Miketz - December 19, 2020

Torah Portion:
Miketz - December 19, 2020

Torah: Genesis 41:1-44:17
Haftarah: 1 Kings 3:15-4:1
Portion Summary:
—Pharaoh has disturbing dreams, and his cupbearer finally remembers Joseph.
—Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and advises how to avert catastrophe.
—Joseph is exalted to Pharaoh’s right-hand man.
—Famine reaches the family of Jacob and he sends all his sons but Benjamin to get grain from Egypt.
—Joseph recognizes his brothers, but they don’t know him. He speaks harshly to determine their hearts and demands to see their youngest brother.
—The family uses up all their grain and must return to Egypt with Benjamin.
—Joseph tests his brothers once more.

Devotional by Janet Cothrell:
A Burden of Guilt
“Then each man said to his brother, ‘We’re truly guilty for our brother. We saw the distress of his soul when he begged us for mercy, but we didn’t listen. That’s why this distress has come to us.’ Reuben answered them and said, ‘Didn’t I tell you, “Don’t sin against the boy?” But you didn’t listen. Now, see how his blood is now being accounted for.’” Genesis 42:21-22 (TLV)

Joseph disguised himself as an angry, suspicious magistrate not to torture his brothers, but as a test to see if they were still the same men who sold him into slavery. As he listened in on their conversations, they did not know that Joseph could understand every word.

The brothers’ fear of retribution for their crimes was obvious and longstanding. They had been living with a deep feeling of guilt ever since they allowed themselves to be ruled by their jealousy and hatred. Their guilty consciences would have been a heavy burden due to a debt they could not repay.

The brothers seemed to view their past crimes through the lens of “karma,” meaning that they would be ultimately judged by cosmic justice that rewards the good and punishes the bad. That is not how our God works! He knew what they would do and used their atrocious behavior for the advantage of the family by bringing them into the shelter of Egypt.

Are you feeling guilty because of words, actions, or thoughts that came from you and were harmful to others? If so, you can confess it and ask forgiveness of them and of the Lord. If you can’t (as the brothers thought), you can always go directly to God and ask for forgiveness. He is able to use even our mistakes in His plans. He has many ways of healing!

Father,
Thank You for Your readiness to forgive and heal. I ask that You forgive me for and heal the damage I am responsible for. I submit to You and Your wisdom to redeem even my mistakes.
In Yeshua’s name, amen.
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