Dreams. Dungeons. Diadems.

Joseph shared his dreams. He wore his gifts. He kindled the anger of his brothers. He was rebuked by his father. Betrayed, thrown in a pit, and sold into slavery, Joseph’s dreams lay in waste. He journeyed from prince, to slave, to prisoner, to ultimately wear a diadem. A nearly twenty-five year journey from dream to realization.

Putting flesh and blood on Joseph, as a real person who lived his story, we can all relate to the deep pain, sadness, joy and relief of his journey and reconciliation. And by faith, at the end of his journey, he recognized how the Lord had sent him before his family, in order to save them (Gen. 50:19-20).

Psalm 105 recounts the journey of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob’s covenant family from the Promised Land to Egyptian bondage and ultimate deliverance.

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works!” (Ps. 105:1-2).

The author continues: glory in His name; seek and rejoice in Him; remember the wonders, miracles, and judgments; He healed the afflicted; he gave bread from heaven, and water from a rock. Hallelujah!

But there, nestled in among the glorious, miraculous acts of the Lord is the pain of the servant on the way to glory. Joseph.

“They hurt his feet with fetters, He was laid in irons. Until the time that his word came to pass, The word of the LORD tested him” (Ps. 105:18–19).

Have you ever noticed this before? They hurt Joesph in bondage, with shackles and irons “until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him.”

Joseph endured proving, a time of maturation in the midst of life changing and deeply painful circumstance, until his dreams given by the Lord came to pass, until the time was at hand. He was tested by the Word.

The descent from a prince of the tribe of Jacob, to slave, to prisoner, to a viceroy with a crown, a diadem, was filled with heartache.

When Joseph was sold by his brothers in Dothan, the slavers caravan would have passed Hebron on the way to Egypt, the land where Jacob lived. From the wagon Joseph might have been able to look out and see where his father was. Can you imagine?

We often read Joseph solely as a type of Messiah, looking for clues of messianic fulfillment, and rightly so. Yet, if this is our only perspective, we strip Joseph of the reality of his humanity, and the pain he endured as a servant of God.

In the story of Joseph, from slavery to exaltation, we find no hint that he lost his faith in God. In fact, he spent nearly twelve years in prison because he would not sin against God with Potiphar’s wife. Those who witnessed Joseph’s life knew that God was with him. He didn’t sulk in his circumstance saying, “they were supposed to bow to me!” He was faithful in the circumstance, even with the pain of the shackles.

His dreams appeared crushed. The pain was real. The diadem would come with a high price.

With calling – dream/vision – there is proving. Proving is painful, stressful, confusing, and it is always life changing as the sovereign Lord works the clay.

All of us, in faith, have been sent out, as Joseph was, before those who will follow behind us to Yeshua/Jesus. How are those around us seeing us endure in our dungeon? Are they seeing that the Lord is with us? What is your dungeon? Sickness? Financial stress? Cancer? Family distress? Unemployment? Divorce? Depression? Grief?

From where will you be exalted in His time? Paul encourages us, from his own dungeon, “In the future there is reserved for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not to me only, but also to everyone who has longed for His appearing” (II Tim. 4:8).

If you are enduring in faith right now some circumstance constructing a dungeon of grief or stress, remember, as with Joseph, there is a time of release. Still, your release will be intertwined with His glorious acts of deliverance. Hallelujah!

Be well. Shalom.

Trust in His Name

“Who among you fears the LORD? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely upon his God” (Isa. 50:10).

As I have written before, as we walk with the Lord there will be times when we are surrounded by darkness; not that we ourselves are in darkness, but that circumstances appear to overshadow the brilliance of His Promise.

Isaiah indicates this. Who fears? Who obey’s? What do we do when we walk in the valley overshadowed by death (Ps. 23:4)?

Let him trust. Let the one in the darkness have confidence that He who “called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” is still doing the work promised (Phil. 1:6), and “rely” or lean your body on the Promise Himself (II Cor. 1:20).

In order to trust in His name – of which there are many in Scripture – and rely on the Father for the need, know what you need. As I have written previously, be specific with your prayer.

If you are in need of peace, in a desperately confusing or dangerous situation, call on: “Jehovah Shalom” – יְהוָה שָׁלוֹם/Adonai Shalom.,” the Lord’s name for me right now is peace.

If you are overrun by guilt, shame, or accusation, call on: “the Lord is my righteousness” – יְהוָה צִדְקֵנוּ/Adonai tzedeknu, the Lord who is my righteousness.

If you are in need, whatever it may be, call on: “the Lord will provide” – יְהוָה יִרְאֶה/Adonai jireh, the Lord who both sees and provides.

If you are in need of healing – physically, emotionally or spiritually, call on: “I am the Lord who heals you” -יְהוה רֹפְאֶךָ/Adonai rapha, the Lord who heals all afflictions.

If you need direction or comfort in life, call on: “the Lord is my Shepherd” – יְהוָה רֹעִי/Adonai rohi, the Lord who is leading my every step, and settling me in the peaceful green pastures.

And in every situation, at all times, call on He who is God’s Promise of salvation and deliverance, Yeshua/Jesus, the Messiah.

If you need peace, relief, provision, healing, direction, you will find it in the name of your God, even to the specific need (Isa. 50:10). Whatever darkness you find yourself in today, remember that He has come alongside of you in the person of the promised paraclete, the Holy Spirit, and He reminds you of the promises spoken by God in the light, that can be trusted in the darkness.

Trust Him.

Be well; Shalom.

Moses!

Moses wandered around the backside of the wilderness for 40 years. We find no hint in Scripture that God spoke to him prior to Exodus 3:4. Yet, when God called to Moses, He did not say, “Hey, you over there!” or, “Hey, shepherd.” No! He called out, “Moses!”

God found him right where he was, and called him by name to his mission; and He will find you, right where you are.

From this Spot

Genesis 13:14, “And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: “Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward.”

It’s easy to lift up your eyes, behold your circumstance, and conclude “this is it.” In the Lord, whatever the circumstance, and the cause thereof, until He graduates us to glory, “this,” present circumstance experienced, is never “it,” as in the ending.

Still, this realization does not automatically clear the way before you; but we cannot underestimate the spot where we presently stand.

As Abraham and Lot, their respective houses having grown to a size that would not allow them to dwell closely together, agree to separate, Abraham leaves the choice of direction to Lot.

Lot lifted up his eyes, beholding the lush plain before him, which includes Sodom and Gomorrah, and settled where it was pleasing to the eyes (Gen. 13:10-13).

As the Lord directs, Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked to the north, the south, the east, and the west, to survey a promise not yet realized. He first looked, and then walked (Gen. 13:14-17).

On the spot where Abraham experiences another loss, the first being loss of land and family connection in Ur of the Chaldeans (Gen. 12:1), he now loses Lot.

Childless and landless, the Lord tells Abraham to look, and then walk. To the eyes of the “ites,” the numerous inhabitants of the land, Abraham appeared not only as a stranger, but a trespasser.

But when Abraham looked מִן-הַמָּקוֹם/min ha’makom, “from the place” or “from that exact spot” where he stood, not to the right or left, or where he would hope to be, but where the Lord placed him, he was drawn deeper into God’s unfolding plan for his life.

Do not overlook the spot where it seems that all has been stripped away, the “this is it” place, as it is from there, when we hear Him in faith, and begin the walk, that we find the promise inspiring Paul to write, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6).

As Abraham lifted up his eyes to see the promise, we lift our eyes to the Lord God, greater than the mountains, maker of heaven and earth, from where our help, purpose, and promise comes from (Ps. 121:1-2), to the exact spot where we presently stand, leading us to the place Yeshua/Jesus has prepared (Jn. 14:2-3).

Be well. Shalom.