TD Jakes - Forensic of a Favor
He lost a part of himself. Joseph was in some ways Jacob's Mini-Me. They were both blessed men of the same God, in the same way. And Joseph lost the one who believed in him, who believed in him before he was in the chariot. And when you find somebody who believes in you before, oh my God, that's a wonderful thing. I can't even talk about that. Anybody can believe in you after. But if you got somebody who believed in you before, there's a special, for them. And I almost read over it in the grief of the moment and the sadness of the situation. I almost read over it. But when I did forensics, when I did forensics and I started to slice the text, I had to get past this bond between Jacob and Joseph, and start asking questions.
And my first question is, where are the other brothers? You were all around the bed when the blessings are passed out? How does Joseph weep alone for a father who had 12 sons? If you can get one out of 12, if somebody gets you, don't hope for everybody to get you, but if somebody really appreciates, you've done well. Jacob blessed all of them, raised all of them, fed all of them. Why is the one who wasn't even at home doing the most weeping? The one he fed the least loved him the most. And the ones he did the most for gave him the least. It wasn't that they weren't there. Since they were there, they didn't weep. They had to be there 'cause they were gathered around the bed. Why are they not laying on his neck weeping? Joseph lost the most because Joseph had the capacity to love the most. Everything that knows how to live doesn't know how to love.
The Bible says that Joseph fell on his neck and said, "I lost my father. I lost my inspiration. The one that was going to prove that you weren't wrong when you gave me the coat of many colors, I really am who you think I am. I know I messed up and I was in jail, and I went through a whole lot of mess, and I got fired, and I lost my job, and I've been a slave and everything, but you wasn't wrong. Look, see Daddy, I made it. Daddy, I made it, Daddy, Daddy. I made it". I was so distracted by who was weeping that I didn't notice who wasn't. Notice who does not weep. Notice who has no natural affection. Notice who can see you suffering be indifferent and look the other way while you go through pain. Pay attention when those who should care do not. It tells you that there's something wrong.
Joseph loved his father so that he used his favor on his father, and called for the physicians to embalm Jacob. And the Bible says, I want to read it just like it said it 'cause it's good, this is good. Wait a minute, wait a minute, just wait on me. I want to read it, this is good, this is good. Yeah, it doesn't say the physicians embalmed Jacob. It says the physicians embalmed Israel. Yes, you came for my church, I can tell it. The physicians embalmed Israel. Is this not prophetic? Is this not profound? Now, you must understand it was not the custom of the Egyptians to embalm a foreigner. This embalming was reserved for pharaohs. The way they preserved the bodies is still legendary, still studied to this day. The mummies are still preserved even to this contemporary day. They spared no expense in embalming Israel. To this day, the bodies of the mummies are preserved.
It took 40 days of the pharaoh's choicest physicians to do this. The complicated process is deep, I don't even want to go into it, it might be too much for some of you to understand of how they preserved the body, and emptied it out, and took out all the brains and the entrails and all of that, and preserved it to last. You don't spend that kind of money on the daddy of a cellmate. Jacob is being honored in a favor that he had nothing to do with. He is being honored with the favor that is the result of being connected to somebody with favor. Always know where your blessings come from. Always know where your blessings come from. Don't get so caught up in the blessing that you don't understand the only reason you got that blessing is because you was connected.
Oh, don't get high minded and start walking in your flesh. The only reason they did it was because Joseph told them, "That's my daddy". And they embalmed him like he was a king. And it took them 40 days to prepare that old man's body. And for 40 days, they wept. I don't know whether they were weeping over the loss of Jacob or the grace that his father would be treated like a pharaoh. He came to Egypt out of a famine, and he leaves as a pharaoh. Good God Almighty. Hey, your story ain't over yet. You're not going to leave out the way you came. You might have came in hungry, but before it's over, oh my God. And isn't that how Israel came to Egypt anyway? They came out of the famine, but they left with all of the wealth of the Egyptians, so much so that the pharaoh was trying to get it back. Everything that's happening to the old man is happening to the nation, for the nation left with the wealth of Egypt.
The death of the old man is prophetic to the state of the nation of Israel. When they embalmed him and the 40 days was completed, somebody say 40 days, when the 40 days was completed, which was a type of the 400 years, then Joseph sends to pharaoh, probably unable to go to him because he had touched the dead, and says, "If I have found favor in your sight, let me bury my father at home. Now, I'm going to take him back to Canaan". Let's do forensics on that. It tells me that nothing Joseph had and nothing that Jacob honed had made him forget who he was. It tells me that the trick to having favor and maintaining favor is no matter how high you go, always be rooted in where you came from. Now I understand why the Bible says Joseph is a bough whose branches reach over the wall. You may reach over the wall, but don't get so engrossed in reaching over the wall that you stop acting like where you came from and you lose loyalty to your roots. He said, "I got blessed over here. But when everything is said and done, take me back home".
And then let's cut another layer and go a little bit deeper. It tells me that God will bring you back full circle. That the same people that saw you leave hungry will see you come back full. It tells me that God has a way of working it all out. I feel like preaching this morning. I don't know who I'm talking to, but God gave me a word for you. Not only does pharaoh let him go, he sends all of his support and soldiers and regiments. Here they go, escorting Joseph and his father across the desert so that the Amalekites and the Hittites and the Jebusites would not attack them along the way. When you saw pharaoh's soldiers marching beside the body, you knew this was royalty. And if you mess with him, you'd have to fight pharaoh. Oh, let me tell you, I might not be much by myself, but if you mess with me, you're going to have to mess with the one who sent me. I'm not in this battle by myself. Somebody shout "Yes"!
They took the westward route, the longer route, the distant route to get back home. And when they got back to the Promised Land, and the strangers that had inhabited the land saw the escorts and the majesty, they thought Jacob was an Egyptian for the escort that was provided. And they brought them up to a place and went no further because in order to go into the tombs of Abraham, that was a family matter. No witnesses were allowed. It reminded me of Abraham and Isaac going up on the mountaintop, and told the servants, "Stay here. Me and the lad are going yonder to worship". There's a lot of folk that start with you that can't end with you. There's a lot of people that start out, but you can only take them so far. It comes to a point that you can say, "Where I'm getting ready to go now, you can't go with me 'cause you're not related to me. You're not connected to me. You don't have the same DNA. You don't have the same spirit. This is family business".
That's why, when Jesus was on the cross, that's why the sun went black, because God didn't want us to be able to witness what was happening to the Son on the cross. So, he put out the sun in the sky so he could deal with the Son on the cross, because some stuff is family business. If you're not kin with me, you can't go with me. Come on, somebody. Somebody shout hallelujah. And so, there they are, and they took Jacob, and they laid him in what he owned. They laid him in what was his. They laid him in a prepared place. "I go to prepare a place". They laid him in a prepared place. And that's when the brothers got nervous because all of a sudden, they begin to think, "What's to keep him from not killing us now? Daddy's dead. Daddy's dead. Maybe he didn't kill us because Daddy was living". Couldn't believe that he could be that good of a person. "Maybe he didn't kill us because Daddy is living. Maybe he might kill us now". And it is with this in their head that Joseph tells him, "It's okay. It's okay. You made it evil, but God made it good, come on. I'm gonna keep on blessing you".
Now we see why Joseph was trusted with favor. When you can bless someone when there is no advantage, when there's nothing in it for you, when you can be consistent and continue to bless when nobody's looking, now you see why the favor rested on him to the degree that it did. And I thought to myself, "Now, I see why you didn't cry when your father died. You spent all of those years in a favor you couldn't enjoy. You could never really enjoy it". And this is what I want to tell you why they couldn't enjoy, 17 years they lived in Egypt like princes. Their father was buried like a pharaoh. Their brother loved them even after their father died. I'm going to tell you what will rob you of the greatest moments of life. No matter what God gives you, you will never fully enjoy it if you have guilt. Guilt will stop favor from favoring you.
They lived in goodly houses, they got the blessings, they got the opportunities. They were in the right circle, in the right crowd, with the right people, in the place of their dreams. They weren't happy. They weren't happy in the Promised Land, they weren't happy in Egypt. They weren't happy on the road, they weren't happy off the road. They weren't happy with their father living. They weren't happy with their father dead because the unhappiness was in them. It was not around them. It was coming from the fact, this is it, you got to see this, this is important. This is the most important thing I'mma tell you. They thought that the guilt was coming from how Joseph saw them, but it was not how Joseph saw them. It was how they saw themselves. And as long as you see yourself by what you did, as long as you define yourself by what you did or what was done to you, I don't care what you were, I don't care where you live, you will always ruin it. No soldiers can protect you from you.
You can't dress well enough or put on enough perfume, because no matter how much God blesses you, it is not that Joseph will not forgive you. It is that you will not forgive you. And until you forgive you, until you make peace with yourself, until you get to worthy, until you get to worthy, that place where God can bless you and you can wear it, that place where folk can love you and you can receive it, that place where you can be honored and you can accept it. Not because you're faultless. Not because everything was perfect and everything was right. Until you can fathom the amazing grace of God, who makes the unworthy worthy, you will always sink back to how you see yourself. We can raise you all day long, and you will fight your way out of our hands down to the level of how you saw yourself. So, the forensics on favor report the only thing that can kill favor is how you see yourself.