What a joy to be studying the Parashot (weekly Torah readings) at this time in the history of Israel, “YHVH’s people”, especially if you know that you are one of the redeemed of Jacob! With all that is going on in the world and in the lives of billions of people, we stand out as Elohim’s witness and testimony of His faithfulness. What an encouragement when we read of YHVH’s sovereignty over the lives of our ancient forefathers, even while in slavery in Egypt! Moreover, scripture bears out that YHVH was also in total control of the king of Egypt, his people, and even over the magicians. In this week’s Parashat “Va’ey’ra” YHVH speaks to Pharaoh and declares: “But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16). This very verse is quoted by Paul in Romans 9:17. The apostle brought out this example, because in the previous verse he highlighted a statement from Exodus 33:19, in which YHVH declares: “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion” (Romans 9:15 emphasis added) – whether king or slave. Many times, however, we lose sight of YHVH’s will and sovereign control over everything that transpires on the earth (and perhaps even in heaven), or just over our own lives.
That He has never lost control or given sovereignty over to a satan or to anyone else, is indisputable, as Daniel 2:21 confirms: “And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding”.
“He gives wisdom… and knowledge…” James says: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of Elohim, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (1:5). But how will we know that we have been given this wisdom from above? Here is the apostle’s answer: “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy” (3:17). Make no mistake! You will know if you have been granted this special wisdom, because it has a very distinct character. There is many an experience that we go through in life that does not line up with what we had expected or assumed. At such times we have to recognize YHVH’s will and our need for celestial wisdom. As for the ‘celestial wisdom’, there is an outstanding promise for the future. Daniel declares that, “those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament” and goes on to say: “And those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3 emphasis added).