The reading this Shabbat is from the portion that is called Va’era. It is from Exodus 6:2-9:35. Just as soon as we get to read from the book of Exodus, there is a major change in the narrative of the Torah. Suddenly there is mystery, intrigue, a storyline that has birth and struggle or war or crisis, and the end is victory or success or some big-time accomplishment.
The matching of the reading from the prophets is always encouraging us to find the connection between the Torah portion and the Haftarah (the reading from the prophets). Why did our sages a long time ago choose this reading from the prophets?
This Shabbat the reading is from Ezekiel 28:25-29:21. And from the New Testament, we will read from Romans 9:14-24.
Here is what I think made the connection between Exodus 6:2-9:35 and Ezekiel 28:25-29:21. The portion Va’era is the approach of Moses to Pharaoh in Egypt. Both in the Torah portion and in the Haftarah from Ezekiel 28:25 forward God is fulfilling promises He made to our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
This idea of God’s promises and fulfillment of His promises is a very important and very complicated issue. What makes these texts so complicated is that there is no calendar, no set timeline, no limit to the time frame.
For me, this is also what makes these texts and promises so exciting. First let me set the time frame between the time that God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses going to the house of Pharaoh to tell Pharaoh “let my people go!” is over 400 years.
Moses going down to Egypt to face Pharaoh is a fulfillment of a promise that God gave to Abraham. This shows that God is fulfilling His promises across many generations.
“Then He said to Abram: ‘Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.’” — Genesis 15:13-16 [NKJV]
Look at the distance in time between Abraham and Moses and Ezekiel (who is in exile, like the children of Israel in the days of Moses). It is important to remember that the God who created the world is faithful to keep His promises.
We, the Jewish nation, must remember that God is the Promise Keeper. God kept His promises to Abraham and delivered His descendants from slavery in Egypt. We all know this monumental deliverance.
God fulfilled His promises to David, and sent David’s seed, born in Bethlehem, to provide the salvation of the nation of Israel from the oppression of Babylonian Exile, and brought them out of captivity, back to the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah. Now we, the Jewish nation, are living and working out the fulfillment of the promises that God made to Ezekiel and Jeremiah and Isaiah and the prophets.
Yes, there are more promises that God had made to our prophets that need to be fulfilled. We are working and praying for the full fulfillment of God’s promise to the prophet Obadiah. We are waiting for the captives of Sepharad (Spain and Portugal, the victims of the Catholic Inquisition) to be restored back to the land of Israel and populate and rebuild the Negev Desert.
Yes, we see with our own eyes the fulfillment of God’s promises to Ezekiel and Zechariah and Amos and Joel. We are seeing the amazing rebuilding of Jerusalem and the land given by God to the seed of Abraham.
Nothing in the history of the nation of Israel is accidental, nothing! We are a nation whose history is engineered from birth to slavery in Egypt for around 400 years, to return to the land promised to Abraham, to falling into idolatry and sin, and being sent to exile to Assyria and Babylon.
Again, in the fulfillment of the return from Babylon to restore Jerusalem and the land of Israel, God was faithful and kept His promises. Again, because of our iniquities and hate inside the camp of Israel, God sent us and spread us from one end of this blue ball called Earth all the way around.
Now, we, the Jewish nation, against all odds, are in the process of returning home to Jerusalem. Of rebuilding the wasteland of the land promised to our forefathers.
My family arrived in Israel in 1947 and landed on the shores of this land just close to Pardes Hanna, south of Haifa. My father and mother didn’t believe in God and knew very little of the Bible and of God’s promises to the Jewish nation and to the world.
I can state it clearly that my family was vigilantly against all religions, but especially against Orthodox Judaism. But, the land of Israel is not a Kleenex. It is sandpaper that shapes you and cleans the rust of history off our lives and bodies and souls.
Now, dear brothers and sisters, we are in the fulfillment of the spiritual side and physical side of our existence as children of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. We are in the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophetic promises.
The returning to the land of promise to the land of Israel, the rebuilding of the ruined ancient cities: Jerusalem, Jaffa, Rehovot, Be’er-Sheva. Even Eilat, way down south on the shores of the Red Sea, is a fulfillment of God’s promises.
Our historical memory is not forgotten. And our national anthem is “HaTikvah” (“the hope”), which is the hope of our nation based on the promises of God to Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, Joel, Amos and on and on!
What the world doesn’t understand is that although we are a nation that is still not fully aware of who we are and who is our savior and the savior of the entire world, (Yeshua son of Abraham, son of David… whom we have rejected in the days when we had a temple in Jerusalem), the dry bones of Ezekiel’s vision spread in the valleys of the dead from Siberia through the death camps of the Third Reich in the lands where the cross is the symbol of salvation in the name of the Ultimate Jew, Yeshua the Messiah.
The smell of death of the Jews that were burned in the holocaust, in Ukrainian death fields, and in industrial cities in the Baltic nations like Lithuania, and in the suburbs of capital cities like Berlin.
Now, according to the words of Ezekiel and the other prophets, the children of those Jews and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren are rebuilding the wasteland and the forgotten fields where King David, as a youth, shepherded the flocks of Jesse, his father.
Please, dear brothers around the world, don’t imagine even for one minute that what is happening in the world, and especially in the Jewish nation and in the land of Israel, is accidental. No, it is not an accident that the Jewish people are returning home to the land of promise.
Please don’t imagine that our struggle to survive in the land of promise, trying to survive and flourish, fighting terrorists and criminals who have only one thing on their mind (to kill Jews for over 70 years), is over.
The roadmap of our future is written in the pages of God’s word. We are waiting for the One whom God sent to the world, because of God’s love for all the world.
Yes, we, the Jewish nation, are a living map of the future of the whole world. Yes, Yeshua will be back in Jerusalem, and when He comes back, no one in Israel will shout, “crucify Him, crucify Him”. Everyone in the streets of Jerusalem will shout, “Baruch Ha Ba Beshem Elohim!” (“Welcome in the name of the Lord!”)
This is what we are about in Jerusalem and in Israel and around the world, the people who were spared and saved from the Nazi death camps of Europe and from the ghettos of Morocco and Fez, and other cities in North Africa, and from the gulags of Siberia, are fulfilling the promises of God from the Torah, the law of Moses, and the promises given to the prophets thousands years ago!
This, my dear brothers and sisters, is where you need to invest your faith and your being. To see the promises of the apostle Paul’s letters being fulfilled.
Yes, our non-Jewish brothers and sisters have a role to play and pray in this grand scheme of redemption for the human race! The return of the Son of David, Yeshua, back to Jerusalem. Amen!
Please join Netivyah in prayer and in service and hard work to work for the fulfillment of all of God’s promises to Israel and the world, and sing with us the songs of Zion, preparing the way of the Lord back to the marketplaces of Jerusalem and the streets that once were full of crying, that are being filled with children of Israel praying and playing!
Stand with Israel. This is where history is going. The Son and the Father and the Holy Spirit are on their way back!
This article originally appeared on Netivyah and is reposted with permission.