From the Pit to the Palace
About 4000 years ago, one young man went from dreamer, to slave, to ruler and savior of his nation, in what seems like less than a decade. How did he make his dream become a reality? And, what is his message to others, who need to rise up, to save their world as well?
Contributors / Co authors:
Rev. Patrick Williams, Breadandwineministries.com
Dr. Veda Brown, Texas
Joseph’s Dream that came true
Imagine a scene in the Pharaoh’s court about 1707 BC. Joseph the Hebrew slave, betrayed by his brothers, and friends as well, is finally out of prison. He now sits as governor of Egypt, with the brothers, who sold him into slavery, standing before him.
Joseph once had a dream given to him by God. He was hated for it, and persecuted. Now, many years later, after much suffering, he had arrived at his destiny.
Joseph’s father Jacob had 12 sons from 2 wives who were sisters. Jacob only wanted to marry the youngest Rachel. His father in law, Laban
required 7 years of labor to qualify for Rachael. Laban then tricked Jacob into marrying his oldest daughter Leah first, whose identity was concealed from him, until it was too late. Jacob then had to work another 7 years to marry Rachael. This left Leah feeling rejected and unloved, while her sister Rachel was Jacob’s favorite. Leah had 6 sons and Rachel had 2 (Joseph and Benjamin). The other 4 sons were by handmaidens of the sisters.
Favoritism apparently led to some tension between the offspring of the two mothers, with Leah’s sons feeling less loved and favored. Tension worsened when Joseph was given a coat of many colors by his father Jacob, who was again showing favoritism.
Interestingly, the term coat used to describe the gift to Joseph is, K`tonet Pasim. This is found in Genesis 3:7-21, to describe the first garments Adam and Eve used to cover themselves. According to Jewish tradition, the garments were one in the same, passed down from Adam, then taken upon the ark by Ham. From there, it is believed they were passed on to Nimrod; making him a mighty hunter. Lastly, it is said to have come to Esau, and then Jacob, who used it to procure the blessing of his father, and then onward to Joseph. No wonder, there is so much division between the two brothers.
Joseph unknowingly intensified the sense of emotional injury when he reported two dreams to his family, predicting that someday they would bow down to him. This showed a lack of wisdom on his part, since he must have been aware of the existing tension. Joseph was seen as spoiled; an arrogant child, who was shunned by his brothers. In time, he proved to just be innocent and loving, but immature. He needed to grow up, and learn discretion.
God predestined Joseph to lead his family through a famine in his very near future. All Egypt, and the surrounding territories, would be in a recession – a depression with no food. It would be a time when people would not able to feed their camels, livestock or themselves.
Joseph’s dream about the stars and the moon bowing to him was not welcome news to the brothers. Out of jealousy, they spoke evil of it, attempting to kill his spirit, and his dreams, by mocking him. They made him feel as though he wasn’t all that God, and his father, had determined him to be.
Next, they tried to kill him physically, but Reuben- the eldest son of Leah, stopped them from doing so, and encouraged them to throw the young lad into a pit; it is from there he was sold into slavery. Next, they lied to his father, making him believe Joseph was eaten by a wild animal.
It should be interesting to note how the first born was traditionally chosen to receive the best blessing. In this case, the blessing, and coat of colors, went to Joseph. Reuben, the first born of Leah, had defiled his father’s bed by taking his father’s concubine (Gen 35:22). Jacob called all his son’s together, and pronounced Reuben would not excel, because he was as unstable as water. Therefore, he was disqualified, and the blessing went to the first born of the second wife, Joseph.
Because it was God’s plan, from the beginning, to deliver the family through Joseph, God worked to keep him humble to His plan, through persistent tribulation. Joseph was to be transformed into a righteous vessel of forgiveness.
When the time for divine protection of the family had come, Joseph was prepositioned as governor, with all Egypt’s power and authority to provide everything necessary. He could have been mean, and unforgiving to his brothers, who had schemed to destroy him, because of the favor their father had shown. However, because God had worked forgiveness in Joseph, love in his heart, and purpose in his life, Joseph was able to help his family. Joseph took from the wealth of the wicked Egyptians, to distribute among his family with love. He also saved Egypt doing this. He had determined to save food during 7 years of plenty, in order to have food for 7 years of famine.
His family, the land, and the immediate world, healed because the victim could forgive. The one Satan had intended to be a victim forever had become a hero. Joseph went from a child to a man, from a wounded person to a healer, from a slave to a savior, and ruler.
Joseph was called to heal situations that he did not cause.
Joseph and his wounded heart
Deep inside every person that has been wounded is a hero that can reach out to heal others. It takes wounding to deepen compassion. Those that have never been hurt do not have this compassion. All the love that was inside Joseph came to the surface, bringing the family back together. The loving reunion healed the family, a nation, and delivered a people who would, in time, bring forth the Messiah.
Keeping the Dream Alive
For years, Joseph kept his own dream alive. He must have pondered the full meaning of his own dream over the time of his imprisonment. He never gave up on the dream, although he had no idea how it could be fulfilled. God also gave him the ability to make the dreams of others come to life, who shared with him.
Because of this, Joseph was finally able to discern the true meaning of the dreams of others. This gift opened the door for an audience with the Pharaoh, and he successfully interpreted the Pharaohs’ dream with God’s help.
Only when our own dreams are alive within us, can we help others with their dreams.
Can Americans, and Christians, learn from Joseph today, before it is too late?
This country, and the church, have been in the hands of those who are too insensitive to the true spirit of the Word. Many go about callously exploiting the poor, accusing others of different doctrinal mistakes, initiating character attacks, collecting money and building large structures.
They think of only themselves. They are carnal, and do not have the dream that Joseph had. They lack the spiritual vision only possible through the Word of God, and a close relationship with our Father in heaven. They lack compassion that arises out of true suffering.
This type of leadership we do not need. Racism and greed are stupid and cruel, and their corrosive fluids overflow, corrupting everything it touches. It is so widespread it has become ingrained in many of our governing leaders.
It is another gospel. It is the Religion of SELF. This religion is all about “me.” It has permeated society and the church. It is subtle and full of deceit.
It is what Joseph ran from, choosing to obey and honor the Father, forgiving and loving those who’d hurt him. Beloved, we need Joseph type leaders in the church, and running our country!
Only someone who has suffered WITH people can minister TO people.
Someone who has not suffered does not understand what Jesus meant when he said, “take up your cross and follow me.” Our Lord wasn’t saying die with me, he was saying take up the cross, and suffer with me. He was saying I’m going to die for you, and you only need to walk, carrying your cross as I did. Your burden shall be light, because it is me, carrying the weight, not you. And when we are willing to help others with their cross as well, we will feel the strength of Jesus within us, making our own burdens lighter also.
Jesus had to be born poor, and humble, to a people who were oppressed. Only a Messiah who had suffered with his people could step in and deliver them, carrying the full weight of sin, all the way to the cross.
Those who have known oppression and suffering, have been washed in the blood, and made clean, can lead this nation spiritually. This country is experiencing spiritual famine and poverty right now. It needs Josephs to arise out of the pit.
What does a Joseph look like?
1. A Joseph has a vision from the Lord, and will not stop until he sees it come to past.
2. A Joseph will not settle for anything but the excellence of God.
3. A Joseph embraces the authority of God’s word and acknowledges its authority.
4. This servant voluntarily submits to the will of the Father and not his own will.
5. He ensures his words are in line with those of the Father. By this, his words take on the authority of the Father, because the word of God abides in him. When his word is alive in him, God’s words become our words.
All these things are what Joseph learned and did through suffering.
By doing so, he was able to cast off the slave clothes of self pity, self hatred and bitterness, and put on the governor’s clothes. He threw off the bondage mentality of self, where anger and feelings rule, and accepted the responsibility of the leadership, where God’s will is what matters most.
Joseph, the slave, was dead to self, when Joseph, the hero, was born. He nurtured his dream, forgave others, and remained obedient, and faithful to God.
What was his secret? He was gifted, and he knew his destiny, and kept his dream alive. But most important, he had so much love of God in him, that he could forgive those who hurt them. He could save them during a national crisis, and care for them. He loved his enemies.
His pain made him strong, not weak. He was broken by pain and suffering, and God can only use that which is broken before Him.
Joseph needs to regain his spiritual vision
There are those in this country who have known the oppression of slavery and/or discrimination. The slavery of blacks in America was NOT an accident. For what the devil intended for harm, God wants to use for his glory, in the final days before the return of Jesus. Those who have suffered are being positioned now. But, will they realize their position, and act on their destiny to glorify, defend, and preserve the kingdom of God?
The black American community must now realize that, just as Joseph was allowed by God to go through slavery, to save the nation of God (Israel) in a crisis, they must now awaken to save their own nation of God (America).
Joseph was brought out of Israel to Egypt to accomplish his destiny. Black Africans were brought out of Africa to America for the same purpose.
Israel was the nation of God in Joseph’s time, and it is still important in God’s plan now. But in modern times, America has also assumed that role as it preaches the gospel to the nations.
America now needs to be saved from its own spiritual famine, just as the ancient world needed to be saved in Joseph’s time. Spiritual famines lead to other kinds of famines.
God did not allow slaves to be brought to this country to keep them slaves. It was NOT for nothing. He allowed them to come here to free the nation of God, by bringing it back to its spiritual roots, in the end times.
As society has become more, and more, insensitive and callous toward God, only those who are still sensitive, and can feel the inner cry for the saving presence of God, can still hear Him.
It was Joseph’s spirituality, and faith in God, that elevated him to the position of national savior. It is now the spirituality of the black Christians who have the pain, compassion, and faith to pray, seek God, and save this country from destruction.
Just like the coat of many colors, God has a purpose. Each colorful patch stitched into the garment stood for one of the brothers. Reuben’s color was red, Simon was Green, Judah was Bluish green, and Joseph’s color was onyx. Each color was later found on the breast plate of the High Priest where twelve stones stood for the twelve tribes.
The divine destiny of those who have arisen out of slavery in America is to save God’s nation in this crucial time. Only their wounds have the balm that can heal the wounds of others. Their slavery was NOT meant for their destruction and humiliation. It was meant to prepare them to be instruments of God’s glory, and to bring in precious souls for the kingdom of God in the final harvest.
The victims of the past have been chosen by God to become the heroes of the present, and future. It is time for the Josephs in this country to arise out of the pit, and proceed to the palace.
The Challenges for Joseph now
(1) How does one’s heart become so close to God that he is able to love his enemies, and to pray for those who spitefully uses him?
(2) How does one transform his mindset, or actually renew the mind? We are commanded to do this in Romans 12–but how does one do this?
Joseph did not select his destiny. He was the vessel God chose for His glory. Joseph did not exercise any particular formula, lifestyle, or behavior to “earn” his calling. But, once called, he walked in his destiny, and he advanced through tribulation, to be a blessing to his world.
Joseph’s family was healed because he took the initiative, and forgave. The healing also took place because God’s purpose was performed through the victim (who, by the way, was never really a victim, but the victor–hallelujah! Praise the Lord!).
Because Joseph submitted to God, the nation of Israel, the nation of Egypt, and the immediate geographical area around Egypt was spared from death.
Israel had to be spared because it would produce the Messiah. Egypt also had to be spared, because it would be a place of refuge for the Messiah, when Herod wanted Him dead.
The basic guide for healing us is found in the passage in II Chronicles 7:14
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Freeing Joseph again
There are many today that want to keep Joseph a slave. They want him to think like one, to continue feeling wounded, so that he is always crippled, and needy in some way. By doing so, he never lets go of hurt, angry about where he came from. He is to harbor un-forgiveness, so he can make others feel his pain and bondage. But that does not work. Most outsiders can’t relate to what he is feeling, so this intensifies his pain.
An unforgiving Joseph is still a slave, and:
He has continued to wear his slave clothes, mourning his past.
He will NOT look forward to the destiny as God’s chosen vessel.
He will NOT remember the dream God gave him.
He will NOT wear his coat of many colors, where he is a chosen priest.
He is NOT putting God first in his dream, nor is he helping others with their dreams.
He has NOT forgiven his brothers, but tries to make them pay, through guilt.
He can NOT revive nations, and bring life back to them, because his focus is on himself.
He can NOT ignite God’s people with the fire of the gospel, so they can hasten the coming of the Messiah for the final days, because the word of God is held captive by anger within.
This “NOT” mentality needs to be reversed, to free the Josephs, to take the authority of God’s word to a dying nation. Self must be brought under subjection by the power of the Most High God, and the Holy Spirit given free reign.
Revival can only come to America and the world if our black brothers and sisters, along with other believers who’ve been persecuted, lead the way.
We are all one body in Christ Jesus, and each has a role. Our Caucasian brethren are visionaries. They build the body of Christ with powerful visions of what God will have them produce. The Asian community storms heaven with their prayers, while those from India and Native American’s are deeply spiritual, and know how to touch heaven.
African American believers are chosen to lead the way in praise and worship. The oldest gene has been scientifically proven to be the black gene, and God is calling for the eldest son to come forth and lead.
One Joseph stepped into the role thousands of years ago. Another Joseph of our century revived the dream, but now he is gone. Will there be another?