Sin and Unrepentance
In this weeks reading from Parashat Miketz (Bereshit / Genesis 41:1-44:17) Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dreams and provides the prophetic interpretation that was given to him from God (Bereshit / Genesis 41:25-32). Pharaoh is impressed with Joseph’s interpretation and states saying לח וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה אֶל-עֲבָדָיו הֲנִמְצָא כָזֶה אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים בּוֹ: 41:38 Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is a divine spirit?” (NASB) As a result, Pharaoh places Joseph in charge over all of Egypt (Bereshit / Genesis 41:40-45). While reading through this week’s Parashah, during adversity or during times of prosperity, Joseph consistently gives credit to and calls upon the Lord God Almighty (Bereshit / Genesis 41:14-16). Interestingly, reading through this week’s and last week’s Parashah, both Joseph and Jacob (Bereshit / Genesis 43:11-15) make references to the Lord God. Joseph’s brothers however do not. They do however acknowledge the fact of their sin against their brother Joseph and selling him into salvery.
כתבי הקודש / The Holy Scriptures
ספר בראשית פרק מ
יד וַיִּשְׁלַח פַּרְעֹה וַיִּקְרָא אֶת-יוֹסֵף וַיְרִיצֻהוּ מִן-הַבּוֹר וַיְגַלַּח וַיְחַלֵּף שִֹמְלֹתָיו וַיָּבֹא אֶל-פַּרְעֹה: [שני] טו וַיֹּאמֶר פַּרְעֹה אֶל-יוֹסֵף חֲלוֹם חָלַמְתִּי וּפֹתֵר אֵין אֹתוֹ וַאֲנִי שָׁמַעְתִּי עָלֶיךָ לֵאמֹר תִּשְׁמַע חֲלוֹם לִפְתֹּר אֹתוֹ: טז וַיַּעַן יוֹסֵף אֶת-פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר בִּלְעָדָי אֱלֹהִים יַעֲנֶה אֶת-שְׁלוֹם פַּרְעֹה:
Bereshit / Genesis 41:14-16
41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh. 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ 41:16 Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.’ (NASB)
The Scriptures from the Torah do not give us the details on exactly how Joseph’s brothers are dealing with their sin against their brother, and their relationship with God. Though, in Bereshit / Genesis 42:22, it appears that they had discussed what they had done and that Reuben believes they are reaping the consequences of their sins כב וַיַּעַן רְאוּבֵן אֹתָם לֵאמֹר הֲלוֹא אָמַרְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם | לֵאמֹר אַל-תֶּחֶטְאוּ בַיֶּלֶד וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם וְגַם-דָּמוֹ הִנֵּה נִדְרָשׁ: 42:22 Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’; and you would not listen? Now comes the reckoning for his blood.” (NASB) Had they prayed to the Lord for forgiveness for their sin? Did they have the right to ask help from God living unrepentent lives before their Father in Heaven and on earth? According to Tehillim / Psalms 7:12 David says יג אִם-לֹא יָשׁוּב חַרְבּוֹ יִלְטוֹשׁ קַשְׁתּוֹ דָרַךְ וַיְכוֹנְנֶהָ: 7:12 If a man does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He has bent His bow and made it ready. (NASB) In the Psalms it is written אִם-לֹא יָשׁוּב “if he does not repent” the one who doesn’t repent is like the man who puts the finishing touches (יִלְטוֹשׁ) on his sword and bow and prepares for war. The unrepentant man prepares himself for war with God and is unable to seek help from the Lord. The Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 17ἀδιαλείπτως προσεύχεσθε, 5:17 pray without ceasing; (NASB) The Greek text says literally to “offer prayers continuously.” Ephesians 6:18 states 18διὰ πάσης προσευχῆς καὶ δεήσεως προσευχόμενοι ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ ἐν πνεύματι, καὶ εἰς αὐτὸ ἀγρυπνοῦντες ἐν πάσῃ προσκαρτερήσει καὶ δεήσει περὶ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων, 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, (NASB) Romans 12:12 states 12τῇ ἐλπίδι χαίροντες, τῇ θλίψει ὑπομένοντες, τῇ προσευχῇ προσκαρτεροῦντες, 12:12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, (NASB) The text in Romans says literally “προσευχῇ προσκαρτεροῦντες” “to be devoted to prayer that is directed towards God.” Joseph’s brothers did not and could not petition the Lord for help because they refused to confess their sins before God, before their father Jacob, and their brother Joseph. In fact, they couldn’t pray at all until this sin has been taken care of. Is there sin in your life today that goes unrepentant like Joseph’s brothers? Is it possible to seek help from the Lord in prayer in Yeshua’s name without first turning from sin and unrepentance? BTT_Parashat Miketz-2012