December 24, 2022: Parashat Torah Portion Miketz
This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Miketz is taken from Genesis 41:1 - 44:17. Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he explains the narrative in this parashah; the seven years of plenty, seven years of famine, the reversal of the humiliation and suffering that Joseph endured, and how it applies to us!
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Parashah Torah Portion:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Miketz - Genesis 41:1 - 44:17
In the story of Joseph, we are reminded that suffering, especially suffering, is where a lot of doubts come into our lives. We understand that suffering in itself is not a reason to doubt, but rather when we are suffering obediently, in obedience to Adonai, Elohim has a plan and purpose for our suffering, and He never wastes our suffering.
In life there are many paths that we are given and sometimes we second guess those decisions. How do we know we’ve taken the right path? We struggle with trusting His voice because of our doubts. Are we going the right way? Do we trust where Elohim is bringing us? In our faith we have to ask the question, what fuels our faithfulness and what propels our patience?
I said that Elohim doesn’t waste our suffering because He gives faithfulness through our affliction. However, how did we remain faithful until our exaltation, fruitful through our affliction, fortified for our future? We know the narrative in this parashah is about seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, Pharaoh’s dream and his search for the interpretation. He searched his own wise men but to no avail and Joseph was introduced to him as the one who could interpret dreams. Joseph not only interpreted the dreams but gave him the solution and how to prepare for the coming seven years of disastrous famine. In Genesis 41:37 it tells us, “And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.” Pharaoh’s eyes had been opened to see the wisdom of what Joseph has spoken. Pharaoh recognized the source of Joseph’s wisdom for in Genesis 41:38 it says, “Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of Elohim is?” Then, in verse 39, “Elohim hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou are.” Pharaoh truly sees that Joseph is fundamentally different, someone in whom the Ruach of Elohim dwells. Joseph’s wisdom is the wisdom of Elohim and because of this Joseph is exalted. Remember, Elohim is the source!
What is interesting is that Elohim is doing a reversal of the humiliation and suffering that Joseph has endured so far. Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand and clothed him in garments of fine linen. This is actually the 3rd house that Joseph has been over. First one, he was appointed over was the whole house of Potiphar until Potiphar’s wife accused him of a crime. The second time he was set over the house of the prison itself and now the third time he is set over the house, but here it’s Pharaoh’s house. He also receives new clothes. Remember when Joseph was captured and thrown into the pit his brothers stripped him of the “coat of many colors” that his father gave him. Now we see a reversal of that suffering that he had in the past.
The second reversal we see in Genesis 41:43, as Joseph rides in Pharaoh’s second chariot, as the second in command. Again, remember he rode into Egypt in a caravan as a slave and now he is an exalted prince. Joseph’s humiliation that is stretched over all this time is being reversed.
How do we do what Joseph has done? Joseph has done the impossible, humanly speaking. He defied all the odds and remained faithful and patient through many years of suffering until the time of exaltation. How do we remain faithful and patient until Yeshua comes again?
Our problem is that when we encounter suffering, we don’t think through or evaluate just to keep going. When we experience pain, we want to do something, we want to do anything to relieve the pain, to reduce the tension, to put away the difficulties that we are dealing with in our life. We want to do something to fix our situation, to escape wherever we feel the suffering is coming from. Whenever we encounter suffering, we feel like we need to change course for one way or another, in some form or fashion. We feel like we must be going the wrong way and our suffering proves it.
We must learn from Joseph’s story that suffering in itself is not evidence that we are going the wrong way…now it certainly can be if our suffering is causing pain. If we’re walking away from Elohim and we’re feeling that sense of pain and He is using that pain to try to bring us to a place of repentance. But if we are suffering in and through obedience, then suffering on its own, by itself, that just mere experience of suffering is not a reason to change course. Rather, we see it is in suffering, it is in affliction where Elohim gives fruitfulness, where Elohim brings about blessing in the midst of pain, in the midst of affliction. So, through Joseph’s affliction he becomes fruitful! How can we be fruitful through affliction? From Joseph being thrown into the pit at 17 years old and now he’s 30…that is 13 years of deep suffering! But through it all Joseph has been faithful…wow and Halleluyah!
However, his story isn’t over because it will be another 9 years before he is reconciled with his family, which leaves 22 years from when his brothers first began to hate him until reconciliation. Now what is interesting is that Joseph’s great-grandfather, Abraham, waited 25 years from promise to fulfillment for a son. He was 75 years when he was promised and was 100 years when it was fulfilled. Joseph’s father Jacob served his father-in-law 20 years before he was released to return to his family. In each case there was two decades or more of waiting and suffering. This doesn’t just fix itself overnight, Elohim uses these two decades plus to do deep significant work in the lives of His people. In the midst of all this we see that Elohim is giving Joseph fruitfulness.
We think of affliction as the detour of life. We must have gotten off track, we’ve got to change something. But affliction isn’t the detour, it is a necessary path for accomplishing all His purpose. As much as we recoil and shrink and hate and rage against affliction, affliction will not weaken us. Elohim actually uses our affliction to strengthen us, to fortify us for the future. Paul said it this way, in II Cor. 4:17-18, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far exceeding and eternal weight of glory. While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
We live in the age where our pain is taken right away. We have microwave cooking, on-demand streaming, same-day or next-day delivery. We have everything we could ever want at our finger tips. But because we have everything, we lack the one thing that we most need. We desperately need faithfulness and patience. We need Elohim’s Word and we need the Ruach over the long haul to fuel our faithfulness and to propel our patience by cultivating in us a rock-solid assurance that our suffering is going somewhere, that we are on the right path, that our affliction will not end with ever increasing affliction until we are destroyed but eventually in exaltation! We know the end of the story!
If you are in Yeshua you’re on the right path, no matter what your fears and your doubts and suffering might suggest to the contrary. If you’re in Yeshua, whatever you’re dealing with, understand Elohim is right now working to bring about fruitfulness in and through your afflictions.
Stay focused, strengthen yourself, let His Word build you up, believe and trust in the process. Move forward with faith and hope and persevere through whatever your path that our Sovereign Adonai has allowed and will use to bring you His purpose IN you!
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Happy Hanukkah and have a blessed Sabbath. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! This is a festival of rejoicing so give Him all your worship! See you at the altar!