Parashat Va’eira (And I appeared)

Shemot (Exodus) 6:2–9:35

This blog is a shorter one since I want to put an emphasis on one thought, which I believe is so important for us to understand: God is the same yesterday, today and forever; He is our Redeemer, our King, and our Sovereign Ruler.

Our weekly reading opens with a profound declaration that God makes to Moses, God spoke to Moses and said to him, ‘I am the LORD’ (Exodus 6:2). This is the second time that this phrase is being used in the book of Exodus. The first one is found in Exodus 3:14, And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.”

In both cases, God declared this as a reminder to both Moses and the Children of Israel that He indeed is the One and Only Almighty God, the One who was, who is, and who is to come. It is also very significant that He reveals to Moses His sacred name, יהוה (Yod Hai Vav Hai), which He did not reveal when He appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Why did God only now decide to introduce Himself by this sacred name?

This revelation of God’s name is very significant as it marks a shift in God’s relationship with the Children of Israel as a people, as their personal Redeemer. Until now, this was just with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; this moment marks a big shift in how God would relate to the Children of Israel as a nation.

By revealing His name to Moses, God reminds him of the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob, and then repeats all that HE would do (“I will bring you”, “I will deliver you”, “I will also redeem you”, “I will take you”, “I will be your God”). He brings Israel into a deeper understanding of Him as their Lord.  He makes sure that they understand that He will do so in love and also for His own namesake.

This is also something Messiah Yeshua echoed during His ministry. In fact, He used the exact same words when the Pharisees asked Him who He was in John 8:58, Yeshua said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.’ At this, they picked up stones to try to kill Him because He was declaring that He was God! And, just as God declared His sacred name to Moses before the Children of Israel were to be freed from slavery, so too did Yeshua in reference to the work He would do to free them from their sin!

This is yet another example showing us that Yeshua is present in the Hebrew Scriptures. I am always encouraged at the consistency through which God reveals Himself in the Word! I hope you, too, are encouraged.


Shabbat Shalom


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