WORD WEEK 03.12.06, 03.19.06, 03.26.06
GOD IS TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!
GENESIS 37:24 KJV
And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
The season of Spring has commenced! Humanity bears witness to glimmers of its presence by the precursor of daffodils that have peeked their heads through the earth's winter blanket after several months of dormant slumber. As the winter snow melts into the earth, daffodils have relinquished themselves to the marriage of soil and water and have consummated their union bringing forth brilliant yellow blossoms kissed by the sun itself. These brilliant bright yellow blossoms are reminders to each of us that GOD is still on the throne and that the LORD is speaking to humanity and every living thing in creation. Further reflection upon the presence of the daffodil is a reminder to us that GOD has not forgotten about his promises, but more importantly, that GOD has not forgotten about us!
All winter long we have labored under the hope that daylight would be longer, that the climate would more forthcoming with warmth from the sun, and that the anticipation of the marvelously welcomed unexpected unfolding glory of GOD would become more manifested in our lives! Like the daffodils that seem to stretch their green arms and raise their yellow heads in reverential praise to the majesty, the splendor, and the holiness of GOD, so must we as we anticipate a fresh breath from GOD with the approach of Spring!
As we have trod the challenging paths of Winter, some of us have become acclimated to its barrenness, while others have become immune to its barrenness, and still others have forgotten the barren ground upon which they stand was the place, just months prior, where rich green vegetation was a bold declaration of the resilient nature of GOD'S love, grace, and mercy! Metaphorically, the daily malaise of the Winter season has caused far too many of the LORD'S people to render themselves to abductions, place their faith in "pits," and allow their integrity to be "sold" to questionable euphorically imbued doctrine that causes one to feel wonderful, but has no authentic healing, convicting, humbling, nor transformative power! Significantly, many of GOD'S people have waited and are just shy of a few minutes of giving up and giving in, but you must not! Spring will come commensurately with the manifestation of GOD'S blessings, healing, deliverance, and renewal in your life beloved of GOD!
As the events unfold in the Narrative of Genesis 37:24, Joseph's brothers conspired a plan to destroy him as he disclosed a dream that indicated that his brothers would one day bow down themselves before him. Joseph's brothers conspired to kill him. However, one brother, Rueben petitioned them to refrain in exchange for Joseph's coat of many colors and smeared it with a kid's blood so Jacob would think that his younger son was dead. While the events were unfolding in the bloodline of Jacob, they were simultaneously and metaphorically functioning as a part of GOD'S plan in the intertwined nature of Israel and Egypt. The LORD rendered guidance to Joseph who had witnessed the moral decay and fallen victim, repeatedly, to the psychospiritual erosion of GOD'S people. Circumstances of despair and the proliferation of human pathos had escalated in the land. A reversal of fortune was foreshadowed in that GOD'S people would eat their food in frenzy, drink their water in desolation, and recline upon their beds of rumination, for their land would be stripped of everything in it because of the presence of idolatry in its varied forms. Significantly, what was becoming clear was that GOD was speaking, but his people were not listening. Ironically, even at present, not only are GOD'S people not hearing his voice, but far too many of GOD'S people have loss their dreams, even more of them have forsaken the passion of the dream, and still even more of them, the gift to interpret the dream! Spring is the reminder for each of us that even during the months of Winter that "God Is Trying To Tell You Something."
Part I THE PIT
As the events unfold in the text, we become witness bearers to a plan conspired by the brothers of Joseph to destroy him. We did not arrive on the scene with these brothers via our own volition, but via circumstance. These brothers, who are completely unaware of our presence began to contrive a plan. While we, the witness bearers, are praying and hoping that what Satan met for evil, but GOD for good would result in an optimistic outcome, we are unable to access Joseph to inform him that danger was on the horizon! While the brothers have some change of heart, not so much about what to do, but how to implement a plan by which to exonerate themselves, they decide to place Joseph in a pit and leave him for dead!
As each of us have traveled upon his/her spiritual journey, we have, at sometime on that journey, been waylaid by "PITS!" In some instances, we have seen these PITS from afar. Consequently, we have been able to sidestep them for prepare for the "shock" of becoming intimately acquainted with them. In other instances, even more dangerous are the PITS that we do not see nor expect. Even more compelling, devastating, and disempowering are the PITS that are prescribed by those whom we love, trust, and to whom we have been entrusted! It is like one walking down the street and unknowingly walking into a manhole or stepping into a hole that completely throws off one's balance/equilibrium causing shock, sprains, fractures, and brokenness, not only to the body, but to the integrity and the spirit of the victim! Help us GOD! Joseph was in a PIT and so was his hope, future, and his life!
PITS are the kinds of situations that have the propensity to destroy or transform us! We have witnessed the pandemic and pervasive impact of the manner in which these PITS manifest such destructive tenants in the sanctioned suffering, the moral malignance, the physical perniciousness, the economic emasculation, the spiritual slaughter, the emotional exploitation, and the psychological plutocracy of far too many innocent people! When one falls into a PIT, the critical thing that one must do is to look up! One must in the words of the psalmist acknowledge that "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2.
Part II SOLD
As the narrative continues to unfold, Joseph is rescued from the PIT into which he was placed by his brothers. He is SOLD by the Midianites into Egypt to Potiphar, an Officer of Pharaoh and Captain of the Guard. We might imagine that Joseph wondered where the hand of GOD was in all of this mishap! When a human being is SOLD, it is such a dehumanizing travesty to the human condition and the human soul as it has the propensity to strip the dignity and character of him/her who is sold like property!
Moreover, further reflection upon this dynamic of being SOLD is a tragic, yet a critical part of one's ability to understand the historical significance and pathos of Africans/African Americans who journeyed from the banks of Africa through the Middle Passage to the islands, states, and other countries into the disempowering system of slavery.
While history has offered society many valuable lessons, many of these unlearned lessons reveal themselves in a plethora of variations. When one considers the dynamic of being SOLD, many women are prostituted across national and international boarders and even right in our own communities. Significantly, children are abducted, sold, abused, and murdered under the canopy of being rescued! Help us GOD! Additionally, far too frequently, GOD'S PEOPLE are selling themselves short of the fulfillment of GOD'S plans for their lives, as they sell out for popularity, association, prestige, recognition, acceptance, and favor! The act of being SOLD has a very high price, one of which yields painful returns and life-denying interest; for Joseph is was twenty pieces of silver, for the exploitation of women and children the range is $10.00 with no ceiling, and for JESUS, the price was thirty pieces of silver via Judas Iscariot! Oh if we had the wings of a dove we would fly away and be at rest we muse!
Part III THE BETRAYAL
Commensurate with our desire for renewal, peace, and joy, the world, the nation, and our communities have been severely impacted by suffering, despair, brokenness, woundedness, and catastrophe. As many of us allow ourselves to be present to this reality, we, GOD'S people, sometimes feel helpless and hypocritical as we pray, sing, and praise GOD on Sunday, but neglect to exhibit a spirit of gentleness, love, compassion, understanding, encouragement, and empathy to those who we encounter the remaining days of the week. Betrayal sometimes is readily witnessed in overt instances, but even more toxic, devastating, and deadly it has the potential to be when it is implemented in the dark, in secrecy, covertly! Significantly, far too many persons' lives have been radically altered as a consequence of no volition of their own implementation, but by the hands of those who abuse and inappropriately dislodge power. Have mercy upon us LORD, we pray!
Trust may take a lifetime to establish and betrayal has the power to destroy such trust in seconds! Joseph was betrayed by his blood and those whom professed to love him. Jesus was betrayed by those whom he nurtured, loved, healed, protected, and those for whom he would die! If the truth were uttered, you, Beloved of GOD have been betrayed by false hopes, relationships, friendships, family, the faith community, and even at times by "self" in believing that your circumstances are too complex and anchored in a miry pit, or sold to the land of no return for the power of GOD to work in and through such circumstances.
As we look at the narrative of the plight of Joseph, he remains anchored by the GOD on the inside of him and not anxiety-ridden by the small gods outside of him that were invested in his undermining!
Nevertheless, as PEOPLE of GOD, this does not mean that we must refrain from reckoning with the reality of PITS, BEING SOLD, and BETRAYAL in our lives! BETRAYALS in and of themselves wound the psyche, PITS cause spiritual neurological damage, and BEING SOLD causes Posttraumatic Stress Disorder...TRAUMA! Joseph offers us hope and petitions each of us that "GOD IS TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!"
The aforementioned statement is critically significant, because circumstances have the propensity to cause even the most grounded Christian to call into question the fruition of GOD'S word amidst the onslaught of a the triple threat of THE PIT, SELLING, and BETRAYAL experiences.
Part IV THE DREAM
The DREAM Part IV WORD WEEK 04-02-06
Joseph's life journey was one of perpetual change, uprootings, misperceptions, betrayals, frequent interruptions, abrupt departures, and vanquished victories. In light of being left for dead, being sold as property, and being repeatedly betrayed, Joseph remained grounded; not so much by his own might, but by the fire of GOD on the inside of him which could not be vanquished or extinguished! Metaphorically, Joseph's resilience was like that of the embers of a burning log. Subsequently, an unexpectant gentle wind, like the gentle breath of GOD, provided these embers with enough oxygen to reignite the flame that was once at risk of extinction.
Significantly, while circumstances were rapidly and radically changing, the only anchor to which Joseph had left to adhere was his dream and the power of his dream. In many instances, GOD'S faithful people have found themselves amidst circumstances that create spiritual arrest. Far too often, GOD'S people are left stunned and dissolusioned by the inconsistencies, injustices, and paradoxes that are the essence of a spiritual life. While many of GOD'S people know that there is no problem too big for the LORD, many of his Beloved have found reprieve not so much in the actual manifestation of liberation from their suffering, but in the liberation which is yet to come. Dreams have been the catalyst that enabled the wounded to remain buoyant like that of a raft being carried adrift by the ripples of the river to its destination. Moreover, when one reflects upon "spirit of resilence" which kept slaves going admist inhumane conditions, it was not so much the liberation of those within the clutches of slavery that kept them going, but the liberation of their beautiful ones yet to be born. It was the both the passion and spirit of the "DREAM" that enabled slaves to anchor themselves to the GREAT EMANCIPATOR , JEHOVAH-JIREH !
Dreams are seeds of infinite possibilities that GOD placed within the soul of his Beloved before eternity delivered itself to the flesh of humanity in the birth of a baby. Joseph was given the ability to interpret dreams in the morning of his years. However, the trails and challenges of his moving in sync with GOD could only be developed by the experiences that he incurred. If one were looking from the outside in, it might be easy to surmise that GOD was allowing circumstances to denigrate Joseph. However, on the contrary ; i.e., GOD was using Joseph's circumstances as a means to develop character, compassion, love, and as a means to fulfill the "DREAM."
Many years prior, as the Beloved of GOD launched out in the morning of their journey, many of them had hope as high as the heavens and dreams that dared to dream even greater dreams! Unfortunately, far too many of GOD'S Beloved have abandoned their dreams as life became too challenging; i.e., too difficult. Consequently, their immersion into "PITS," their being "SOLD" into the captivity of self-centeredness; complacency; fear; anxiety; bitterness; vindictiveness; greed; lust; envy; jealousy; hatred; deception, and the repeated "BETRAYALS" of life has caused their souls to become parched and their spirits to experience famine. Throughout the Holy Text, GOD illustrates his deep love for humanity in the expression of dreams repeatedly. Consequently, Joseph offers us an opportunity for regeneration when we realize that the gift that was the catalyst for fraternal jealousy and potentially fratricide, was the same gift, when tempered with grace and compassion enabled him to be forgiving to those whom hurt and betrayed him.
"DREAMS" propel us when reality tells us the our wings are broken and we cannot fly! "DREAMS" are the promise for a new day when the day appears dark! "DREAMS" are GOD'S love covenant to humanity. "DREAMS" are language that are spoken to us not only during daylight, but during twilight as well! "DREAMS" defy the odds! "DREAMS" defy death! "DREAMS" are to the soul was blood is to the body! "DREAMS" have built nations! "DREAMS" have torn down walls of injustice and inequality! "DREAMS" defy fear! "DREAMS" are Psalms of hope from GOD! "DREAMS" are GOD'S love song to the Beloved! "DREAMS" never die because GOD is the author of them! "DREAMS" are like the caterpillar the breaks open its own skin from the chrysalis to become a brightly-winged thing of beauty! "DREAMS" are the very breath of GOD! "DREAMS" are the drops of JESUS' blood shed for the remission of sin and an expression of a love supreme! "DREAMS" caused Joseph to be placed in a "PIT" and left for dead! "DREAMS" are the gift from GOD which made Joseph a ruler over a nation! "DREAMS" are the physical manifestation of that which the spirit has already experienced! Consequently, what Joseph offers those of the house of faith is the reality that behind every "PIT" experience, behind every experience of being "SOLD," and behind every encounter with betrayal, therein lies a "DREAM" that desires to be birthed!
Trust the LORD and embrace the unfathomable...YOUR DREAM
As we approach the manifestation of the promises of GOD, let us do so with a greater degree of reverence and intimacy to GOD as we are compelled by our potential under the light of the brilliance of the CHRIST, convicted by "TRUTH" and transformed by "LOVE" to which we have tenaciously cleaved, and enraptured in the presence of GOD'S healing love!
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