Updated: Oct 11
[10-16 Dec 2023]
Theme of the Book of Genesis:
Desire for life, to choose life and to create!
Meaning of "miketz" = "at the end"
This week's Torah portions:
Sunday: Gen 41:1-14
Monday: Gen 41:15-38
Tuesday: Gen 41:39-52
Wednesday: Gen 41:53-42:18
Thursday: Gen 42:19-43:15
Friday: Gen 43:16-29
Shabbat: Gen 43:30-44:17 & 1 Kings 3:15-4:12
Daily Bread for Busy Moms portions:
1 Sam 26-31
2 Sam 1-3
1 Cor 14:20-16:24
2 Cor 1-2
Up until this point Joseph was in prison. But his time in prison came to an end in this parashat - because Pharaoh had a dream.
We all know the story about the Pharaoh's dream about the 7 fat cows and the 7 skinny cows. And his second dream about 7 thick grains being swallowed by 7 lean grains. Pharaoh's butler heard the dreams and then remembered Joseph who laid out his dream to him while he was in prison. Joseph is then called to the Pharaoh and he was able to interpret Pharaoh's dream.
As a result of Joseph's ability to interpret the dreams, Pharaoh appointed him as governor over Egypt. Joseph then received Asenath (Popherah, the priest of On's daughter) as his wife. They had two sons - Manasseh & Ephraim.
After the 7 years of plenty, the entire world was in famine, except for Egypt - as they have prepared for the famine during the years of plenty.
During the famine, Jacob (Joseph's father) sent 10 of his sons to Egypt to buy grain. Jacob didn't send Benjamin, his second son (after Joseph) with Rachel, with his brothers to Egypt. Rachel was Jacob's true love and he thus considered Joseph to be his first-born even though Jacob had other sons with Leah and the maidservants before Joseph was born.
After loosing both Joseph and Rachel, Jacob was scared that he might loose Benjamin as well and thus he didn't send him with his brothers to Egypt.
Joseph immediately recognised his brothers - regardless of the fact that approximately 20 years have passed since they have sold him and he saw them for the last time. However, his brothers did not recognise him at all.
Joseph tested them with his questions as he wanted to see if their hearts have changed after all these years. Joseph demanded that they should go and fetch Benjamin and held Simeon captive until they returned with Benjamin. As you could imagine, Jacob didn't want to agree to send Benjamin to Egypt, but he finally gave consent after a while. When the brothers returned to Egypt with Benjamin, Joseph released Simeon. And he invited them all for dinner at his home. Once again Joseph tested his brothers, and he placed a silver mug in Benjamin's bag. After the brothers left Egypt to return home the following morning, Joseph sent his men after them to look for his missing mug. Joseph's men found the mug in Benjamin's bag and Joseph demanded that Benjamin would stay behind in Egypt as his slave.
Joseph is a shadow of Yeshua. He's a type of messiah to his family - there to bring redemption to them. Just like Yeshua is our Messiah - bringing redemption to us! Joseph puts a process in place to discern his brothers' hearts. Just like Yeshua discern the intention of our hearts.
This portion is all about discernment. Having discernment in all areas of our lives. Being able to see Abba's hand in all circumstances - good & bad! Regardless of what we face, we should be able to hold onto Abba's bigger plan! Neither the obstacles nor the promotions and favour we experience in life, should hinder our discernment!
Joseph experienced both imprisonment as well as being the governor over all of Egypt, but he didn't fall into despair when things were bad nor did he became arrogant and prideful when things were going well. Regardless of where Joseph found himself, he excelled. In good circumstances and in bad ones.
We don't have to wait for the bad circumstances to blow over before we can excel in life! No! We can be like Joseph and do it from prison - from the worst circumstances we could possibly face. We should always keep our focus on Abba's bigger plan. Not only Abba's plan for us as individuals, but also the bigger picture - what His plan is for His Kingdom!
Discernment enables us to overcome the circumstances we face because we have the bigger picture in mind - Abba's plan for redemption through Yeshua!
I must be a willing vessel to do my part in fulfilling Abba's Redemption Plan! It's part of living in His rhythm! The Redemption Plan is not only for me. The bigger picture includes more than just me, myself and I. We need to be willing to do our part. Abba has a plan for each one of our lives. But our individual plans are not separate from the bigger picture. If I don't walk in Abba's rhythm - I'm not only missing out on what Abba has in store for me, but I'm also doing damage to the bigger picture.
Joseph didn't only save his brothers. He also saved the whole world at that time. In the same way, Yeshua also came to not only save His brothers (Jews) but also the Gentiles (you and me). Through what Joseph has done, many could be saved. But they all had to do their part - i.e. Joseph's brothers had to travel to Egypt to go and buy food, others worked during the years of plenty to ensure they had enough for when the famine comes. In the same way, through what Yeshua has done, many can be saved. His work on the Cross was completed. But we have to accept His salvation. We have to apply His Blood to our lives and change our ways to align with His instructions.
I just love how God uses shadows of things to come in the Word. Nothing that's written in the Bible is "just" there. Every little story and parable serves a purpose and teaches us something valuable!
The world we live in today scrutinizes everything the Jews do. But when you come to understand the Word better, you develop a love for the nation. Because you come to understand that if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't stand a chance to be saved!
If Joseph's brothers didn't sell him, he wouldn't have been appointed as governor of Egypt and he wouldn't have been able to save his brothers. In the same way, if the Jews didn't wander off from Abba's instructions, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to be grafted in! Abba allowed the Jews' hearts to be hardened - so that the Gentiles could also be saved.
When we come to understand this immense truth, we can't be against the Jews. In fact, we won't only be "not against" but we'll grow to love the nation deeply!
To this very day the Jews still try to accomplish their salvation through obeying the law. And as born-again believers, we know that we cannot accomplish salvation through the law. It's therefore our responsibility as believing Gentiles to live in such a manner that we will help the Jews' eyes to open to the truth! Yeshua has done the complete work on the cross! How we live our lives according to His instructions is NOT about obeying the law. But out of love for what He has done for us on the Cross!
If you are new here, you can follow the Torah portions with us every week!
(Simply click on the one you want to read)
Portion 10: Miketz (This blog you are reading now)