Sovereign Confinement
by Patricia Blanks

"The way to jubilee and liberty is God Sovereignly Confining us."

This short narrative demonstrates how God, the ultimate sovereign, works on his followers by means of limitation, even incarceration. Blanks sees no better example of this than the biblical story of Joseph. Joseph was sold off by his jealous brothers and then enslaved and imprisoned in Egypt. The author compares this to a pit, a void: the prisoner has no idea of the length of confinement and can’t understand how it can have any positive purpose. But the Lord saved Joseph from despair and blessed him with prophetic dreams that eventually led to his freedom. Blanks recounts her own sovereign confinement, beginning with a cancer diagnosis. She maintained faith that she would survive despite multiple setbacks over twelve years. During this time, her spiritual life began to bloom. So, when her sovereign confinement was over, it had brought many blessings.

Blanks is an elder at Abundant Life Kingdom Ministries and holds several theological degrees. Using biblical texts and her own enhanced interpretations based on life experience, she cleverly weaves her personal ideas into the story of Joseph. She genuinely believes that God held her in a state of restraint, preventing her from fully functioning in the world, in order to impart spiritual lessons. While some additional editing would improve her work, her meaning is still clear and invites empathy. Her analysis of the sufferings and triumphs of Joseph is rational, and her over-arching theme—God’s blessing us within what may seem like inescapable boundaries—is conveyed almost like a sermon. She acknowledges the repetition in this text of certain concepts, asserting that, “repetition brings retention.” She concludes with a section devoted to questions and answers related to the narrative and space for note-taking. Her book could be used for thoughtful Bible study.

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