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Drawing near to God GEN 44:18-47:27

PARASHA: “VaYIGASH” (and he drew near)

GENESIS 44:18-47:27..........EZEKIEL 37:15-28............MATT 18:1-19:30

In this Parashah, we read that “he (Y'hudah) drew near” to Yosef, and shows himself as truly repentant for his past actions against Yosef, for selling him for the price of a common slave. And we see the reaction of Yosef once he hears Y'hudah, he then reveals himself as his TRUE self, their BROTHER. Before, Yosef stood in front of his brothers as “judge” now he stands before them with “open arms” as “Family” “Savior” “Provider” Mashiach. But it took a repentant and contrite heart to bring about the “revelation”.

It is interesting that “Y’hudah” offers to exchange places with Benjamin. He would stay and be a slave to Yosef, and Benjamin would be set free. We can see the symbolism in our relationship with Messiah Yeshua. The name “Y’hudah” bears the holiest name of Adonai, the letters YHVH. We see the complete spelling in Hebrew; Yod, Hey, Vav, Dalet, Hey. Y’HUDH. The letter “D’ (dalet) symbolizes a “door” and it is one of Yeshua’s titles; “I AM the Door” (John 10:9). Our relationship with our Heavenly Father must come through Yeshua, who is the “door”. As Y’hudah was willing to change places with Benjamin, Yeshua DID change places with us, He took our sins and gave us His righteousness, our sinfulness for His Holiness.

Before we come to Yeshua as a repentant sinner, He is our JUDGE, and as a Holy God, and Judge, he has the right to judge us guilty as lost sinners, yet all this change when we come and accept him as Savior and LORD, THEN, our position changes, we become members of “Mishpochah Adonai” (Family of God) and Yeshua is our mediator to our Heavenly Father. Yeshua is no longer our “judge” but our Savior, Redeemer, Messiah, (Yeshuah, Goel, Mashiach)

We see something similar. Pharaoh (who some believe bore the name “Senoset”) was ruler of Egypt, and Yosef was his “right-hand man” or Viceroy” Prime Minister if you could call him that. Yosef had to get Pharaoh's permission for his family to go down to Egypt, and of course, permission was granted. For us to get right-standing before our Holy God, we go through Yeshua, who is GOD, in the flesh, as Yosef was “Pharaoh” in a sense, when Pharaoh could not leave the palace. Yosef spoke in “Name of” Pharaoh, as Yeshua represents the Father who is in Heaven.

…..We see the words of Yosef in 45:3 “Ani Yosef!” powerful words, what do they symbolize in the ancient Hebrew letters, “Ani” (I) “Alef” (strong leader, God) “Nun” (who gives life) “Yod” (does mighty works) and the name “Yosef” : “Yod” (who does works) “Vav” (connects) “Samekh” (to lean on, to support, to uphold) “Pey” (mouth, to speak) so, the name “YOSEF” in certain words can mean “He who does might works, speaks to (us) (to his brothers) and connects them to him through support.

The words; “Ani Yosef” if spoken to others that were not his kin, would not have caused a reaction, the same way if we would say to someone who does not know us; “I am _______” (and you say your name), the other person would probably say; “so what?’ or “OK, I am ______” But these words, spoken to his brothers caused a sort of “mixed-emotion” reaction, troubled at these words, they could hardly believe their hearsS and seeing their brother dressed as an Egyptian, but now, the family is reunited again. As family members, we often offend others and even God through our negative actions, yet once sins are confessed, and the wrong-doing understood and dealt with, the hurts are mended, and there is forgiveness, in this case, Yosef forgiving his brethren.

He spoke words of comfort to his brothers, promising them “support” throughout the years of famine, they could “lean on him” and thus have that “connection” so we see that “Yosef” (I know, everyone is used to spelling it “Joseph” (the regular English spelling) but the Hebrew does not have a “J” so “Yosef” is the correct and original spelling. “Yosef” is related to our “Messiah Yeshua” in that “Both have spoken words of comfort to us, through His WORD, and we are connected to him through his blood and being “born again” and we can “Lean on Him” who has set captives free. Yosef, who once was a captive slave, went down to Egypt, sold for 20 pieces of silver, (the price of a slave back then) and became the “Savior” of many lives through the distribution of food in that time of famine.

Yeshua, who went “down to Egypt” as a baby. Came “up out of Egypt” and was sold for “30 pieces of silver” (the price of a slave then in his times) and became the “Savior” of the world, and saved the world of “Spiritual death and spiritual famine”

We see in Chapter 47 that “Jacob” (who is ISRAEL now) goes down to Egypt, with his family of 70 (includes children, grandkids, servants, etc.) “Israel” and “Yosef” meet. Yosef's legal name is “Yosef Ben Israel” or “Ben Jacob” the name ISRAEL comes from “Yasher El” (straight to GOD) Yosef is happy to see “Abba” again and goes “straight to God” as we believers should be happy to go “straight to God” through Yeshua.

Jacob at the beginning does not believe his sons when they told him that Yosef was alive, it took the evidence of the cartloads of food and goods from Egypt to convince him. He had to see in order to believe. The same thing was with Thomas, the talmidim of Yeshua told him that Yeshua was there, that he was alive, be he didn’t believe them until Yeshua appeared to Thomas. He told him to put his hand on the nail wounds, and on the spear wound, and “believe” and not to “disbelieve”. Anyone can believe when confronted with the physical evidence, but “Blessed are those that believe and do not see” (the physical evidence). That is what faith is all about.

This is the beginning of Israel's “sojourn” in the land of Egypt, interesting fact, “Yosef” in a way “Enslaved the Egyptians” by taking from them their land, cattle, money, in exchange for food. Later on, the “worm turned” and the Egyptians, under the power of a different Pharaoh (who some think was “Ahmose”) enslaved ISRAEL, until the time of Moshe.

Israel is still enslaved to tradition, religiosity, blind eyes that refuse to recognize Messiah Yeshua, as the promised “Mashiach” that the Torah speaks of. Yet many are coming to Mashiach, but there are still many more that need “Yeshuah” (Salvation)

EZEKIEL 37:15-28

Here, “Yeches’kel Ha Navi” (Ezekiel the Prophet) sees the joining of Judah and the children of Israel, and Yosef, with his son Efrain” and they are joined together as ONE (Echad) “One in Unity” Once they were separated, Yosef and his sons in Egypt, and Israel, Judah, and his brothers, in Canaan, but NOW, together as ONE FAMILY. As we are also ONE (echad) in Messiah Yeshua's love. We are “Kehilah Echad” (One congregation united in Yeshua) even though there are thousands of “Kehilot” all over the world, our relationship in Yeshua makes us ONE.

MATT 18:1-19:30

Yeshua says that “unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. A child is “innocent” and has an eager mind to learn. When we are “born again” we start anew, like “little children” and slowly “grow into maturity” yes, we will stumble and fall, get into trouble, and get “spanked” by the Father, but HE will still love us as HIS CHILDREN.

Matt 18:8,9 often causes one to think twice. “If your hand or foot becomes a snare for you, cut it off and throw it away…If your eye is a snare for you, pluck it out and cast it away..”

Why did Yeshua use this terminology? Certainly, this is not literal. Of course not. If not literal, it has to be moral and spiritual. The end focus is heaven. It is the physical against the spiritual. One way we can look at this is that we do things with our hands and feet. Our hands perform actions and our feet take us to different places. We must be careful that we don’t participate in actions that can hinder our spiritual growth. We must be careful not to go to certain places or events that are completely worldly that could affect our relationship with Messiah.

How about what we see. We see with our eyes and we must take care of what we watch. Does what we watch (on TV or on the Net) cause a stumbling block in our spiritual walk. Does it hinder our growth? If it does, better “cast” our eyes elsewhere.

Our future hope is Heaven, in Yeshua, we are secure, yet what we do here on earth as believers will have either a positive or negative effect in Heaven. A loss or gain of rewards. SO, what we do here will “eternally” affect us! Just think on that! (and I am speaking to myself too, big-time!)

Shabbat Shalom...Ben Avraham

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