Parsha Thought – Vayeishev

And he lived

Our Parsha this week continues the story of Jacob’s family, and in particular focuses on the firstborn of Rachel, Joseph.  His story is one small event influencing another, leading somewhere else, and finally ending in the ultimate fulfillment of Elohim’s plan for the children of Israel.  Each event tied to the next creating one continuous story.  One such event is easy to overlook, but without this single encounter this family probably would have died in the famine to come.

A man found him, and behold, he was wandering in the field; and the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” He said, “I am looking for my brothers; please tell me where they are pasturing the flock.” Then the man said, “They have moved from here; for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

Genesis 37:15–17 NASB

This unnamed man with just two lines in Scripture changed the course of Joseph’s life.  Dothan was between 15 and 20 miles from Shechem, and it was unlikely that Joseph would have found his brothers without this direction.  On one hand this man’s part in the story led to Joseph capture, imprisonment, and sale by his brothers.  But on the other, without the events that happened once Joseph found his brothers his family would have starved in the years ahead.

How often in life does it seem to us that our actions have no impact for the kingdom of Elohim?  It is easy to feel like we are wandering in a deserted plain answering unimportant questions of complete strangers.  The nature of humans is to underestimate and negate the positive impact we have.  Yet, in answering a simple question, this man took part in an epic tale where Elohim saves a fledgling nation and paves the way for the rest of the story of the Scriptures.  In just seven Hebrew words he set the stage for the rest of Joseph’s life.

We should constantly be reminded of the words of Yeshua:

“For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.””

John 4:37–38 NASB

Our responsibility is for the moments Elohim gives us.  Be that an encounter with a stranger on the road, or an audience with the king.  If we live our lives to out do each moment we will find that we neglect the simple moments that may have the most impact for Elohim’s plan.  We may not harvest, but we may plant, cultivate, or weed.  Regardless of our role, Elohim is the one who causes growth, and it is He who should receive the glory for each stage.

I have always been told at work to, “be a star where you are.”  We can each come to our position in one of two ways.  First, Elohim places us there.  Second, through our own sin, or the sin of others we come to our current circumstances.  Yet in each Elohim can work His plan.  Never are we in a position in life where we can’t have an impact for the Kingdom of Elohim.  The question is will we, like Joseph, make the most of every opportunity?

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