Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.
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,
because of your father’s God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty, who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
blessings of the deep springs below,
blessings of the breast and womb.
Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
A few summer’s ago we had a bumper crop of apples on our trees. They are planted next to a wall, and some of the branches, and the fruit, were obviously hanging over it. We heard that our neighbour had commented, ‘I wonder what Steve and Jilly are doing with all those apples.’ We were very glad to share them with him! But it made me think, ‘Oh that the neighbours may see abundant spiritual fruit in our lives and want some of it.’ I’d like to have the fruit of the Spirit go ‘over the wall’.
This is a beautiful summary of Joseph’s life. It does seem that those who suffer the most often bear the most fruit. He certainly came through a lot, but his fruitfulness was fed by a “spring”. It was God (Jacob’s God, who was also Joseph’s God) who was his source. Look at the repetition of the word “because.” It is found four times in verses 24b and 25a. If the ‘effect’ was a fruitful life, God was the ‘cause’, not Joseph. He was truly a blessed man.
PRAYER: Lord, I pray that people around me will see the evidence of your work in my life and want you.
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