Who was this Joseph?
As I complete my annual read of Genesis, I am amazed at the insights packed within this initial volume of God’s word. The types portrayed in the patriarchs, seem unlike any other portion of the Scriptures. Genesis is definitely more than some creation story, but also provides the scaffolding for the construction of the Church triumphant, the Body of Christ.
Here, Abraham is called out; Isaac is offered up; Jacob is wrestled down; and Joseph lives into the dream. What a story, and yet the stories within each story, when applied to the life of the current believer and the Church at large, certainly bring reliability to this ancient text.
This morning I was reading through the final chapters of the drama around Joseph’s brothers. They have returned to their father with both exciting news of what they had discovered in Egypt and their required confession of what they had originally done with their fathers favored son. My eye was drawn to the strategic use of names by the Holy Spirit, as He crafts this text for future Christ followers now millennia apart from this story.
In chapter 45:25-28, we are privy to the discussion being held within the household of Israel. “Joseph is alive! In fact he is the ruler of all Egypt.” Here is a similar declaration as was made on Easter Sunday…He’s alive!
I was taken aback by what I saw next, “Jacob…,” the name assigned to this once crafty schemer, “… was stunned; he did not believe them.” Somehow, just as was the case with the disciples when that first Easter message was delivered, so it is with all of us, when we hear of the miraculous, in a mental state that depends solely on our own wits.
“But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them…the spirit of their father Jacob revived. And Israel said, ‘I’m convinced!”’ Here the Holy Spirit assigns new meaning to the life of this mere mortal, for he now speaks by the Spirit, as the God-man in him stands upright.
The nest chapter begins, “So Israel set out with all that was his,” Gen. 46:1. God, that night, revisits the sinner he loves, known as Jacob; but you will see in the narrative, He “spoke to Israel”, the man whom God saw this sinner to be!
So continues this great redemption pilot, even in verse 28, as Jacob the Patriarch, calls on Judah, the Lion; the soon to be seed of Christ, to speak to Joseph, the dream of God; the Church triumphant.