In this week’s Torah portion (Parasha 11, Vayigash (He approached) - Genesis 44:18 through 47:27) we see Yosef giving credit to YHWH – to whom all credit is due.
Yosef could have said something like, "Look, guys - you threw me into that well and left me for dead – and after some really hard times, I lucked out and ended up as second in command in Egypt. Just look at what I've accomplished and what I'm doing now, and what I’m going to do for you! I TOLD you all, you would someday have to bow down to me!"
But he didn’t do that.
While he had plenty of reasons to blame God for his misfortunes and seemingly endless hardships at the time, he instead gave all the credit where it belonged: To YHWH and His Plans for Yosef! Take a look:
Genesis 45: 4 Yosef said to his brothers, "Please! Come closer." And they came closer. He said, "I am Yosef, your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 But don't be sad that you sold me into slavery here or be angry at yourselves, because it was God who sent me ahead of you to preserve life." (CJB)
Genesis 45: 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his household and ruler over the whole land of Egypt. 9 Hurry, go up to my father, and tell him, 'Here is what your son Yosef says: "God has made me lord of all Egypt! Come down to me, don't delay! (CJB)
How often do WE give YHWH the credit? Do WE rejoice in YHWH or Yeshua when something good happens in our life? When something upsetting happens, do we sit and bemoan the situation, or ask YHWH what the lesson is that He is trying to teach us? How many actually take the time to thank Him for the hot and cold running tap water flowing out of the kitchen faucet?
See what I mean? YHWH takes care of HIS people by giving and taking away (Job 1:21). He ALLOWS us to fall and fail so that we can learn and grow from the experience; He ALLOWS us to reap what we sowed!
For instance, if you’ve abused your body with gluttony of any kind over the course of your life; or through the use of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol, He doesn’t suddenly restore your health, just because you’re now a “believer”. You made your bed; you get to lie in it.
He even did that to Moshe (Moses), remember? Moshe – after everything he did - didn’t get to go into the Promised Land. Know why? Because he disobeyed some commands, and even took glory for himself. (You can read all about this issue in our website article.)
YHWH knows who will and won’t eventually come to Him, and He reaches out to those who will … even though they don’t realize it at the time! In the end, they will still reap what they sowed; but once someone has given their life to Him, they simply learn to deal with things differently. The road becomes a lot smoother once we are on HIS Path!
Many of our paths have been crooked because HE needed us to take some detours that caused us to learn or realize something; or perhaps He needed us to pick up some skills along the way for later use. Unfortunately, when “detours” happen, many don’t get the hint, and tend to sit around to whine and complain, blaming God for not answering their prayers. They refuse learn or grow, because they’re “lukewarm” and “half-hearted” (Revelation 3:16) They’ve basically “stuck their big toe into God’s wide and warm swimming pool, but refused to jump in head-first” to discover the plethora of endless blessings waiting to be had.
That’s when He usually leaves us right where we are. One either learns and grows on a daily basis … or not. The choice is ours to make.
The bottom line is: It’s all a matter of maturity and perspective!
Our lives could be a lot easier if we were more like Yosef, constantly remembering that YHWH is in charge, and that He establishes our steps. All we have to do is to recognize and accept His guidance – for, in the end, He makes our paths straight and smooth, as we make our way through that “narrow gate that leads to life” (Matthew 7:13-14)….
Proverbs 16:9 A person may plan his path, but Adonai directs his steps. (CJB)
Proverbs 19: 20 Listen to advice, and accept discipline, so that in the end you will be wise. 21 One can devise many plans in one’s mind, but Adonai’s plan will prevail. (CJB)