Day 1: Vayeshev/Genesis 37:1-17
Being the messenger can have both its high and low points, all depending on the message, the audience, and the way it is delivered. On the one hand, nobody likes a know-it-all, nor do people like a constantly negative report or naysayer. On the other hand, messengers can be sent on missions of reporting and information gathering. Instead of being inconspicuous, they can divulge too much information, too quickly, and to the wrong people. There is a proper balance that comes with being a messenger that includes tact, humility, and maturity in order to know the who, what, when, where, and how’s of proper information conveyance.
Yacov’s eleventh son, Yoseph, found himself in a place of a prognosticator to his brothers, father and family members. Some of Yoseph’s information came from a spy and in the form of reports of his brothers’ work—these were personally sanctioned and ordered by his father. Other messages where given by YHVH, but not necessarily required to be spoken aloud.
In speaking the truth, both to Yacov about his brothers in the field and to his family about his dreams inspired by the Father, Yoseph placed himself in a negative position. He had become a tattle on his brothers and seemed arrogant in his dreams and visions. Even though YHVH had orchestrated Yoseph’s observations, the reports might have been delivered with more tact. Could it be that Yoseph lacked constraint and humility in his character? Unfortunately, both of these character traits are not abundant in youthful immaturity but are learned through the school of hard knocks, failures, and tribulation.
Yacov gave his sons ample opportunity to thrive or fail. All of his sons were used in the fields and could have chosen to walk righteously. Likewise, Yoseph was continually sent to the field as an informant of sorts. He, too, could have learned some discipline by being a bit more covert, even wiser, in his sharing of knowledge. Knowing that his brothers did not care for him or his insights, sharing inspired dreams of servitude may not have been the brightest idea Yoseph had. Yet, even this was used by YHVH to deliver Israel from famine, setting up the pivotal history of what Israel would become.
YHVH used Yoseph’s youth and naivety for His good and the good of all of Israel. Not only did Yoseph’s dreams foretell the future of his immediate family during the famine, but they foreshadowed the coming of Messiah. While Yoseph had no real idea of the significance or importance of his revelations or his indiscreet tattling, YHVH would use all of it for His perfect outcome and will.
What we do not know may be better for us than we think. If we knew everything in conjunction with what YHVH reveals to us or asks us to do, would we be so eager to do it?
If Yoseph had known the outcome of his dreams or conveyed himself in tact and humility, YHVH may have chosen another conduit for going to Egypt and a different method of implementing a nation for Himself.
This is important to note since all of us are mere humans and cannot understand the fullness of YHVH’s plans for our own lives—not to mention all of Israel or the rest of humanity. Often times, because the Creator’s thoughts are not ours, what we may think is going to happen, even based on inspired foresight and knowledge, does not unfold the way we assume it will or think it should. That does not minimize YHVH’s use of our lives or actions, rather it exemplifies that He is in charge and we are not.
So, where does that leave us in conjunction with being YHVH’s mouthpiece or a messenger relating what He reveals or asks us to report? Exactly where we are right now.
In our ignorance, YHVH is smart. In our wisdom, we are still foolish. We cannot change what YHVH has decreed to take place; and yet, we can help change everything in terms of being true to the call in which YHVH initiates. Like the nation of Israel of old, repentance and obedience can stay the Hand of Judgment, heal our land, and set us on the path of righteousness.
The Father uses the unlearned, the babes in the faith, the immature, the wise, the hardened, and all those in between. Right where we are is where YHVH meets us. If we are called, chosen, and respond to His Ruach, we will be used to implement His plans and destiny for our lives, Israel, and the world.
It comes down to one simple word—Faith. Without faith in YHVH’s plan, voice, instructions, dreams, and visions, our words and our actions are for naught. Furthermore, if we over-analyze or try to make predictions based on our prognostication or seemingly wise insights, YHVH will still use what we do, but it may not bode so well for us as our flesh will have gotten in the way or partaken of a carnal reward not meant for us.
Whether Yoseph understood his dreams, willingly went along as his father’s informant, or purposefully alienated himself from his brothers is not completely clear. At seventeen, though, his immaturity probably veiled his wisdom and could have initiated manipulation.
We, too, are engaged in a reality that is only fully known by YHVH. Being astute enough to do His will and speak, even if it gets us in trouble, maybe what He desires. Our immaturity and naivety are used by the Father, but not excuses to continue walking in ignorance or frivolity. Like Yoseph, each step is used to grow us up into wizened, Ruach-led believers.
We all have character flaws. Yet, as we grow in Messiah, YHVH uses these foibles to bring about His will and purpose for all of us.
Dwell upon Isaiah 55:8-11, “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ declares YHVH. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout, and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.'”