In this week’s portion of scriptures, the name Parashat Va’era (Shemot / Exodus 6:2-9:35), declares the physical manifestation of God וארא Va’era “and I appeared” indicating the Lord appeared unto Moshe, the very presence of God and His power is made available to deliver His people. This is exactly what we find in this week’s reading. The Lord God spoke to Moshe saying ג וָאֵרָא אֶל-אַבְרָהָם אֶל-יִצְחָק וְאֶל-יַעֲקֹב בְּאֵל שַׁדָּי וּשְׁמִי יְהֹוָה לֹא נוֹדַעְתִּי לָהֶם: 6:3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, Lord (YHVH), I did not make Myself known to them. (NASB) The way the text is written, the Lord God Almighty is revealing Himself in a new way to His people. In the opening verses we read the reiteration of the covenant promise ד וְגַם הֲקִמֹתִי אֶת-בְּרִיתִי אִתָּם לָתֵת לָהֶם אֶת-אֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן אֵת אֶרֶץ מְגֻרֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר-גָּרוּ בָהּ: 6:4 ‘I also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they sojourned. (NASB) and the promise that we will be His people and He will be our God (ז וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶתְכֶם לִי לְעָם וְהָיִיתִי לָכֶם לֵאלֹהִים וִידַעְתֶּם כִּי אֲנִי יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם הַמּוֹצִיא אֶתְכֶם מִתַּחַת סִבְלוֹת מִצְרָיִם:). God tells Moshe and Aharon to go to the sons of Yisrael and to Pharaoh and bring the sons of Yisrael out of the land of Mitzrayim (Egypt). These sons of Yisrael, the heads of the Father’s households are listed in Shemot / Exodus 6:14-26. The Lord declares that He will harden Pharaoh’s heart so that His signs and wonders will be multiplied in Mitzrayim declaring His glory and power (7:1-4). Moshe goes before Pharaoh and performs the sign of the staff turning into a serpent (7:8-10) and Pharaoh had his sorcerers perform the same sign (7:11-14) and his heart was hardened. It is interesting that the Torah does not describe the sign of Tzaraat being performed before Pharaoh. The next sign that Moshe performs before Pharaoh is to turn the Nile River to blood (7:15-24). Mitzrayim was then stricken with a plague of frogs (8:1-15), the dust was stricken and became gnats and swarms of insects came upon both man and beast (8:16-31). Pharaoh again hardened his heart and the Lord struck the livestock with pestilence causing them to die (9:1-7). Moshe then took a handful of the soot from a kiln and threw it into the air, the soot become boils that broke out on all of the Egyptians and Pharaoh’s heart was hardened again (9:8-17). The final plague in this week’s portion of scripture details the Lord bringing a plague of hail mingled with fire (9:18-35). The Lord declared that this hail would be so heavy that anyone (man or beast) left outside would surely die. The scriptures record that there was hail and fire flashed in the midst of the hail and the fire run down to the earth and burned. It says the hail struck everything in the field, man, beast, grain and destroying every tree of the field, only in the land of Goshen was there no hail. It is at this time Pharaoh realizes that he has sinned saying כז וַיִּשְׁלַח פַּרְעֹה וַיִּקְרָא לְמֹשֶׁה וּלְאַהֲרֹן וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם חָטָאתִי הַפָּעַם יְהוָֹה הַצַּדִּיק וַאֲנִי וְעַמִּי הָרְשָׁעִים: כח הַעְתִּירוּ אֶל-יְהֹוָה וְרַב מִהְיֹת קֹלֹת אֱלֹהִים וּבָרָד וַאֲשַׁלְּחָה אֶתְכֶם וְלֹא תֹסִפוּן לַעֲמֹד: 9:27 Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, ‘I have sinned this time; the Lord is the righteous one, and I and my people are the wicked ones. 9:28 ‘Make supplication to the Lord, for there has been enough of God’s thunder and hail; and I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.’ (NASB) When the hail ceased it says that Pharaoh sinned again and hardened his heart both he and his servants. Troublesome times bring repentance and return to the Lord. When deliverance comes and the trouble passes, it is easy to slip back into sin and forget what the Lord has done. Read More here.