2023

Black and white image of a woman looking at a baby in a basket along a river.

His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him. —Exodus 2:4

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!

“I don’t understand these young couples these days.” The woman speaking was Greta, an elderly Jewish woman in my neighborhood. “They wait to get married. Then, once they’re married, they wait to have kids! Why all the waiting?”

Greta went on to tell me her own personal story. She was born in a Displaced Persons camp in the aftermath of World War II. Her parents, both survivors of Nazi concentrations camps, met in the DP camp and got married. While still in the camp, Greta was born.

In telling her story, Greta stressed that her parents had no papers, no idea where they would end up, and no idea how they would build a life out of nothing. But they had faith that God was with them. Greta’s point was that when young people today wait until they’re financially secure before marrying and having children, they are missing what’s most important in life.

Faith in the Future

As I listened to Greta’s story I thought about Miriam, the older sister of Moses. According to Jewish tradition, Miriam’s parents had decided not to have any more children after Pharaoh had decreed that all Israelite baby boys must be put to death. The risk of having a boy and seeing him die was too much for them.

According to tradition, it was Miriam who convinced them to have more children, despite Pharaoh’s decree. Because of Miriam, Moses was born. Later, when Moses was put in a basket in the Nile, it was Miriam who watched over him. The Bible tells us, “His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.”

The Jewish sages understood this verse as a demonstration of Miriam’s faith in the future. She “stood at a distance.” In other words, she took the long view. Instead of accepting the dire situation of the present, Miriam had faith that the future would be bright, even if it took a while.

Your Turn:

Do you have doubts and fears about the future based on the current situation? Take a lesson from Miriam. Remember that God is with us and will be there in the long term.