This week's Parsha, Parshat Shemot, describes the beginning of bondage for the Jewish people in Egypt. Moses experiences his first official Divine revelation at the Burning Bush where he is told to confront the Pharaoh and demand that he "Let My people go."
Moses asks G-d what have the Jewish people done to deserve such a miraculous redemption. To which the Almighty answers him. ".....when you take the people out of Egypt, you will serve G-d on this mountain." (This mountain, where the burning bush occurred, was in fact Mount Sinai.)
It was not necessarily for what they had done in the past that He was ready to redeem the Jewish people, but for what He anticipated for them in the future. On this very mountain that the Burning Bush has occurred they would receive His Torah; they would become His chosen messengers to be a light unto the nations. Never mind what they did or didn't do in the past. G-d had big plans for this nation and it would all begin with the impending Exodus.
What a powerful message for all of us!
Sometimes, the kindness G-d does for us is not because of what we've been but rather what it would enable us to become. It's not for what we have already done but for what we still will do. So should any of us be the beneficiaries of a special blessing from Above, instead of patting ourselves on the back and concluding that we must have done something wonderful to be rewarded, let us rather ask ourselves what G-d might be expecting us to do with this particular blessing in the future. How can we use it to further His work on earth?
Special blessings carry with them special responsibilities. May each of us successfully develop all the potential G-d sees in us and use it for our moral development and to somehow better the world around us!
Candle lighting time for L.A. is 4:41 pm.