Vayigash - ויגש - "He approached"
Torah: Genesis 44:18-47:27
Prophets: Ezekiel 37:15-28
Gospel: John 5:1-47
Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him. (Genesis 45:9-15)
Every Bible scholar and pastor I’ve ever ran into would all agree that Joseph is a prototype of Yeshua. Every year when I read the Torah portions I find it to be true more so than the year before. There are so many parallels between Yeshua and Joseph that it is uncanny and clearly not a coincidence; parallels such as, they were both prophesied to rule, they both were sold, they both were rejected by their own and the list can go on and on.
As I was thinking about all the similarities between Yeshua and Joseph Genesis 45:9-15 stood out to me and had me wondering if Yeshua will use similar words when He returns. Think about it. We hear the trumpet sound; we look up in the sky and see Yeshua riding on a horse followed by legions of Angels. He comes up to you and says;
Hurry and go spread the word, ‘Thus says your Lord Yeshua, YHWH has made me lord of all the earth. Come down to me; do not tarry. You shall dwell in the land of Israel, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. There I will provide for you so you and all that you have do not come to poverty.’ And now your eyes see that it is my mouth that speaks to you. You must tell everyone of my entire honor, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my people down here.”
Won’t that be something, to hear Yeshua say those words or something similar? I wonder how the brothers felt when they heard those words from Joseph: The relief of their sins being forgiven, the joy of salvation from the famine that would have claimed their lives, and the shock of seeing one who in their minds had died and is now alive saving them. When Joseph reveals himself to his brothers, it wasn’t just a story of a family reconciling; it was also a picture of our reconciliation to come.
This week’s Torah portion is so packed with information that I cannot just stick to one topic. This week’s Torah Portion is important because it also sets the stage for things to come in the future.
As we read the account of Joseph and his family reuniting we also see how Israel acquired Goshen; How Egypt gained its wealth and we also learn how the Egyptians viewed the Hebrews.
You shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ in order that you may dwell in the land of Goshen, for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians. (Genesis 46:34)
Abraham, Isaac and Israel were shepherds, this was one strike against them in the land of Egypt. The other strike against them was the fact that they were Hebrews. The Egyptians Anti-Semitic views were brought up in last week’s Torah portion also.
They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians. (Genesis 43:32)
When did this Anti-Semitism begin?
To seek a Biblical answer to this question, we must go back to previous Torah portions.
The first recorded encounter between Hebrews and Egyptians is found in the following verses.
Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.” 14 It came about when Abram came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 Therefore he treated Abram well for her sake; and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels. 17 But the LORD struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.18 Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” 20 Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him. (Genesis 12:10-20)
To the Egyptians, Pharaoh was the closest thing to God on earth. When they realized that an unnamed powerful God was favoring a Hebrew, it must have been a big blow to their egos as a nation.
Genesis 12:10-20 occurred while Abraham was heading to the Promised Land, he never went back to Egypt (or at least the Bible does not record it), so the animosity seen in Genesis 43:32 have been there for at least three generations.
It is clear that the Hebrews are highly favored by a powerful God, and on top of that, it is a Hebrew who is second in command of all Egypt and saves them from a severe famine; more evidence of how God is favoring the Hebrews over Pharaoh, more blows to their egos.
When we get to Exodus chapter 1 (in two weeks), we see that God continues to favor the Hebrews. The leaders of Egypt saw it as well. They feared and loathed them even more because of it which leads to Israel being oppressed and treated in horrible ways.
Everything is in motion for God to separate Israel from the world, but before that can happen, Israel has to go through rough times and they should have known about it because it was a prophecy which leads to our final short lesson.
God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. (Genesis 15:13)
Prosperity message preachers have it all wrong, the pattern is clear in the story of Joseph. If you want God to bless you with something and He answers, be prepared for hard times.
God will make sure that you have the character to be able to handle whatever success He gives you in this life. Everything is carefully planned out by God, He is in complete control and He has your best interest in mind.
Seeing how everything is playing out should give us more confidence in our walk with God. No matter how rough it seems now, it’s the end results, the promises that God has given us which gives us hope to press forward.
We have been given great promises with great rewards. God is in complete control and His word does not come back void, no matter how hopeless our situation seems, we will be victorious in the end. All praise to YHWH.
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