Parsha Va'era: Shemoth/Exodus 6:2 - 9:35
Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get out of it?
Every message in Torah can be applied to our personal life, and the exile, slavery, and redemption from Mitsrayim (Egypt) is no different.
Parsha Va'era in Shemoth reveals the key factors that bring us true freedom.
Our Personal Egypt
Exile (galut) is when we're in a place where we can’t connect to YAHUAH the way we want or the way we’re supposed to.
Redemption (geulah) is when we’re brought out of that situation to a place of freedom where we can freely worship and connect to YAHUAH.
Mitsrayim is the place of exile. It’s the situation we’re in, our circumstances, that make it difficult to worship and serve YAHUAH. Mitsrayim means "constraints" or "boundaries."
Any situation that makes us feel trapped or confined in any sort of way is our own personal Mitsrayim.
Pharaoh is who or what holds us captive in our Mitsrayim. Pharaoh works to keep us trapped and to distance us from YAHUAH. The separation causes pain, suffering, and eventually destruction.
Pharaoh is the adversary, the tempter. Pharaoh entices us to follow our own evil inclinations, tempting us to succumb to our lusts and desires. Pharaoh deceives us causing us to make wrong choices. Pharaoh distracts us in a whole multitude of ways to keep us from focusing on YAHUAH. Pharaoh places stumbling blocks before us and blinds our eyes so that we stumble on our path of righteousness.
If we allow Pharaoh to rule over us, then the result is slavery - pain, suffering, hardship, and bondage.
Our Mitsrayim becomes the unbearable situation we're in, the circumstances that make us miserable.
How do we free ourselves from our own Mitsrayim?
We can try, try, try, but in reality, only YAHUAH can bring us out. Only YAHUAH is our Redeemer.
This we already know. We know because we’ve been trying to get out on our own but nothing works! Nothing we do seems to make things better. We still feel trapped. We still feel the pain, the suffering, and the hardship.
We can’t bring ourselves out of Mitsrayim! Only YAHUAH can redeem us.
So, the only way out of our hardship is to believe in YAHUAH.
The Keys to Freedom
We said in a previous blog that first Yisrael cried because of the pain they were experiencing, but when their cries changed to cries of repentance, then the wheels of geulah (redemption) really started to turn.
The Hebrew word for repentance is teshuvah, which really means “to return.” When Yisrael began to really return to YAHUAH, then redemption was close at hand.
The good part is, YAHUAH helped them along! They needed emunah (belief) and bitachon (trust) in order to be delivered. YAHUAH helped them increase their emunah and bitachon by sending the ten plagues.
The plagues had a dual purpose. Not only did they punish Egypt, but they also helped Yisrael to believe and trust in YAH. When they saw His great Hand and outstretched arm, His might and His power - greater than that of Pharaoh - then, they believed.
Sadly, however, not all of them believed. Some died in the last plague, and some chose to stay behind in Mitsrayim. They didn't believe, so they weren’t redeemed. They weren't brought out to freedom.
If you don’t believe, you won’t leave!
Emunah is required to leave Mitsrayim. Emunah is the only way to get out of the difficult situation you’re in.
Don't Make it Worse!
When you're in a certain situation, do what you have to do, but don’t break your neck, spinning your wheels, trying to “make things happen.”
In reality, this could actually make things worse. If we put all of our time, energy, and focus on trying to fix the problem instead of on repairing and strengthening our relationship with YAH, then we'll end up further and further away from Him.
At the time when we're supposed to be returning closer to YAH, we're doing just the opposite. Therefore, we end up delaying our own redemption.
We can’t bring ourselves out of exile! We can’t redeem ourselves. Only YAHUAH is the Redeemer!
As said, do what you have to do. Put in the required effort, but put your main focus on teshuvah, returning to YAHUAH.
Cry out not because of the pain of your situation but because of the pain of being distanced from YAH. Cry out in sorrow over the pain you caused him from your sins. Regret your actions, and begin working on improving your relationship with the Most High.
Work on increasing your emunah and bitachon:
Read over the chapters of the plagues to see the greatness of the Hand of Elohim and His outstretched arm.
Review your own life and see the greatness of the Hand of Elohim, how He helped and saved you in so many ways.
Look even at your current situation and see the greatness of the Hand of Elohim to sustain you even in the midst of troubles.
See it and believe. If you don’t believe, you won’t leave! If you don’t see His greatness, you won’t believe in His greatness, and you won't believe He can or will deliver you. You’ll remain a slave, suffering in your circumstances.
Choose to believe!
The Final Exam
Now, there’s a caveat. Sometimes, right before we’re delivered, things seem to get worse.
Moshe told the people they would be delivered, and the next thing you know, Pharaoh increased their workload. Both Moshe and the people were exasperated.
How could it be that the second we believe, things get worse?
It’s a test.
Do you really have emunah or are you just saying you do? Do you really believe YAHUAH will bring you out, or are you just going through the motions?
If we pass the test and continue to believe throughout the increased hardship, then our emunah will get a huge boost and quickly bring us up to the level we need to be in order to be redeemed.
So, if you start doing the right things and begin reconnecting to YAHUAH, but things seem to get worse, then know that it is only a test. Things may get worse before they get better.
A test comes at the end, after a period of learning is finished. So, when you get to this test, know that your deliverance is at hand.
If you’re truly doing your part in returning to YAH and strengthening your relationship with Him, then things getting worse is only a sign that things will be getting better soon. He is already working on bringing you out of your situation.
Hold tight, keep your emunah, and pass the test.
Never give up!
Believe, and you’ll leave … out of your Mitsrayim.