Stepping Out in FaithJanuary 25, 2024 - 12:00 am
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
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Bo, which means “come,” from Exodus 10:1–13:16.
You would probably never guess this, but at one point in my life, my plan was to become a veterinarian. I’ve always loved animals—their beauty, intelligence, and the wondrous way that God created them has always been a marvel to me. And, I’ve always believed that animals can teach us a lot about ourselves, both how we should act and how we shouldn’t.
I once read an interesting fact about the African antelopes known as impalas. They are capable of jumping to a height of ten feet and covering a distance greater than thirty feet. But impalas can be kept in any zoo behind a mere three-foot wall. Why? Because impalas will not jump where they cannot see. They become the keepers of their own prison.
Stepping Out in Faith
In this week’s Torah portion, we read that God instructed the Israelites to slaughter a lamb and place the blood on their doorposts so that God would pass over their houses during the plague of the death of the firstborn. The Jewish sages explained that God didn’t need a sign—He already knew who lived in each home. However, the purpose of the directive was so that the Israelites would demonstrate their unwavering faith in God and His protection.
In ancient Egypt, sheep were considered deities. When God commanded the Israelites to slaughter the sheep and place the blood on the doorposts, He essentially asked them to kill an Egyptian god and place the evidence on their homes. The Israelites knew that this act would likely provoke their Egyptian masters to try to kill them. Yet, they did it anyway, demonstrating their faith in God and making them worthy of redemption.
Often enough, all it takes for our salvation is faith in God. We can be like the impalas, imprisoned by our own lack of trust, afraid to go where we cannot see. Or, we can be like the Israelites on the eve of the Exodus. We can place our trust in God and step out in faith. When we are willing to follow God, even when we cannot see where we’re headed, He will lead us out of our difficulties and take us places we never dreamed of.
Your turn: Which Bible verse inspires your faith in God when going through uncertain times? Share your verse below.