Friday, January 18, 2013

Genesis 38 - 41

We now turn to the life of Joseph. Jacob's youngest son. We also see the effect of parental favoritism for Joseph was loved more than his other brothers by their father Jacob, just as Rebekah favored Isaac over Esau. In Joseph's case, this parental favoritism is displayed by a robe of many colors made for him. It states that the brothers hated Joseph because they saw that their father loved him more. It leads to Joseph's brother's plotting to kill him. But the oldest brother intervenes and Joseph instead is sold to a caravan of Ishmaelites (see Genesis 37). Jacobs is told by his other son that Joseph has been killed by wild animals, displaying blood on his robe of many colors. God's purposes are displayed through dreams that Joseph has where his brothers and his parents are shown to bow down to him. This is a glimpse into God's purposes that He intends to work out through the life of  Joseph.

Joseph is carried to Egypt and sold to Potiphar an officer of Pharaoh. Joseph is giving control of Potiphar's household affairs and it is soon evident to Potiphar that Joseph has caused him to increase and his household is running advantageously that he gives him charges over everything. Potiphar's wife however, wants to have sex with Joseph but Joseph refuses displaying loyalty to Potiphar and to God and he tells her that because of him her husband has no concerns about anything and how then can he do this great wickedness and sin against God. That is an amazing response. Joseph could have had sex with her and no one would have been the wiser, but Joseph was conscious of the blessing of working for Potiphar and more so, of displeasing God. He called having sex this great wickedness - how many of us have responding to an offer of sex in this fashion??

But Joseph's negative responses anger's Potiphar's wife and she cry's rape when Potiphar arrives home. Joseph is taken to prison. It is there there dreams have a big part in his life for he interprets dreams there for Pharaoh's baker and cup bearer who were also in prison. The dreams come true the chief cup bearer was restored and the baker was killed. Joseph's ability to interpret dreams was the vehicle God used to gain him favor in the sight of Pharaoh. Joseph is Genesis 40:8 says ...And Joseph said to them, Do not interpretations belong to God? This ability was God-given. Joseph interprets dreams that Pharaoh has been having which have troubled him and which none could interpret, the Cup bearer remembered Joseph and mentions him to Pharaoh. Joseph is brought to Pharaoh and interprets his dreams of seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. Joseph is placed in charge of provision for the coming famine and rises to power - as the second most powerful person in Egypt.

This is an amazing story. The Reformation study Bible points out that Joseph like some of the Bible characters is a type of Christ. He like Christ was beloved by his father, was sent to his brother, but was sold for twenty pieces of silver, just like Christ, and after suffering persecution and temptation righteous Joseph was exalted as lord over his brothers, just like Christ. God's provision is so clear to see in the Bible, it cant be missed. Each major character displays Jesus Christ, the coming Savior, the suffering and persecution they suffer points to Christ's suffering. The faithful rescue of God's beloved by His strong Arm, points to His rising Christ up from the dead because although loaded with all the sins of His elect, Christ paid the price and came through the other side of God's wrath, and death could not hold Him, He was innocent - Christ is not the type for us on this side of the cross the True Savior has come, who Abraham, all the way to Joseph point too. He has come, He has borne our sin upon Himself for us and we are so united with Him in His resurrection that we are spoken of as having been raised with Him and seated with Him in heaven. As we watch it unfold before our eyes, pray that God will give us the spiritual eyes to see and the spiritual heart to treasure His purposes and provision.  Starting with Genesis 42 next.


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