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Commentary on Parashat Yitro (Jethro)

Shemot (Exodus) 18:1-20:23

Do you know that your testimony of what God has done in your life can change others’ lives? In this week’s Scripture portion, we see a very interesting occurrence:

Now Jethro, the priest of Midian, Moses’ father-in-law, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for Israel His people, how the LORD had brought Israel out of Egypt. – Exodus 18:1

The word was out, so to speak! News of the many signs and wonders that God did for the people of Israel was traveling! Jethro heard about it, which indicates that people were speaking about it, and he brought Zippora (Moses’ wife) and their two sons to Moses to hear his account first-hand. I wonder if Jethro wanted to confirm with Moses that the rumors of all of the great things that God did were true? Was it possible that they were so incredible, almost too incredible to be true?

And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians on behalf of Israel, all the hardship that had befallen them on the way, and how the LORD had saved (Delivered) them. – Exodus 18:8

What we have here is Moses sharing his testimony with his father in law; he confirmed that everything Jethro heard was true, and possibly even filled in details that were missing from the rumors! Jethro’s response is very significant in that it shows how powerful the telling of one’s testimony (God’s story) can be in changing someone’s life:

“And Jethro rejoiced over all the goodness which the LORD had done to Israel, in delivering them from the hand of the Egyptians. So Jethro said, “Blessed be the LORD who delivered you from the hand of the Egyptians and from the hand of Pharaoh, and who delivered the people from under the hand of the Egyptians. “Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; indeed, it was proven when they dealt proudly against the people.” – Exodus 18:9-11

As Jethro heard Moses’ personal testimony, it was no longer that he just heard about God’s mighty power, but he now knew that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of Israel and of his son in law, Moses, was (and is) indeed the Almighty, the ruler of the Universe, and that He indeed is greater that any other!

A few years ago, as I entered a restaurant, I saw a group from Australia sitting at a nearby table. A few of them stopped me and told me that they knew me from somewhere, but I did not really pay much attention, thinking they were joking. Then one man said to me, “I’m sure I know you. Where do I know you from? “ I responded that he probably saw me share God’s story of my life (my testimony) somewhere. His response to me was, “Yes, I saw your testimony, but I didn’t think you were real.” As strange as it sounds, that man had to personally meet me in order to know that I was real.

But isn’t that how we are with God? For many years, I heard about God, but it was only when I said to God, “I want to know you, not just about you”, that I encountered the Living God through Messiah Yeshua. I experienced a personal deliverance knowing the same God who delivered my people from Egypt thousands of years before, had also done the same for me.

We’ve all heard about Him…but do you know Him?

This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel, February 15, 2017, and reposted with permission.

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Moran Rosenblit
Moran is the Founder and Executive Director of Hope for Israel, which is a service and resource-providing ministry that aims to bring the hope of the Messiah back to Israel. It is also a resource center for current and timely news updates concerning Israel that provides daily prayer alerts, Bible teachings, and weekly blogs in order to help believers across the world understand what God is doing in the Land, how to pray for Israel and filter everything through the Word of God.

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