The results are in His hands
Mikketz (It Came to Pass) B’resheet/Genesis 41:1-44:17
Haftorah Readings: I Kings 3:15-4:1
Today I have two points for us to ponder. I have read the weekly portions of Torah every week for years and both of these points I have never noticed before so I look forward to sharing these with you today. It will be new for me and I hope for you also.
I would like to start with Genesis 42:1. In this verse we read of a conversation between Jacob and his children. “And Jacob saw that there was food in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, Why are you looking at each other.”
We must reflect back on what was the situation in the middle east as he spoke these words. The seven years of plenty had come and gone and the land was in the grip of a severe seven year famine. People and livestock were in danger of starving because of the lack of a harvest. Back in Canaan the situation had become desperate.
Jacob was old and still mourning his lost son. However, he was still the patriarch of the clan and head of the family. We can almost hear the sting in his voice when he spoke to his sons the verse we began with. He said in effect, “Why are you sitting around looking at each other?” The Hebrew word used for “looking at each other” gives us a feeling of his frustration with his sons for their lack of action. They sat, “while Rome burned” waiting for someone else to make the first move. Jacob took action and told them, or sent them to Egypt to buy food. Though he was aging he was still the head of the family and his grown sons did as he commanded.
There are other examples of lack of action that we can find in scripture. When Israel was on the shore of the Reed Sea and Pharaoh’s army was fast approaching we read this verse in Exodus 14:15, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” Basically saying, enough time for talking get on with it.
We see it again with Joshua after the people had been defeated when they attacked the city of Ai. Joshua fell down before G-d to pray and inquire what had gone wrong. G-d answered in Joshua 7:10-11. His first words to Joshua were , “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face.” He then went on to tell Joshua why they had been defeated. Don’t just lie there on the ground. As their leader you need to sort this out. In both of these cases G-d reminded Moshe and then Joshua that action was needed now and to stop wasting time.
We see examples, not only in the Hebrew Scriptures but also in the Messianic Scripture. In Acts, after witnessing to Shaul, Ananias urged Shaul, “And now why do you wait? Rise be baptized, wash away your sins, calling on His name, there is no time to lose.” In John 9:4 Yeshua told His disciples, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day, night is coming when no man can work.”
In these days it is so important that we not sit around or waste time. We are to conduct our lives wisely and do the work G-d has given each of us to do. I pray we will grasp G-d’s role for us, hold on to it at all cost and be quick to do it. The time is now. The night is coming.
Now to my other question of the week. The name of our portion this week is Miketz. This word has a number of meanings. Maybe our verse will help us to understand more clearly. The verse reads, “Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold he stood by the river.” Last week we read where Joseph, after interpreting the dream of the butler, asked him to remember him when he was freed and returned to Pharaoh’s court. Our last verse last week, Genesis 40:23 said the chief butler forgot him. Now our portion this week begins with the words of Genesis 42:1. “Then it came to pass at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold he stood by the river.”
I believe the words, “Miketz” or “Then it came to pass” means that these sequence of events were not random but were part of G-d’s predetermined plan. Each of these people, the butler, Joseph and Pharaoh had a part to fulfill. G-d had a plan. He is the Maker of heaven and earth. He set the world into motion. The events of our lives are part of His plan. His plan will not be delayed or stopped.
The issue is our role in His plan. His plan here was to provide a way for Israel to be rescued from the famine sweeping the known world. Each of the people had a part, or a role to play. If one of them had refused to play his part G-d’s plan would not have been thwarted. Another person would have risen up to bring His plan to fulfillment. G-d gives each of us the opportunity to be used as a part of His plan for our life and to be used to bring His word to someone else. We are not here by accident but by the hand of G-d. The timing is in G-d’s hands as here in our portion. If the butler had acted on Joseph’s request earlier it would have not fit into the plan of G-d. Everything happens on His schedule and on His time frame. Our task is to be ever ready to do our part when called upon and leave the rest in the hands of the Father. Allow the Father to be your guide and light. Do His will for your life and the results are in His Hands.