Daily Thought for: 11th February

JOSEPH (4) 

Genesis 41 

We now come to Joseph’s exaltation. He had to languish in prison another two years before the events of chapter 41 take place, but such is the strength of his faith that he remains true to the Lord. Even if the butler had forgotten him there is One who would never forget; ‘Yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands’, Isa. 49. 15-16. The hopelessness of men to interpret Pharaoh’s two dreams causes the butler finally to remember him, v. 9. We see more of the greatness of Joseph’s character when he confesses before Pharaoh that it is not he himself but the Lord who will give the answer, v. 16. He reminds Pharaoh of this again in verse 25, never losing an opportunity of testimony for his Lord. 

The humiliation and exaltation of Joseph is but a picture of the heavenly Joseph, the Lord Jesus Christ: who ‘being found in fashion as a man, humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father’, Phil. 2. 8-10. 

There is a dispensational setting in these events (a dispensation being a period of God’s government over the affairs of men). The years of famine might illustrate the future ‘time of Jacob’s trouble’, Jer. 30. 7, the Great Tribulation. After the second advent of Christ the nation will be delivered and the millennial reign be ushered in. Through the years of His reign of peace and plenty there will be no end of His resources; cf. v. 49. Another dispensational foreshadowing is Joseph’s taking of a Gentile bride prefiguring Christ and His bride the church, v. 45. Joseph is called by Pharaoh ‘Zaphnath-paaneah’ which could mean either ‘Saviour of the world’ or ‘Revealer of secrets’; both names speak again of the Lord Jesus. Finally, Joseph calls his first son Manasseh which means ‘travail’, and his second son Ephraim which means ‘fruitful’—a further reminder of the Lord Jesus, for He ‘shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied’, Isa. 53. 11. 

 

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