A reflection on portion Shemot/Names, and the incarnation.
When the Lord appears to Moses at the burning bush, He says:
“I have surely seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. So I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey …” (Ex. 3:7-8).
The Lord has “seen,” He has “heard,” He “knows,” and therefore: “I have come down to deliver them … to bring them up …”
The verses cited above shows the Lord’s presence among His people, even in the midst of their suffering; and in fulfillment of His promise to Abraham, He would rescue them from their circumstance (Gen. 15:12-16).
Again: The Lord has “seen,” “heard,” “knows,” and therefore “I have come down to deliver them … to bring them up …” And in grand narrative, Moses describes just how the Lord “come down” in order to bring “them up.”
The birth of Messiah Yeshua/Jesus is the incarnation of that Word of promise: to come down, in order to bring them up.
We read in John 1:14, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us …” The Word so majestically described in John 1:1-4, became flesh. The Greek is more descriptive, as it says that Yeshua pitched His tent among us.
John utilizes in 1:14 the same language found in the Septuagint of Exodus 40:35, “and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”
The incarnation was the fleshing of the Lord’s promise, His wisdom and logic. It was the softening, the personalizing, the making vulnerable the second person of the Godhead. Why?
God heard our cry. The incarnation is the coming down of God into the tent of human flesh in order to rescue, and relate personally to us as “wonderful counselor.”
Have you ever felt “cut off” or isolated? Jesus did as well. Have you ever prayed and it seemed that heaven was silent? It happened to Jesus as well. He knows the depths of our struggles, personally (Heb. 4:15; cf. Lk. 22:42; Matt. 27:46).
Wrongly accused, ridiculed, abused, tortured, scorned, abandoned, and murdered, the tabernacled Word experienced it all for you, in order to bring you to the promised, prepared place (Jn. 14:1-3).
Increasingly it seems the incarnation is overlooked apart from one day a year, when “theological” bickering and commercialism overshadows said day, and the mystery of the holy Child.
The birth was the coming down of the Lord in response to the cry of His people. And for them, there remains the promise of their going up: and you are that living letter, the narrative of God’s faithfulness to save, by the blood of His Son, and by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ultimately, you are not a story recorded by Moses, but a life written by God Himself, in the Word made flesh.
Be well. Shalom.