Friday, 5 February 2021
What the Song of Moses says about Our Identity
As a companion to last week's teaching and as part of preparation for this week's Torah study, I wanted to set a foundation for our continued journey through Exodus.
If you remember as we went through the book of Deuteronomy, we studied things through the lens of Identity. We compared Israel's preparation and requirements in entering and maintaining the promised land (as their own identity preparation) and our identity in Yeshua. We have been following this concept through with the book of Genesis and now Exodus.
When Israel was camped before the Red Sea, they were technically geographically still located in Egypt. This is both literal and figurative. That is, they were still within the borders of the land of Egypt. And, as we equate the promised land as a symbol of new identity, they still had an old identity of Egypt. 1 Corinthians 10:2 we see how passing through the Red Sea, for Israel, was a "baptism into Moses ..." Thus, the people of Israel all went through this baptism. This is meant to be an indicator of transition, it demonstrates the beginning of their path into their new identity (the promised land).
The entire process of the Exodus, which we know demonstrated God's power to Egypt and to Israel, also served to bring Israel to a place of unification under the authority of God the Father speaking through Moses (a type of Yeshua). Though the people of Israel went through these (although only suffering from a few themselves) plague events in Egypt together, Israel was not yet born as a new nation with a new national identity.
This happened through the baptism of the Red Sea into Moses. The same happens to those who are true followers of Jesus. They become "baptized into one body", the body of Messiah. With the sea covering up the Egyptians who tried to cross after (illegally, another lesson) Israel, Egypt crossed into separation and death, while Israel crossed into unification and new life.
Their first recorded act, with their newly formed unity, was to sing this song (The Song of Moses) together. We can find a great many references to singing from Exodus through Revelation. For instance, "Sing praises to the LORD, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name." (Psam 30:4, ESV) Moreover, this scripture says "Moses and the people of Israel" sang, this is important both because of how and why they all sang. It brought them together. In other words, the first thing that happened after crossing the Red Sea, was a unified activity.
It was also a unifying activity. Here we get a little boost from science. Science tells us that when we sing together our heartbeats sync up. (Frontiers of Psychology) By singing the song, they were creating an anchor point, for their identity, or a reference point for their future-to-be who they were meant to be as individuals and as a nation.
Their memories and emotions were tied to crossing over the bottom of the sea on dry land, with a wall of water surrounding them and watching their enemy being covered up by that sea. They must have experienced a vast number of emotions and incredible relief. By singing together, anytime they recalled the song, (as individuals or as an entire nation of Israel) they could put themselves back in that circumstance. It was a very powerful national anthem.
This can be applied to us as Yeshua's disciples. The concept of having an anchor point in our identity is meant to help us remember who we are as disciples of Yeshua. This goes to our character development and how we fulfill our calling to disciple others. We cannot fulfill the great commission without remembering who we are. These anchor points, help us to keep locked into our identity in Jesus. They give us foundation necessary to weather the doubts pull us away all of us from who we are. We have seen pastors and leaders within the Body of Messiah falling away from who they once were in Messiah. They have lost their identity.
Even more troubling, when they have fallen away, they have also led others away. In reliving the memory, because the brain brings the feeling with it, you can use the memory of the feeling to help get back and strengthen the anchor point.
It is not mystical. It is how our brains were created so that we could stay relational with the Lord. It is how we can go from being angry and not sinning (by maintaining the relational side of who we are. Think back to a time where you felt accepted and fulfilled and gratitude. Sometimes, whether it is a song, a smell or a taste, you can get your mind back to that place. This is how to relive this experience.
By the way, just a quick note, some of us may have a hard time with this because of a lack of experiences or trauma. If you have something in mind, but it was followed by trauma you can have mixed emotions when recalling this event. Reliving things brings back both kinds of emotions. There is a whole process for dealing with these kinds of things. For now, for you, it may be something seemingly very small and unremarkable. But, there is always something.
This is how we can utilize the way God created us to interact with each other and him. As we have seen, not only do we have a biblical basis for these anchor points, we have a theological necessity for them. Therefore, as disciples of Jesus, we have a challenge before us, to remember and create these anchor points in our lives. They will help us know who we are in Yeshua and they help us to disciple others to know who they are in Yeshua.
You will find a link to the readings for February, by going here. Remember to Invite Someone! Our Shabbat Meeting Information:
We will be meeting at 10:45am to begin fellowship. You may join us online by going to Google Meet and entering the following code: wqg-wmqb-fcb. You may join us by phone: 1 617-675-4444+ PIN #: +716 354 766 1435+#
Daniel and Berelyn,