“But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.”Genesis 37:4 (NLT)
Today we begin one of the greatest adventures in the Bible: the story of Joseph. The Holy Spirit dedicated ten chapters to this. Perhaps the reason is that Joseph is a type or picture of Jesus Christ.
Joseph was the eleventh of twelve sons born to Jacob and the firstborn of Jacob’s beloved wife Rachel. No doubt he was the favored boy! Have you ever known someone who was a spoiled child? It seems that he or she can do nothing wrong. But favoritism creates family conflict with other siblings who feel unfavored. Joseph’s ten half-brothers were filled with envy and hatred toward their youngest brother.
To make family matters worse, when Joseph was seventeen years old, he had two dreams where Joseph’s brothers were serving Joseph! Now these were obviously from God, for they both would come to pass. The problem was that Joseph foolishly shared them with his jealous and resentful brothers. This would put Joseph in a pit of trouble…literally!
Likewise, Jesus was the favored Son of His Father. In fact, when Jesus was baptized, a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” How did Jesus’ brothers respond? His half-brothers didn’t believe Him, and the religious leaders envied Him and delivered Him up to be crucified.
“He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”John 1:11 (NKJV)
This is the first of many hidden pictures of Jesus in the story of Joseph. God had great plans for Joseph, and He has even greater plans for Christ. Many of these have already been fulfilled, and many have yet to be fulfilled. We do not know the times and the seasons that the Father establishes by His own authority (Acts 1:7). But one thing we do know is that this same Jesus, whom God raised from the dead and seated at His right hand, is coming again in glory to rule over all the earth. Just as with Joseph, God’s way of exaltation is through humiliation. Joseph and Jesus were rejected before being glorified.
If God raises up someone other than us, we must always guard our hearts against the sins of pride, envy and hatred. God is free to choose whomever He wills to do whatever He wants. May God help us to be humble and have spiritual discernment in accepting those people whom He appoints.
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