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12232
“Looking into the Word”
by Art Sadlier   
December 13th, 2010

Christlikeness

In Genesis 37 we have Joseph as a beautiful type of Christ. That is God’s purpose for us in a world that hates Him but so desperately needs Him. We are to be like Christ in a world alienated from God.

Joseph was, like the believer today, the object of his father’s love. Verse 4, “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors.” The brothers of Joseph were estranged from what their father loved and from their father’s purpose concerning his son Joseph. They therefore hated Joseph and envied him. Verse 4, “And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.”

In verse 5, God speaks to Joseph in a dream. “And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.” God reveals Himself to those He loves.

In verse 6, Joseph shared with his brothers that which God has revealed to him. He was faithful to share with them that which God had revealed to him. You would think that his brothers would be happy to hear what God had revealed, instead they hated him. In this situation two things are represented.

First, they represented the Jews of Christ’s day, “He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” Their eyes were not opened to behold His glory.

Second, this is true of our own day as well. When we share Christ there will be some who will receive Him. There will also be many who will reject Christ when He is presented to them and they will also reject the messengers.  Verse 8, “And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.”

Joseph’s revelation to them brought him down into the pit. We have a testimony here of rejection that will come to the believer who is a faithful witness. We also have a type of Christ’s rejection as He presents himself as the saviour of men. We see that men will crucify Him as He comes with the truth of God. Christ came to bring the truth to the world, and He was the truth. Christ’s witness to the truth was answered by the sword, the spear, the vinegar and the cross.

On God’s part the witness to the truth was answered by a great demonstration of His love and mercy to men and the glorification of Christ.

This whole scenario of Joseph is echoed in the parable of Matthew 21; “But He came unto His own and His own received Him not.” Earth and heaven were the issue when Christ came and the issue has not changed today. Men crucified him, but God raised Him from the dead. Men placed Him on a cross between two thieves, but God placed Him on His own right hand. Men gave Him the lowest place on earth, a grave, but God placed Him on a throne in heaven with majesty and glory.

In Christ we see the basis of God’s purpose of blessing and glory for Israel, for the Church and for all of creation.

We see the mind of God as we look at Joseph in the pit and in the prison and we look at him later as the ruler of all of Egypt. We see the difference between the thoughts of men and the thoughts of God. When we look at the cross of Christ and compare it with His throne of majesty and glory in heaven, we see again the thoughts of God and man in comparison. Nothing can ever bring out the thoughts of man’s heart toward God but the coming of Christ.

John 15:22, “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.” The eyes of men are blinded toward Christ who is the truth. A man who is blind and knows he is blind can have his eyes opened. But there is no hope for the man who is blind and thinks he sees when he really does not.

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