Introducing the Eternal God | IFCJ
Skip Navigation
Jerusalem

Introducing the Eternal God

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them.” — Exodus 6:3

This Torah portion for this week is Va’eira, which means “and I appeared,” from Exodus 6:2–9:35, and the Haftorah is from Ezekiel 28:25–29:21.

This week’s Torah portion is called Va’eira, meaningand I appeared.” But it isn’t a reference to something happening in this week’s portion; it is speaking about God appearing in the past – to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It’s as if God were saying to Moses, “In the past I appeared to the forefathers in one way, but you will have a completely different experience. To the patriarchs I was ‘God Almighty,’ but to you, I am ‘the LORD.’”

What was God trying to tell Moses?

The Jewish sages explain that every name of God – and there are many of them – has a different meaning. Each name describes a different way in which we can experience God. The name revealed to Moses, “the LORD,” is the four-letter name, YHVH, which comes from these three terms: He was, He is, and He will be. This implies that any promise that God has made in the past is remembered in the present and will be fulfilled in the future.  

In the past, God had made promises to the patriarchs – He promised to bring their descendants down to Egypt and then to bring them out as a great nation. But they never saw this promise fulfilled. Still, they had faith in “God Almighty,” knowing that God was all-powerful and would faithfully fulfill His promise in the future.

Moses was the first to see the promises of the past unfold in the present and come to fruition in the imminent future. He was the first to know God as YHVH – the God of the past, present, and future – all in one moment. As God said to Moses earlier, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh . . .” (Exodus 6:1). Moses was about to witness firsthand the fulfillment of ancient promises.

In the rest of the Torah portion, we see those promises coming true as the first steps were taken to redeem the children of Israel and the first seven miraculous plagues were unleashed against Egypt. God appeared to Moses as the eternal God who fulfills ancient prophecies. This was a source of great strength for Moses.

Today, we are experiencing God in the same way that Moses did three millennia earlier. Like Moses, we are witnessing the unfolding of prophecies before our very eyes. The prophets foretold events that seemed unlikely to occur: the ingathering of the exiles, the re-birth of the nation of Israel, the blooming of the desolate land, the resurrection of the Hebrew language, and many more. Like Moses, we also are strengthened in faith as we see these promises fulfilled.

Just as God has fulfilled these promises, He will fulfill all promises, until the world reaches its state of perfection.

With prayers for shalom, peace,

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

Hebrew Word of the Day
January 23, 2017
Theme: Angels

Shomrim —
Guardians

LATEST DEVOTIONAL

Count Your Blessings

December 11, 2018

Even if it does not seem like we have many blessings — even if life seems difficult at the moment — God has not forgotten us.

Read More

NEW TEACHING RESOURCE

Keys to Israel Spring 2018

What are the Keys to I.S.R.A.E.L.?

Study 6 eternal truths about God's Holy Land and His people.

Learn More

HOW TO HELP

Lena, elderly woman, praying hands, floral brown and red scarf, hands folded beneath her chin, sitting next to window with curtain.

Bless God's People

God promises to “bless those who bless [Israel].” You can take part in His promise by being a blessing to a lonely elderly Jewish person like Lena who has nowhere else to turn. Your tax-deductible gift by December 31st will help provide food, medicine, and shelter to someone in desperate need. We cannot stand idly by as the elderly like Lena suffer through the last years of their lives. Join us in helping these forgotten survivors with your best gift today.

Donate Now