“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.” – Genesis 49: 22-26
Joseph, God’s chosen servant, is described in this passage as the vine located near a spring. This “spring” is in fact God, the only constant in Joseph’s life through all his moving and wanderings to and from Egypt. Joseph is fruitful because he is connected to the one who provides living water to his people. His life has purpose and is directed by God’s hand unlike his brother Reuben, whose life is compared to turbulent water. Joseph obtains his nourishment and water for life from God. The blessings of the deep springs below are similar to great blessings showering from God above. They originate from places unseen and in ways not well understood, but yet they are there and constant in a way that many other things in life are ephemeral.
Springs are locations where groundwater comes to the surface naturally. In Haiti, the springs are referred to as karst springs which means they flow through rock that looks like swiss cheese. In the mountains where I work in Haiti there are many springs and most people can get water from a spring. The problem in Haiti is that the springs are often contaminated due to poor sanitation practices and the swiss cheese rock through which they flow. Unfortunately, the Haitian’s get sick and sometimes they do not even know what is making them sick because the water looks clean.
How can I remain connected to the “spring” that is God’s spirit? How can I be confident that the spring is not “contaminated”. Can the “spring” we are connected to ever become contaminated? I do not believe God could ever be “contaminated”, but I do think that we as humans can contaminate, or become disconnected from, God’s spirit and intentions through our actions and selfish behavior. I am sorry to say that one of the things that kept me from becoming a Christian was the behavior of some Christians. I know that my behavior, especially as a new Christian, has sometimes turned people away from God. I think we as Christians need to be constantly asking ourselves “is this good water or bad water” we are getting from the “spring”. If it is good water then it is from God and if it is bad, we have probably polluted the spring.SDG
Prayer: God help me to remain connected and rooted in you and the springs that you provide for me along the way. Help me to drink deeply of your living water so that I can be a strong and fruitful vine.