The Joseph Family and the Benjamin Tribe
Joseph's life was about many hardships, failures, and injustices along with Joseph's knowledge of God, courage in prison, and his confidence that it was all meant for the Good. Joseph was a type of Jesus, and in his life the cup and persecution preceded the revelation of JESUS, the KING, the BROTHER! There was a shadow of bringing out Benjamin before the Older Brother revealed Himself in Glory. The dungeon is a bridge to Glory!
(a song that someone started)
Ruler of My Heart
You are the keeper of my soul.
Ruler of my heart
You are the keeper of my soul.
Oh Lord your name is mighty
High above every name
Your love endures forever.
Oh Lord Your name is mighty
High above every name
Your love endures forever.
There are a couple of things we need to remember as we sing this song and consider the life of Joseph. God is able to take a tough situation or “failure” and turn it into something that will influence nations -- but there is a very high price to influencing nations for Jesus and the Glorious Wisdom and Life in His “ever-increasing government.”
If one really has a dream from God which would unite and fulfill brothers, ultimately it will actually be seen as a threat to those brothers. The thing that Joseph saw, powerfully from God, and ultimately the thing that would be the salvation of the FAMILY, was a threat to the brothers. It created dissension and fury amongst those that it would ultimately supernaturally benefit. Infuriated by their own jealousy and pride, they hated what would be their deliverance. The brothers had the “dreamer” thrown into a pit and sold to the Ishmaelites.
If you understand that Ishmaelites are the half-breed offspring of God’s man and Promise (Abraham), in union with the world system (Egypt, Gal.4:19-31) - then you will have a shot at understanding why the counterfeit of God’s Intent in a People, the “Twelve Tribes” of Ishmael were the ones to try to enslave the “dreamer.”
These things are written for our learning and they have meaning to those upon whom the end of the ages shall come.
Joseph had successes -- but they were followed by seeming failures. Sometimes years passed by. There are many seeming injustices. The butler forgot about Joseph for two years after he interpreted his dream! Unfair!
Someday you may be sitting in a prison in Albania. Are you going to be able to sing “Ruler of My Heart”? We must be able to see things from God’s perspective. We must see the injustices as the very thing that will bring us to God’s Highest for our lives and His Work! For Joseph, the “injustices” unlocked the door for him to move from Potiphar’s servant -- to Pharaoh’s servant -- to the most powerful man in the then-known world. And all of this so that he could be used by God to save the family of Israel, God’s Chosen, from the famine. Wowza. And yet! Will YOU trust Him when these terrible things are HAPPENING? “This is the victory that unlocks prison doors, and subdues God’s enemies - even our Faith.”
Again, here’s how it happened. Joseph found favor in God’s sight. It seemed like everything was great and wonderful. Then Joseph was willing to RISK it all in order to stand for righteousness and Truth. He loses the whole thing. So it seemed. Joseph is in prison, and as time passes he is still close enough to Father to be able to have the courage, discernment, wisdom, and prophetic insight to say, “It’s for God to interpret dreams. Tell me your dream and I’ll interpret them.” He was a servant of God, a man in whom the Spirit of God reigned -- and even a pagan could see it.
Because Joseph was able to sing “Ruler of My Heart” in the midst of this seeming failure God was able to use him. The transition through the grave was a promotion from Potiphar’s servant to the Prime Minister of the richest nation on earth. He was able to say to his brothers “You meant this for my harm, but GOD (Who knew ALL and works through ALL!) meant this for my good and for the good of all our family and a nation of people.”
God’s ultimate purposes go far beyond anything we would be able to conceive of in our minds. Are we too important to be “inconvenienced” or “cheated,” or to experience “pain”? What exactly IS our goal for living, anyway? Is it all about us, or are we willing to undergo whatever Training that the Master has in Mind for us? Will we VOLUNTEER for anything at all that our Mentor desires for our learning, even if it costs us everything or everyone dear to us? Will you? Will I? Oh Father, Help us by your grace and your Holy Spirit of Life and Love!
It’s so important that we, like Paul and Joseph when they were in prison, are able to sing and treat the time as an opportunity to cultivate a relationship with Jesus. Are you too busy now? Too busy to spend time with Jesus? Well, maybe you’ll end up in prison for a decade and see if that doesn’t become a great opportunity to get to know Jesus and to be trained in character for the Tasks ahead. And it would be a great opportunity! Every place is a meeting place with Jehovah -- if you’re able to see things as God sees them -- or at least TRUST HIM. “Ruler of My Heart” is the song of our lips... and then... the interpretation of dreams and the influence of the GLORY OF THE NAME OF JEHOVAH GOD can be brought to a whole nation of pagans! AMEN?
All these things are right at our fingertips as God’s people if we have the fortitude and faith and love to continue to lift our vision beyond the confines of our comfortable existences and live by faith and not by sight. There are some amazing things out there ahead for God’s people around the world. Oh sure, I know you sing real good and give to the poor. And everyone knows about “your ministry.” But what about the REAL thing?! Game for that? :)
Like Joseph - be a Dreamer! Risk the wrath of your brothers, if necessary. The true “troublers of Israel” are not the dreamers, but as Elijah said, those that “refuse to obey the Commands of the Lord.” And when all the smoke clears and you find yourself in the bottom of the well, or in prison, or without a friend... embrace the fact, as Joseph did, “It was not you that sent me here into this dank, dark prison, but it was God.” He desires to train us and make us into the personality of the Son, that we might bear His Fruit. Be a Dreamer, love your brothers, and risk it all... find yourself in prison, WORSHIP Him and trust Him forever... and watch. It’s VERY good.
We’re privileged in this generation to see some things that haven’t been seen in previous generations for a long time. In general ----- Christianity has been around for 2 millenniums. STILL... the End of the Ages, the apex, the conclusion of all the matter, the Feast of Tabernacles, the fullness of all that God intends, The Great Harvest, the moving into the Most Holy Place, the Presence of God in a spectacular way, The Feast of Booths and people coming out from their riches and from the walls that divide them and living together in booths on the roofs and the street corners, the coming out of God’s people into the full relationship at the Great Harvest time... ALL THESE THINGS ARE IN FRONT OF US! As the first two of the great Celebrations ordained by God, Passover and Pentecost, were celebrated in form, and then fulfilled visibly and gloriously, so also will “the last and the greatest Feast” be fulfilled visibly and gloriously!
Now you can see the Importance of what we are about to take a peek at. Oh, please watch and pray! Let’s consider again Joseph and his imprisonment, and then his advancement to Executor of the Kingdom. Re-read the account, if you would, in Genesis 39 through Genesis 47. Remember that Joseph was hidden from his brothers -- and not yet seen for who he really was -- for a time. If you understand Joseph as being a type of Jesus, another issue is before us. There are things that will happen prior to the revelation of Jesus the King and Brother, in His Fullness. The things that precede the deliverance have to do with some tribulation, with a cup in a bag and confusion and deception. With a cup in a bag and confusion and deception. With a cup in a bag and confusion and deception. Please don’t underestimate this point! The real thing is FILLED with “skandalon” -- or it is NOT the real thing. Was Jesus born illegitimately? No, but the “experts” and the “witnesses” were SURE that He was. Right? And a “Nazarene”? That is the “arm pit” of Israel. Uneducated? That’s how “they” saw it, of course. “Eat my body and drink my blood”? WHY didn’t He offer an explanation that would calm everyone down?! And then, dying as a criminal, “unable to save Himself”? And “on a tree” -- a cursed death, no less. It appeared, according to Isaiah, that even GOD rejected Him. There will be a skandalon” if it’s the Real thing!
As Jeremiah was to say, “You deceived me God. You brought me to a place where you give me no options. You put a fire in my bones and I have to speak. But if I DO, I’ll get killed for it. I can’t stand the grief if I stand up, and I EXPLODE on the inside if I don’t stand up for the fullness of your Life. I’d rather be an innkeeper, or collect baseball cards, or sit on the dock of the bay wasting time -- but you’ve deceived me God. You’ve set me up. I have to go forward, no matter what happens to me!”
First Benjamin has a plate five times as large as his brothers set before him as if he is a prince. And the next thing you know, Prince Benjamin is the thief with the cup in his bag and his life is in jeopardy. Those sorts of things will happen and precede the revelation of Jesus Christ, the King, the Brother. Those things will precede the glorious Event: His Family being delivered and brought to the King. Those things, these scandals, these opportunities to walk away are part of the Real Kingdom and will precede Seeing Jesus face to face and bowing down to Him, as do the sun, moon, stars and all of the sheaves. That’s the deal. As Jesus would say, “Here I am. This is how it is, if you want Me. I must and always will scandalize your mind, so that I can have your heart. There’s no other way to get all the way in! You must enter the Kingdom through much tribulation. And, no matter how ‘good’ you are, ‘A sword will pierce your own soul as well.’”
John, chapter six. “Eat my body. Drink my blood.” And Jesus, rather than explaining it to them, invited even the twelve to leave, along with the multitudes that had already put up with all that they would tolerate. To a few, the details that were so costly to them, and so painful, were nothing compared to the Pearl of Great Price that they had discovered. “Where else would we GO? Life is HERE, Wisdom is here, Love is here. Jesus, you are truly ‘over the top’ and dangerous to all that we have and all that we once desired, but so be it.”
Benjamin, that special choice brother and the only other son of Joseph’s mother, also has a special place in the story we’re considering. Although the family called Israel was large with numerous strands, from four mothers, all of the same father, there was a special element of that family: Benjamin. And it was the bringing out of the child also birthed from the one mother that had birthed Joseph that preceded the revelation of Jesus as King, as Brother. It was this bringing out of that son that brought the Family to deliverance. As Paul said, in the midst of a very similar discussion in Galatians four (for those that have eyes to see), “It is the same now.” Ishmael and Isaac. Though they are “look-alikes,” OH what a difference! And now, a whole family called Israel, but Benjamin alone of the womb that had bore Joseph, the type of Jesus! And Benjamin is the key to the revelation of Joseph, Jesus -- the Brother that the sun and moon and stars would bow before!
Yes, the “last and greatest Feast” is ESSENTIAL to the “coming out Party,” the Revelation and Return of our Lord and Master and our Deliverer! And part of this Biblical Prophetic Feast, this feast celebrated after the latter rains that end the hot, dry summer in Israel, is Feast of Booths. Don’t underestimate the practical meaning of this - it is not a mindless thing on God’s part that everyone would come out of their separate abodes and be one.... And I surely am NOT referring to communal living, but the HEART of common daily Life in the Son, as in Acts 2:42-47. Yes, the true Church MUST be of the same nature genetically as Jesus, of the same life and love as Jesus, in order to be the Benjamin that Jesus longs to see before He reveals Himself fully. There may be twelve brothers and four mothers of the “tribes” of “the church”... but OH that BENJAMIN would come forward! Not a half-breed brother, but born of the same womb that brought forth Joseph, the Dreamer, the Deliverer.
We need to see things on a much grander scale than just living our lives and doing good and attending a religious facility or living room. Pray through these things that will precede the revelation of the Son of God in His Majesty and Fullness at the end of the age. There is a way he has called us to participate in our generation in the things that involve the nations. It’s going to be costly and it’s going to end up in a stinky dungeon, but I want us all to remember that the song of the dungeon is “Ruler of My Heart.” Make sure that song is echoing in your heart through all your circumstances... the confusing ones (which are nothing but a bridge to God’s ultimate Glory and Destiny) as well as the Glorious ones.