Monday, April 03, 2006
Joseph, A Man of Many Coats
It occurred to me in reference to Joseph, that he was not only the boy with the
Coat of many Colors, but he wore many different colored coats. Joseph is one of my favorite bible Characters. It is intriguing to consider that this one characters story takes up over 25% of the book of Genesis. One of his most recognized attributes is the coat of favor his father gave him as a young child, 'the coat of many colors'.
This coat that was given him as a gift of favor, was used to confuse and deceive the giver of the Gift. When they had sold Joseph into slavery, they tore this coat of favor, and dipped in blood to lead their father to a false conclusion that lead him to literally despair of life.
It is important to understand that our 'Coat' plays a role in the circumstances of our life. The coats our parents and friends place on us and the coats they rip from us form the circumstances of our lives.
I believe we all can relate with this aspect of Joseph. For good or ill, we have been given coats to wear, coats taken from us, torn and desecrated and used to tell others that the worst has happened in our lives.
These circumstances we have very little to do with. Joseph did not make his own coat of many colors, but it was given to him. His father saw a divine spark, and he recognized that spark by giving him a special 'coat'.
Joseph in turn did not tear up his own coat, but someone he trusted took his coat, tore his coat and defamed his coat and used it to tell a lie on him. Now, I know from ministering in the Jails, you never meet a guilty man.
I am not speaking to this generation that refuses to accept responsibility for their own actions, I am talking about those that are literally hated, abused and lied on by those that are of a jealous and evil heart. It is hard to imagine people being this mean until you have felt the teeth marks of their evil mouths bear down on your good name.
Joseph was sold into slavery, wrapped in the coat of betrayal was sold into a wealthy mans home. And through the Favor that God clothed him with, everything he did was good and very blessed. But something happened; again the evil hands of humanity touch him again.
Joseph left his 'coat' in the house with an evil woman. I am not sure the circumstances, but the scripture only says that he 'Left his garment in her hand.' Joseph was a man of integrity, without a doubt. However the one thing I would say in caution that we can learn from his circumstance.
First thing, don't go in an empty house with a hungry woman. There have been a number of men I am sure that in this circumstance have not passed this test. One way to be sure this test never comes your way is don't put yourself in this circumstance.
Secondly, don't let this person touch your garment. Don't let them wrap their hands around your garment. Because even in doing right by fleeing from the enticements of this woman, he left his garment in her hands. And again, his coat is used as false evidence against him.
The enemy will do everything in his power to take your coat. When you're around the enemy, don't take your coat off and do everything in your power to keep the enemies hands off your coat.
However, no matter your effort there will be times that the enemy gets your coat. He will take it from you. He will rip it from your grasps and in doing so rip the character of the coat. He will defame you and desecrate it all in attempt to destroy you.
But Jacob knew something that we all need to learn.
'You might do that to my Coat, but you can't do that to me!'
Jacob and his essence were never marred in the hands of evil and hateful people. He never lost his dream. He never lost his integrity and in the end we see he never lost his optimism and faith in the goodness of humanity. Even his brothers, he was able to look at them and see that even if they were haters, God used their evil deed to bring blessing and purpose into his life.
Don't let the Haters, inconsiderate, selfish and evil hearted among us do to you what they do to your coat. If you will be true, those that should love you will stand on the sideline when apparent strangers put on you a manifestation of your true character.
One day, the Naysayers were silenced and the Pharaoh recognized Joseph for who he was and took the ring off his own finger. Think of this, The KING put his Ring on Josephs finger. Put a gold encrusted chain around his neck and watch this arrayed him in 'vestures' of fine linen.
In the end, after a man who wore many coats, finally stands before the people in a Royal White Robe with the Kings Ring on his Finger and he is proclaimed tobe a Man with the power to reveal secrets. When all his life, he had been lied, he was an enigma wrapped as it were a secret in a cloth. He who was a secret was able to reveal secrets. No one knew who he was. His Dad had an idea, but no one else ever really grasped until that moment who he was. Joseph was God's answer to the worlds troubles. Troubled families, troubled finances, troubled prisons, trouble on the horizon all were dealt with by a man named Joseph.
Joseph was a man that wore many coats. However the lesson was and is, Joseph was bigger than all of his coats. Joseph was greater than all his coats. Coats get dirty, get old, get lost and get discarded. But who you are, now that is better than any coat.
Jesus is my Coat. Wrapped in his Righteousness. Wearing the robes of his Priesthood and draped with the royal robes of his Kingly Authority.
Check out my Coat, It's not Tommy Hilfiger, but Jesus Christ!
In Him, By Him, Through Him,
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