Genesis (Chapter 25 – 50) – Be Authentic
Joesph (Chapters 37-50)
- Favourite son of Jacob
- Name means -“take away” or “to add”
- Lived 110 years – shortest among the 4 Patriachs
Highlights of Joseph’s Life:
If we read it as literature level, then we can discover the life of Joseph as a great drama in the Bible.
Rachel conceived and gave birth to a son whom she named Joseph.
God had answer Rachel’s prayer and had taken away her reproach of being childless and had added to her blessings.
Her prayer “May the Lord add to me another son”(30:24) was answered in the birth of Benjamin but the delivery led to her death (35:16-20).
The brothers conspire to rid themselves of Joseph at Dothan (as shown in the map on the left), and sell him as a slave to a caravan of Ishmaelite headed for Egypt.
Doing right by his Egyptian master wins Joseph Potiphar’s favour, which makes Joseph the most powerful man under his authority.
Remaining faithful to his master by rejecting his wife’s advances angers her, and causes Joseph to be imprisoned on false charges. Eventually, Joseph is elevated to the second highest position in the land, and then God uses a famine to bring his brothers to Egypt. He has the perfect opportunity to get revenge, but he does not do so.
Joseph’s dealings with his brothers will eventually bring them to repentance, and thus they will be reconciled as a family.
Joseph plays a very key role in the history of the nation Israel, and his example has much to teach us as well
God’s Presence & Involvement Joseph’s Life:
- God’s Purpose
- God has a purpose for the events in Joseph’s life. His slavery in Egypt, imprisonment and later promotion to second in command to the Egyptian Pharaoh are all part of God’s plan for him. Joseph was the instrument used by God to preserve the family of Jacob during the time of famine (Genesis 41-46) and so to preserve the line of covenant promise from destruction.
- God’s Revelation
Joseph obtained God’s revelation through his dreams as a child. In addition, God enabled him to interpret the dreams of the prisoners as well as Pharoah’s dreams. This form of revelation calls for special attention in view of certain circumstances or spiritual standing of the people who received it.
On one side were individuals who did not belong to people of God such as Abimelech, the butler, the baker , Pharaoh and even Nebuchadnezzar, while on the other side were God chosen people such as Joseph and Jacob.
Nevertheless, in today church age, when people claim that God has sent dreams for their instruction and guidance or the instruction of others, we need to be careful; for dreams can be self-induced or even influenced by Satan (Jeremiah 23:25-28)
Certainly God is sovereign and can use dreams to accomplish His will if no other means is available, but His normal way to communicate is through the Spirit teaching the Word (John 14:25-26;16:12-15)
- God’s Power, Providence & Preservation
- God providentially
- brought Joseph safely to Egypt
- sold to Potiphar, a captain of the Pharaoh’s guards
- made a chief in Potiphar’s household
- put in prison with Pharaoh’s cupbearer & baker
- God reminded the cupbearer about Joseph
- appointed him second-in-command in Egypt
- God providentially
- God’s Sovereignty
- In the life of Joseph, we can see the development of the sovereignty of God. God is able to bring His will to pass, despite working with people who are fully responsible for their actions. It is a mystery. God is not limited to good people. He is able to work through all people eg Joseph’s brothers’ treatment of Joseph was evil and of their own doing, yet God worked through their wickedness. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Gen 50:20
- Joseph recognized this (Genesis 45:4-9). “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance So, then, it was not you who sent me here, but God….” Genesis 45:7-8
- God’s Election
- Reuben – First born
- Was replaced because he defiled his father’s bed (slept with Bilhah Gen 35:22)
- Simeon & Levi
- Were replaced because they killed the Shechemites ruthlessly
- Reuben – First born
Note: God had elected Joseph to replace Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn (49:3-4;1 Chron 5:2) because of his sin with Bilhah (35:22) and now Joseph’s sons (Manasseh and Ephraim) would replace Simeon and Levi (Gen 49:5-7), Jacob’s second and third sons. The Levites were given no inheritance in the Promised Land but lived in forty-eight cities scattered throughout Israel (Num 18:20, Deut 18:2) and Simeon was eventually absorbed into the tribe of Judah (Josh 19:1-9). In this way, God punished Levi and Simeon for their anger and violence at Shechem (Gen 34). The tribes of Joseph and Judah become the dominant ones in Israel. It is also reveals that Judah is the chosen tribe who will produce the promised ‘royal seed’. From within the Genesis account, we can rightly consider Joseph to be a type of Christ.
Type of Christ:
- Joseph seen by Bible Scholars as a Type of Christ
- Joseph is often seen by Bible Scholars as a type of Christ. A type is defined as a historical fact that illustrates a spiritual truth. It is a “shadow of good things to come.” Ordinarily when we speak of any individual in the Old Testament being a type of Christ, we refer to what he is officially, and not to his personal character
- In the life of Joseph, the historical facts about Joseph that illustrate truths about Christ is numerous:
- Through the life of Joseph, we learn that God can use sufferings to develop strong character. What matters are not so much the events or circumstances of life but our response to them. With God’s help, any situation can be used for good, even when others intend it for evil.
– God permitted Joseph to be treated unjustly and to be put in prison so as to prepare him for the tasks that lay ahead. The prison would be a school where Joseph would learn to wait on the Lord until it was His time to vindicate him and fulfill his dreams. Joseph had time to think and pray and to ponder the meaning of the two dreams God had sent him. He would learn that God’s delays are not God’s denials.
– Faith is trust in God and loyalty to Him at all costs. Joseph learned to trust God, despite his treacherous brothers’ betrayal, Potiphar’s wife false accusation and the cupbearer’s ingratitude. Faith is tested through adversity and made strong through it.
– Joseph did not succumb to the temptation of the flesh when Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him. Self-Control is an important factor in building character and preparation for leadership.
- Forgiving Spirit
True reconciliation requires sincere repentance and humble confession of sins. This was illustrated through how Joseph dealt with his brothers in a patient, loving and wise way. It accounted for why his approach succeeded. Joseph spoke and acted in such a way that the thoughts of his brothers’ hearts were revealed and God finally brought them to true repentance.