Weekly Drash - Va'era
Compliments of First Fruits of Zion
Va’era - וארא: “And I appeared”
A Matter of Reputation
Thought for the Week:
In every generation it is incumbent upon the people of God to tell and retell the story of the exodus from Egypt. As followers of the Messiah, we often speak of the appointment of Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread as being fulfilled in Messiah’s first coming. Yeshua came to us like a second Moses, bringing deliverance not from Egypt, but from bondage to sin and death.
In the book of Exodus, God is on the move in human events. He used Egypt as a theater for His great debut. Through the events of the Exodus story, He made His entrance onto the stage of world history and established His Name in the eyes of the world, in the eyes of Israel, and in the eyes of Egypt. He told Pharaoh, “For this reason I have allowed you to remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth.” (Exodus 9:16)
The Exodus from Egypt was God’s opportunity to “proclaim His Name.” In the Semitic sense, to proclaiming one’s name means to broadcast a person’s fame and reputation. It has nothing to do with pronouncing or not pronouncing the Name of God, it has everything to do with revealing God to the world. Too declare His Name is to reveal God.
The LORD used the redemption of Israel to establish His reputation.
The plagues, the signs, the wonders and the great display of power, even the entire contest and redemption of Israel was only to show His power and in order to proclaim His Name through all the earth—a demonstration of His sovereignty. In redeeming Israel, God sent a clear message to the whole world, “I exist, I am God, there is none like Me!” He demonstrated that He alone is God, and there is none other. Israel is the trophy of His victory.
The demonstration was a success. The decimation of Egypt made an impact on the world, and the Name of the LORD has never since been forgotten. The Canaanites were still talking about it in Jericho forty years later. (Joshua 2:10) The Philistines were still talking about it two hundred years later (1 Samuel 4:8). We are still talking about it today.
Perhaps the individual Hebrew slave in the middle of the unfolding drama, concerned only with his own little life, his own personal redemption and his own personal salvation, did not see the bigger picture of what was happening around him. He might not have ever stopped to ask himself, “Why should God Almighty care to redeem us from Egypt anyway? We’ve done nothing to merit His grace and favor. And why should He do it in this manner? Why the plagues? Why the gratuitous display of power?” Though he, as a mere escaping slave, might not have had the wherewithal to ask these questions, we should. Salvation is a matter of reputation. God’s reputation.
We, the redeemed, are tokens of His victory.
Shavuah Tov! Have a Good Week!
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