Be Ready For Deliverance!
By: Michael Peebles
Date: January 10, 2013
Even if you are worn out, or discouraged, be ready for deliverance.
Suggested reading for this devotional meditation; Exodus 6:2-9, Hebrews 11:8-10
This week the annual cycle Torah portion is VA-’ERA’. It begins at Exodus (Shemot) chapter six, verse two. It opens like this (transliterating):
Vayedabber Elohim el-Moshe vayyomer elaiv,
“Ani YHVH. Va-era el-Abraham, el-Yitschaq, vel-Ya’aqob bEl Shaddai;
ushemi YHVH lo nodati lahem. …”
Beginning the second sentence of the speech of Elohim to Moshe we find our portion title. In direct translation, the text above flows like this:
And spoke Elohim to Moshe and said to him,
“I am YHVH. And I appeared to Abraham, to Yitschaq, and to Ya’aqob as El-Shaddai;
but by my name YHVH I did not make myself known to them.”
So, the portion title means, “And I appeared”.
God made a covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, appearing to them as El-Shaddai, or God Almighty. They wandered in the land of Canaan, never settling in it – and they were strangers in it. The writer of Hebrews says that Abraham traveled in the land of promise as in a strange country, dwelling in temporary dwellings with Isaac and Jacob, who together inherited, not a land, but a promise!
This promise is spoken of in our Torah passage. The time had come for the promise to be fulfilled. Notice in verse five that when the Lord heard the groaning of the children of Israel (Jacob), he remembered his covenant. Now, this expression requires thought, because a modern reader is apt to think it implies that the promise had been forgotten. But a better understanding is that it now became a matter of focused attention.
For a gardener, the ground requires little attention in winter, but soon it is time to cultivate and plant, and suddenly a lot of focused attention is required. The garden is not ever “forgotten”. There are other things to do at those other times, but when the time comes to prepare the ground special attention must be given to it.
In fulfilling that ancient promise to the descendants of Israel, God was now appearing to them as YHVH. The statement, “I am YHVH” occurs three times very close together. In verse 2, it is the opening statement made by the Lord to Moses, and sets the stage for what follows. In verse 6, it is the first thing Moses is here told by God to say to the people of Israel. In verse 8, it is the final thought Moses is to leave with the children of Israel when he speaks this message of the fulfillment of the promise to them.
In this story Moses tells the children of Israel the things God tells him to say, assuring them that the Lord will bring them into the land. In fulfilling this promise, God would bring them into a new phase of existence. They were to become a people. A nation. More than that; a nation with a unique and special relationship to the Everliving One, Creator and Ruler of the universe. They were to go from being slaves to the Egyptians, to having a land of their own. From being (apparently) an enslaved family of no particular significance, to an (obviously) specially chosen people, with a heritage designed by God to fulfil promises he made to their forefathers centuries earlier.
The thing is, they were too tired and discouraged to listen to any of it. They could not see how it might happen, and were too worn out to really consider it. In their spirits, they were crushed and disheartened because of the circumstances of their bondage.
But the idea contained in the closing verse of the previous portion from last week is that Pharaoh would be brought by God to a place where he would actually drive the people of Israel from the land, and make them go.
Consider! They were not really willing to go. If Pharoah had simply removed their bondage, and given them permission to go, would they have gone? It seems unlikely that very many would have done so. They were an active, hard working people with skills that would have been in demand in the Egyptian economy. Would they have chosen to leave Egypt and go destroy the Caaanites and take their land?
But Pharaoh had been increasing the load upon them, and they were really too tired and disheartened to think about it at all. How were they to be ready to all go out under these enormous pressures? Ultimately, if they were to go out as a whole people, it would be necessary to drive them out. And that was the very thing God had planned for them.
Perhaps today you are worn out. Maybe the pressures of your work, finances, family and so on have used up all the emotional and spiritual resources you have, and whatever comfort and encouragement might come to you from God through the Scripture or by others in Messiah is not able to make sense to you. You may be worn out in your ruach – your breath – your inward spirit – to the point that uplifting words seem hollow and distant. You cry out to God from a broken heart, and the heavens seem like brass. Perhaps you have found Yeshua, and walked close for a time, but have drifted back into bondage. Perhaps he has kept you close, and you just need a refreshing.
Many who were filled with the Holy Spirit of God in Acts chapter four were filled with the same Holy Spirit in the upper room a short time before that. Perhaps the pressures of their ministry required that they needed a fresh filling in order to go out again and speak the word of God with boldness. Perhaps the enemy had raised the bar and they needed more to meet the challenge. However that may be, a provision was made.
Know that God does not intend you should remain overwhelmed. He can hear your heart’s cry, and he cares deeply for you. He has prepared long ago for whatever situation it may be that you find discouraging.
Are you depressed or discouraged?
If you can hear it, look up and be ready for deliverance. If not, call out to YHVH for help in your hour of trouble, and realize that he has not forgotten you – the help you need will come whether you can feel hopeful about it or not.
He will appear.:)