- Torah – Genesis 41:44:17
- Haftarah – 1 Kings 3:15-4:1
- Brit Hadashah – Acts 7:9-16, Revelation 12:1-17
This is the tenth reading from the book of Genesis. Last weeks portion (Vayeshev) ended with Joseph still in prison for a crime he did not commit, and now any hope of an appeal are pretty much gone as the cupbearer seems to have conveniently forgotten about him.
The thing to keep in mind as we examine Joseph’s life is the sovereignty of God. God’s timing is perfect, and even though we may not always understand it or even like it, He knows exactly what is going on. Had Joseph had his way, he would have been released from prison and would not have been in the position that God needed him to be. So if you are facing tough times, and have been seeking answers, wait. Use that time to search your heart, confess, and repent. Maybe, He is using the trials as a way to purify your life.
Psalm 27:13-14 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of YHVH in the land of the living. Wait on YHVH: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on YHVH.
This weeks parashah picks up two years later when Pharaoh has a series of strange dreams. It has now been thirteen years since Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery. People speak of the patience of Job, but I am willing to bet that Joseph was pretty patient as well. A.W. Tozer is quoted as saying, “It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply.”
There is no doubt that Joseph had been humbled greatly through all of this. He went from being the favored son, to being a slave, then a falsely accused prisoner with no hope of freedom. The question is why. Of all the people mentioned in Scripture, he is one of the few people that nothing bad is said about. As far as we know he lived a life that was blameless before God. Yet God saw it fitting to put Joseph through all of that for a reason.
It could be that we are not told about Joseph’s faults as a way of elevating him, or rewarding him for his faithful response and obedience toward God. Or it could be because he was to stand as a picture foreshadowing Yeshua. I do not know. But still God’s ways are perfect and had He allowed Joseph to be free, or even prevented him from being sold into captivity in the first place, he would not have been in the position to save the family of Israel and countless thousands or even millions of other people during a severe famine.
Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
This parashah opens with Pharaoh having a series of disturbing dreams. In the first there are seven fat cows that are devoured by seven lean cows. The second is like the first but with ears of corn or grain. It is only after Pharaoh has exhausted the so called wisdom of the magicians of Egypt that the chief butler finally remembers Joseph.
Joseph, now thirty years of age, is brought before Pharaoh and by the inspiration of God, gives the interpretation telling Pharaoh that there would be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of great famine, and because the dream was doubled it had been established and would come about soon. Apparently Pharaoh was greatly impressed by Joseph and made him second in command. (see, all that waiting paid off)
This allowed Joseph to establish a system to store up grain during the good years so that they could be prepared for the impending famine. As the famine set in the people began selling all that they had to buy grain, and as a result Pharaoh became extremely rich, and the fame of Joseph spread abroad. Nate pointed out last week that Joseph and Imhotep may have actually been one in the same. There seems to be a great deal of evidence that points to this conclusion. But of course, the atheist universities and governmental agencies that are in charge of most archeology try everything they can to keep these finds from being widely distributed, because they actually support the Biblical account verifying it as being historically accurate. Below is a link to a pretty informative article written on this topic.
So the story continues, and during this time the famine has started to effect the land of Canaan as well. As a result Jacob, instructs his ten sons to journey into Egypt to buy grain. As Joseph encounters his brother for the first time in thirteen years, all the pain, suffering, and years of bondage are brought to the surface. But rather than retaliating, Joseph choses to test them. During these encounters Joseph is barley able keep his composure. One can only imagine the rush of emotion that he must have felt. I wonder if those dream that he had suddenly came to mind as well.
This parashah ends with the final test as Joseph’s cup is found in Benjamin’s bag. Joseph is looking to see if his brothers have truly repented for what they had done to him. This can be compared to how God tries us to see if our hearts are truly set on Him.
Proverbs 17:3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but YHVH trieth the hearts.
Below are the links to this weeks Torah parashah. Enjoy!