Daily Reading – Genesis 37 and 39
The Hebrews could look to Joseph for an example of radical faithfulness, and his faithfulness endured some pretty difficult circumstances. But as we will see in Psalm 105, God chose to send him ahead of his brothers, even into slavery, in order to bring good to his people.
Read these words from Psalm 105:
7 He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He remembers his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
9 the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
10 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as your portion for an inheritance.”
12 When they were few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in it,
13 wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
14 he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,
15 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
do my prophets no harm!”
16 When he summoned a famine on the land
and broke all supply of bread,
17 he had sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 His feet were hurt with fetters;
his neck was put in a collar of iron;
19 until what he had said came to pass,
the word of the Lord tested him.
20 The king sent and released him;
the ruler of the peoples set him free;
21 he made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions,
22 to bind his princes at his pleasure
and to teach his elders wisdom.
23 Then Israel came to Egypt;
Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
24 And the Lord made his people very fruitful
and made them stronger than their foes.
25 He turned their hearts to hate his people,
to deal craftily with his servants.
God sent a man ahead of them, and he was sold as a slave. This Hebrew man Joseph was rejected by his brothers and sent by God into the world of the pagan Gentiles. His purpose was to bring life in the midst of a terrible famine. The Lord’s favor was with him, and in the face of temptation he remained faithful. Though he was falsely accused and became a slave, he trusted God’s promise that one day his brothers would bow down and worship him. Until the time of the promise came to pass, his feet were hurt with fetters and his neck put in irons, and yet he remained faithful.
God is using Joseph’s life to add brushstrokes to the portrait of his Son that he is painting throughout the canvas of the Old Testament.
I. Jesus was sent by the father.
“For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure.” John 3:34
II. He was rejected by his Jewish brothers and became a light to the pagan Gentiles.
“And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles.” Acts 13:46
III. The Lord sent him to bring life and salvation in the middle of a spiritual famine.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
IV. The Lord’s favor was with him.
“And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’” Luke 4:17-19
“and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'” Matthew 3:17
V. He remained faithful through temptation.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15
VI. Though he was falsely accused, he continued to trust God’s promise that one day he would rule and all will bow down to him.
“He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:22-23
“But of the Son he says,
‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.'” Hebrews 1:8, Psalm 97:7
VII. Until the time for the promise to come true, he was tested. His feet were hurt and his body was hanged, yet he held out hope in the promise.
“looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
One greater than Joseph is here. God sent him ahead of his brothers into a dying world, and he will deliver his people from their sins.
The Emmaus Trail is a devotional study that explores the theme of God reconciling himself to the world through the redemption of his Son which is found in all of Scripture.
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.