Parashah V’Yeshev (and he dwelt) Genesis 37-40

We now learn the history of Joseph’s life, starting with his bad report on his brothers and ending with his interpretation of the dreams of his prison mates.

Along the way we read about an incident in Judah’s life- why now? Why here?

What does the significance of Judah’s experience have to do with the life of Joseph in captivity?

 

Don’t Talk for God

I often read from postings on different discussion groups, Hebrew Roots, Messianic and Christian, of people telling others exactly what is right and wrong in God’s eyes.
Now, there are many things God tells us about Himself, but there are many things He doesn’t.
God gave us commandments, rulings, judgments and statutes (613, to be exact), but what about those things not mentioned? If God says to celebrate a certain festival, does that mean we cannot celebrate any other kind of festival? Too often I read people stating absolutely if it isn’t given by God, then whatever is man-made is wrong and against God.
My question is: “Who are we to decide what is God’s will?”

Approaching Jews About Yeshua

People who have been raised as Christians, no matter what denomination, cannot understand what it is like to be a Jewish person who is approached about Jesus.

Many people I have talked to in the Messianic or Hebrew Roots congregations I have belonged to tell me they haven’t heard anyone they know do or say the things I tell them about, but that’s because they have been hanging around with people who have a heart for the Jewish people, and accept their Jewish roots.

There are some very important rules you need to follow when you are talking to Jews, and if you don’t follow them you will be wasting your time.

 

Parashah V’Yishlach (And he sent) Genesis 32:4 – 36

Jacob returns to his homeland and hears that Esau is coming to meet him, with 400 armed men. splits his camp, then sends gifts from his flocks, a bunch at a time, to his brother in order to try to appease his anger.

But what is important to note is that before he sent gifts, he prayed to God, reminding God that He told him to return, and of God’s promise to protect him.

After this, Jacob wrestles with an angel, and prevails.  What meaning does this have for us? When we have Tsouris in our life, who do we wrestle with?

 

Parashah V’Yetze (And he went out) Genesis 28:10 – 32:3

Jacob leaves his home, travels to his Uncle Laban and while living there gains his wives and all his children except Benjamin. There is strife between them, though, as Jacob’s flocks get healthy and large while Laban’s grow weaker. Jacob leaves secretly and Laban goes after him to recover his daughters, but God warns Laban to do no harm to Jacob, so they meet, make a pact of peace and Laban returns home.

During Jacobs time with Laban, Laban deceives Jacob, Jacob deceives Laban, and Rachel deceives them both.  How can it be that the Father and Mother of the tribes of Israel are such sneaky people?

Constantine Wasn’t the First

With the Christmas season already upon us (thanks to advertisers) there is a lot of “chatter” on Face Book regarding the pagan origins of this holiday (‘holiday’ meaning man-made, whereas ‘holy day’ is God-ordained) and how Constantine used it to bring the pagan Romans under the Christian banner, so to speak, by substituting this holiday for the pagan one.

But did you know that he wasn’t the first leader to do something like this?

Why No One Understood Yeshua

Yeshua (Jesus) taught from the Torah, which was very familiar to the Jews in the First Century, so why is it, then, that we are constantly told no one understood His messages? Even the Apostles, His closest friends and followers, had to ask for an explanation.

Perhaps it was because He was teaching the “advanced” course, and they were all still just learning the basics?

Was I Saved Before I Knew About the Torah?

A wonderful movement in Christianity that is gaining momentum is the Hebrew Roots movement. Basically, this is made up of Christians (mostly Gentiles) who are discovering the roots of their faith, the “real” Jesus (Yeshua) and the truth that the Torah has not been done away with, but is still valid for them, and all who accept the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as the Messiah God promised to all, Yeshua (Jesus) as their Messiah.

But some of the wrong attitudes inherent in “Constantine Christianity” are being seen in this new movement.