Jesse Tree: Day 8 Joseph (Gen.41:41-57)
Joseph appears in Genesis 37 and as soon as we are told that he is ‘a son loved by his father’ (v.3) we know we are invited to consider how he will illustrate the Person and Work of Christ. A couple of days ago we saw how Isaac, the promised son, whom Abraham loved (and a young man possibly in his 30’s) was willing to lay down on the altar built by his father; and how that so poignantly foreshadows the willingness of Christ to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). We witnessed Abraham’s expectation of resurrection. And now as we consider the exaltation of Joseph, we again find ourselves lifted above the historical narrative into the mind and experience of God, to see how the patterns of history teach us of the work of Christ.
We well know the story of Joseph’s dreams, the jealousy of his brothers who sold him into slavery, and his imprisonment. But watch Joseph later in life, as he is called out of the dungeon and lays aside the rags of his shame, degradation and humiliation, and as he is dressed so as to be fit to stand before the King (Gen.41:14). Watch as he is exalted in the presence of the king, and is given authority over the entire nation, and everything in that nation with the exception of the king himself (Gen.41:41-42); and how there are those appointed who will command all to bow down (Gen.41:43). Watch Joseph as he takes this position of authority and exaltation and uses it to hold out life to a famine-gripped world that without Joseph can know only the inevitably of death. And as we watch the events of this historical drama roll out in the experience of Joseph, we look beyond it to the experience of Jesus.
For even in the days of Joseph, God had already ordained a day when His own beloved Son would be called out of the dungeon of death, when he would lay aside the squalid rags of his humiliation and of his shame and degradation. A day when He would be clothed in the glory of His resurrection and his New Creation humanity, so that He too would be fit to stand in the presence of the King, the King over all kings. So that He too would be given authority and glory and sovereign power (I Cor.15:27). And like Joseph there will be those who go before Him, and cry out: ‘Bow down!’.
And we see the second Joseph hold out life to a world gripped by a famine far more severe. A spiritual famine, a famine not of bread or of water, but a famine of hearing the Word of the Lord (Amos 8:11)… a famine of life itself, from which only the Bread of life can save us.
God will surely take you out of this land to the land He promised … you must carry my bones up from this place… (Gen.50:24-25)
Ideas for Family Devotions:
Do you have any stories as a family about when God turned something bad into something good (Gen.50:20)?
Today’s Seeds Family worship song is based on Phil. 2:9-11, and can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_V6bjN9Gfs
Bake a loaf of bread. What does Jesus mean when He calls Himself the Bread of Life (John 6:35). How does He end the famine of the Word of the Lord?
Visit Wycliffe.org.uk and find out about getting the Bible translated into every language in the world. Have a chat with Tim & Maggie Gaved…