Updated: Mar 11, 2021
Photo credit: @dancarter
Joseph was definitely in a comeback season. After 13 years of betrayal, slavery, sexual harassment, character assassination, accusation, and false imprisonment he was about to be promoted as second in command to Pharaoh, THEE most powerful ruler in the entire world.
Joseph's story gives a promise to those who have felt betrayed, mistreated, lied about, and experienced tragedy for no fault of their own. God can reward you in a different realm than the one in which you were wronged.
Let’s look at all the parallels in Psalm 126 and the life of Joseph:
When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them.
The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
It was the time of fulfillment of Joseph's dream. It's interesting that one of the meanings of the word dream in Hebrew (CHALAM) is to restore.
Was God fulfilling one man’s dream of personal success? No, not quite. God was not fulfilling a dream that small.
It was the time for God to fulfill the literal dream Joseph had when he was a young boy in his father’s house.
One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. “Listen to this dream,” he said. “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!”
Repetition means something special is rule number 10 of Rabbi Eliezer B. Jose Ha-gelili’s 32 rules of hermeneutical interpretation. This means when a word is repeated over and over again a superfluous number of times, it is not simply the author’s writing choice, or lack of creativity to find a larger variety of words. Every author of scripture was inspired by the spirit of God. Therefore every word, even punctuation mark has intent and layers of revelation and meaning.
I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved.
11 times CHALAM is sprinkled throughout Genesis when detailing key events about Joseph’s life. Ding ding! Clearly CHALAM, dream, is a guiding word that we can safely use to interpret what scripture wants to teach us about Joseph’s life and discover why it is relevant to us today.
You know what I find interesting? In all the years of being in Egypt we don't hear Joseph weeping. But five times after his son Manasseh is born, we see in scripture that Joseph wept. And the word used for wept in Hebrew is quite astounding because it connects to the sound of many waters.
wept (BAKAH, hebrew) - to flow by drops, weeping, lamenting. To signify the sound of rain drops.
Psalm 126 is a psalm that connects to Joseph because Joseph's life was becoming restored, and his dreams were becoming reality. He was experiencing his long earned harvest. Yet it was also a time of weeping.
I’ve often heard it said we sow in tears and weep in joy, quoting Psalm 126. But I want to propose that you can be weeping while you are reaping. Joseph’s story gives us a biblical basis for this very thing.
Did he cry tears of self pity? No I don't believe so, that does not seem consistent with Joseph’s character or nature. But what then? What is the significance of Joseph’s tears in a time or restoration?
Could there possibly be any purpose to Joseph’s tears? Any purpose or profit to your tears or mine?
Absolutely. That we will study in the next article.