Joseph is a fruitful branch,
A fruitful branch by a spring;
Its branches hang over a wall.
“The archers provoked him,
And shot at him and were hostile toward him;
But his bow remained firm,
And his arms were agile,
From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
From the God of your father who helps you,
And by the Almighty who blesses you
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
The blessings of your father
Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors
Up to the furthest boundary of the everlasting hills;
May they be on the head of Joseph,
And on the top of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.
Today’s scripture passage was actually a word spoken over my life around 1980. I had just begun to pastor our church here in New Orleans when Mike McIntosh, one of the pastors from our Bible School in California, came to visit me and to speak at our church. Mike had a strong prophetic edge on his life and he spoke this passage from Genesis over me. Obviously this is the word that Israel (Jacob) spoke over his son Joseph just before his death. I had no idea that forty two years later I would still be reflecting on the words of this prophesy and how it relates to my life. I have broken this word down into eight words of prophesy that have all been part of my story over all of these years. Check out these eight specific words.
- The favor of God
- Fruitfulness – souls
- Resistance – the archers
- Blessing despite attacks from your brothers
- Blessings of heaven
- Blessings of the deep – the internal blessings of the Spirit
- The blessings of the breast and of the womb
- The blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
All of us like to focus on the blessing rather than the other stuff. I have had way more than my share of blessing and favor during all of these years but I have also felt the sting of the arrows shot at me. Too often, like Joseph’s story, they came from my “brothers”. The beauty of this word is that our branches grow over the wall even in times of adversity. To this day I am still taking in the blessings of heaven, the blessings of the deep, and the blessing of the breast and the womb (soul winning and discipleship). The amazing thing about Joseph, he became God’s vehicle of blessing and deliverance even for his brothers who had dumped him in the well and sold him into slavery. So what do I say after all these years, “I am Joseph and what others meant for evil God meant for good”.