Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #10: Mikketz (At the end) Genesis 41:1-44:17
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 3:15-4:1
B’rit Chadashah: Acts 7:9-16
Today we start with a discussion on the magicians and so-called wise men who were common in pagan societies, especially in the palaces of ancient rulers. Their job description included the study of sacred arts and sciences, interpreting dreams, reading the stars, performing magic, and predicting the future. This may sound impressive. The problem is that these powers were satanic in origin. Recall that Satan is the great imitator of light. That is, an imitator of the True Light, captivating and deceiving whoever will fall for his deception. It is much easier to be taken in by satanic ploys and temptations if we are unarmed and ignorant of G-d’s Torah. We cannot hope to win any battles with Satan without the power of G-d and His Word.
The dream of Pharaoh was the same although he dreamt it twice. Since this was a Divine communication, G-d used his own servant Yosef to interpret it. Note that Yosef gave G-d the credit for his ability to interpret the dream. He had the chance to take all credit and glory for himself, yet he deferred all credit to G-d. G-d warned Pharaoh of the upcoming famine while the times were good. This should be a lesson for us. G-d through Yahshua(the Living Torah) and the written Torah has been warning humanity of what is to come for thousands of years. Everything in the Bible that has been prophesied has thus far come to pass. The evidence is overwhelming that the Bible( in the original Hebrew) is true and infallible. So, when people do not want to face the truth in any context, they simply ignore it, gloss it over, or even worse change what is considered truth. This is what our society has done in the United States more than any other country. Today children and parishioners alike are taught that either there is no Divine Authority, or that authority is a different G-d than the One True G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The god of Christianity for example is an all loving, never judging, god that has erased all of His laws, statutes, and regulations and allows behaviors on the biblical Sabbath that he forbade in His word such as buying and selling, mundane labor, and forsaking Shabbat for non-emergent, non-health related issues. The god of Christianity sanctions forsaking the holy designated festivals of G-d and allows people to eat foods that are strictly forbidden in the Bible. Many churches are now sanctioning and promoting abominations such as marrying and ordaining those within the LGBTQ community.
Getting back to our parashah proper, G-d gave the people plenty of time to prepare for the seven-year famine and even blessed the Egyptians with wisdom and direction given to one of His own, Yosef. This was an excellent opportunity that Yosef was prepared for although the task of interpreting the dream was sudden. This should be another lesson for us. Our most important opportunities may come when we least expect them. The only reason Yosef was prepared was because he was in a right relationship with G-d. Similarly, we must ready ourselves for opportunities given us by G-d as we live our lives on Earth. This means regular prayer, study, and integration of Torah knowledge into our being. Just look around you as you observe so many people going further into debt rather than preparing for the famine ahead. Our society is missing out on the blessings that come with following G-d’s Torah no matter the season and no matter what the majority follows. Meticulous detail in planning for anything is a responsibility, not an option. Yosef explained and directed a survival plan for 14 years, the success of which could only be done by planning using G-d’s guidance as the template.
Pharaoh was able to see that Yosef was a man filled with the spirit of G-d. Although we may never be placed in a position to interpret dreams for human royalty, people should be able to recognize that we are people of G-d with a different standard from that which our contemporary society follows. This difference may be kind words, opening doors and assisting others when it is not “convenient,” or placing our immediate interests on the back burner while assisting others in fulfilling theirs. Yosef served G-d no matter his position; slave, prisoner, and then second in command when he was 30. He spent 17 years prior as a slave and prisoner. By this we can see that G-d’s timetable for our lives is His alone and we must learn patience as we learn to live according to His Torah. Never give up!
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 3:15-4:1
This week’s haftarah echoes the subject of our parashah with the opening words: “And Solomon awoke and behold it had been a dream.” Pharaoh had also experienced dreams. Although it is not included in this haftarah, it was during one of Solomon’s dreams that YHVH granted Solomon his wisdom greater than that of any other human at the time. The haftarah relates a famous episode in which Solomon’s G-d-given wisdom was demonstrated before all of Israel. Keeping with our purpose in life, G-d was glorified through this demonstration of impartial wisdom.
Two prostitutes approach King Solomon to settle their argument. They lived together in the same house, and each had given birth to an infant three days apart. One night, one of the infants was accidentally crushed to death by his mother, and one woman accused the other of switching infants in order to have a live baby. Each claimed the living child was hers. King Solomon asks that a sword be brought and orders that the child be cut in half with each woman receiving half. At this point, the real mother of the living child intercedes and exhorts the king to give the child to the other woman so that he would live, while the other woman said “It will be neither yours nor mine. Divide it up!” We read in 1 Kings 3:27; “Then the king answered, ‘Give the living child to the first woman, don’t kill it, because she is its mother.’ “All Israel heard of the decision the king had made and held the king in awe, for they saw that G-d’s wisdom was in him, enabling him to render justice properly.” Is it not interesting that the people realized G-d’s justice was right and true then, yet forgot it so quickly they chose not to apply it as evidenced by our current global community? Nothing has changed; the first generation of Israelites were lost for such unbelief as will be those in this generation who freely choose not to t’shuva (repent) and begin the walk of love of and obedience to G-d’s Torah.
B’rit Chadashah: Acts 7:9-16
This is the same passage covered in last week’s parashah. Compare it to last week’s and this week’s parashot in relation to the similarities between Joseph and Yahshua. Again, the consistency of G-d’s Torah and the impossibility that man could have written the Bible without the authority, wisdom, and Hand of G-d is revealed. This is applicable to any success we have in any area of our lives. We cannot save or convert people. We can learn valuable lessons about Yahshua’s character and His life through the description of Joseph’s life. This narrative enables us to relate to and better understand the teachings of Yahshua and the coming Kingdom of G-d. Joseph was unpretentious, unassuming, honest, humble, compassionate, and just. His witness for G-d and his successes were not events he heralded to others such as “look what I wrote, look what I did, look how many people I influenced.” Statements such as these would have negated Joseph’s testimony and reward. We will not find such attitudes or expressions from the Apostles or even Yahshua in G-d’s Torah. Humble submission and a readiness to serve G-d however He chooses is the attitude we must learn and practice, just as did Joseph.
Consider that the Lamb (Yahshua) will be the Temple in the New Jerusalem! There will be no need of a physical structure, and there will be no need for the sun or moon to light it. G-d’s Shekinah (Glory) will give it light, and its lamp is the Lamb (Rev. 21:22-23). May we consider these things as we continue to celebrate the miracle of conception of the Light of the world through a human being and the miracle of the oil provided to light the menorah as a sign of the Light soon to return as Messiah ben David.
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart