In Genesis 49 Jacob blessed his sons. The blessing he gave Joseph was rich with symbolism and allusions to Joseph’s life. He said in verses 22-24….
22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a well;
His branches run over the wall.
Jacob spoke of a wall. In many ways there had been walls in Joseph’s life. Roadblocks, obstacles, challenges, such as when his brothers sold him into slavery and when he was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison, only then to be forgotten there by the king’s butler. Yet as Jacob’s blessing pronounced Joseph was a fruitful bough through it all. He kept faith in God and extended grace to those who’d hurt him ( Gen 50: 17-21 ). As a result his branches had run over the wall. He had successfully negotiated and overcome these challenges, not allowing them to stop God’s purposes for his life.
Every difficulty Joseph came through had been an occasion when other walls could have arisen in his life. The wall of unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment. But again Joseph’s branch ran over the wall. He lived above that plain, he took the higher road refusing to let those things handicap his life and prevent it moving forward.
These verses tell us Joseph’s secret, how he did this. They talk of Joseph being a fruitful bough by a well. Joseph lived close to the well of his life, his life source which was God. He refused to let the set backs and injustices separate him or distance him from God. For that reason God’s life kept expressing itself through him making him a fruitful bough through good times and bad. Despite being treated unfairly, he didn’t let self -pity or hatred set in. That’s why his branches, ran over the wall; he was victorious and overcame the obstacles and difficulties he met, being neither stopped nor overcome by them.
If like Joseph we remain close to our well, our life in God, like him we’ll be a fruitful bough, our branches running over the wall; we’ll live victoriously, overcoming even in the face of challenges, difficulties and setbacks.
We’ll consistently be a fruitful bough.