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In the last article, we'd took a look at how Israel's foundation (as in the overall future of the nation) had begun to take shape? For we would find, that Joseph would begin to ascend through the sibling ranks, as Israel's foundation was becoming more clear?
And this clarity would become more evident, after we'd started to learn about the earlier sinful missteps, of Jacob's other sons (outside of Joseph.)
Know that I hold the notion, that it was Jacob's sons sinful missteps, that would eventually disqualify them as to being the next "promise bearer" of the Abrahamic Covenant.
Nonetheless, in the last article, I'd also pointed out the reasons, when
it came to why Joseph had eventually became Jacob's favorite son. And
for me to do this, I had to take on the daring the position, of going
beyond the surface of the Sacred Text: "Now Israel loved Joseph more
than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he
made him a tunic of many colors." -- Genesis 37:3
But know that I would like delve deeper, when it comes to the relationship that developed between Jacob and Joseph? For I personally believe, that the personal bond that was developing between the two -- had a lot more to do with Jacob's wife (Joseph's mother) Rachel and her unexpected death.
Know that I'm not going to recap entirely on that viewpoint at this time? But I will state something real quick, when it comes to this particular situation with Joseph -- in regards to him being the next promise bearer? For there are times, that I can't help, but to wonder -- why God would place Joseph in such a honored position to begin with? A position when it comes to being the one, that would eventually lead Israel to their next development stage, when it comes to being a great nation.
And of course, I have nothing against Joseph, or the way that he would eventually be used in regards to Israel. For I know, that when it comes to Joseph, (and Israel's future overall) -- everything that's happening (or will happen) is definitely in accordance to God's plan. But for me personally, I'd like to think that it's always best, to try to understand why God does the things that He do... and why at certain times, that He would choose certain ones, over others?
For there are those who would seem, when it comes to one's natural perception (which to most, would be considered a mistake on my end), to be more of an obvious choice, when it comes to certain matters. And then again, this reinforces the fact, that we are severely limited, when it comes to fully understanding the ways of the Lord.
And this is probably why, often times I get slammed... for suggesting that we should try to see God's movements from within, both the natural and spiritual? For I find that many, often scoff at the the idea of trying to attempt such a task. But know that there's something from within, that compels me to keep trying, in spite of the heavy criticism that comes my way. I mean after all, what's wrong with trying to identify God's constant and subtle signs (not necessary miracles), that often appears from within our everyday lives?
Considering the fact, that God has provided us with a Sacred Record, that constantly points out -- how He'd moved from within, both the natural and the spiritual, when it came to dealing with those who are found to be in His covenant, and with those who are found to be outside of it. And even today, here in modern times, I believe that the same still applies, when it comes to how you stand with God? For you are either found, to be in His (Blood Covenant), that was made possible by Jesus' death on the cross, and His resurrection:
"Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.'" -- John 14:5,6
Along with repenting from the ways of the world, and by accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior:
"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become [servants
of] God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is
eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." -- Romans 6:22.23
Or perhaps, you may be found, to be standing against God, by continuing to pledge allegiance to the world and its worldly ways: "You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." -- James 4:4
And what about the Spirit of the Lord? Do we not (thanks to the Holy Spirit), have direct access to the Most High? just like those who are found to be recorded from within the Sacred Record? Do you mean to tell me, that God has stopped interacting with us naturally? and that all of a sudden, He's no longer the same, yesterday, today and forevermore? : "For I am the Lord, I do not change" -- Malachi 3:6
Oh well, nonetheless... I personally think that it's a huge advantage if we're able to discern these things (through the use of the Holy Spirit) when it comes to recognizing such things: like clues, signs, and even wonders -- when they are made visible to us, both naturally and spiritually. For I also hold the notion, that it would be truly unwise if we weren't to do so.
I like to think, that if we were able to adopt such an approach (when it comes to discerning God's movements, both naturally and spiritually) it would go a long way in helping us to better understand -- why certain events (both good and bad) continue to happen from within our everyday lives. For I personally believe, that adopting such a perspective... helps, to keep us from adopting such a negative viewpoint (when things don't go well for us, or others throughout the world) -- that would lead us into a trap, of embracing an adverse mindset, that would eventually cause us to try, to cast God, as to treating people (or us personally) unfairly?
Now let me be clear? Don't make the mistake of thinking, that I'm trying to indicate, that this type of approach should be some type of mandate, when it comes to one's biblical studies? For you would be completely off the mark, if you were to do so. Know that I'm simply stating, that this is how I personally approach the Sacred Record.
Know that it's your choice, if you decide at one point, if you would like to explore your biblical studies from such a perspective, or not? But I know what this type of approach has done for me personally (and for my studies), and this is why I'm sharing it with you. Understand that my motives in this regard, is nothing more, and nothing less.
And again -- I know the idea that one could come to such conclusions, in regards to tracking God, both naturally and spiritually -- is at the least (to most), ridiculous? But keep in mind, that this is one of the many negative viewpoints (that deals with God being mean and unfair) that's constantly being pushed by those, who are so intent on opposing God, His Word and those who have chosen to follow Him and His ways.
And honestly, it amazes me how people are bold enough, to go against the
very One that has given them so much? For I find it puzzling, that they
can't seem to realize (or refuse to accept) the tremendous freedom and
gifts, that God has bestowed on them, the human being? I want you to
know, that the freedom we have in God's creation is unmatched? For
there's not one creature, that comes close to what the Lord has given
us, both celestial (heavenly or demonic) or terrestrial (as in nature).
Simply put, no other creature has the privileges that the human being
has be given -- not even angels.
So when God chooses certain people for specific ministries and tasks, over others who would seem to be the obvious (more qualified or ideal)... we shouldn't take it personally. For we should just be happy that we are able (for a limited time) to experience this wonderful thing, that's called life. And we should be honored, that we're able to play some type of role from within God's marvelous creation, regardless of how small the role may seem at times.
Well, I didn't mean to get into all of that, and go off into a tangent (depending on how you received it) like I did, but I just wanted you to have some small idea of where I'm coming from, when I write these articles. Nonetheless, before we get back to our current place from within our journey -- let's do a quick recap on the sinful actions, that Joseph's older brothers had put their minds to, and why God had allowed them to be bypassed, when it came to being the next steward of the Abrahamic Covenant.
First we have the Sacred Accounts of Simeon and Levi, who were born second and third unto Jacob and Leah. Now we're told, how they'd lead the deceptive, and fatal attack upon the Shechemites. Which was done in retaliation, behind prince Shechem sleeping with their younger sister Dinah. Understand, that their actions had eliminated them (for they were the second and third born) from out of Jacob's twelve sons.
Next we are told, how Jacob's oldest son Reuben, had sinned when he'd decided to sleep with his stepmother Bilhah. Now I hold the notion that Rueben had lost his birthright because of it? For he was entitled (or so it seems) to be the next steward of the Abrahamic Covenant -- because officially, he was Jacob's first born. And judging by Jacob's response, it make this viewpoint all the more possible:
"Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father's bed, onto my couch and defiled it." -- Genesis 49:3,4
However that may have been, next we would hear about the sins of the sons that had belonged to Bilhah (Dan & Naphtali) and Zilpah (Gad & Asher). Know that the sin that their sons had committed while they were out in the fields, for whatever reason, weren't revealed by the Sacred Record. Be that as it may, as of right now, we have the sinful deeds of seven, from out of the ten sons that had been born before Joseph.
Nonetheless, let's move forward. For were now being introduced to what I like to call "Joseph's divine confirmation moment" -- when it comes to him being the one, that would lead Israel to their next development stage. And it's at this time, that we now find Joseph, telling his brothers about this divine confirmation, which had came to him in a dream:
"Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves (bundles) of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it." -- Genesis 37:6,7
Now after his brothers had heard about the dream that Joseph had, they hated him all the more, and it's at this point that they scoffed at him: "Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?"
Now remember that Joseph is around the age of seventeen at this time, so you can imagine his excitement, when it comes to him possibly being a ruler of some sort? However, sometime later -- the Sacred Record reveals that Joseph would have another dream, and once again, he goes to tell his brothers and his father about it: "Listen, I had another dream and this time the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowing down to me."
Now perhaps, this particular version of Joseph's dream, was too far fetch for any of them to comprehend, being that Joseph was as young as he was: "What is this dream you had, will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you." His father Jacob, would say to Joseph with great concern.
Now let's consider something when it comes to what Joseph had just told his family? When you add the elements of the sun and the moon, along with the eleven stars -- you would think that the sun and the moon, would be a reference to Joseph's parents? But remember that Joseph's mother Rachel had passed away, and perhaps, this was the reason why Jacob had seen the interpretation of the dream, as being a little too far-fetched for his liking.
But overall, Jacob wouldn't totally dismiss what Joseph had told him, for the Sacred Record informs us, that he would keep the matter in mind. But when it came to Joseph's brothers, their jealousy and anger towards him had greatly increased.
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