In this teaching on Torah reading VaEra, Ross shares the reason for Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. Beginning with God’s word to Abram about the enslavement of his descendants, Ross covers sets the stage for a clear understanding of the salvation of God’s firstborn son – Israel. He shows that the promised salvation is brought about through a series of signs and wonders, meant to strike the oppressing nation for the purpose of making YHVH known in all the earth. He further shows that these signs and wonders testified to the Oneness of God and was intended to be remembered as the greatest act of salvation ever accomplished. That is, until some future deliverance will overshadow the exodus from Egypt. Ross compares these two events, demonstrating that most likely the 2nd Exodus will follow a similar pattern but on a greater scale. You will not want to miss this teaching!
In this interpretation of the Parsha Shemot, Glenn explores the Psalmist’s observation in Psalm 106 that the Children of Israel did not understand the purpose of the signs and wonders wrought by YHVH in delivering them from Egypt. The Psalmist also indicates that they forgot their God who delivered them.
Beginning in Deuteronomy and then from the prophet Isaiah, Glenn develops two main things YHVH intended for the Children of Israel to gain from this single most profound event in history. Using references from the Psalms, he builds on these two points and shows how this failure to understand and remember resulted in exile.
Glenn then shows how ultimately the Children of Israel will learn these lessons and obtain the promises sworn to their fathers.
In this week’s class, Ross teaches from the final reading of Genesis. He covers the passing of the plan and follows the promises of the patriarchal narratives. Beginning with the promises made to Abraham, he shows that Scripture relates a specific plan, for a specific people, to be realized in a specific place at a set and yet undetermined time. Carefully working through texts in the Torah and the Prophets, Ross shows that while the plan is carried out in the lives of the patriarchs, it is to be fulfilled in the lives of the descendants of the fathers. You will not want to miss this teaching.
The story of Joseph reveals many of the principles upon which God interacts with humanity. In this teaching, we identify the historical Joseph and explore the reasons for his trials and afflictions. We will see the reasons for which YHWH brings trials and afflictions and how those afflictions have the potential to prepare us for a greater role in YHWH’s plan of salvation. Joseph applied the principles of testing, proving, and afflicting his brothers to see if their hearts were ready to know who he was. After his brothers passed his tests and the time came for Joseph to reveal himself, he had every reason to judge his brothers harshly. When Joseph cleared the room, his brothers were sure God’s judgment against their sin was imminent. Instead of judgment, Joseph called his brothers close to him and offered them salvation. Their affliction during the 22 years of separation had healed their sin. They were ready for the salvation Joseph could offer them. Yet even within this great time of joy, Joseph’s father, Jacob, could not bring himself to hope that his son was yet alive. He lacked the heart to believe the good news. Once YHWH’s plan of salvation for the Abrahamic clan was revealed, YHWH provided Jacob with a covenant of hope. Hope that he would see and touch his long lost son. Hope that his family would be whole. Join us as we see the word of hope that YHWH has left within his scriptures for us today. Hope, like Jacob, that will not be deferred when we see that his righteousness is revealed and his salvation is near to come.
On December 21, 1968, NASA’s Apollo 8 was launched. Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders became the first humans to see earth from space, the first humans to travel beyond low earth orbit and the first to see the far side of the moon. It took them 3 days to travel to the moon. They orbited 10 times in 20 hours. During that orbit they also became the first humans to speak of the Creation from space, and the first humans to see that which the Creator had seen when he called the work which he had made, GOOD. I have often thought about this and the wonder they must have experienced as they beheld the beautiful planet earth from their craft.
Here is the transcript of that broadcast.
We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land earth; and the gathering together of the waters He called seas: and God saw that it was good.
And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.
For the transcript, see the article published on Nasa’s site.
Williams, D. R. (2007). Apollo 8 Christmas Eve broadcast. Retrieved from http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/apollo8_xmas.html