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We can learn a number of life lessons from the life of Joseph. First his dreams teach us that no matter what circumstances we go through in life, God's purposes will be accomplished in our lives. Joseph discovered that it was for God's higher purposes that he had to suffer in the hands of his brothers so that his difficult experience in Egypt and his elevation by God finally became the basis for salvation for his family. He says in Genesis 50:20 "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." This lesson agrees with Romans 8:28. The trials that Satan brings our way are temporary setbacks from which God springs us up to our place of destiny. Secondly we can discover that we should never despise our family members because of some limitations in their lives. The story is told of a famous Kenyan international athlete whose father threw away his mother into abject poverty while he was very young and married a second wife. This young boy did not excel in high school because of his difficult life but he painfully and steadily focused on long distance races and rose to fame when he became a world champion. His father years later quickly sought to reconcile with his mother when he realized that the boy was now a millionaire but it was too little too late. However the young man decided to support his half brothers and sisters with his fortune and the family was able to achieve milestones from the miracle boy who was once rejected. We should always bear in that the same people we despise may turn out to be our divine instruments in future and should therefore never dismiss or despise them on account of their age, gender, or any handicaps in their lives. We also learn that it is wise never to share God's revelations or personal secrets with those to whom God has not entrusted us. Joseph may have spoken about his future out of lack of wisdom because of his age, but he certainly spoke the true revelation that God had revealed to him. Some people are dream killers and will do everything possible to kill our life dreams. However, God in his unlimited grace will cause his perfect will to be accomplished in our lives because his ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9) The third lesson concerns unconditional forgiveness which was perfected in us through Christ. Joseph was entitled to revenge, but in the fullness of love and a godly heart he chose forgiveness and reconciliation with his brothers and he confirmed this to them even after his father died (Genesis 50:13-28). How often we find it hard to forgive those who harmed us in our family yet Jesus forgave us our sins (Romans 5:8). Joseph demonstrated to his brothers that though he was in a position to harm them he chose forgiveness and healing. God gives us the grace to forgive if our hearts are inclined to Him. Finally, the life of Joseph teaches us that faithfulness and obedience to God even in the face of danger will never go unrewarded. Joseph like Daniel suffered the dungeon experience on account of resisting sin and disobedience (Genesis 39:20). The Hebrew word for prison is "bayith" which also means dungeon. Joseph's suffering was crowned by God who lifted him from his dungeon life and elevated him to positions of honor. David celebrates the faithfulness of God in Psalm 23 and declares that God honors him in the presence of his enemies. God has this gracious way of demonstrating his honor for his faithful saints. Our present difficult circumstances will never determine our destiny. While we may not realize the fullness of God's honor in this world, we do know that those who faithfully walk with God in obedience will be crowned in the presence of God when their life journey is concluded. Paul teaches this truth in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 and this should inform our motivation in our daily walk with Christ.
As a dreamer-boy, Joseph was so despised by his brothers that they ultimately sold him to a passing caravan of Ishmaelites. But having risen from slave to statesman in Egypt and now second only to Pharaoh, Joseph having grown in spiritual stature said to his brothers, “And now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life…and God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here but God…(Genesis 45). In effect, this man’s forgiveness allowed a tribe to grow into a nation that made their exodus from Egypt some 430 years later. Forgiveness and patience in the face of adversity are virtues beyond telling. His was therefore a foreshadow of Christ Jesus: For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous (Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 8:9).
I have a very simple answer to this question. Joseph suffered for his integrity and remained faithful to His God through it. This prepaired Him for the position of power and the rewards as well as the responsibillity of that position of power which God prepaired him for absolutely. Power corrupts absolutelyy when a man has not endured tribulations for having integrity. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8 Joseph never waviered in his faith in his God. If only our politicians today were like Joseph, then our country could become great again but they compromise their integrity because of peer pressure and self-interest from the ungodly unbelievers and tares among the wheat. They bow down to the God of this world's systems Satan. Our once great nation's leaders although imperfect at leasts did not think their own thoughts were higher than God's ways. Romans 1:22 and 1Corinthians 1:25 Now evil is called good and good evil. Isaiah 5:20
Like Moses (Deut 18:15), the life of Joseph is a “prophetic type” of Messiah. For it is here that we uncover “Mashiach ben (son of) Yowceph” (Messiah ben Joseph) as first prophesied in Gen 49:22-26. It is also here we find the first prophecy of Mashiach ben David in Gen 49:8-12. If you do not understand this, you cannot fully understand Yahusha’s (Jesus’) 1st coming or His 2nd coming. Joseph’s life is the most amazing of “prophetic types” in Scripture. “Ben Joseph & ben David” have been taught by Hebrew sages as far back as 500 BC. When John the Baptist asked Yahusha if He was the coming one or if they were to look for another (Mat 11:3), it is because John knew of the two foretold Messiah’s. John knew Yahusha was ben Joseph (The Suffering Servant/Lamb), but he was unsure if He was also ben David, the Lion of Judah, (Gen 49:9, Rev 5:5). Yahusha responded to John (Mat 11:5) by pointing at a prophecy of Messiah ben David (Isa 29:18; 35:4-6). In this, He told John He was both! It is in these two “prophetic types” that the 1st and 2nd comings of the Messiah are most clearly understood. Joseph appeared as a Prince of Israel and had the birthright of King (1 Ch 5:1-2); however, Judah (David) was prophesied to be King (how God would accomplish this mystified the Sages). The answer is found in Yahusha. Yahusha has been fulfilling the “type” of Joseph for the last 2,000 years and will not complete it until after He first returns for His bride. David appeared as a King and the type of “David” as King will not begin until Yahusha’s literal return to Earth to reign. Here is briefly what we know of the prophetic aspects of Joseph’s life and work as a pattern of Yahusha’s (Jesus’) life and work. Note: () contain Scripture "Number" and "Name" meanings. Joseph (He will Add) and Yahusha (Yah’s Salvation): 1. was a son of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel 2. is the 11th Son (Those Who Escape) of Israel, the Prince and rightful King 3. was considered the least by his brothers, but greatest by his father 4. dreams of “the Sun, Moon and Stars” (A Great Expansion) bowing to him (a King) 5. is elevated by his father above his brothers 6. is the heir of Israel sent by his father to seek out his brothers in the wilderness 7. is hated by his brothers for exposing their sin to his father (killing his lamb) 8. chooses a relationship with his father over one with his brothers 9. his authority is mocked and rejected by his brothers 10. is plotted against by his brothers, who seek to kill him 11. is cast into a pit by his brothers and does not die 12. is sold by Judah (Judas = Judah) to “Midianites” (strife and contention) 13. was delivered through “Midianites” (strife and contention) into Egypt (Gentiles hands) 14. entered Egypt on the day that would become the Passover (Nisan 14/15) 430 years later 15. was 17 (The Son(s) of God) when he entered Egypt 16. his brothers placed “the blood of a lamb” on Josephs coat causing Israel to believe he died 17. his brothers hid from Israel that Joseph was alive in Egypt among Gentiles 18. served 13 years (Atonement) among the Gentiles 19. never sinned (there is no record in Scripture) 20. is a prophet, predicting the future of two Gentiles (the baker dies & cup bearer lives) 21. came to power at age 30 (Christ/Messiah/Mashiach) 22. was second only to Pharaoh (God - only the throne separated them) 23. rose to great power among the Gentiles 24. while in Egypt he was known only as the dead son of Jacob by his brothers 25. Joseph did not go to his brothers in Canaan/Israel, but waited on God for them to come to him 26. his name was changed to Zaphnath-Paaneah (Savior of the World) among the Gentiles. Yahusha was also literally “Messiah ben (son of) Joseph” as His earthly father was named “Joseph” and He was the Messiah! Can God make it clearer? I will post the future aspects of Joseph’s life (what is coming) in the comments later. Shalom
What I admire most about the life story of Joseph is the beautiful picture it gives us of forgiveness from the heart. I think it’s the best example in all of scripture of human beings forgiving each other. So, I would like to delve deep into this part of Joseph's life and see what real forgiveness looks like. All the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere (Gen 41:57). Jacob sent 10 of Joseph's brothers down to Egypt to buy food (42:3). Joseph was governor of the land and the person who sold grain to all its people (42:6). As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but they did not recognize him (42:7-8). A. Then the bitterness in Joseph's heart flared up in power-filled anger: He pretended to be a stranger [deceived them] and spoke harshly to them (42:7). He accused them 3 times of being spies (42:9). He planned to send one brother back and keep the 9 as hostages (42:15,16). He locked them up for 3 days (42:17), He sent 9 brothers back and kept Simeon as a hostage (42:19). He feigned using an interpreter so he could eavesdrop on their conversation (42:23). He bound Simeon before their eyes (42:24). He tricked them by putting each man's silver back in his pack (42:25). He threatened that they would not see his face again unless their youngest brother was with them (43:3,5) He seated the brothers in the order of their ages and gave Benjamin 5 times as much food (43:33,34). He had each man's silver put in the mouth of his sack [again] (44:1). He had his silver cup put in Benjamin's sack (44:2). He sent his steward after them to accuse them of stealing his cup (44:4,5). The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack so Joseph kept him as his slave and sent the brothers back to Jacob (44:17). B. In these exchanges with his brothers, Joseph’s heart began to soften and he moved closer to the point of actually forgiving them. He turned away from them and began to weep (22:24). Deeply moved at the sight of his brother [Benjamin], Joseph hurried out and went into his private room and wept there (43:30). He could no longer control himself, so he had everyone leave and then made himself known to his brothers (45:1). He wept so loudly all the Egyptians heard it and Pharaoh’s household was even told about it (45:2). Joseph said, “Come close to me. I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you… to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance” (45:4-7). Now hurry back to my father and say to him “God has made me Lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me and I will provide for you” (45:9-11). Joseph threw his arms around Benjamin and wept, he kissed all his brothers and wept over them, afterward his brothers talked with him” (45:14-15). C. The brothers too have their own journey toward confessing their sin against Joseph and repenting of it. The brothers said to each other “Surely we are being punished because of our brother…” (42:21-22). Their hearts sank… trembling … “What is this that God has done to us?” (42:28). Reuben says “You may put both my sons to death if I don’t bring him [Benjamin] back to you.” (4:37). Judah said “I myself will guarantee his [Benjamin’s] safety… (43:9). The brothers presented Joseph with their gifts and bowed down before him to the ground (43:26). The brothers threw themselves to the ground before him and said “We are now my Lord’s slaves” (44:16) Judah plead for the release of Benjamin, offering himself as a slave in his place (44:33-34). His brothers were unable to answer him because they were terrified in his presence (45:3). Joseph kissed all his brothers and wept over them, afterward his brothers talked with him (45:15).
I believe the story of Joseph was and is a foreshadow of the life of Christ. Many of the Jews rejected their Messiah during Jesus' earthly ministry as they continue to do today; however, there is hope according to the Word of God. According to the first chapter of John, verses 11&12 read as follows: "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name." The Bible reveals that Jesus was handed over to Pilate because of envy, same reason Joseph's brothers with the exception of one by God's grace, wanted to murder him, but sold him into slavery instead. It reveals to us as believers the mercy and the forgiveness of our heavenly Father. Jesus on the cross said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Jesus through His humility, has been exalted and given all power in heaven and earth. It is written, "Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Jesus is Lord."
I love the 3 things about Joseph revealed to us in Genesis 39. The background for this story which starts out as a sordid story is this: Joseph had suffered in a pit since his brothers hated him, but now he’d face an even greater danger due to the lust of a loose “lady.” “For a harlot is a deep pit, and a seductress is a narrow well’ (Prov. 23:27 NKJV). After 2 pits, Joseph might have been saying, "Life is the pits!" but he didn't! 1. Joseph had a physical handsomeness, but it was never a snare to him (Gen. 39:6). Potiphar’s wife unfortunately had an eye for Joseph, a young man who was “well-built and handsome.” Day in and day out she sexually harassed him, but he refused her even though she was the one who was making sexual advances to him. He could have rationalized, “I couldn’t help myself; it was her fault!” 2. Joseph resisted temptation. His godless mistress could not seduce him. Grace was his to flee youthful lusts. Thus he did not commit a “great wickedness” (Gen. 39:7-13). It was on that one day, when no one else was around (she thought that she and he could get away with it, but God is always watching, Gen. 39:11; Proverbs 15:3). Nonetheless, at this time she grabbed him by the shirt, launching her full-scale attack, and made her demand: “Make love to me!” (Genesis 39:12 NIrV). But love is never demanding (1 Corinthians 13:5, NLT – “Love does not demand its own way.” Joseph took off running leaving her holding his ripped shirt. This was the 2nd time in his life he lost a garment (Gen. 37:23; 39:12), but as the Puritan preacher said, “Joseph lost his coat, but he kept his character.” 3. Joseph was silent amid dirty/foul accusations and the appearance of guilt and unjust punishment (Gen. 39:14-20). Remind you of anyone? Potiphar’s wife retaliated by screaming rape—which rallied the servants. When her husband came home, she told him a twisted tale of fighting off the handsome young slave who wanted “my body.” Joseph was very courageous and determined to resist this strategy day by day (a “wile of the devil’), but he succeeded. He explained to her why this wouldn’t work, ‘even if nobody else found out about it, God would know and be mad’(Gen. 39:9). His counter strategy was to flee as is the Christian's duty today (2 Tim. 2;2). Fleeing in the Bible can be considered cowardice (Ps. 11:1-2; Neh. 6:11), but there are also times like these when it’s evidence of courage and integrity.
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