By John D. Mean
Genesis 49:22-26 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
This blessing above others seemed to be an outburst of Jacob’s soul for five verses with no stopping periods a continual flowing like a river. This was Jacob’s blessing after the many experiences the family encountered. Yet by the stalwart backbone of steel and unwavering confidence in His God, it was Joseph that saved the day and brought a beautiful oneness to his family. He could have built his own kingdom, for the key of Egypt was in his hand. But no, the Kingdom of God was his righteousness, also, the preservation of his brothers’ well-being was his heart throb.
Rivalry in the Family
This family was quite divided into four different parts. All four parts with ambitions of mounting the throne. However, one must sacrifice himself if Israel is going to be saved. And the other brothers didn’t mind offering up Joseph, as Caiaphas said of our Blessed Lord Jesus, to bring it to pass. How could a nation, a kingdom, be built with such animosities, divisions, bitterness between brethren and carnality? Joseph torn from the family circle and sold to a band of notorious characters, who did not exactly create the family atmosphere he was used to. On to Egypt he was taken while crying and begging his brethren not to do it. Then to the auction block as the auctioneer called for a buyer. “Twenty pieces of silver! Who’ll make it twenty five? Alright! Who’ll make it thirty? Thirty! Thirty once! Thirty twice! Going and gone!” There it was, as Potiphar walked away with the prize.
Potiphar really didn’t know the one he took home with him that day in chains. It wasn’t long until he learned the chains were not needed to hold his slave, for there were chains stronger than iron that bound him in the plan of divine providence that locked his heart with the heart of God. If perchance, thou suffering one, you be tempted to complain and murmur of your lot in life, why not commit your ways to your Master and thank Him, that as He was with Joseph, so also will He, who is without respect of persons, stand by your side.
The impeccable character of this Hebrew servant landed him the top notch position in the affairs of his master. However, never forget the sinister one is following, plotting his strategy. This time it was not rough treatment and harsh words from a band of Amalekites, but the first lady of the household. Day after day her chief work was the donning of suggestive clothing and planning fair conversation to draw Joseph into some secret affair while the husband was absent.
Joseph, however, had higher plans than the menial. His work was doing the Master’s the Heavenly Master’s business. Joseph met the ol’ gal with her high heels all shiny and polished, with flowing garments all fragrant with perfumes and powders. Joseph, however, came that clay with running shoes on. With his oxfords and fine clothing locked in his room, this was another day to run the race set before him. With his cloak snatched from him, he turned for a last look as his feet got in motion. “Thanks, Mrs. Potiphar. I can do better in this race without it.” As he crossed the finish line that day an enormous outburst of satisfaction flooded his soul.
“God, you’re with me. Thank-you, Lord. That’s all that is necessary.” Suddenly to his amazement, instead of a crown of olive or laurel or the handing out of medallions, it was soldiers with rough treatment, placing him in chains once again, and casting him into the dungeon of an Egyptian prison. “Dear Lord, is this the payment I receive for doing your will and listening to your voice?” “Get up, Joseph, and be a good prisoner. You see, the race is not for the weak and cave-ins, but only for those who feel it’s enough to have Me with them, although they don’t understand all the details. “If this is where you want me, Lord, then I’ll give Egypt a lesson on jail-optics’, a very special course that will land it’s victims a special seat beside the king on his throne.”
Joseph’s coronation day came. He arose, shaved himself and put on new garments. You see, the rigors of the jailhouse didn’t match the same clothing or appearance as he who sits in high places with his Lord. The manners and garments he wears are evidence of the position he holds. One thing is mandatory to follow in Joseph’s foot-steps. You must discern your future and the provisions necessary to validate the claims. Now sitting in high places, with all the authority of Egypt standing behind him, Joseph is in the proper position to give direction to his family and help them get their act together. A strong nation can’t be born when its chief occupation is rivalry and fussing one with another.
God Knows How to Set the Stage
The famine came and all the countries around about Egypt were desperate for food. Reader, take warning. Neither will the land of Promise be exempt, when the breadwinner is not a resident there. This day was a special day as the giver of bread mounted the throne to scrutinize and discern between the worthy and unworthy. The family that came through the doors that day looked rather familiar. Was he quite ready to handle this one? “Oh, yes. I’m ready. But are they ready for me?” The interrogation started. “Is your father alive? Do you have any more brothers?”
Disguising himself and speaking through an interpreter they are accused of being spies, while deep within his heart he wanted to embrace them and return kindness for their gross errors. Oh Joseph, what a prince! Joseph knew, however, these boys were not ready to guard over the holy seed, and prepare for Judah’s Lion until the family learned what is meant by “Brotherly love.”
Dream with Me Awhile
Was Joseph ready to become Prime Minister of Egypt at such a young age at the time when he met his brethren in the field and was sold into Egypt? A thousand times no. He was a soft, pampered son of an older father, who believed the sun set and rose on him. God had to get him out of the parlor and get some of the fine edges knocked off him. He must be made aware of real life it’s more than a bowl of cherries, you know. Did Joseph have the proper credentials to govern Egypt?
Well, this might sound amusing, but he received a dual degree in Agriculture and in Business Administration in Potiphar’s house. Time Management was also one of hid electives. We know he passed with high marks, since his industrious schedule refused him leisure moments to rendezvous with the boss’ wife even against her strong persuasion during his absence. While Potiphar’s household was looking on Joseph after the false report of Joseph’s activity, Joseph was far from the honor roll, with not even the slightest thought of having him deliver the valedictory address. However, in God’s books, he walked to a school of more rigorous training, with a dual degree in his hand, scoring 100.
This time he began working on his degree of Criminal Law and Prison Management. Wow! Isn’t God good?! It didn’t and Prison Management. It didn’t even cost him anything for tuition or board. He was delivered to this school of learning by his master. And worrying about student loans for room and board? Not Joseph! It wasn’t long before he was placed over the whole operation and planned the menu.
Sometimes when we first come to God we want to delve into and understand all about the mysteries of the Book of Revelation. It is good to read this book, for we are told we will be blessed if we do. However, leave a lot of the why’s and how’s and when’s and where’s with the Lord. Joseph didn’t understand it all either. He was well “are, though, that God was with him. Isn’t that enough? You who are reading these lines just now have a future! Stop worrying over the past, or what you may be suffering now. God is with you. You are earning your degree. Be patient and believe God. Who wants to walk away at Graduation time with a cheap document in your hand?
Joseph was becoming weary with the heavy rigors of prison life, when all of a sudden two former officers of Pharaoh looked very sad and forlorn. At this, Joseph inquired of the reason. They both shared their dreams with Joseph. That same gift of God to dream and interpret dreams began to stir within Joseph’s soul again. It worked. The butler was returned to the headship while the baker lost his. “Remember me, Butler, when your work falls into place once again,” pled Joseph.
It was like Joseph saying, “I’ve had enough of this place,” but God answering, “You have two more years of hard study to carry this prestigious degree home with you. Don’t throw your name into the hat before the time.” Graduation Day did come, however. The Pharaoh had dreams, too, not before, but smack dab on Graduation Day. Joseph arose, changed his garments, shaved himself and came before Pharaoh. There is a way to stand before kings, you know. By now, Joseph was well trained.
He was brought before Pharaoh, listened to the dreams, gave the interpretation, and then gave good advice to Pharaoh of the proper course to follow. Pharaoh accepted the full package and placed Joseph over the entire land of Egypt as a preserver of life; not just for the Egyptians, but his people, also. Chiefly, his people. Once again, to you who scan these lines, “God is with you.” God wants you trained rigorously and experimentally so you can help and lead many to the feet of Jesus at Calvary’s cross. If you could hear his still small voice speaking to you now, He would be saying, “I’m with you. Trust me.”
Pharaoh is getting all the apparatuses in place to turn the administration over to Joseph. (Why not? This is what he was trained for.) Pharaoh’s first initiative was to change Joseph’s name to Zaphnathpaaneah. Joseph didn’t feel encumbered, for it meant “Saviour of the age.” Makes a difference, doesn’t it? What a picture of our blessed Lord! Pharaoh then gave Joseph his daughter to wife. Her name was Asenath, which means, “A Worshipper of Neith ‘God of wisdom’.” She bore him two sons. Manasseh, the firstborn whose name means “To cause to forget,” “for God hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.”
Note: It is interesting to follow the will of God in the lives of men. With such prosperity and prominence, could it be that even Joseph could’ve been treading on dangerous terra firma, since his wife was a worshiper of the god Neith? God knows the exact moment to ring the bell to get our attention.
Ephraim makes his debut into the world. His name means “twofold incense – very fruitful.” God has now blessed Joseph in the fruit of the earth, but also in the plenteous of offspring. Ephraim was the founder of a numerous tribe, and their inheritance was in the most fruitful part of Palestine. There is the Manasseh experience: For God hath made me forget all my toil. This is the number one plague that keeps souls away from the blessings of the Lord. Wasted hours spent brooding over the past when a fruitful future awaits everyone of us. Get up and start plodding. The Apostle Paul said, in Philippians, “Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Come on and get excited about the second born. Ephraim has arrived. That Joseph was still alive, having beheld the abundance of provisions for his journey into Egypt and by his meeting with Joseph. He longed to hear of the story. of Joseph’s blessing and of his prosperity.
Finally the day came when Joseph visited his dad with his two boys, Manasseh and Ephraim. He said, “Bring them near me that I may bless them, my son.” Joseph brought them forward with Ephraim at his right hand, which was towards Jacob’s left hand because he was the younger, and Manasseh at his left hand towards Jacob’s right hand, being the eldest. “Both these boys are mine, as you are mine. Other seed you might have after these boys will be yours, but these boys are mine.” Then he crossed his arms laying his right hand upon Ephraim’s head, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head. Ephraim got the greater blessing.
“No, dad,” uttered Joseph, thinking he had made a mistake since his eyesight was waning and almost gone. Joseph, you’ve made good grades in all your efforts to this point. There just might be another degree in God’s treasures for you plainly put, to discern your right hand from your left! “No, Joseph. God’s will doesn’t always follow the ethics of natural protocol. I know what I’m doing. Oh, the many lessons to learn in life’s pilgrimage. Joseph, you were such an example of knowing how to discern the right thing and pursuing it. You were God’s instrument in thwarting the cunning ways of the enemy to destroy a very special family of Destiny. You taught us the real meaning of Brotherly Love.
This article “Joseph” was taken from “A Sinister Plot” by John D. Mean and may only be used for study and research purposes only.