January 2006

“TRIED BY THE WORD

A prophetic Word for 2006

Part One

“Until the time when His Word came to pass,
THE WORD OF THE LORD TRIED HIM!”

(Ps 105:19)

            To whom does this Scripture refer? Read on: “When God instituted a famine in the land, He broke the whole staff of bread (tribe of Israel), and sent the man, Joseph, before them to be sold as a slave; and the slavetraders hurt his feet with shackles when they led him off in irons.” (v.v. 16-18) But shackles of slavery were only one way Joseph was “tried” while waiting for his “Word of the Lord” to “come to pass.” And what was that Word of the Lordsent to try him?

“Joseph had a dream and wanted to tell it to his brothers: but just hearing of it made them hate him more than they already did (they resented his being their father’s favored son). But Joseph said, Please hear my dream; it is about us. We were binding sheaves in the field, when suddenly, my sheaf rose and stood upright; and then your sheaves surrounded me and bowed down before mine. His brothers raged, So you think you will actually reign over us? You believe you will ever have dominion over us? So now they hated Joseph all the more because of his dream, and because of his Words. Then Joseph had another dream that he told to his brothers saying, Listen, I have had another dream! I saw the sun, and the moon, and 11 stars bow down to me! When he told this dream to his father and brothers, his father rebuked him, What sort of dream have you dreamed? Will I, and your mother, and your 11 brothers come and bow ourselves down to the earth to thee?”

            This is the Sacred Oath, the Solemn Promise, the Holy Covenant between God and Joseph! This is the Word of the Lord that shall now “try” Joseph till the time it “comes to pass.” This Seed of Assurance God has sowed into Joseph’s heart must first taste death before it can produce New Life! Joseph’s “ship of faith” is now launched onto the sea of Divine Purpose; now he must experience both sorrow and joy, distress and delight, tears and triumph to fulfull God’s Word. The fruition of Joseph’s dream will involve years of deferring his will to the will of strangers; [that later would force his descendants to forfeit their will to Egyptian taskmasters for 400 years!] But the fulfillment of Joseph’s dream would also bear much fruit in future generations- some directly, and some indirectly- many to be born millenniums ahead- such as ourselves!
             Joseph’s excursion into excellence began with a stern rebuke from his brothers and father; though he thought they would hail God’s Oracle! His irate, envious brothers overpowered him with intent to kill; till Reuben intervened on Joseph’s behalf and they cast him in a dry well where he spent a dark, terrifying night- cold, hungry, confused, and wounded at heart. Reuben planned to retrieve Joseph the next day and restore him to their father; but his brothers rose early to remove Joseph from the well and sold him as a slave to a passing caravan of Midianite merchants who took him from his homeland and resold him in Egypt’s marketplace to Pharaoh’s rich captain of the guard, named Potiphar. God caused Joseph to find favor in Potiphar’s eyes thus he made him overseer of all his estate. This blessing lasted till Potiphar’s lusting wife tried to seduce him. Joseph rejected her advances, and her rage made her falsely accuse Joseph to her husband of indecent assault. He then had no choice but to imprison him; but Potiphar’s affection for Joseph spared him the jail for common criminals; as he put him in the prison for high-ranking offenders; where again God let him find favor, so the prison governor gave him charge over all the prisoners, and made him supervisor of the entire prison! Though a bittersweet blessing, it was a blessing nonetheless! After 2 years in prison, the Lord sent 2 disturbing dreams to Pharaoh about 2 events which his wisest magicians could not interpret. [2 = witness, martyrdom] Pharaoh’s butler who was restore from prison, recalled Joseph’s gift of interpreting dreams. He told the Pharoah who then sent for him. God enabled Joseph to say that the first dream meant 7 years of great bounty in Egypt; while the second dream meant 7 years of great famine. [7 = perfection] But if Egypt stored up grain in the 7 good years, they would have enough to overcome the 7 years of dearth.
             This Godly wisdom pleased Pharaoh so much, he elevated Joseph to a position of authority second only to himself over all Egypt! From that high rank, Joseph was ready to reunite with his father and brothers [his mother died giving birth to Benjamin] and so, fulfill the Word of the Lord in his dreams. The famine drove Joseph’s brothers to Egypt to find food for their hungry families; and at the right moment, Joseph revealed his identity to them saying, “Hurry, go say to my father, Your son, Joseph, tell you this: God has made me Lord over all Egypt; come to me, do not tarry! Bring your children, your children’s children, your flocks, herds, and all you have, to live in the land of Goshen near me, so I can feed you; for there are 5 more years of famine, and I do not want you, or your household, or anything you have, to suffer poverty! And tell my father of all the glory I have received in Egypt! Tell him all you have seen here. Hurry and bring my father down here...But his brothers cried to him, We beg you, first, to forgive the trespass and sin of your brothers who did evil to you...and to the God of our father...Joseph wept as his brothers said this to him; for they fell down before his face! See, we are your servants! But Joseph told them, Fear not! Am I in God’s place? Though YOU MEANT EVIL TOWARD ME, GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD! He did this so today it would come to pass that MANY PEOPLE WOULD BE SAVED ALIVE! Fear not, I will feed you and your little ones!
            
Though his brothers feared he might kill or imprison them for their cruetly to him, they were astonished at Joseph’s transformaion by God’s Mercy! They were amazed as He comforted them and kindly told them, “Be not sad or angry with yourselves for selling me! GOD SENT ME HERE BEFORE YOU TO PRESERVE LIFE...AND ALSO TO PRESERVE A POSTERITY IN THE EARTH, AND TO SAVE YOUR LIVES THROUGH A GREAT DELIVERANCE!Then Joseph declared further:

GOD---NOT YOU---SENT ME HERE!

GOD
MADE ME A FATHER TO PHARAOH!

GOD
MADE ME LORD OVER ALL HIS HOUSE!

GOD
MADE ME RULER OVER ALL THE LAND OF EGYPT!

            The time was fulfilled! THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME TO PASS! Joseph’s father and brothers did bow before him! The house of Israel lived in peace in Egypt! Years later, Joseph told his brothers, Now I die, but God will visit you. He will bring you out of this land, into the land He swore to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Here is the Word of the Lord to all the people of Israel: YOU SHALL CARRY MY BONES UP FROM HERE (and into the Promised Land)! So he died at age 110, and they *embalmed him, and laid him in a coffin there in Egypt.” (Ge 39-50)

*The Egyptians instigated the practice of embalming and preserving the body of flesh in a deluded belief that it kept it in a fit state for its soul to later return and reinhabit it. They believed the soul depended on the dwellers of human bodies for future fortunes; and its physical decomposition robbed the soul of part of itself. So its disappearance from earth (with only its dust left behind) was tantamount to the ultimate extinction of its existence. God used this pagan rite to preserve Joseph’s body as a lasting promise to His people that His command to carry Joseph’s bones into the Promised Land was His guarantee that they would enter therein! Despite this amazing sign of God’s Oath, all the elder Israelites rebelled against God in the wilderness and never go to enter in~ Nonetheless, JOSEPH’S BONES DID ENTER THE PROMISED LAND on the shoulders of the new Israelite generation who bore his coffin across the Jordan River.

The lesson to be learned from this is that:
EVERY WORD OF THE LORD THAT GOD SPEAKS TO HIS PEOPLE IS HIS SOLEMN VOW, HIS SOVEREIGN PROMISE, HIS BLOOD COVENANT, HIS SACRED OATH, AND BINDING CONTRACT, THAT NO POWER, BUT HIS OWN...CAN EVER BREACH!!

[TO BE CONTINUED]

 
 

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