favor lost, favor regained—in spite of himself
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The Bible is our instruction manual, history, present, future. God's words, drawing us into the hidden, His deep. We read what's written. But what about what’s not said—between the lines and within the strokes of each Hebraic letter? Those crevices are often where revelation and backstories emerge.
This soul-arrow story is part of a series, birthed from my Soul Remodeling post. In the Bible, God calls individuals—and the entire nation of Israel—into a soul-wilderness journey, where He takes them off the grid . . . away from the common and into a holy, deeper understanding within their soul.
There are three components of God’s soul-remodeling process:
(1) The love call (a going into yourself, for yourself, to yourself, known in Hebrew as lech lecha לֶךְ-לְךָ ).
(2) The deconstruction-reconstruction soul process.
(3) The emergence.
READING TIME: 8 MINUTES.
Position doesn’t just happen. It’s given by God. Joseph’s prophetic dreams weren’t a free pass to ride the tails of his royal or priest-like, multi-colored coat, k’tonet pasim, כתנת פסים—k’tonet is the name of the high priest’s garment, perhaps a hint of Joseph’s future soul story.
No, those dreams were manifestations of a calling that would first become a lightning rod in God’s hands— a tool that would spark situations and form a wilderness path for Joseph’s soul.
It began with his father’s favoritism and skyrocketed to his brothers’ actions and reactions to Joseph’s golden position and arrogant dream talk.
Sforno—Italian rabbi and regarded Torah commentator (late 1400s)—chalked up Joseph’s behavior to “youthful immaturity.”
Meh. Maybe. But his dream-flaunting, scandalous reporting of his brothers and overall swag demeanor were firefly flashes . . . momentary peeks into Joseph’s soul character.
Likewise, Joseph’s soul had flashes of revelation from God when he was young. So he wasn’t suffering from a lost soul identity or ignorance of his destiny.
It was a matter of Joseph’s soul not being prepared to walk in that identity. And, sure, immaturity plays a part when he “sees” a glimpse of his future calling but then walks about “as if” it were occurring already . . . hence, his speaking about it to his father and brothers, who were not amused. Timing was off for that—way off.
So, like any of us, Joseph had to learn about prophetic gifting. Per Genesis 37:8, his brothers hated him yet even more for his dreams and for his words.
Here’s the point. We’re not always meant to share the secrets Adonai gives us from the secret place. It shouldn’t matter who sees or learns what God revealed to us . . . or who recognizes our gifting.
We need to remain intentionally prayerful on if, when, where, to whom, and how much to share. And if we believe things need to be shared, we should double-check our motivations. Is it to seek self glory, recognition, position, approval?
And that was the thing with Joseph. His motives for the dream boasting were suspect. His brothers didn’t recognize him, didn’t approve, and the only position they wanted him to be in was down in that animal pit or out of Canaan altogether.
Nonetheless, Joseph was destined to become the linchpin—a sustainer for B’nai Israel (children of Israel)—in spite of himself.
My heart was wandering in the sands,
a restless thing, a scorn apart;
Love set his fire in my hands,
I clasp’d the flame unto my heart.
—My Heart Was Wandering In The Sands, Christopher Brennan
So God steps in. Separated from the common in his life, Joseph was brought down physically to Egypt, which signified his soul being brought down to a lowly place spiritually to become deconstructed and then reconstructed into the holy. A place where Joseph would first have to become one with his barrenness (personal “desert” experience), unshackled from all that he felt he was due or previously “owned”—including physical and spiritual gifting, positions as prophesied, favor with his father, then Potiphar— and transformed into one who becomes ownerless (hefker,הֶפְקֵר).
It would take a while. Becoming ownerless and relying on God for promotion and release aren’t easy on the soul-body matrix. The earth-focused body/vessel is pulled to things of this world—and its old habits die hard. Even with all Joseph had gone through, he still attempted to wield matters in the natural to force birth his prophesied future position.
CASE IN POINT: GENESIS 40
Egypt’s king sent his chamberlains (cupbearer and baker) to prison, where they served for a year along side Joseph. The king’s duo each had a dream that only Joseph could interpret.
Despite his physical imprisonment and its boa-constrictor-like grip on his soul, Joseph still knew on some level that God was keeping the communication channels opened . . . flowing understanding through his soul’s breath, flooding his entire being, soul and body.
It was undeniable. God’s authoritative words were echoing in Joseph’s soul.
Flashes of lightning lit up that prophetic-anointing moment within him. He recognized it, stepped up, spoke out. After all, don’t interpretations belong to God?
But like in any dim room, after that flash of light, darkness returns.
Does Joseph remember all the flashes of God’s lightning through his soul over the years to carry him through? Not right then.
He doesn’t merely ask the cupbearer to remember him before the king when the dream comes to pass—that would have been understandable. The Hebrew reveals that Joseph pleaded, graveled, begged (nah, נא ) with the cupbearer to have lovingkindness/compassion (chesed, חסד) on him before the king so he could get released from prison because he was, after all, innocent.
Joseph may have been thinking enough already.
My soul can’t breathe in this uncertain darkness any longer.
My mind is exhausted. My heart is weakened.
Favored in this prison pit or not, I want out—and I want out now.
And what about my prophetic dreams that I know God spoke to me?
I’ve waited long enough . . . time to take action.
There is a difference between faith (אמונה) and trust (בִּטָּחוֹן), per commentary in The Stone Edition of the Chumash (Parasha Vayeishev, Genesis 37-40:23, pg 221). Believing God exists is faith. But trust is having the certainty, the confidence, that God is “involved in events and that their outcome accords with His will.”
Joseph’s faith was sure. God existed. God speaks to His people. God can do the impossible. God gives flashes of light to reveal our steps along the way.
BUT TRUST WAS ANOTHER LEVEL
Trust is faith in action. It would take his soul-body matrix working in tandem, listening and daring to believe upwardly . . . maintaining a firm standing, going beyond what the physical eye and natural mind could perceive.
I can so appreciate Joseph’s soul moment. It’s the stuff these biblical soul-arrow stories are made of. These people are real. Human. Broken. Quivering or questioning themselves, others, God—even in their moments of faith and trust, regardless of who they are and what they are about to do with God that is amazing.
They are you, me, and everyone else on the planet.
GOD KNEW JOSEPH’S SOUL POTENTIAL
He cast His light through Joseph’s soul to reveal things from a different perspective on high. Much had been gifted in Joseph. Now more was required to birth it forth. Two more years in the pit. Two more years of walking with God toward the uncommon, a holy place within his soul.
Pride was worked out, and humility worked into the new fabric of his soul. Grace was deposited, mercy was infused, and forgiveness (especially for his brothers) was birthed. He not only was physically delivered from the prison, but delivered spiritually—and lifted up in his relationship with God, lifted up and into a position of authority among his captors, and later, lifted up in the eyes of his brothers and father.
Read all the Soul Arrow stories:
- Soul Remodeling Series: Soul Arrow—Sarah
- Soul Remodeling Series: Soul Arrow—Joseph
- Soul Remodeling Series: Soul Arrow—Moses
- Soul Remodeling Series: Soul Arrow—Jeremiah
- Soul Remodeling Series: Soul Arrow—Saul Paulus
I’ve had my God- designed wilderness journeys to deconstruct-reconstruct my soul. How about you? These posts can shed some light and encouragement: Soul Remodeling Series: The Wilderness Call, Part 1 and Soul Remodeling Series: The Wilderness Call, Part 2.