[Today: Genesis 45] Jesus is Our Joseph. In this chapter, Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. Joseph holds no ill will against them, for he sees that all of the events that brought him to Egypt were for the salvation of his family.

[Gen 45:1-28 KJV] 1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. 2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. 3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I [am] Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence. 4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I [am] Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. 6 For these two years [hath] the famine [been] in the land: and yet [there are] five years, in the which [there shall] neither [be] earing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 So now [it was] not you [that] sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. 9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: 10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: 11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet [there are] five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty. 12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that [it is] my mouth that speaketh unto you. 13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither. 14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him. 16 And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants. 17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan; 18 And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land. 19 Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come. 20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt [is] yours. 21 And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way. 22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred [pieces] of silver, and five changes of raiment. 23 And to his father he sent after this [manner]; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way. 24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way. 25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father, 26 And told him, saying, Joseph [is] yet alive, and he [is] governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not. 27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived: 28 And Israel said, [It is] enough; Joseph my son [is] yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.

This chapter of Genesis conveys the account of Joseph revealing himself to his brethren. The occasion of Joseph being so moved is the private conversation he has with Judah at the end of chapter 44. Judah intercedes for Benjamin, offering and preferring to be a slave in Egypt than to return home to Jacob without Benjamin. This is a perfect picture in Judah of Jesus interceding before the Father for sin-sick humanity, offering to take on another’s punishment (our punishment in fact) rather than to return (in Jesus’ case) to heaven without captivity humanity set free to be in His kingdom.

In verse 1, Joseph can contain himself no longer and orders all the Egyptians out of the room that they might not witness his heart poured out to his brethren. This, as well, is a picture of the compassion of Jesus for us as his brethren, bought by His own suffering. Egypt is a type of the world, and the world has no part and no place in the work of redemption either as a witness or as a partaker.

Even though Joseph clears the room, his weeping before his brothers is heard nonetheless as he makes it known who he is to his brothers and plaintively asking if his father does, in fact, yet live. The brothers are stricken speechless before Joseph, unable to grasp what is actually taking place right before their eyes. Joseph sees (v. 4) that his brothers are unconvinced, and he calls them to come near to him, saying plainly that he was Joseph, their brother whom they sold into Egypt. This speaks eloquently as a type and shadow of Jesus himself, calling the skeptical and the unbelieving to him, declaring that he is their brother sold into the sufferings of the Cross for our redemption.

Joseph’s heart (and by extension the heart of Jesus) is not that his brothers grieve or be angry with themselves but rather to see that his epic suffering at their very hands was for the purpose of preserving their lives in the time of famine. We can see in this the true heart of Jesus. He doesn’t want us to fill our hearts with a religious sense of mourning. Mourning does not move the heart of Jesus, for that is not what he wants. What Joseph wants to see is that his brothers believe in who he is and what he has done for them and that all of the events of his life, including their betrayal was all part of a great work of redemption for them. Likewise Jesus doesn’t want our crocodile tears of religious expression but that we as in the case of Joseph believe in who Jesus is (as our Lord and Savior) and that we believe in what He is willing and in fact, has done for each and every one of us in going to the Cross for our sake and providing for our salvation not from a temporal loss but from eternal damnation.

Joseph compels his brothers (v. 7) to understand that in their act of betrayal, God was bringing about His plan on a deeper level to save and to deliver the whole family. From this perspective, Joseph declares (v. 8) that it was God that sent him to Egypt not to suffer alone but to be made a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his house. In light of this (v. 9) Joseph compels them to make haste to bring the entire family to the safety of Joseph’s care, just as in the light of the work of salvation Jesus wants us to make haste to come to Him that we might enjoy the safety and nurture that all who accept Him will enjoy not only in this life but in the life to come.

While staying in Egypt, Joseph’s family will live in the land of Goshen in order to be near to Joseph that all the children and the flocks might dwell together. Goshen means “drawing near” or “to draw near.” In seeing Jesus as a type of Christ, what does this tell us? In coming to Christ, God wants us to dwell in the land of “drawing near” to Him more than any other thought that we might have about our life in Christ. This was precisely the message of Jesus when he called the 12:

[Mar 3:14 KJV] 14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

What do you think you are called to most of all? What is the high calling in your life? More than preaching, more than going to the mission field, more than any other thing that you might think you are called to – you are foremost and above all called to the spiritual land of Goshen, the place of drawing near the call to be ordained to be with Him – to be with Jesus. Any other idea or plan that you might have is worthless and not of God if this is not your first and your highest response to the work of Calvary on your behalf.

Joseph promises (v. 11) to nourish the family for what he knows by revelation will be five more years of famine in order to keep them from coming to poverty. Do you see how this reveals the heart of Jesus? Joseph is saying in v. 11, “I will nourish you … let you come to poverty…” Where do people get the idea that poverty is ever in the plan of God for their lives? That is blasphemy against the heart of God. Paul declares that Jesus as our Joseph has no desire for us to suffer lack:

[2Co 8:9 KJV] 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

Again Joseph urges his brothers to make haste to go to Canaan and return with their father and the rest of the members of the family. He then turns from them and falls on Benjamin’s neck and weeps openly. This heart that Joseph has for Benjamin is a reflection of the heart of Jesus toward us:

[Heb 2:11 KJV] 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

The events taking place here are made known to Pharaoh, and he adds his command to the urging of Joseph for them to return to retrieve their father Jacob and the balance of their households and come back again to Egypt to enjoy all the good of the land. The brothers obey, and upon their return to Canaan, inform their father Jacob of all that has taken place. Of all the good news regarding salvation from the famine, Jacob is only interested in one thing – his son Joseph yet lives, and he will see him before he dies.

What are we to learn from this chapter? The whole of the narrative of Joseph is a picture of Jesus as our brother suffering in our behalf that we might be saved from the consequences of sin and to receive forgiveness in ourselves for the blood guiltiness within our hearts as a consequence of our own transgression against the savior.

 

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