Parashat Mikeitz (From the End)
Beresheet (Genesis) 41:1-44:17
Haftarah: 1 Kings 3:15-4:1
I ended my previous commentary with the words, “God will bring restoration to His people, Israel! God will bring His light amid this chaotic darkness once again. You and I have a choice to make – will we choose God’s light or the world’s darkness?”
I recently received an email from a woman in the US whose Muslim neighbor told her, “… there is no proof of the atrocities done by Hamas on Oct. 7 and that Hamas is the only military defense for the Palestinians.” Although shocking, it should not surprise us that these kinds of heinous claims are all around us. What saddens me, however, is how many followers of God believe this very lie, as well as other lies and conspiracy theories against the Jewish people that are making the rounds. We are in dire need of discernment in these dark times!
Indeed, we live in a day and age where we see the powers of darkness fighting against the powers of light. People are confused; there is so much false news and propaganda spreading like wildfire; it is sometimes easy to forget that there is a God who is in control, who has a plan, and that His plan will not be thwarted.
Our readings this week remind us of the power of discernment and the importance of relying on God’s wisdom. In the reading from the Haftarah, we read:
Then Solomon awoke, and behold, it was a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and made peace offerings, and held a feast for all his servants.
1 Kings 3:15
Immediately following this moment is the famous story of the two women arguing over the baby. When King Solomon instructed to cut the living baby in half, he discovered the real mother of the child, since she had mercy on him and wanted to save his life. We then read:
When all Israel heard about the judgment which the king had handed down, they feared the king, because they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.
1 Kings 4:1
How did Solomon come to receive this godly wisdom? He asked God for it in his dream:
So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil. For who is capable of judging this great people of Yours?
1 Kings 3:9
Solomon asked God for an understanding heart to judge His people, and to be able to discern between good and evil. He also remembered that it was God’s people that he was entrusted to govern and, therefore, he needed to do it with God’s wisdom.
I believe we would all do well to share Solomon’s humble desire for God’s wisdom. We need to have a heart to discern between good and evil, which is based on God’s wisdom and not our own. When people come to us for advice, we need to seek God remembering that He is in control and base our counsel on His wisdom and not our own flesh.
Joseph also demonstrated strong discernment which he totally credited to God. In the Parashah, we read of the time that Pharaoh king of Egypt had a dream, and when he came to Joseph, the first thing that Joseph told him was:
…“It has nothing to do with me; God will give Pharaoh an answer for his own good.”
Throughout Joseph’s life, he credited everything to God. Joseph humbly acknowledged that God’s plan was not for his sake, but for God’s own sake. Joseph knew it is all about God.
I believe that as God’s followers, we need to remember that it is all from Him and for Him. We need to align our hearts with His while taking a stand on the truth. We must be able to discern what is of God and what is not. While it can be challenging, we need to stop being afraid of what people think or say and confront the darkness with the light.
Please, don’t take God out of the equation!
Check out previous blogs on this parashah!
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