Today’s Readings: Genesis 49-50
The life of Joseph was not recorded for us primarily to compare our small faith with his great faith. Nor was it written for us to exalt his exemplary life. Rather, it shows us the character of God and points to the Messiah. It shows us that God is patient in fulfilling His promises, “not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance” .
After Jacob’s death, knowing that his brothers feared that he would exact vengeance on them for having sold him into slavery, Joseph said, “Don’t be afraid … You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” . Joseph understood that their act had two purposes – his brothers planned evil by selling him, but God planned good by saving many lives . Yet, Joseph did not know the half of it.
As Jacob was dying, he spoke prophetically over his sons. To Judah, he spoke of a coming king in his line who would rule over all nations, not just Israel: “Judah,your brothers will praise you … You are a lion’s cub … The scepter will not depart from Judah … until he to whom it belongsshall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his … “ . In Jesus, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” , this prophecy was fulfilled and, one day, all nations will say, “You are worthy … because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation” .
Therefore, when Joseph was sold, God’s did not merely intend to save his brothers; He also intended to us. Their sin was God’s way of saving Judah from starvation so that the Lion of Judah – Jesus – could come to save us. Like Joseph, Jesus was a righteous man who was sinned against and suffered to bring salvation. Yet, as king, Jesus laid claim on our obedience by being slain like a lamb and bearing our guilt to free us to love, praise and obey Him with joy.
Lord, Although Your providences are mysterious, they are good, wise and timely. We confess, however, that we forget Your immutability and lack faith that You will work in us as in Joseph. Give us humble hearts to trust and obey You so we may be used by You to save. Amen.