Do Not Despair – Waiting On The Lord

“After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, …” Gen 41:1

Genesis 40:9-23:
“9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, 
1and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 
11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 
12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 
13 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. 
14 Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. 15 For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”…
20 On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. 
21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. 
22 But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. 
23 Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
Gen 41:1 “After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, …”

Last week’s Torah Portion is in my opinion one of the most significant as it carries so many foundation messages of hope, especially in terms of the coming of Messiah and the redemption of humanity and restoration of the world. I touched on it here: https://globaltruthinternational.com/2012/12/06/from-joseph-through-judah-foretelling-messiah/

And this week’s Torah Portion, Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1-44:17) brings that hope to fruition while carrying a subtle, but very powerful message, bringing comfort in a time of potential despair.

It starts with the phrase After (or at the end of) two whole years, …’.

Yosef/Joseph, is one of the best examples of a ‘type of Messiah’, that is a person whose life and example bears great similarity to the picture that the Bible paints of the eschatological Messiah or Messiahs (Messiah ben Yosef and Messiah ben David).

In these few words we see great import. Yosef had unjustly suffered and was ‘stuck’ in jail praying and hoping for release. His interpretations of the dreams of the chief baker and chief cup bearer had offered a way out – Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house.”

Yet we see here that he had to wait two whole years!

Two whole years in jail, two years of possible despair, of wondering if Yehovah had heard his prayers and when He might answer them. Two whole years in jail, in suffering – plenty long enough to have given up, to despair of ever finding justice and being shown mercy.

Think of you own life – when have you had to wait for something you thought you needed NOW, some prayer that the Almighty would surely answer swiftly and bless you with His response. Yet you were left waiting, and perhaps are even still waiting and perhaps despairing as the pain or suffering is relentless and often seems overbearing and way beyond what you can possibly cope with?

Yosef, our great Messianic figure waited two whole years. Two whole years for one man may equate to two thousand years for all men.

As a primary school child I lived in the days before television. We went to the movie theatre in town most Saturday afternoons for the 2 pm movie. Before the main movie we would watch the next episode in some series. I most remember the Flash Gordon series (this was in the mid 60’s). The episode would almost always end with some high drama and seemingly impossible predicament for Flash Gordon, or the helpless victim that he was trying to save. With great anticipation we would wait all week to see how he would extricate himself or save the poor innocent victim. Though we had no reason to despair, we were at least learning of the need for patience and trust that it would all work out ok in the end.

Similarly, in the days before books and the printed Bible were common-place, the Jewish people would go to the synagogue or Temple every Shabbat and hear the reading of the Torah Portion (this practice dates back to before the time of Yeshua, so it is over 2,000 years old). Imagine some person or child hearing the Torah Portion for the first time. They heard how Yosef had interpreted the dreams and asked to be remembered to the Pharaoh so he might get out of the hell-hole that was jail. But the reading of the Torah Portion ended before they heard the end of the story and if indeed he was saved from jail, shown justice and mercy, and restored to his rightful place.

So this person or child now waits a whole week to hear the great news of Yosef’s ‘escape’ from jail and restoration. And when their week of wondering and excited anticipation is over, they like my childhood movie experience, learn of how Yosef is finally blessed by Yehovah and restored with great honour. But they may also hear the full import and meaning of ‘after two whole years’ – that is, that patience and trust is needed.

It is not in our time, but in God’s time. We need to do our part, but then when circumstances don’t seem to be working out how we think they should, we need to have faith in HaShem, we need to trust that He will act in His time and with His power to make right the wrongs; to ease the pain; to dispense justice and bring restoration and redemption.

Right now, you may feel you are in this place – somewhere in your ‘two whole years’ of waiting and possibly even despairing. This may be at a personal level, or a community or national level. You may see no way forward at this time.

Or it may be that you are looking at the world-wide or universal level in looking for the Great Day of the Coming of Messiah.

Either way, don’t lose hope, take solace from this biblical narrative of Yosef as you seek to see freedom from pain, or you seek justice or even more, to see Messiah ben Yosef. Look up, for your redemption draws near!