When we look into this parashah study, we see Yosef, who was, in a way of speaking, in the “pit” He was cast into the prison for something he did not do, yet he continued to trust YHVH for his needs. This reminds us of Melech David's words “You will not leave my soul in Sheol” This was a time of testing for Yosef. It was out of his hands. He came to Egypt as a slave, got a good position in Potiphar’s house, went from a common slave to comfort of a house, from house to the prison, and from prison to fame and fortune. All in YHVH's perfect timing and planning. We might ask ourselves, if Yosef could have managed an escape from the house of Potiphar, or even from prison, he probably would have headed straight back to his home in Canaan. No one would have been in Egypt to interpret Pharaoh's dreams, and thus, save the world from starvation. Yet we see that Yosef did submit himself to the perfect will of HaShem, and he was finally taken out of prison via the “cup bearer” (Oh yes, now I realize my shortcomings, there IS a guy in prison that can interpret your dreams your majesty…) Yet Yosef gives all glory to God, “God will give the interpretation” which is a positive witness to YHVH. Pharaoh probably saw the shortcomings and weakness of the Egyptian priests who were “supposed” to get their wisdom from Egyptian gods, yet this foreign “Hebrew” gets his wisdom to interpret dreams from an “invisible” God. Another thing we see is that Yosef not only gives the interpretation, but also the “solution”. For what good is an interpretation of a dream that speaks “calamity” if there is no solution to the problem? It is kind of like saying; “Hey king, your country is doomed, 7 years of famine, starvation, death…well OK…. nice meeting you Mr. King.” yet Yosef is faithful and brings a solution, through YHVH's wisdom and perhaps the experience he already had in agriculture and livestock when he was in Canaan as a teen. Now, he is elevated to “assistant in command” to Pharaoh, and goes from “rags to riches” He is now in position to sort of “run the country” and we see that in time, Yosef's brothers come in search of food, of course they do not recognize him, in Egyptian clothing, some 20 years later, no beard, etc. The brothers have to be tested to see if they are really sorry for what they did to Yosef, Yosef needs to see “true repentance”. Yosef is now in the position as “judge” yet when he tested them, using Benjamin, he sees true repentance through Y'hudah, now that he sees this, he reveals his true self, “Ani Yosef!!” (I AM Yosef) He is no longer in the position of “judge” but “family” When we were lost sinners, Yeshua was in the position as our “judge” As many who will continue to reject the free gift of salvation, they will be “judged” guilty by Messiah Yeshua at the Great White Throne Judgment, yet once we come to Yeshua and accept Him as our Savior and LORD, then, we come “Family” members, and we will be treated as “family”. “Y'hudah” symbolizes “Israel” who, in the future, will recognize “HE who was pierced” and those in Israel will say, “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of YHVH” as Yosef then “Talked” with his brothers, so YHVH desires to “talk” with us, through prayer and fellowship. As Yosef invited ALL his family to Egypt, so ALL who come to recognize Yeshua as Mashiach, are invited to join the “Heavenly family” Yosef is a “Messiah type” who saved the local world from physical famine, Yeshua saves the world from “spiritual famine” to all those who come to HIM and accept him as Savior and LORD!
1 KINGS 3:15-4:1
In this scripture portion, we see Solomon lifting up “burnt- offerings” and “peace-offerings” after also having “dreams” In his dream YHVH asked him what he wished for, “For wisdom, an understanding heart to judge this people” and YHVH thus granted him what he wished for. This should be a guide for us when we wish for things. I think the best wish would be knowledge of the Torah and wisdom to put into action what we learn from God's Holy Writ. As we see. God gave Solomon that and more. ” Burnt-offerings” symbolize our sinful nature, and the “peace- offerings” speak of our happiness and joy because of our salvation experience. Today these offerings are “offered up” in “prayer and thanksgiving” the prayers of confession of sin are always heard, and so are the prayers of praise and thanksgiving, because we know we have been forgiven.
MATT 16: 1-17:27
The “leaven” of the Pharisees is non-the less “unbelief” as Yeshua said, this reminds us when He was visiting the temple during this same time of Hanukkah, and the Jews came around him and said; “tell us plainly if you are the Messiah or not!” yet He rebukes them saying “I have already told you and you do not believe!” He had already given signs through his miracles of healing, raising of the dead, how much more proof did they need? What does “leaven” do in bread? It “puffs up the bread” and that is what pride does, it “puffs up” and person, and sometimes, stubborn pride brings on unbelief. Kefa exhibits his faith when he said; “You are Messiah, the Living God” Faith is “believing what we cannot see” yet Kefa sees Yeshua and sees the miracles, and so he believes, yet Yeshua says later on after the resurrection, “You have believed because you see, blessed are those who do not see yet BELIEVE!