Torah Portion Yitro
Exodus 18:1 – 20:23
In this Portion we read of Jethro (Yitro) giving wise counsel to Moses regarding judging the people. Prior to his counsel Moses had said that he sat from morning to evening judging the people. Moses would have soon worn himself out by doing this, so the counsel of his father-in-law was very timely.
This breaking down of leadership is a wise pattern to follow in our modern congregations. Moses was instructed to have leaders over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
The main point that I would like to bring out about this portion is the fact that the people entered into a covenant with YHVH. He told them that if they would obey His voice and follow all of His commandments that He would make them a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. The people agreed to the arrangement.
When we keep reading we see that the people were to prepare themselves to meet with Yah on the third day. When the third day arrived He spoke the Ten Words to His chosen people and they agreed to obey.
Upon this mutual agreement He entered into a marriage covenant with Israel.
When the people hear the thunderings, see the lightning flashes, hear the sound of the shofar and see the smoke on the mountain they become afraid and request that Yah not speak to them directly again but that He speak to them through Moses. Several things take place at this point. First, they will now have a mediator, by request. Yah desired to speak to them directly, but they requested a mediator. In so doing, Moses and later the Aaronic priesthood, will become their mediators.
Later they will request a king to rule over them. Once again, Yah will give them their desires. Positions that He desired to have, high priest and king, are now given to others.
Yeshua, God in the flesh, will take back both of these rightful positions once again. At His first coming He took back being high priest, the mediator. At His second coming He will take back the kingdom, ruling over all the nations of the earth from His throne in Jerusalem, as the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Historically, the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai is said to have happened on Pentecost (Shavuot). Jews celebrate the giving of Torah every year during the festival.
The event in Jerusalem, in Acts chapter 2, on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost), marks the giving of the Renewed Covenant in Messiah where He wrote His laws upon our heart and it completely parallels the event at Mt. Sinai; fire, smoke, wind. Read the passages in Exodus 19:16-17 and Acts 2:1-3. See the parallel events of wind, fire, clouds, and a sound from heaven? Both of these events happened on the same day, Shavuot. Additionally, ancient Jewish literature tells us that when the Torah was given at Mt. Sinai that tongues of fire lighted upon each person and that each person heard God speak to them in their own tongue. Ancient literature also records that on the same date much earlier the event of the “confusing of the languages” happened at the Tower of Babel event. So, if this historically recorded information is correct then in Acts chapter 2 the Creator reverses the chaos of the babel event. God follows patterns. Also, 3000 were killed at Mt Sinai for disobedience, while 3000 were saved and added to the assembly at the same event in Acts; when Peter finished preaching.
Yeshua is in the restoration business. Many things were lost because the chosen people broke the marriage covenant, but Yeshua will restore and take back His people. At His coming He once again entered into a marriage betrothal. Our soon coming King will take His bride, the one who has made herself ready, and He will once again have a kingdom of priests and a holy nation just as the writings of Peter and John the Revelator bring out.