Parashat Vayigash (And He Approached)
Beresheet (Genesis) 44:18–47:27
In my previous blog entry, His Perfect Plan (Pt. 2), I wrote that in the same way Joseph knew his brothers, but they did not recognize him until an appointed time, so it is with Yeshua our Messiah. He knows His brothers (i.e. Israel, the Jewish people), but Israel as a whole will not recognize Him until an appointed time which God alone knows:
And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born.
In this week's reading, Joseph reveals who he is to his brothers in a very moving account, which is recorded in Chapter 45. I would like to address two important points in this portion.
The first one is found in verse 5:
And now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
Joseph was able to recognize the reason for what he went through, which had nothing to do with him, but that rather through this difficult experience, God intended to “preserve life” (i.e. to save Israel). Messiah Yeshua also suffered a similar experience. As I've written before, there is an incredible parallel between Joseph’s life and that of Yeshua's. God allowed Yeshua to go through what He went through in order to “preserve life” as well, however in this case, not just Israel but also the entire world:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
The second thing I'd like to point out is Joseph’s incredible heart. His heart, fully summited to God’s plan, was full of forgiveness and grace. Joseph had every right to be angry with his brothers for what they did to him, and to show them no mercy. He also could have been angry at God! However, Joseph had a deep understanding that everything he had gone through was for a purpose. He knew that God allowed it to happen, and instead of being angry at God for all that he had suffered, he kept a soft heart toward Him.
But this is a choice, my brothers and sisters! Not allowing our hearts to grow hard and bitter toward God is something each one of us must choose. Is there an area of hurt in your past that you still choose to hold on to and not forgive? Or perhaps you are angry at God for allowing you to suffer as you did? May I suggest that you think for a moment what would be if Yeshua our Messiah did not forgive the wrong that was done to Him? (Luke 23:34)
I never want to lessen the hurt that anyone has endured, but I also want to encourage you to remember that God allows certain wrongs to happen in our lives, so that through them, we can follow Yeshua's example, submit to His plan, and display His amazing love and forgiveness to those who hurt us. There is an immense amount of freedom when you choose to forgive and show grace. It's not easy, but it's always worth it.