Parasha #14

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 Parashah #14: Va’era (He/I appeared)

(Exodus 6:2 – 9:35)

Additional Readings:
Eze. 28:25-29:21; Rom. 9:14-17; 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1

Previous parashah recap – We’ve learned of the first part of Moses’ life and ended with the Hebrews being upset at Moses for the increased hardships they suffered due to his failed talk with Pharaoh.

  • We are brought back here to last week’s portion of the Torah, when Moses asked by what name he should call on God when sacrificing. God reminds Moses that He was known before, as the Almighty (El Shaddai), but it’s only now that He has revealed His nature and name of the great I Am, by His name Yahweh (He is/will be); the One Who was, is and always will be.

  • Exo. 6:12 – Here Moses correlates his failure to be listened to by the Hebrews because of his poor speaking abilities (remember that Moses had already spoken to Pharaoh and it didn’t go well. The Hebrews ended up with a bigger workload). As I presented last week, these poor speaking abilities, lack of eloquence or uncircumcision of the lips (depending on the version used) were not a physical defect, Act. 7:22-23 clearly states that Moses was mighty in words!

  • And Old Greek word study confirms this:

  • not eloquent is alogos (G249), which means irrational, brute, unreasonable. In the NT it’s translated “brute” twice and “unreasonable” once. That word is never associated with eloquence.

  • Another word of importance here is the “and” (G1161) of “and I am not eloquent”. That word is a specific “and” which should be used as moreover, subsequently, and now. It’s used 397 times in the NT and never translated as “and”. Usually it’s “now”.

    So let’s put all that together:

  • And Moses spoke before the Lord, saying, Behold, the children of Israel hearkened not to me, and how shall Pharaoh hearken to me? Now I am irrational/unreasonable. If we use the word uncircumcised lips it sheds the same light on it all, uncircumcised there meaning would be as unrighteous, speaking unreasonable things.

  • What Moses was saying there, is that after his first confrontation with Pharaoh he had lost all credibility, nothing to do with any speech impediment. It’s important to note that the wording here is specific with his confrontation with Pharaoh, for it was different with what Moses said when meeting with God at the burning bush. There the issue was clearly that Moses didn’t speak Hebrew well enough due to his upbringing as an Egyptian.

  • Exo. 6:30 – Moses states the same thing again, having persuaded himself this time that he won’t be listened to. In a way Moses puts upon himself, upon his lack of eloquence, the fact that Pharaoh is now, more than ever, so dead set against the Hebrews. Not taking into full consideration that the Lord hardened his heart. It’s not so much about how Moses spoke, but about the hardness of pharaoh’s heart, however, Moses had a fixation on the fact that he ridiculed himself and had lost all credibility with Pharaoh. This is important for us to note: if we focus too much on our flaws we will miss what God is doing in and around us. Sometimes what we perceive as problems/weaknesses in ourselves, the Lord sees differently and does not see them as a problem or hindrance to Him. So if they are not an issue for the Lord, why should they be to us? We should move with the Lord and not focus on what’s wrong with ourselves. Because often times the areas we perceive as being flawed, are the areas God will use us in most in order to glorify His strength and power. Out of Moses’ speech problem the Lord lowered down everyone, showing that He was in charge and not Moses. We see a similar thing with Paul, in his letters he said he was not a good orator/speaker. But we need to remember it’s not about showmanship (like we see in most churches today), and it’s not about the speaker or presenter, it’s about God!

  • So what was God’s answer to Moses’ problem? How did he bypass the fact that Moses couldn’t show himself to Pharaoh because he had ridiculed himself, and also made the Hebrews listen to him? God’s answer is found in Exo. 7:1-2. First God reminds Moses that he is not to speak to anyone else than Aaron. It’s not about him, his credence, but about God. Then Aaron would be the one speaking to Pharaoh.

  • Why did God have to say that? Partly for our benefit, to show us that Moses was an archetype of Yeshua/Jesus, being God on earth, as we are told the Torah points towards the Messiah, His coming and Him speaking for the Father. But it is also to remind Moses that he didn’t follow exactly what God had told Him before.

    Second Moses will be told to perform his signs in the presence of Pharaoh when he goes on performing his duties. He is not seeking audiences with Pharaoh, but he’ll force the matters and show Pharaoh who is the subject and who is the real ruler.

  • And that brings us to another point: why did God harden pharaoh’s heart? As we look at the reason, we will see that it is something that is happening to many people in the world today as well. Pharaoh had declared himself to be a God, and claimed to have created the Nile river. According to Egyptian beliefs all life came from the slime of the Nile river and evolved from there (they were teaching Evolution even back then). Pharaoh was putting himself on par with God the creator. It’s not much different today either with so many people following the belief of evolution, and therefore they put themselves on par with pharaoh.

  • Exo. 8:12-15 – God was teaching a lesson to all the Egyptians; it was to bring all the Egyptians to recognise Yahweh as the sovereign God, to the point that Pharaoh’s sorcerers realised that God was really behind all that was happening. Up until the plague of lice Pharaoh’s magicians were able to counterfeit God’s signs and wonders, but from that one onward they realised that it was indeed God. But Pharaoh didn’t listen to them either, he could not believe what they were saying because he believed himself to be God.

  • Exo. 8:15 – This is the first time we see the wording “this is the finger of God”, and it was being spoken by Satanists (occultists/magicians) recognising the power of God. When Jesus spoke to the Pharisees, He spoke to them as if they didn’t know God, He was speaking to them as if they were Egyptians.

  • So sure of being right, all knowledgeable and like God, if not God himself, Pharaoh wouldn’t listen. At times he tried to trick Moses and Aaron, thinking that he could also trick God, saying to them what they wanted to hear so that he could have the plagues removed, only to go back on his word just after the plague had passed.

  • It wasn’t difficult for God to harden pharaoh’s heart because he was already so prideful. If pharaoh had humbled himself God could have stopped punishing the Egyptians, but he wouldn’t humble himself. When reading the book of Job, we see that everything that happened to Job was due to that same pride…and fear. Job was prideful of being perfect. (That element of pride is why leviathan and behemoth are spoken of in the book of Job). But the difference between pharaoh and Job was that Job was able to humble himself.

  • Before moving forward with the plagues themselves there is something of importance to note: in Exo. 4:2-9 we are told these were the signs given by God to Moses to convince the people, including Pharaoh, that Moses was speaking for God. Moreover God told Moses to get his own staff to do all these miracles (Exo. 4:17). But what do we see throughout all this parasha? Aaron is the one performing all the miracles, Aaron is the one using his staff, not Moses staff, his own personal staff (Exo. 7:9-10, 19, etc.). Aaron is the one performing all the miracles, with his own staff, not Moses. But Moses was told to take his staff to do all this miracles! So what’s the go there?

  • This first shows that Moses was given these powers to bestow upon others, as God saw fit, to perform them and show Him. And that through his staff, even if Moses wasn’t using it directly. This points towards God the Father having invested the Son of all authority (Joh. 5:26-27). And the Son chooses whom He pleases (in accordance to the Father’s will) to perform miracles to show God’s power (Mar. 13:34; Luk. 9:1).

  • It also points towards Yeshua being God’s staff or rod by which all nations will be ruled (read the references in Psa. 2:9 and Revelation).

  • Now concerning the plagues we read in the book of Revelation about 7 plagues to befall the earth before the return of the Lord (Rev. 15:1 – 16:20). Most of those plagues line up with the ones that were poured out on Egypt. Similar plagues for similar reasons. Many people are thinking themselves to be like gods, full of pride and arrogance, no one repenting and deciding to follow God’s laws. Each of the plagues being sent are to have us acknowledging God and turning to Him in repentance.

  • Rev. 16:9 – When the plagues hit, the people will acknowledge God but only to curse Him for their suffering instead of turning to Him in repentance and giving glory to His name. This is important and holds a key for us; when we look at what happened with the plagues of Egypt: God struck to bring the people to acknowledge Him as the Most High. Since the Egyptians didn’t know Him and disregarded the one He sent to tell them about Him, that is Moses, He therefore struck them with plagues. We are also told that the Hebrews were in a place of not listening to Moses anymore (Exo.6:12), they believed in God but not in the one He sent so they got struck by the first lot of plagues too; it’s only from the plague of flies that God divides His people from the Egyptians. Up to that point they were considered alike: that is Exo. 8:21-23 (KJV).

  • Only for and after that plague we see that the Hebrews aren’t affected. So will it be for the plagues of Revelation. These plagues are sent to force people to acknowledge the Creator and yield to Him, and turn from their wrong ways (from their sins, from Evolution and all false gods, from the beliefs that there are no laws left and that believers can do whatever they want, making themselves as the unbelievers, or the beliefs that there are laws but not recognising the One the Father sent to reconcile mankind to Him). This is why the period of tribulation is also known as the day of Jacob’s trouble: to bring the believers back in full to God too. But if we walk now in truth, righteousness and holiness, then like Aaron we will not be affected directly by any of these plagues. That’s what being saved means, we are saved from the wrath that God will pour upon the world. That’s not to say that those times will be easy for us, it will be tough for everyone BUT all the plagues that will be sent by God will not harm us. However, just like what happened to the Hebrews then, we may suffer the punishment from the people of the world. The Hebrews also had to witness the suffering of the Egyptians. Likewise, the ones trying to be righteous and holy will have to watch the suffering of those who will be affected by the plagues, knowing there is nothing we can do to help them because they refuse to acknowledge God and turn from their wicked ways. And sadly that will include lots of believers too.

  • This doesn’t mean we have to be completely sinless to escape the plagues, but we do have to be working out our salvation with fear and trembling, and doing our best to follow God’s instructions.

  • In this portion of Torah, we have 7 of the 10 plagues presented:

    1. Blood (all water turned into blood, and it made the ones who drank of it sick, it also killed all the fish); they had to dig wells to find water. Only the water directly linked with the Nile river was hit. But that was a big blow for all Egypt was built around it and was depending on it. 7 days without water from it would have killed lots of people. It was a reminder for the Egyptian of all the Hebrew male children they had killed by throwing them in the river, on the order of Pharaoh. It was also to teach them that Yahweh, not pharaoh, was in charge of what they considered the source of all life);

    2. Frogs;

    3. Lice;

    4. Swarms of insects/flies;

    5. Death of the livestock living in the plains/wild;

    6. Boils/sores on men and animals;

    7. Thunder, hail and fire upon the land.

  • How to attack spirit of pharaoh with the plagues:

    Blood – if you turn the water pharaoh is using/needing into the blood of the lamb it takes away everything he can use. Instead of the water bringing life/sustenance it brings judgement upon him.

    Frogs/lice etc. – all those plagues were set as constant attacks on pharaoh to the point where he couldn’t do his job anymore, so when we do this, we are effectively sending spirits upon spirits (as frogs etc. are unclean spirits) it’s similar to what we do in deliverance by sending a civil war amongst the demons.

    When we send those plagues we are commanding all he has to be destroyed so that he has nothing to hold onto, and nothing to use to further his kingdom.

    Boils – there is a physical effect to this plague and when used he cannot show himself in all his strength and power.

    Pharaoh is part of an unholy trinity, if you attack him you can be sure that the spirit of anti-Christ and Lucifer will come to help – this may come in the form of religious people/spirits coming at you, or having problems with law enforcement. So remember, when coming up against this spirit you need to look at the attacks coming from all angles and not just looking at the fight you are entangled in. And that last plague cuts him off from getting help from anywhere/anyone else.

  • Exo. 6:6-8 – Let’s look at the Hebrew’s perspective, which is important as it speaks about God’s plan of salvation for us. Right here in this scripture we have God’s plan of salvation in 5 steps:

    1. I will free/bring out – remove our heavy burdens and hard yokes;

    2. I will rescue – rescue us out of the world systems (Egypt/Babylon);

    3. I will redeem – redeem us from our iniquity; for we were bought at a price (with blood) to cover sins;

    4. I will take – take us to be called by His name, to be taught His ways, to be holy as He is holy;

    5. I will bring into – to be brought into the land/place of promise, into our rest.

  • Finally, to finish on today’s Parashah, we are told that Moses was 80 years of age when he started to talk to Pharaoh. Aaron was 83 (3 years older), so the Law Pharaoh had put in place to kill all Hebrew male babies, would have to have happened in the few years between their births as we don’t hear anything about Aaron being in danger at his birth.

  • As a last point, in order to give direction as to how to help in the walk of holiness after having started in righteousness (which is to trust in God for everything) I want to present the commandments that all believers need to start their walk with; 4 obvious commandments, and a 5th implied; those were the ones chosen by the leading Apostle James for all Gentiles convert to start with and put in place in their life (Act. 15:19-21):

    1. Abstain from things polluted by idols (that’s about food but also all things tainted by idols and idolatry).

    2. Abstain from fornication, which is no sex outside the bounds of marriage, it’s also not going after other gods or putting anything beside God for this is spiritual adultery/fornication.

    3. Abstain from strangled food.

    4. Abstain from blood, and this one is a tough one for some food are being made with blood but we aren’t specially aware of it, like sausages: nearly all types of sausages have blood added back into the mix.

    5. And the last implied one is to go to the synagogue every Sabbath to learn the Law of Moses (synagogue being to the congregation teaching it).

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