Parashat VaYechi (And he lived)
Beresheet (Genesis) 47:28–50:26
I love the richness of God’s Word and the way the Holy Spirit gives new insight every time we read it. I also love reading through the Scriptures every year; one can read the same verse many times, but in God’s perfect timing, He will reveal just what we need when we need it.
One of the most significant parts of our Scripture reading this week speaks of the “blessing” which Jacob pronounced over his sons before his death. It’s important to note that the ancient biblical blessings always had a prophetic element to them. This is especially true of Jacob’s blessing over his sons. In Genesis 49:1, many of the English translations write, “Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what shall befall you in the days to come.” A more accurate translation would be, “Jacob called his sons and said, ‘Gather together and I will tell you that which will happen to you at the end of days (the last days).’” Clearly, this gives the verse a more specific meaning, and also gives us insight into Messiah Yeshua, and His role in fulfilling this prophetic word. However, it also gives us some more indication of that which is to come in the future.
I believe that this is an important point for us, His followers, to understand today. One of the reasons is that many followers of Messiah wrongly believe that the first part of the Bible (what many refer to as the “old” testament) is of no relevance for the Body of Messiah today. My friends, if in Genesis 49:1 it speaks of the Last Days, then how can it be irrelevant to us today?
When Paul wrote “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16), to which Scripture was he referring? Was the New Covenant already written and compiled at that point? Or was Paul referring to the same set of books that he loved so much and quoted from so much in his writings — the Hebrew Scriptures? He was referring to the Hebrew Scriptures, of course!
My dear brothers and sisters, while this is not an issue of salvation, in order for one to truly understand God’s perfect plan for salvation, as well as His plan for our lives and the way He desires us to live, one must read His Word from the beginning. Yeshua said:
Do not think that I came to abolish (cancel) the Torah (Law) or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish (cancel), but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished. Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
I want to invite you to join the team of Hope for Israel and me as we journey through the Scriptures in a year. We are together reading through the entire Bible in 2020 and I would be delighted to have you read along with us!
We all have a choice in what will guide, inspire, and encourage us. Will you choose His Word to do this in your life?
Did you know? — Lone Soldier
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