(Photo courtesy of http://blog.thefoundationstone.org/2010/12/05/the-hug/)
And today I am remembering a time when I observed Shabbat a few years ago at a reform synagogue, and seeing a bit in the Torah that explained a lot of what I see before my very eyes.
Joseph's name in Hebrew means, "He shall add." Where does he go in the story? Originally, he was placed in Canaan, in the promised land of his forefathers. But where did he go? And for what purpose? He wound up in Egypt, married to a daughter of a priest of On. On was a city in Egypt that was the center of sun-god worship. A Jew, in the midst of sun-god worship and pagan rituals? Hmm....what a strange set-up. Or, more simply, prophetic. See, I have wanted so hard to change everyone and fix all this deception that is going on in the world. My daughter and I share a desire for things to be right in the world and rest on the shoulders of truth alone. But if that were so, it would be MY PLANS AND THOUGHTS AND DESIRES and I would be the one warring with my Creator's prophetic nature. By my plans of Joseph already being revealed, those in Egypt would not receive the provisions they need to live when the famine comes and neither would Joseph's brothers. I would be rewriting Yah's story. Do I like having to walk every part of the story? No, as you can tell by my downcast heart that my family is not altogether today.
Did Joseph like the fact that he was imprisoned? Was it joyous to receive 1,000 lashes for being accused of adultery? (See the in-depth study of the culture, Hebraic meanings of the names, etc. at http://www.biblebb.com/files/KSS/kss-wl021.htm or Google till your heart's desire yourself.) In my own account, do I like feeling like a child in between two deeply quarreling parents? "We are one family! Urrgggh! Can't we all get it straight and quit the junk and focus on what Scripture says?!" I want to yell. But all I can do for now is plant the seeds in my own portion of the land. I cannot do it all, just my small part and wait for Yahweh to bring forth His story. I know the way some are observing Messiah is aiding in keeping Joseph's brothers blind to who he truly is. ("Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him." Genesis 42:8)
But I also know how the story ends...
Joseph WILL be revealed to his brothers and he WILL add many to those saved from these trials.
Genesis 45: 1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, "Have everyone leave my presence!" So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers.
2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharoah's household heard about it.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still living?" But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!
5 And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.
6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping.
7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
8 "So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.
9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, "This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord over all Egypt. Come down to me; don't delay.
10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me-you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have.
11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.
12 "You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you.
13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly." Genesis 45: 1-13
So I say to you as it is in my spirit: Rest. Keep yourself aligned with Yahweh's holy Word. The Torah is the testimony of Yeshua so we need not rewrite it, but declare it among the earth. We do not want Him to perish or diminish in the manner our Creator intended for Him. He is the true hero of this love story.
Please know that I do not stand in judgement of any of these matters. My life is its own messy work and I have no place to point fingers. This is just a mournful weeping and brokenness while walking in this fallen world.
I encourage you to pray that Yahweh's will be done. Not ours. Whatever He desires for the carrying out of His love story, so be it. Be encouraged today, and feast joyously that He is King!