But there arose a new king over Egypt who knew not Joseph…
That’s what led to the enslavement of the Hebrew people in Egypt. They had stayed too long…
Joseph had told them to leave this land before Pharoah dies. He died, and in his absence they stayed.
They were living too well. They had left a land of scarcity and famine in coming to Egypt. In Egypt they found their brothers and thus found themselves on the most fertile land in the only land where food was to be had.
They had moved on up in stature. They had acquired prosperity, in a land of milk and honey. Joseph’s brothers and their descendants had come to prosper because of his dreams. But, they were not about to abandon the comforts of this life because of Joseph and his damn dreams again…
Yet those comforts abandoned them when “there arose a new king over Egypt who knew not Joseph.” And this king had NO PROBLEM whatsoever with putting the knee of the State on the necks of the Hebrew people.
Rather than be secure in their own land, they had reconciled themselves to living fat in the land of another. And now they had been subjugated in that land.
Again, they were paying the price of unfaithfulness…
And that’s the ebb and flow of life, right? We are faithful. We are unfaithful. We fall down; we get up…hopefully.
In the Obama Years, we had an opportunity…and opportunity for forging A More Perfect Union. Like Joseph’s power had compelled repentance from Potiphar, his wife, and the Egyptians who held him in bondage, the Obama Presidency placed Black Power in a similar position: to compel the repentance of White Power such that White people were able to receive the (proper) forgiveness offered by Black Power (one cannot forgive from a submissive position).
Or, we could have taken the opportunity for Black People to become more confident in themselves as a people…to see the possibilities and cease to wait for White benevolence. To learn more about Africa and her diverse countries and cultures…to deepen our own regard for the African Continent that gave clear birth to the first Black Man to rise to Presidential Stature in the land of our oppression.
Yet, that opportunity was squandered.
In the wake of eight years of Black Power (supposedly) at the helm of America, Blackness has no greater esteem for the essential Africanness of Black Identity. White Power has no greater esteem for Blackness – either in the American or global contexts. Despite Black Power bringing America back from economic decline and restoring American standing in the global sphere, see how quickly “along came a king who knew not Joseph!”
And this new king, Donald J. Trump, has done a yeoman’s job of at helping Whiteness forget Joseph…of erasing the legacy of contributions by Black Power, while protecting and defending the vitriolic White Power that beat Blackness into its place – both in historic memory and in its modern manifestations. Protecting statues of intimidation and rousing armed militias to defense of a violent heritage of hate.
So here we are floundering again…hoping to elect a new king who was at least a friend to Joseph. A king who might allow us to live in peace, because he is a friend of Joseph. Still hoping we might be allowed to hold onto our meager piece of the American Dream. Afraid to…unwilling to dream our own dream.
Hoping the American Dream in the mind of Whiteness might come to include Blackness in the fulness of its manifestation, rather than trusting our own ability in the Lord to dream dreams where our mattering is not in dispute.
Why is that? Why do we only dream subordinate dreams?
There are some critical lessons – some tough lessons – to learn from that transition from Genesis to Exodus…that transition from establishment of Jah people to movement of Jah people.
How…why did the Hebrew people go from honored guests to despised beings? And while we were never “honored” guests in America, we were more valued by White Power when we were a clear commodity. Under slavery they had to think twice before divesting of their investment. And other Whites had to be willing to pay the real monetary costs of having damaged another’s property. (Mercy Lord!) Yet, ever since emancipation they’ve killed us with impunity.
Truly you can connect the Egyptians’ contempt for the Hebrews to White Power’s contempt for we the Blacks.
Yet, they were told to leave. Again, Joseph had instructed them to leave. And the early proponents of Black Nationalism had instructed us to leave.
Why did they stay? And what does that tell us about why we stayed? About why we still stay?
I’m digging through the Word and the Fathers for some insights there. And, I hope to see something more clearly for our time together on Sunday. Join us live at 9:30AM EST by clicking here and scheduling the reminder.
But what do you think? What do you learn about us – Black Americans – from the Hebrew people who had resolved to make Egypt their home despite the evidence they were not welcome?
I’d love to read your comments…