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Genesis High Lights: Joseph and Channukah
Part 1 Pit’s to Prominence

Revelation 19;11 Next I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. Sitting on it was the one called Faithful and True, and it is in righteousness that he passes judgment and goes into battle. 12 His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were many royal crowns. And he had a name written which no one knew but himself. 13 He was wearing a robe that had been soaked in blood, and the name by which he is called is, “THE WORD OF GOD.”

-The entire wealth of scripture teaches us about Messiah. The Torah speaks of Yeshua in every stroke and in the lives of the patriarchs we see pictures of the things to come, glimpses into the present and future happenings and most importantly light which connects us to our Savior. These connections can be seen perhaps most prevalently in the life and adventures of Joseph. We see a young man who was hated and sold by his brothers, sent into a foreign place where he rose to great power and was blessed by God. This blessing is present throughout his trials but it is the numerous adversities which make God’s presence with him so evident. Even in a place of spiritual drought, with no support system and the taste of betrayal on his lips…God is with Joseph and his ability to accept his situations with grace and humility, never loosing his God given charisma and spirit is key to the perception of him in the eyes of the other players in this amazing account.
(See this incredible write up of ties between Yeshua and Joseph: http://www.elshaddaiministries.us/Handouts/Joseph_a_type_of_Yeshua.pdf)

Genesis 37;3 Now Israel loved Joseph more that all his sons since he was a child of his old age, and he made him a fine woolen tunic. 4 His brothers saw that it was he whom their father loved most of all his brothers so they hated him; and they could not speak to him peaceably. 5 Joseph dreamt a dream which he told to his brothers, and they hated him even more.
8 His brother’s said to him, “Would you then reign over us? Would you then dominate us?” And they hated him even more- because of his dreams and because of his talk.
18 They saw him from afar; and when he had not yet approached them they conspired against him to kill him. 19 And they said to one another, “Look! That dreamer is coming! 20 So now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, ‘A wild beast devoured him.’ Then we shall see what will become of his dreams.”
23 And so it was, when Joseph came to his brothers they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the fine woolen tunic that was on him. 24 Then they took him, and cast him into the pit; the pit was empty, no water was in it.
31 They took Joseph’s tunic, slaughtered a goatling, and dipped the tunic in the blood. 32 They dispatched the fine woolen tunic and they brought it to their father, and said, “We found this: identify, if you please: Is it your son’s tunic or not? ”

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-ASHEM-to be guilty; to be punished or perish.
NAKAR-to scrutinize; to look intently at; to acknowledge; care for; respect; revere; recognize.

Psalm 5 lines right up with the account of Joseph’s brothers. They were conniving and cooperated in this conspiracy, they somehow were able to reason that Joseph not only didn’t deserve the notation of Leader of the family (which is what the woolen tunic signified) but that death was even a fitting punishment. Punishment for what? The brothers become enemies of Joseph with lies and deceit in their mouths. It is they who are guilty yet they brazenly and intentionally delude their aged father. It is no coincidence that when Judah makes his decent into sin, post Joseph and the pit, his transgressions and guilt are revealed by means of a garment and nearly word for word, the stark and cold question is echoed back to him. [ Genesis 38;15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a harlot since she had covered her face. 16 So he detoured to her by the road…24 Judah was told “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has committed harlotry,…Judah said, “Take her out and let her be burned!” 25 As she was taken out, she sent word to her father-in-law, saying, “By the man to whom these belong I am with child.” And she said, “Identify, if you please, whose are this signet, this wrap, and this staff.” 26 Judah recognized (NAKAR); and he said, “She is right; it is from me.”]
The Psalm reminds us of what Joseph held fast to, the way of HASHEM being before him, that He alone is our refuge and shelter and no matter how dark the pit may be if you seek Him, call to Him and continue to shine his light from within you through these trials…He will find you there and be your shield. Notice that throughout the account of Joseph, he doesn’t complain, he doesn’t ask why, he accepts that all the things that are coming to pass are in the hand of God and trusts that something greater than his own understanding is at work.

Psalm 5;9 HASHEM, guide me in Your righteousness, because of my watchful enemies; make Your way straight before me. 10 For there is no sincerity in the mouth of any of them, their inner [thought] is treacherous; their throat an open grave, their tongue is glib. 11 Declare them guilty (ASHEM), O God, may they fall short in their schemes; cast them away because of their many sins, for they have rebelled against You. 12 But all who take refuge in You will rejoice, they will sing joyously forever, You will shelter them; and those who love Your Name will exult in You. 13 When You will bless the righteous, HASHEM, You will envelop him with favor like a shield.

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I John 3;10 Here is how one can distinguish clearly between God’s children and those of the adversary: everyone who does not continue doing what is right is not from God. Likewise anyone who fails to keep loving his brother is not from God. 11 For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning: that we should love each other 12 and not be like Kayin (Cain), who was from the Evil One and murdered his own brother. Why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. 13 Do not be amazed, brothers, if the world hates you. 14 We, for our part, know that we have passed from death to life because we keep loving the brothers. The person who fails to keep on loving is still under the power of death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him. 16 The way that we have come to know love is through his having laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers!

–Imagine being seventeen, torn from a bosom of comfort and support and tossed into a reality of treachery and unfaithfulness. Imagine having been raised in the life of Torah, God’s standards for holiness, and being plunged into the depths of immorality and idolatry. Shock and woe are insignificant descriptions for what Joseph must have felt. Yet in this place the light of the One God shines through him. The fact that his Egyptian master (and later Pharaoh) know about HASHEM is proof that he has the Name and message of God on his tongue frequently if not at all times. Perhaps this too is how he finds favor with the Lord.
Once again Joseph rises to a position of comfort and begins to rebuild his confidence and contentment in life when he is attacked and tested by the destroyer in the vessel of an amorous and spoiled ‘noblewoman’ of the land, his master’s wife. Again a garment condemns Joseph and again his garment is used in a web of lies and deceit. The fact that Potiphar does not give a foreign Hebrew slave the death penalty for what he is accused of is evidence that he was not convinced of Joseph’s guilt, perhaps it was a fear of vexing that light which shone out from within Joseph that Potiphar witnessed (i.e. fear of the Lord) which keeps Joseph safe from death, yet once more he is cast into a pit.

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Genesis 37;28 Midianite men, traders, passed by; they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit and sold Joseph to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver; then they brought Joseph to Egypt.
39; 1 Potiphar, a courtier of Pharaoh, the Chamberlain of the Butchers, a prominent Egyptian, purchased him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. 2 HASHEM was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; and he remained in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 His master perceived that HASHEM was with him, and whatever he did HASHEM made succeed in his hand.
7 After all these things, his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph and she said, “Lie with me.” 8 But he adamantly refused…
12….she caught hold of him by his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand, and he fled, and went outside.
19 And it was, when his master heard his wife’s words which she spoke to him, saying, “Your slave did things like these to me,” his anger flared up. 20 Then Joseph’s master took him and placed him in the prison- the place there the king’s prisoners were confined- and he remained there in prison. 21 HASHEM was with Joseph, and He endowed him with charisma, and He put his favor in the eyes of the prison warden.
41; 14 So Pharaoh sent and summoned Joseph, and they rushed him from the dungeon.

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–Psalm 34 could very well describe what we are uncovering in the text. This young man who was raised and lived in the righteous ways of HASHEM is repeatedly betrayed and crushed. Could there be an account of more mishaps and troubles? Yet God raises him from this pit as well and this time it is to become the viceroy over all of Egypt. The Psalm beautifully expresses the love of the Father, Who guards His children to the depths of their bones. I can’t help but think of the Son who came with a message for His brothers, the message was not received well and He was put into a pit, even so the Father guarded Him and raised Him up…and when He returns it will be to take that place of glory and honor for eternity. [ John 19;32 The soldiers came and broke the legs of the first man who had been put on the stake beside Yeshua, then the legs of the other one; 33 but when they got to Yeshua and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.]
The Torah Portion Miketz is read during the Feast of Dedication, Chanukah. It is easy to see the connections between the season of remembering the hand of God in all things and commemorating the miracles He performs on behalf of His people in all ages. From these pits it must have looked impossible
to some, for one such as Joseph to rise to such great power.
So too for the Maccabee’s (the group of Hebrew’s who fought against the Greeks in 165 B.C.E. to reclaim and rededicate the Holy Temple in Jerusalem after its defilement during the rule of Antiochas IV).
Imagine an army of 12,000 poorly equipped men who had witnessed civil war, persecution and victimization of their people, and worst of all the sinister implementation of laws which would prohibit the very signs of the Covenant (Torah study, circumcision and Sabbath observance) with the One God. These men had every reason to despair and to assimilate, change and forget the eternal commands of the Lord, but they didn’t…instead they faced, head on, a 40,000 strong Greek army with elite highly trained soldiers, advanced weapons and the tanks of the day (Elephants).
It was not a belief in themselves which drove them, nor was it the thought that their righteousness would grant them victory…it was the faithful commitment to God and trusting in the promises found in His word which state (as in Psalm 34) He redeems His servants and in Him victory is found. [Zechariah 4;6 ‘Not through army nor through strength, but through My Spirit, said HASHEM, Master of Legions.] Like with Joseph the Maccabee’s were granted a miraculous victory and they were then in place to restore the lives of the Jewish people, the lives which were centered around worship of God in His Holy Temple. Now we find Joseph poised to allow for the salvation of the lives of the Gentiles among whom he resided and of his own people. Yet another picture of the Messiah Yeshua, who offers salvation to all peoples. [ Romans 1;16 For I am not ashamed of the Good News, since it is God’s powerful means of bringing salvation to everyone who keeps on trusting, to the Jew especially, but equally to the Gentile. ]

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Psalm 34;18 They [the righteous] cried out and HASHEM heeds, and from all their troubles He rescues them. 19 HASHEM is close to the broken hearted; and those crushed in spirit, He saves. 20 Many are the mishaps of the righteous, but from them all HASHEM rescues him. 21He guards his bones, even one of them was not broken. 22 The death blow of the wicked is evil, and the haters of righteousness will be condemned (ASHEM). 23 HASHEM redeems the soul of His servants, and all those who take refuge in Him will not be condemned (ASHEM).

–As we go through these next portions we will be amazed at the changes which occur in Joseph and in his brothers. We will study the significance of understanding the authority, dominion and continual hand of the Lord in all things, in the lives of the people from the accounts of scripture and in connection with our own experiences and struggles. I can’t think of a better way to “break” than with Deuteronomy 4. This is the picture of a vibrant and very real hope for all of God’s people. No matter where we have been taken or where we have strayed, no matter how dark or lonely the place, no matter how broken hearted or hurt we have become and no matter how impossible things may seem…the Lord will not abandon us in the dark.
The Lights of the Chanukiah shine this message to us today, commemorating His victories and wonders in every generation, a symbol of the everlasting light of Yeshua without whom any service can not even be performed in excellence… I praise God in this and for all times.

Maccabees

Deuteronomy 4;29 From there you will seek HASHEM, your God, and you will find Him, if you search for Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have befallen you, at the end of days, you will return unto HASHEM, your God, and hearken to His voice. 31 For HASHEM, your God, is a merciful God, He will not abandon you nor destroy you, and He will not forget the covenant of your forefathers that He swore to them. 32 For inquire now regarding the early days that preceded you, from the day when God created man on the earth, and from one end of heaven to the other end of heaven: Has there ever been anything like this great thing or has anything like it been heard? 33 Has a people ever heard the voice of God speaking from the midst of the fire as you have heard, and survived? 34 Or has any god ever miraculously come to take for himself a nation from amidst a nation, with challenges, with signs, and with wonders, and with war, and with a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with greatly awesome deeds, such as everything that HASHEM, your God, did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 You have been shown in order to know that HASHEM, He is God! There is none beside Him!

Menorah 8th night

–We gratefully thank You, for it is You Who are HASHEM our God and the God of our forefathers for all eternity; Rock of our lives, Shield of our salvation are You from generation to generation we shall thank You and relate Your praise for our lives, which are committed to Your power and for our souls that are entrusted to You; for Your miracles that are with us every day; and for Your wonders and favors in every season- evening, morning and afternoon. And for the miracles, and for the salvation, and for the mighty deeds, and for the victories, and for the battles which You performed for our forefathers in those days, at this time. In the days of Mattisyahu, the son of Yochanan, the High Priest, the Hasmonean, and his sons- when the wicked Greek kingdom rose against Your people Israel to make them forget Your Torah and compel them to stray from the statutes of Your Will- You in Your great mercy stood up for them in the time of their distress. You took up their grievance, judged their claim, and avenged their wrong. You delivered the strong into the hands of the weak, the many into the hands of the few, the impure into the hands of the pure, the wicked into the hands of the righteous and the wanton into the diligent students of Your Torah. For Yourself You made a great and Holy Name in Your world, and for Your people Israel You worked a great victory and salvation, as this very day. Thereafter, Your children came to the Holy of Holies of Your House, cleansed Your Temple, purified the site of Your Holiness and kindled lights in the courtyards of Your Sanctuary; and they established these eight days of Chanukah to express thanks and praise to Your Great Name.

Baruch attah ADONAI Eloheinu Melech ha’olam
Blessed are You Lord our God King of the universe,
You alone have planted among us life eternal.
Blessed are You LORD our God, Gracious Giver of the Torah.
B’shem Yeshua HaMashiac. Amein.

Avinu Malkeinu
My Father, my King.
Thank You for giving us this time of study, worship, fellowship and delight.
To serve You my LORD is the only honor I pursue,
I pray You will make me continually better and better for the sake of Your use.
Thank You for Your compassion amid the chaos.
Thank You for Your word.
Open our hearts to Your Torah, then our souls will pursue Your commandments.

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