Monday 8 Shevat 5783 (30.01.23)
Prayer or Action?
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהֹוָה֙ אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֔ה מַה־תִּצְעַ֖ק אֵלָ֑י דַּבֵּ֥ר אֶל־בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וְיִסָּֽעוּ׃
Moses then began to pray to God, too. But God said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to Me? The Egyptians are almost upon you. Now is the time for action, not prayer. And in any case, the outcome of this situation is not dependent upon you, but on Me. As to what to do: speak to the Israelites and let them journey forth! In the combined merit of their forebearers and the faith they themselves showed in Me when they left Egypt, the Sea of Reeds will split before them!
There is a Time to Pray and There is a Time to Act
Moses had prayed to HaShem and HaShem had told him that He would fight on their behalf (verse 14). However, the people were afraid, at that time they still knew HaShem primarily as the G-d of judgment (the plagues of Egypt still fresh in their minds), would they really deserve for the sea to split?
And quite rightly, in times of distress you cry out to G-d, as we read in, for example,
In my trouble I called to the L-RD,
And He answered me;
From the belly of Sheol I cried out,
And You heard my voice.
In distress I called on the L-RD;
the Lord answered me and brought me relief.
The lesson to be learned was that HaShem is chesed, and that He answers sincere prayer and that you should trust in that. Sincere trust makes you put aside your fears and move on to action. That is what Nachson did...he acted and as a result the sea split. Because only when we show that we trust HaShem will He grant that trust.
Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the NoahideAcademy.org website. She contributes for the admin of the website in English and Dutch. She teaches Hebrew to beginners and intermediate students at the Academy.
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