Va’era or I appeared. Sh’mot/Exodus 6:2-9:35.
1.Let us start our study by clarifying what was G-d’s purpose of the plagues?
I.To rescue G-d’s people(Exodus 6:6)
II.So the children of Israel would know Him (Ex 10:2)
III.So Pharaoh and all Egypt would know G-d (Ex 5:2, Exodus 7:2-5)
IV. To introduce G-d to the entire world. (Ex. 9:14-16)
In Exodus 9:16 we read where not only will G-d’s Name be known in Egypt but in the whole earth. As I read this I thought of each of us.
Our purpose in this world is that G-d’s name will be known in the whole earth. Our role in G-d’s plan is that the world would be redeemed through knowing who He is.
Of course we may not be around to see this in our life time. Nevertheless it is something each of us must be actively involved in. How do we do this? I think as we go through every day the Father gives us opportunities to make a difference and not just be a spectator or be indifferent to those opportunities.
2. How did Moses differ from Pharaoh?
Moses reacted to this revelation of G-d with a sense of awe that did not diminish over time. In fact, he was able to stand before the most powerful man on earth and tell him what G-d was going to do, when He was going to do it and what the outcome would be – even before it actually happened.
Moses allowed this new revelation of who G-d’s is to make a difference in his life. He trusted G-d and had an unshakable faith in Him. This is G-d’s desire for each of us that we do not let our heart become heavy but keep it fresh everyday with our relationship with the Maker of heaven and earth.
On the other hand, Pharaoh hardened his heart. He refused each warning from G-d and ended up destroying his country in his unbelief.
3. In Exodus 6:2, the opening verse of our section this week, G-d shares His name with Moses and tells Moses that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob only knew Him by El Shaddai but by His Holy Name they did not know him. Now look at verses in Genesis 12:7, 13:4, 14:22, 15:7-8 where His Holy name is used. How do we reconcile this seeming contradiction
It is true Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew this word for G-d’s name but they did not understand its completeness. They knew the name but did not grasp the full meaning of it. They died in faith, believing G-d, even though they had not and would not see G-d’s promises in their lifetime. (Hebrews 11:13-19)
However, here G-d reveals to Moses that He is faithful to His word. He is a Covenant Keeper. He does not change. He is filled with mercy. He is faithful to keep His word. All the things that He promised to the Patriarchs were about to come to pass. Moses would see the fulfillment of those promises and grasp the powerful name of the Father.
It is like us in our own life. We come to faith at some time in our lives but we do not grasp all that G-d has for us. In fact sometimes we never do. Sometime we live out our lives with a very limited knowledge of G-d and what He has for us. So we can choose to live each day drawing closer and closer to grasping the depths of His love for us. That full knowledge may not come until we see Him in His glory but our lives as believers should be poured out in knowing Him instead of the trivia that can so easily consume us.
This is what G-d was trying to relate to them and us with His holy Name. He is G-d of everything, all the time, in every situation. Faith in Him, all of Him, will carry us through and give us the power to walk and not fall, to stand the test and do His will no matter the cost. May it be so for each of us
4. In the beginning of Moses’ journey at the burning bush G-d told Moses to throw his staff to the ground and it became a snake. In Exodus 4:3-5 He was frightened and ran away. Why? Then G-d told him to reach out and take the snake in his hand. He did so and it became his staff again. What spiritual lesson would Moses learn in this incident? What does it teach us?
Sure, he was afraid of the snake because of the danger physically but also perhaps he feared it because of what happened the last time when man got too close to a snake and sin entered the world. Man has been in a struggle ever since.
But here G-d tells him to reach out and take the snake in his hand. He does so and it becomes his staff again. What would this tell Moses spiritually? Moses was learning obedience and trust in G-d. We can grow in our knowledge of who G-d is by being obedient to Him in difficult situations.
Our trust in G-d deepens as we let go of our fears and follow Him. Every time G-d speaks to us and we obey our knowledge of who He is deepens. Our faith builds to confront new situations as we are able to look back and see how our Heavenly Father has worked in our life in the past.
5.In Exodus 4:31 Moses went to the people and told them that their redemption had arrived! How did they react? They knelt and fell before G-d. Now look at this week’s section in Exodus 6:7-9. Moses told them that G-d would take them as a nation and be their G-d. How did they react this time? Why do you think things had changed?
In Exodus 4:31 they were told of their coming redemption. They fell on their faces before G-d. At this point trusting G-d was easy. But as we read two chapters later in Exodus 6:9, they needed a stronger faith to stand in the face of Pharaoh’s increased persecution. The true reality of the situation hit hard. We read where the people did not heed what Moshe said about the coming redemption. Why? As we have talked about before, the Hebrew word Ketzer ruach or shortness of spirit, meant they were beaten down, discouraged. They had lost hope. Their children had been taken from them. They lived their life at the whim of Pharaoh.
Discouragement occurs when things go bad on a consistent basis and don’t ever seem to get better. For 400 years things had not changed. Sometimes people try and try to change their situation, but it does not change. If it keeps up long enough, they get discouraged and want to quit. They cannot believe in the possibility of things getting better. They begin to expect hardship and turmoil.
It is difficult to encourage someone who is discouraged. All the person can see is the mountain and trouble in front of their eyes. His eyes are blinded to the truth of what G-d can do.
As Moses was speaking to them of hope and freedom from slavery Pharaoh was doubling down to keep them in bondage. So it is with us. When G-d speaks to us of freedom from sin Satan doubles down to keep us where he wants us. It’s easy to say I believe until our faith calls us to action in hard times.
I read a funny story that relates to this. Two peasants were talking about their love for the Czar. One said he loved the Czar so much, if he had a horse he would gladly give it to the Czar. If he had a business he would give all his profit to the Czar. The other peasant said, “Well, if you love the Czar so much then I’m sure you would give him those three chickens you have, right? The first man answered, “Oh no! The chickens are real!
Because of the Israelites disillusionment, they were in no mood to accept any message of hope, no matter the source. People have a hard time hearing when they are hungry, beaten down and have lost hope. In Isaiah 58:6 G-d gives us His perspective of what we are to be about. In the Messianic Scripture we read over and over where Yeshua was involved in touching the poor, hungry and sick. So should we be. Then we can speak to them about the love of G-d when they see that love played out in our own lives
In Exodus 6:6-7 G-d sets out the steps of what He will do for us.
1. I will bring you out.
2. I will rescue you from bondage.
3. I will redeem you
4. I will take you as My people.
G-d does this for us. He rescues us from the bondage of sin. We are grafted in to His people. He is our everything. He is always with us. May each of us experience Him in our lives and use that experience to relieve the Ketzer Ruach of people who come into our lives.