In talking about the Life of Moses, we’ve been reading in part 1, part 2, and part 3 about the blessings he gives to each of the tribes of Israel prior to his death. Today we’ll pick up with the tribe of Joseph.
The Tribe of Joseph
In Deuteronomy 33:13 Moses speaks about the tribe of Joseph. The blessings pronounced on Joseph are the longest and most extensive in this chapter. Remember it was Joseph who had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and thought to be dead by his father, Jacob. Yet God took hold of Joseph’s life and what man intended for evil God worked out for good. And what we learn about Joseph and his life is that God did not waste Joseph’s suffering. Instead God used Joseph’s life and his suffering and produce much fruit. Fruit in the land of Egypt when there was a severe drought and famine and spiritual fruit that brought his brothers and father and him together once again! And this is how the Israelites ended up in Egypt so long ago. God took a little family of 70 and multiplied them into what is known as the 12 tribes of Israel, named after Joseph’s father Jacob.
And so God blesses through Moses, Joseph’ and his family and the people of Egypt with precious dew from heaven, rain for the land and water from below. God gave them the best the sun and moon could offer and He placed them in the choicest parts of the ancient mountains and He gifted them with the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills. The people had been given the best gifts the earth and it’s fulness could offer and these gifts v.16 tells us came straight from the favor of the one who dwelt in the burning bush, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. None other than the Lord God Himself!
All these blessings were to rest on the head, Joseph and on the brow of the prince among his brothers, thus including Joseph’s family! Then the blessing goes on to talk about the victory that would be given to Ephraim and Manasseh,Joseph’s two sons whom His Father Jacob blessed. Thus giving Joseph’s family a double portion or inheritance of that which was to come! Here the blessing describes the victory that would be theirs once they got into the Promised Land and the prosperity that would come with it!
Prosperity Blessing vs. Prosperity Gospel
Now, I want to take a minute to talk about the difference between and a prosperity blessing and the prosperity gospel, that is falsely being taught around the world today!
There is a radical difference in these two things!
There is a false teaching that says if you believe in Jesus Christ, God will give you material and financial blessings, and that’s just not true.
Blessing is not something that you can just count on.
In fact, God’s greatest blessings often come through suffering. More often than not, it’s through suffering, through the valley experiences that we tend to glean the most from God, if we lean into Him and are willing to learn from Him. That’s when we really get strong. That’s when we really understand the depths of God’s love and grace and power to strengthen us.
Blessings came to Joseph through suffering. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers, he had been unjustly imprisoned and left there for a very long time. It was in suffering that Joseph learned the great truths about God and how to live for Him, despite His circumstances and surroundings.
And then prosperity came to Joseph. Then, he was elevated to a place of Egypt’s prime minister, but he never forgot what God had done for him in the place of suffering.
Prosperity can be a dangerous place.
Prosperity can be a place where we think we can just handle this on our own. We don’t need God. We can be self‑sufficient.
If you’re in a place of suffering, will you lean into God like never before and learn all you can from Him in that place until He brings you through to the other side.
And if you’re in a place of prosperity, will you continue to remember what great need you have for God and His saving grace.
Will you remember that it is He who has blessed you with material riches, so that you can share your riches with others just as Joseph shared the riches of Egypt with those who were suffering from famine.
How important it is to share our blessings with those in need. True “Joy” comes in serving Jesus, others and then yourself! I love the acrostic for “JOY” Jesus, Others, and then Yourself!
What are the blessings God has given you today?
Reach out and share some of them with another who is in need.