Day 6: Miketz/Genesis 43:30-44:17
As the sons of Israel left Egypt to go back to their father, Y’akov, Yosef’s household steward placed the silver cup into the sack of Benjamin. The reason is, simply, a test. Yet, the cup has something to do with divination for Yoseph. The idea of divination, from a Hebrew perspective, can be seen as something other than the evil practice of sorcery. The word used for divination, nachash, also means serpent; to learn from experience; and to diligently observe. Let’s break each of these down for just a moment.
Modern-day aspects of life tell us that one way of learning about people is to watch them. Socially and privately, many people will have an end of the day glass of wine. From their perspective, sipping some wine or another beverage is a way to wind down and observe their surroundings. This observation tells a person about the etiquette, attitudes, slothfulness of other people, as well as, watching for drunkenness. An observer, even over a cup of wine, can circumnavigate a room with his eyes and learn a host of knowledge about everyone in the room.
Likewise, while one is watching and observing, they learn, not just actions and reactions, but about life experiences and mistakes. This would teach an astute observer both what to do for success and what to avoid for failure. Moreover, learning about the experiences of others through relationships and communal meals are times that teach us the character of others and what to expect from their behavior.
Are they consistently shifting blame? Do they own up to the truth and/or consequences? Both of these diagnostics can be seen in what Yosef did with the sons of Israel. He diligently observed his brothers, specifically Simeon, for a longer period of time than the others. He learned their behavioral patterns by observation.
A riveting question in the mind of Yosef would have been if his brothers had changed their heart attitudes from the time they sold him into slavery. Had his brothers learned wisdom and temperance; or, were they still impetuous and controlled by emotions and intolerant of others’ shortcomings? Yosef needed to understand to know if it was the right time for disclosing himself to his.
As the last aspect to the word divination/nachash, we see it meaning serpent or snake. This seems to be disjointed from the rest of the meanings since it seemingly points to Lucifer. But, it is still germane.
If used for evil intent and influenced by the adversary, divination is sorcery plain, and simple. HaSatan wants us to be out of YHVH’s will and to exist in his realm of unclean and banishment. However, we should note that the serpent also has a prophetic role of restoration. Not only would the serpent’s head be crushed by the Righteous seed, but the serpent was used by Moshe to reveal the suffering Messiah on an execution stake. All who looked at Moshe’s raised, brazen serpent were healed of the bites of the fiery serpents, which YHVH had sent as punishment.
In a similar way, we see Yosef set up by YHVH to rule over the people. He has suffered for the sake of being placed into a position to rescue Israel from famine and to allow the Father time to grow Israel into a nation, their namesake. When his brothers eventually look upon Yosef as their brother, healing and restoration do occur.
Each of us is handed a cup in this life. It is either a cup of salvation or a cup of reeling. Nonetheless, it is the same cup.
For those who call upon the name of YHVH, through our Messiah, Salvation is found. Those who refuse and refute Yeshua’s suffering for their sake, rejecting the redemptive actions of YHVH, this same cup is a cup of judgment and will cause them to stagger in greater confusion concerning the Redeemer. Just like the word used for divination, the cup can be seen to help or harm, giving salvation or judgment. It is not our place to compose what we think is in the cup or what the future specifically holds. Our place is to observe, learn by experience, and behold the sufferings of Messiah for our sake. This is the cup of Life that is held up to us.
What cup is in your hand? Allow the Ruach to reveal to you His plan of ongoing salvation through the varied experiences that He is bringing into your life. Seek His counsel on what is taking place around you and do not be fooled by the enemy’s counterfeits of success, soothsaying, or beguiling.
Dwell upon Isaiah 51:21-23, “Therefore, please hear this, you afflicted, who are drunk, but not with wine: Thus says your YHVH, YHVH, even your Elohim Who contends for His people, behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of reeling, the chalice of My anger; you will never drink it again. I will put it into the hand of your tormentors…”