Va'era - וארא - "I appeared"
Torah: Exodus 6:2-9:35
Prophets: Ezekiel 28:25-29:21
Gospel: Matthew 12:1-14
God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners.
Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment.
I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’” (Exodus 6:2-8)
From Genesis 3:15, we can see that the bible follows the Seed who will defeat the enemy and undo the evil that has fallen on the world. Following the Seed has lead us through Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methusaleh, Lamech, Noah, Shem, Arphaxad, Cainan, Sala, Eber, Peleg, Ragau, Saruch, Nahor, Terah and then Abraham. Once we get to Abraham, God begins to reveal part of His plan for the world’s salvation. In Genesis chapter 12, God reveals that His plan to bless the world will come through Abraham and his descendants.
From Abraham we continue to follow the Seed as we go through the lives of Isaac and then Jacob/Israel. Once we get to Israel we see the conception of God’s nation on earth through the sons of Israel which later on grows to become the twelve tribes of Israel. The twelve tribes of Israel make up God’s nation on earth. God’s nation of Israel is also the Woman who was revealed to be Satan’s adversary back in Genesis 3:15.
Once we get to Jacob/Israel, following the Seed becomes a bit complicated because now we have to focus on two entities; the Woman and the Seed. We can continue to follow the Seed through Judah, Perez and so on, but for now we must shift our focus on the Woman. Through the Seed, the enemy will be defeated, but through the Woman, who is Israel, the world will be blessed.
In this week’s Torah portion, God makes some serious promises to Israel.
I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians
I will deliver you from slavery to them
I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment
I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians
I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord
Egypt was not just any nation. At the time, Egypt was the known world power and had great influences on the known world at that time. When God was pulling Israel out of Egypt, He wasn’t just pulling them out of a nation; He was pulling them out of the world and its system. Most people do not realize the influence that Egypt had and still has on the world. Many of the world’s pagan rituals and customs can be traced back to when Egypt was at the top of the world.
Most of you reading this may have never been to Egypt nor understand what it physically means to be a slave, but we all have been in the world system.
From the serpent in the garden to today, the evil principalities of this world have had one focus: To keep you from fully focusing on God and His ways.
Unfortunately, they have succeeded in causing most of the world to not focus on God. The world system is all about me, me, and me.
Even the false gods that are created are done so in hopes that whatever powerful being is out there can grant someone’s desire. Before giving our lives over to God and accepting Yeshua as Lord and Savior, we all came from that “me system” which causes us to do evil towards others and not love people for the sake of our own benefit.
At one point in time, we were all in a spiritual and mental state that did not care about God or His ways so when God talks about deliverance in this week’s Torah portion it is something that we all should be able to relate too.
1) I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians - When YHWH brings us to the knowledge of Yeshua, He brings us out from under the burdens of this evil world and its corrupt man made, selfish system.
2) I will deliver you from slavery to them - When we come to the knowledge of Yeshua, we are drawn to the Word, the Bible, which delivers us from slavery to death by showing us what sin is, what pleases God, and what He does not like.
3) I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment - Yeshua redeemed us with an outstretched arm when He was nailed to the cross so that our sins can be forgiven.
4) I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians - According to the scriptures (Jeremiah 31:33 & Ezekiel 36:26-28, just to give two examples) we become YHWH’s people and He becomes our God when we walk according to His Torah.
5) I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord - Revelation 21 shows us that a New Jerusalem will come down from heaven when everything is said and done. The Bible does not say where this new city will land, but I have a strong feeling that it will not be in Wisconsin. I believe it’s a safe bet to say that the New Jerusalem will be in Israel; the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their descendants forever.
These promises are for you and me just as much as it is to those in the Jewish community who truly worship YHWH and love Him with all their hearts, souls and strengths. The reason why I can say this with confidence is because of scriptures such as;
Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “Uncircumcision” by the so-called “Circumcision,” which is performed in the flesh by human hands— remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:11-13)
If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. (Romans 11:17-21)
You do not have to be born Jewish to know that the promises of God are also for you.
Thanks to the Cross, and the Holy Spirit which dwells within us and causes us to follow Torah, we can take comfort in knowing that every promise God made to Israel is also made for us. But with that said, also keep in mind that every commandment made to Israel is also made to us because if we truly accept Yeshua as our Lord and Savior, we too become a part of Israel. That doesn’t mean we become Jewish, but it does mean that we inherit the heritage of Jacob and all the history that Israel has.
Never miss an article, subscribe now and received email updates when a new article or news item is posted.
Better yet, become a Messianic Discipleship Institute student and learn the Hebraic Roots of your faith and become a life-long learner.