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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

VaYigash 11-4

And (he) approached

Genesis 45:19-27

But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.

Gen. 45:27 NIV

Who is able to not be affected by circumstances?

Our father Yaakov's spirit had been very still for 22 years. During this period of time, the Torah calls him “Israel" in some moments (42:5; 43:6, 8, 11; 45:21) leading us to believe that his spirit was not totally dead nor that the Spirit of the Eternal had left him completely. However, when he heard the news that Yosef was alive, he could suddenly understand all that had happened and the divine purpose behind the events that seemed so negative; his spirit recovered strength, revived and the Spirit of prophecy operated in him again.

The question that rises is if our father Yaakov couldn't have lived in the Spirit for those 22 years in spite of the negative events Rachel's premature death and Yosef's disappearance. Didn't he have enough promises and spiritual provision to be able to live above those negative circumstances? Certainly yes. If he had paid more attention to divine revelation and if he had trusted in the Eternal's power and goodness, he would have spared himself and his family 22 years of bitterness. The Torah says that Yaakov refused being comforted (37:35). This teaches us that he decided to be negatively affected by what was happening and he gave room to bitterness in his soul.

What would have happened if he had kept a high spirit during those 22 years instead of refusing being comforted? What difference would that have made?

Well, in regard to what happened to Yosef there would have been no difference. The Eternal's plan was in action and it had to be fulfilled. So, things would have gone the same with Yosef regardless of Yaakov's faith or mood, so that the children of Israel would go to Egypt. Then, if Yaakov would have been positive, giving no room to bitterness, without accusing and scolding his sons (42:1; 42:36) they would all have been saved by Yosef anyway. So, if facing negative events with trust and confidence, or facing them in lamentation would not have changed the final results, then, what would be the difference if they would have been saved anyway? The difference would have been 22 years of joy and happiness, full of hope and praise in spite of the pain, instead of 22 years of grief and sadness full of despair and lamentation because of the pain.

Because he chose the negative side, our father Yaakov allowed 22 years of his life to be dark instead of full of light. HaShem fulfilled His plan and promises anyway, blessed be His name!

May the Eternal give us grace to trust in the middle of sorrow, knowing that for those who love the Almighty all things work together for good, so His purposes are fulfilled in our lives (Rom 8:28).

Let's always be joyful,


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