The readings for this week are called VaYeshev – “And He Settled”:
This week we begin the story of Joseph and his brothers
*Genesis 37:11. “His brothers were jealous of him [Joseph’s prophetic dream], but his father kept the matter in mind” (NKJV). A more literal rendering of the Hebrew might be: “but his father guarded the word.” (Luke 2:51 tells how Miriam (Mary) similarly “kept, guarded” the prophetically significant words and occurrences which were taking place with her young son Yeshua).
Both the Torah and Haftarah for this week focus upon God’s prophetic gifts for His people, particularly as they are and shall be released upon the godly young (See also Joel 2:28-32). As the Lord returns to Zion with deliverance and an outpouring of His Spirit,
PLEASE PRAY for mature instruction in the prophetic amongst Israelis—when and how to share prophecies and dreams; how to “guard” and save a Word of the LORD until its time comes to fruition; also how to guard against giving place to the flesh which can awaken jealousies towards those who may be more gifted in certain areas than we are.
*Genesis 39:8-9. “But he refused [his master’s wife’s seductive advances] and said, ‘Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house… he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?”
PLEASE PRAY for clean minds and hearts and the Fear of the Lord in believing Israeli youth who are under constant temptation to compromise their integrity and sexual purity. Revelation 14 speaks of 144,000 who will not have defiled themselves. Perhaps there are some of that army already alive in the land! If so, the Evil One will do all he can to divert them from their destiny. Pray for a new wave of bold and victorious youth and young adults governed by godly integrity—who would like Joseph have hatred of the very thought of sinning against their neighbor and their God.
*Genesis 40:8. “And they said to him, ‘We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.’ So Joseph said to them, ‘Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.’” Joseph’s rhetorical question is answered centuries later by another godly young Hebrew captive, Daniel, “But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets…” (Daniel 2:28).
*Amos 2:6. “Thus says YHVH, ‘For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver…’” This is the usual reason given for the choice of this passage as the week’s Haftarah, the connection being the selling of the righteous Joseph by his brothers to Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver (Genesis 37:28). Yet in a strange way, the following verses also make a connection: “A man and his father go in to the same girl, to defile My holy name. They lie down by every altar on clothes taken in pledge…” Genesis 38 relates how a most unrighteous Judah would (unknowingly) go in to the same woman as had his older sons…leaving a signet, cord and staff as pledge.
In this story we see many ways in which the righteous Joseph prefigures Yeshua, the coming Messiah. He here remains pure in the face of temptation, even though it will mean suffering. On the other hand, Judah, through whose seed the Messiah will someday come, is immediately seen as one enslaved to desires of his fallen human nature. God would work sovereign through even his sinful failures (Judah will, in fact, later acknowledge his unrighteousness—38:26; 44:16), so as to guard the passage of the seed He had promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to bless. Over 800 years later, a blessing over Naomi (Ruth 4:12) will be “May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah, because of the offspring which the LORD will give you from this [Ruth] young woman!” That “offspring” would eventuate in David the King… and finally, Yeshua the Hebrew Messiah and Savior of the World.
*Amos 2:11-12; 3:7-8. “ ‘I raised up some of your sons as prophets, and some of your young men as Nazirites. Is it not so, O you children of Israel?’ Says the LORD…Surely the Lord YHVH does nothing, unless He reveals His secret to his servants the prophets. A lion has roared! Who will not fear? The Lord YHVH has spoken! Who can but prophesy?”
PLEASE PRAY for the raising up of sons and daughters in Israel who move confidently and soundly in the prophetic giftings. Pray for the restoration of the office of “Prophet” in the Land. Satan hates this—because the spirit of prophecy involves “the testimony of Yeshua” (Revelation 19:10b), and most of Israel is still behind a veil regarding their Messiah. It is this gift and office which brings clarity, understanding, instruction and encouragement to the Body regarding “what the Spirit is saying to the congregations.” We rejoice to report that we see this gifting beginning to manifest in a powerful and clean way among Jewish and Arab young adults in the Land. Pray Joel 2:28-32 over this young eager generation:
“…I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughter shall prophesy…For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as YHVH has said, among the remnant whom YHWH calls.”
– Your friends in Jerusalem
[The readings for next week are called MiKetz—“At the End Of”. TORAH: Genesis 41:1—44:17; HAFTARAH (Hanukkah): Zechariah 2:10-4:7.]