Three Things That Remain
Three Things That Remain
Three Things That Remain
Vayechi = he lived
Vayechi = he lived
In this Torah portion we read about the end of Jacob’s life and the end of Joseph’s life. It is very interesting that we get to see what really matters to a person at the end of their lives.
One of the main things that matter most at the end of our lives is family. When all else passes away our family will still be there. That is why it is so important to be reconciled one to another.
Joseph has had a rocky relationship with his family all through his life . There is hatred, mistrust, betrayal, abuse, favoritism, alliances, lying, this is one big dysfunctional family. But at the end of their lives his brothers want to be be reconciled.
And at the end of his life we see a key to restoration:
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father had died, they said, “Maybe Joseph will be hostile towards us and pay us back in full for all the evil we showed him. So they charged Joseph saying, “Before his death, your father gave a command, saying, “Thus you must say to Joseph: ‘Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin because they treated you wrongly.’ Therefore, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Then Joseph wept when they spoke to him, and his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your slaves!” But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. For am I in the place of God? Yes, you yourselves planned evil against me. God planned it for good, in order to bring about what it is this day—to preserve the lives of many people. So now, don’t be afraid. I myself will provide food for you and your little ones.” So he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
We can see the three things that remain in operation in Joseph’s life.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I’m about to die. But God will surely take notice of you and will bring you up from this land to the land that He swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Then Joseph made Israel’s sons swear an oath saying, “When God takes notice of you, you will bring my bones up from here.”
The other three things that I want to point out from the text is faith, hope, and love.
We see these three things also mentioned in 1 Corinthians 13:13.
But now these three remain— faith, hope, and love. And the greatest of these is love.
Faith Hope & Love have become trendy wall decoration available at Target, Home Goods, Ross and Marshalls
But what is it about those three things that makes them so important?
In the Messianic Congregation of Corinth we see many of the same symptoms of a big dysfunctional family that we saw in the Joseph story of Genesis 50.
Pride, disunity & divisions, cheating, boasting, worldliness, perversion, lawsuits - and this in a Messianic Synagogue!
Remember that Messianic Synagogue in Corinth is mentioned in the book of Acts Chapter 18
Insert Map of Corinth
After these things, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. There he found a Jewish man named Aquila—a native of Pontus having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all Jewish people to leave Rome. Paul went to see them; and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and began working, for by trade they were tent-makers. And he was debating every Shabbat in the synagogue, trying to persuade both Jewish and Greek people. Now when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul became occupied with the message, urgently testifying to the Jewish people that Yeshua is the Messiah.
The Jewish leaders resist Paul, so he turns the Gentiles, but not just any Gentiles, he turns to the G-d Fearers.
After leaving there, Paul went into the house of a man named Titius Justus, a God-fearer whose house was next door to the synagogue. Crispus, the synagogue leader, put his faith in the Lord, along with his whole household. And many of the Corinthians, upon hearing, were believing and being immersed.
Rabbi Paul stays in Corinth for a year and half and leads many Jews and non-Jews to faith in Yeshua.
But the Jewish leaders resist him and take him to court.
But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jewish people, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or a vicious crime, there would be a reason to put up with you, O Jews. But since it is issues about words, names, and your own law, see to it yourselves. I do not wish to be a judge of these.” And he drove them from the judgment seat. Then they all grabbed Sosthenes, the synagogue leader, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio paid no attention to these things.
The Messianic Synagogue had Jews and non-Jewish Believers worshiping together, but they were a very dysfunctional family.
Rabbi Paul writes a letter of rebuke to them to bring correction to them and his conclusion of the matter is that above all they needed three things. Faith, hope, and love.
He says that when everything else passes away, three things will remain. Faith, Hope, and Love. And he says the greatest of these is love.
As I was preparing this message I was reminded of the three things that we have above our doors at CBM.
According to Jewish tradition, there are three things on which the world stands.
Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Hasadem (Chesed)
I believe that there is a correlation between these things and faith, hope, and love.
Torah and faith have a connection. You can not divorce the two.
Example of the Homeless person - staying in addiction for 7 years.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah.
Faith and the Word of G-d have to go together.
For we also have had Good News proclaimed to us, just as they did. But the word they heard did not help them, because they were not unified with those who listened in faith.
You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe—and shudder!
It is not enough just to faith, you must have faith that is based on the Word of G-d.
James chapter 1 tells us that we need to be more than just hearers of the word of G-d, we need to be doers of the Word of G-d.
The Torah is the foundation - but we need to full counsel of G-d from Genesis to Revelation.
The same G-d that wrote with His finger on the stone “Thou shall not commit adultery” also wrote with His finger in the sand to protect the woman who was caught in adultery.
There is power in the word of G-d.
Yeshua upholds the entire universe by the power of His word (Hebrews 1)
All things were created through Him and for Him. He is the image of the invisible G-d and He existed before all things and He holds all things together (Colossians 1:15-17).
There is power in the Word of Yeshua.
Testimony of Bella Family
The next connection that would like to make is between hope and avodah.
Avodah is translated as divine service, such as prayer and worship.
Because we have hope we can worship G-d, because we have hope we can pray and praise.
So by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. We have this hope as an anchor of the soul, both firm and steady—a hope that enters the inner place behind the curtain.
What is the difference between faith and hope. Faith looks back to what G-d has said and what He has done in the past. Hope believes that He will do it again in the future.
Because G-d did it back there we believe that He will also do it up there.
The last connection I would like to make is between love and acts of loving kindness (G’milut Chasedim)
We love, because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For the one who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: that the one who loves God should also love his brother.
Because we love G-d we will love others.
I would encourage all of us to have these things remain in our lives.
Faith that is anchored in Scriptures
Hope that manifests in prayer in praise
Love that expresses itself in acts of loving kindness to others.