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“Looking into the Word”
by Art Sadlier   
December 16th, 2010

Joseph and his Brothers

Israel’s future is foreshadowed in the relationship between Joseph and his brothers, Joseph again being a type of Christ.

Outline – Genesis 39:-41:

1 – Joseph presents himself to his brothers as one sent from the father.

2 – His brothers reject him and put him in the pit, the place of death.

3 – God raises him up and exalts him.

4 – God gives him a bride.

5 – When his brothers are broken and prostrate before him, he blesses them.

6 – He becomes the channel of blessing to them and to the whole world.

In Joseph’s experience we have insights into the latter day experiences of Israel. During the time that Joseph was in Egypt and until he chose to reveal himself to them, he was hidden from his brother’s view.

His brothers would go through a time of soul searching and arrive at the place of deep conviction for their sin against Joseph. The years would roll on and his brothers would seem to have no thought about what they had done, life went on as usual. But God moved into the situation, and then came seven years of plenty and seven years of famine. What was going on? Who sent them? The call of hunger and God’s sovereignty brought them guilty to the feet of Joseph. We see in this situation a foreshadowing of Israel in the years of trouble during the dispersion while Christ is in heaven, hidden from their view. This comes to a climax during the tribulation period.

Genesis 42:21-22, “And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us. And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required.”

In Genesis 44:16, Judah says, “God has found out the iniquity of thy servants:”

We see again the sovereign God working out His purposes in the lives of men. He moves heaven and earth, He uses the climate and the hearts of kings and all of the circumstances to bring about His great purpose in the lives of his own. We are reminded of Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” We see in the scriptures, God in His sovereignty, working out His purposes for Israel. We see Him working to bring Israel to repentance and faith blessing.

The day came when they stood unknowingly before the one whom they had so grievously wronged, and they confessed their sin with broken hearts. God had worked effectively in their hearts.

Genesis 45:1, “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.” No stranger was allowed to witness this intimate sacred scene. No one else could enter into and appreciate this divinely wrought conviction and restoration. These alone stood in the presence divine grace. When we come to respond to God in repentance and faith, only God and we ourselves can enter into that precious moment. Have you been there?

Genesis 45:4-5, “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. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” All of this is a picture of a future day for Israel and it is revealed in Zechariah 12:10, “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” The one whom Israel has rejected is the one who will one day save and deliver them.

In Genesis 45:7, we again see Joseph as a type of Christ. “And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” When his brothers had thoroughly repented, Joseph could pour the balm of comfort into their broken hearts. In Zechariah 13:1, we see this same scene repeated in the closing days of the tribulation period, “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.”

All that Israel did to Christ, we see pictured in Joseph’s relationship with his brothers, we see also that which Christ will do to and for Israel in the later days. God’s mercy and grace, shines through it all.

In Zechariah 13:9, we see the purpose of God for Israel consummated at the end of the tribulation period. “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”

The same sovereign God that works in Israel also works in our lives also, Praise the Lord!

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