My Soul Thirst for Thee
June 15, 2021
The Lion of Judah
June 15, 2021

Blessed to be a Blessing

God loves to bless his sons and daughters so they can be a blessing to others. This was clearly the case with Joseph. Listen to this description given by his father at his death: “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall” (Gen 49:22).

What a beautiful metaphor of a well-watered vine that is so healthy its fruit is available to all who pass by. Certainly this is what Joseph had been for his family and the world during the famine. God’s blessings are not meant to be kept but shared. God blesses us so we can bless others.

Note the difference between the Banyan tree of India and the Banana tree. Nothing can grow under a banyan tree. The banyan spreads wide—up to an acre or more. It sends its branches in all directions.  Birds, animals, and humans find shelter under its shade. But nothing grows under the dense foliage, and when it dies, it leaves the ground barren. The banana tree could not be more different. Six months after it sprouts, small shoots appear around it. At twelve months a second circle of shoots appear beside the first ones, now six months old. At eighteen months the main trunk bears bananas which nourish animals and people and then it dies having fulfilled its cycle. But the first offspring are now full grown, and in six months they too bear fruit and die. The cycles continue unbroken as new sprouts emerge every six months, grow, give birth to more sprouts, bear fruit, and die.

The Banyan tree illustrates the life that focuses on its own greatness. It may be impressive but the legacy is of no lasting influence. However, the life that is willing to die to itself and truly follows in Jesus’ steps will be a blessing to people both now and later.

Joseph lived a life that was a blessing because God enabled him to do that. Listen to these words: “With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel” (Gen 49:23-24). Joseph had every reason to be barren—after all the unfair and unjust trials he endured, but it never caused him to dry up and wither—only to even be more fruitful.

Arrows were shot at Joseph from his brothers, from Mrs. Potiphar and others who resented his rise from prison to the court of Egypt. In all of this Joseph remained faithful to God and relied on God. There was never a word of self-pity. His speech always glorified God. What an example even under attack.

The reason for Joseph’s incredible conduct was God. And his father’s blessing acknowledged this in eloquent words. Joseph’s power came from “the Mighty One of Jacob.” Jacob declared that God alone had saved Joseph. God was his shepherd and his rock. God was faithful and dependable.

No matter what we are going through God is ready to bless us and that blessing can be shared with others going through similar trials. We are truly blessed to be a blessing!

(Parenting with a Long View)

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