Recently, I was at an airport and watched with a remembering smile as a young person made the effort to walk up the down escalator. It immediately brought two memories to my mind. The first was when I was a young child and, to the consternation of my mother, I walked up the down escalator every time I found one. The second memory was of a statement made by one of my first biblical teachers who say that rising in our faith was like taking an escalator ride in which the lower you went (humility), the higher you rose spiritually.
In other words, if you want to rise, as Luke 4:11 say, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Before ruin a person’s heart is proud, but humility comes before honor.
The idea that when we become lower, G-D raises us up higher is not the only directional reversal that we find in the Scriptures. However, one of them only becomes clear when we look at the text in the original language. Let’s look at Exodus 9:1 (TLV): “Then Adonai said to Moses, ‘Go in to Pharaoh, and tell him: This is what Adonai, the God of the Hebrews, says: “Let My people go, so they may serve Me.”‘”
In this text we see G-D’s instructions to Moses to, ‘Go in to Pharaoh.” The Hebrew word “go” is “bo.” This word, however, means both to “go” and to “come.” One good example of the use of this word can be found in the well-known Messianic Song by Paul Wilbur entitled “Bo Ruach Elohim” which means “Come Spirit of G-D.” I know that at this point I have not yet made my point. So let me continue. In this verse, G-D was commissioning Moses to go and get His people out of Egypt. Moses was told to “go,” yet the truth is that by Moses going to Egypt, Moses was not getting closer to Pharaoh. In reality, Moses was getting closer to G-D. Moses may have left the wilderness and traveled to the throne room of Egypt, but spiritually he left the wilderness and traveled to the throne room of G-D.
You may wonder what this has to do with us as believers in Yeshua (Jesus) today. The truth is it is extremely important to us today. Just think about Matthew 28:19, known as the Great Commission:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Ruach ha-Kodesh” (Matt. 28:19, TLV).
Notice that these words spoken by Yeshua to His disciples are very similar to the commission that G-D spoke to Moses. We are told to “go” and make disciples. Just as in the instructions to Moses, if we want to be drawn nearer to G-D, the way to “come” into His presence is to “go” and make disciples. When our efforts are invested in humility, we will be elevated, and when our efforts are invested in “Going into all the world to preach the Good News,” we will find ourselves coming into His presence.
Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom:With Eric Tokajer, Jesus is to Christianity as Pasta is to Italians, and God Has No Plan ‘B.’