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Bible Commentaries

Wells of Living Water Commentary
Genesis 41

 

 

Verses 9-37

God Intervenes for Joseph

Genesis 41:9-37

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

How the words ring out with almost appalling sadness: "Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him."

1. Joseph had shown marked kindness to the chief butler, yet he forgat him. We stop for a moment to ponder the kindness of God toward us in Christ Jesus. This Scripture is most suggestive: "Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Another Scripture just as wonderful is, "After the kindness of God our Saviour appeared."

This kindness of God toward us makes man's ingratitude and forgetfulness of Christ stand forth in strong colors. If. He had not loved us with so great a love it would have been different. If He had not demonstrated the deepness of His love and kindness by such overwhelming gifts of His grace it would not have been so marked when man turned His face upon the Lord.

Who is it that tramples the Son of God under his feet? It is even those for whom He died.

Who is it that forgets Him days without number? It is even those who have tasted most of His benefits.

2. Joseph had foretold wonderful things to come for the chief butler, yet he forgat him. With what resounding joy did Joseph's interpretation of the chief butler's dream come to him I He was assured of a speedy return to the favor of Pharaoh; his darkness was turned to light; his fear of death, to delight of life, and yet he forgat Him.

In the case of our Lord it was even far greater: Jesus Christ not only told of things to come, of life and light and love, but He made that blessed future possible by His own death for us, yet we forgat Him.

We too, languished under threat of eternal death, then He brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. He went down for us into the pit, that He might lead its out into the light of life; He died that we might live; He suffered that we might sing; He pointed the way to the city of gold, where He is the light forevermore, yet we forgat Him.

One Scripture runs: "Of the Rock that begat thee thou art unmindful."

3. Joseph had definitely requested of the chief butler that he remember him, yet he forgat him. How weary and how dreary were the two years which Joseph spent in prison! How oft did his mind go to the pledge of the chief butler to remember him, and yet he languished, forgotten in prison!

Did not the Lord Jesus say, "This do in remembrance of Me"? Yet, how often do we forget Him!

"Lord, help me to remember the sacred debt;

Oh, by the love that sought me,

Oh, fay the blood that bought me,

Oh, by the grace that brought me to the fold,

Lord, let me not forget,

Oh, let me not forget!"

How the words of warning ring out: "Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God * *. Lest, when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein * * then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget."

Thou chief butler, reveling in the plenty of Pharaoh's house, and basking under the smile of Pharaoh's face, hast thou forgotten the one who spake peace to thy soul? How plaintive the cry of the Lord, "My people have forgotten Me days without number."

Lord, if I forget Thee, may my right hand forget its cunning, and my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.

I. GOD REMEMBERS JOSEPH (Acts 7:9-10 )

1. Did Joseph feel forgotten of God? Joseph was seventeen when his brethren sold him into Egypt. He is now thirty. His years had, for the most part, been years of travail. For a while he had prospered under? Potiphar, but afterward, through no fault of his own, he had been cast into prison.

As he lingered in the prison the weeks went into months and the months into years with no seeming manifestation of God's thought or care. Perhaps, Joseph doubted, even as John the Baptist doubted during the days of his prison experience under Herod, the Tetrarch of Galilee.

We remember how our Lord as He hung upon the Cross said, "Why hast Thou forsaken Me?"

Joseph seemed alone, but he was not, for God was with him. Jesus seemed alone, and He was because for our sake the Father hid His face.

2. How God was working for Joseph. God had not ceased to move in His servant's behalf, even though His servant knew not either God's purpose or plan which was steadily moving on toward expression. When we sometimes wonder what lies ahead, and know nothing of the way, we can surely trust our Guide. We walk by faith and not by sight. We should wait upon the Lord and be of good courage.

There is a verse which says, "All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."

Joseph's prison experience is one of the "all things." Joseph knew not the how nor the why, but he did know how to trust in God.

God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. He leads us through the valley in order to prepare us for mountain top experiences. He permits the rain to fall in order that He may strengthen, settle, establish, and perfect us against the day of some greater task. All the way, and at every turn, He is leading us to something better.

II. PHARAOH'S DREAM (Genesis 41:1 )

At the end of two years Pharaoh dreamed that he stood by a river and behold there came out of the river seven well-favored kine which fed in a meadow. Following, there came also seven other kine, ill-favored and lean, and they did eat up the seven fat kine.

Pharaoh dreamed the second time and there were seven ears of corn rank and good. Following, there were seven thin ears which came up and devoured the full ears. Then Pharaoh awoke the second time.

1. The heart of the king is in the hand of God. Joseph had sought aid of the chief butler, but had long since despaired of any help therefrom. It was God and not man who delivered Joseph. However, God wrought His deliverance by means of a simple dream which He sent to the king of Egypt. Pharaoh, when he dreamed, did not pass up his dream as of no consequence. God would not let him shake it from his mind. Therefore, he called for the magicians of Egypt and for all of his wise men, but there was none that could interpret unto him.

Man's inability became God's opportunity. The chief butler was made to remember how Joseph had revealed unto him his dream, and also the dream of the chief baker. He remembered, likewise, that everything Joseph had said had been verified. Therefore, he related to Pharaoh the circumstances now two years past. Thus it was that Joseph was called and brought hastily out of the dungeon unto Pharaoh.

2. Joseph's deliverance assured. As the order came from Pharaoh that Joseph should be brought into his presence, he hastened to shave himself and to change his raiment. As this was going on his heart must have throbbed with wonderful anticipation. He was about to be delivered from the dungeon on the one hand and to go far beyond his former estate on the other hand. Thus it is that our God works in behalf of all of us. He takes us not only from the pit into which we had fallen, but He makes our standing more secure than it was before we fell. What we lost in Adam, we more than regained in Christ.

III. JOSEPH'S CONFESSION (Genesis 41:16 )

As Joseph stood before Pharaoh and heard in detail the two dreams which had come to the king, he hastened to speak words of interpretation and of peace.

1. Joseph did not plead in his own behalf. It would have been natural for Joseph, standing in the presence of one of such matchless power, to have pleaded his own innocency and to have detailed his unjust sufferings. Of himself, however, he said nothing.

We are reminded of how Paul, standing before King Agrippa, pleaded not for his. own release, but how he rather preached the Christ and pleaded with King Agrippa to be saved.

As Jesus Christ moved among men He thought not of Himself but of. others.

2. Joseph did not plead any power in himself.

Pharaoh, said unto Joseph, "I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it." Joseph meekly replied, "It is not in me." Here is the true Christian spirit. We should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. We have no authority nor power to accomplish anything. The souls saved, the lives strengthened and blest, are not the result of anything that lies within us. What we do is what He does through us. "Not I, but Christ." That should be the slogan of every believer.

3. Joseph gave honor and glory to God. He said to King Pharaoh, "God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace." The whole ministry of Christ Jesus on this earth was a ministry of magnifying the Father. He said, "I have glorified Thee on the earth." In this Joseph was like his Lord.

Let us also follow in the footsteps of this modest and God-centered man. Whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, let us do all to the glory of God.

IV. PHARAOH TURNS TO JOSEPH (Genesis 41:14-15 )

To us it is most wonderful that Pharaoh in his extremity turned to Joseph. In doing this he acknowledged that the magicians and wise men of Egypt could not help him. He found in Joseph what he could not find in them.

1. Thus does the sinner find in man nothing that helps him to know God. How many have tried the resources of men to attain peace to their sin-burdened souls! Yet they looked in vain.

We can almost see the great caravans of old in India as they press their way to some heathen shrine seeking peace. After all of the weariness of their journey is past, after all their tears and penance and loud wailings are over, they return the same unhappy and sin-laden sinners that they were when they went away from home.

We can see the masses who look to some man to absolve them from their guilt; they climb their lonely penitential way, and yet they never find their sins are gone, unless they look higher than mankind, to Jesus, our Savior.

The world and its false religions, the world and its pleasures and its philosophies cannot ever lead one sinner into the harbor of perfect peace and rest from the curse.

2. Thus does the sinner find only in God the One who can save. Joseph is the type of Christ. It is Christ who says, "Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"

Can you see the Lord Jesus as, on that last day, the great day of the feast, He stood and cried, saying, "If any man thirst, let Him come unto Me, and drink."

What the wise men and magicians cannot do, Christ can do. What the world of men cannot give, Christ can give. What the wisdom of this world cannot see, Christ can see and can reveal.

Joseph was not slow to unravel Pharaoh's dream. It was God who had given the dream, and it was God, who, through His servant, could reveal the dream.

V. JOSEPH TELLING THINGS TO COME (Genesis 41:25 ; Genesis 41:32 )

With what quiet certainty did Joseph begin to make known to Pharaoh his dream. There was no spirit of guess, either as to the content of the dream, or as to its interpretation. Joseph spoke with authority. He plainly stated that God was showing unto Pharaoh what He was about to do. Thus it is today.

1. Christ, our Joseph, has told us the things which must come to pass with speed. When among men, the Lord Jesus did not hesitate to unveil the course of world events. He described with clearness the times of the end. He made known the conditions which would prevail at His Coming.

Wonderful, beyond explanation, are the words of our Lord through the Apostles. Pharaoh had no more of a faithful delineation of what was about to come to pass on earth than do we. Before out very eyes prophecy is fast being fulfilled.

Pharaoh was not left in darkness. He was a great Gentile ruler, and God showed him the things that would affect the whole world of his day. At this hour God is letting rulers and potentates in on what is now about to happen. Nations do not need to face the future blindly. The more sure Word of prophecy tells it all.

2. Christ, our Joseph, is giving words of warning, that due preparation may be made to meet the issues of the day. Joseph gave Pharaoh good advice. He told Pharaoh how to meet the issues of the approaching years of famine.

To be fore-warned should be to be fore-armed. Days of famine and wars and pestilence now lie again before the world. Where is the monarch who is wise enough to prepare against their arrival?

It is folly to deny that tribulation lies ahead. God's Word is true, and what He says is sure. Prophecy is "the more sure Word" that shineth as a lamp in a dark place, until the day dawn. God give us men in authority who see and act accordingly.

VI. WHAT LIES AHEAD (Genesis 41:29-31 )

As Joseph detailed to Pharaoh the meaning of the monarch's dream two great things stood out seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. The plenty was to be exceedingly great. The scarcity was to be just as great. In the famine the years of bounty were to be forgotten.

We would pause to study this condition of affairs and seek to know if there is any duplicate in. the lives of men today.

1. We have been living in the age of grace. A God of bounteous mercies is dealing with the world in all forbearance. The years have been filled with enough and to spare. The barns have been filled and the fields have groaned with plenty.

What has been the trend of the age? It has been to live up the bounties of our harvests without laying by in store against the days to come. Men have luxuriated upon the earth; they have lived in pleasure and have been wanton. They have nourished their hearts in a time when slaughter is drawing nigh.

The world has gone to the limit in feeding the lusts of the flesh.

2. We are approaching the day of tribulation. Even now the sound of coming thunders may be heard. In the distance storms are gathering. Clouds of judgment are forming.

Already there is a sense of fearful looking for of those things that are coming to pass upon the earth. Men's hearts are failing them for fear. Every time that some new move for peace and righteousness appears the populace begins to hope for better times. Hopes soon become no more than the colors of a soap bubble; they burst before the day has long gone.

Famine and pestilence prevail. Banks are closed; international problems hold the attention of the world. Will men be able to stem the tide of this deluge of unemployment that is gripping the nations? From whence does it all come whither will it lead? These are the queries on every lip.

VII. THE SWAY OF THE FAMINE (Genesis 41:56 )

1. We have a famine that is earth wide. One of the things that stands forth in the light at this hour is the universality of the present day depression. No nation has failed to feel the grip of distress. The throes of anguish girdle the globe. National and international conferences have been the call of the hour. That famine of old was everywhere; the famine of today is everywhere.

2. We have a famine that entails much of suffering. The people of Pharaoh's day began to cry for bread. The last days, which we now are entering will find multitudes crying once more for the staff of life. Riots and near riots fill the air. Governmental revolutions are about to startle the world.

Christ said, "Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Such foreboding of ill the world used to laugh off, but they cannot laugh now. The pressure of just such a time is already beginning to grip, and its reality cannot be denied.

3. Let us not be heralders of a false optimism. Joseph did not say peace where there was no peace. He did not cry a false hope. On the other hand Joseph gave a full and faithful warning.

Do preachers who know the message of God concerning the coming tribulation faithfully warn their people? There are many who are crying "Preach unto us smooth things." Shall we succumb to their plea, or shall we proclaim the facts? Joseph not only said that the famine was coming, but he also said, "The thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring if to pass." Thus, also, is the prophecy of the last days established. False Christs shall arise; the antichrist will come; there will be wars and famines and pestilences; and all of these will be but the beginning of sorrows. The picture is not a roseate one, but it is a true one.

AN ILLUSTRATION

God has a plan, and the details of that plan are not revealed, and so we are confounded by single items and incidents. In a certain room in Paris the observer sees a succession of frames, crossed with innumerable threads of varying color and size. Nothing meets the eye but a blur of tints and a confusion of outlines, And as the hand of the hidden workman passes the shuttle to and fro, the wonder grows as to what the result is to be. But the workman sees what is hidden from the observer. Behind the screen hangs the canvas of some great artist whose thought of beauty he is copying, and every bewildering thread, every shade and color, is producing some peculiarity of the marvelous original, and the completed tapestry will be the choicest treasure of a king's palace. The world is God's thought. Every man's experience is a strand in the great whole; but what the Divine intent is no man knows. We have only to wait and be confident. God can do no wrong. The confused colors, the snarled outlines, that so perplex us now, will by and by blend in harmony. Monday Club Sermons.


Verses 14-16

Joseph's Exaltation in Egypt

Genesis 41:14-16 , Genesis 41:28-30 , Genesis 41:40-44

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

As we study the exaltation of Joseph in Egypt we cannot but remember his degradation. To see the one without the other, is to lessen the vital comprehension of either. Unless we grasp his degradation we cannot grasp the glory of his exaltation, and vice versa. We need to know how far he went down, to know the height to which he was lifted up.

1. The way to get up is to get down. Here is our Scriptural text, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." Another Scripture puts the same thing in a somewhat different way: "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Along with these Scriptures is one also which shows the other side: "He that exalteth himself shall be abased." There is an abundance of Bible examples of both. When "this poor man cried," "the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles." There has never been a time, whether with Joseph or with David or with any man or nation, that God did not hear the cry of humiliation and contrition. It is always so.

On the other hand, every one who has lifted himself up against God in pride and self-exaltation has been brought low.

In all of this we have before us the Christ and His spirit of humiliation, and the antichrist and his spirit of exaltation. The Lord Jesus, "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."

The antichrist will exalt himself above God and against all that is called God, so that he as God, shall sit in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Thus shall he be brought low. All that see shall narrowly look upon him, saying, "Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world a wilderness?"

Which route do we travel with the Christ or with the antichrist?

2. The way to be rich is to become poor. To the Laodiceans Christ says, "Thou sayest, I am rich, * * and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Jesus Christ became poor that we, through His poverty, might be made rich. God hath chosen the poor of this world, who are rich in faith, to be the heirs of the Kingdom.

3. The way to be wise is to become a fool. That is, we never can know the wisdom which is from above until we renounce the wisdom which man teacheth. Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

Thus God chooses the "foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and * * the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." God would not have any flesh to glory in His sight.

4. The way to be strong is to become weak. This is in line with what we have just said. Samson shorn of his locks, wherein lay the sign of his Nazarene vow, was weak like any other man. Power belongeth unto God. Man is inherently weak. We can do nothing in the realm of the spiritual in the strength of our own flesh, yet we can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth us.

David's power did not lie in his skill with his sling, it lay in his faith in God. Jonathan was not the. mighty slaughterer of the Philistines because he was a superman in physical strength. His victory lay in the word: "There is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few." Gideon overcame the Midianites by the power of God.

I. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS CHANGE OF GARMENTS (Genesis 41:14 )

1. Jesus Christ left the dungeon experiences when He went to the Father. As He hung upon the Cross His visage was more marred than any man, and His form more than the sons of men. He was a Man from whom men turned away their faces. His sufferings were necessary, His emaciated body with its inflamed wounds, matted hair, exposed nerves all of these were necessary, but they were not the visage or the form that He should bear as He entered into the realms of the glory of God His Father.

2. Jesus Christ was physically altered before He went to God. From the grave He arose, and as He arose He came forth with a body glorified. The two disciples going to Emmaus knew Him not. He certainly did not carry the visage which they had last seen upon His worn and weird countenance.

3. Jesus Christ changed His raiment when He went to the Father. He now was clothed in the garments of glory.

Let us pause for a moment to ask if what was true of Joseph and of our Lord is not also true of us. We certainly cannot go into the presence of God to walk in light carrying with us the marks of the dungeon. We must first be born anew, we must come out of the life of shame, and the prison experiences. We, also, must be changed in body. Have we not read, that we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye? Before we go to God, we must put off the body of this humiliation; mortality must be swallowed up in life.

II. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS HEADSHIP OVER THE HOUSE OF PHARAOH (Genesis 41:40-41 )

Thus it was that Pharaoh set Joseph over all the land of Egypt. When Jesus Christ ascended up on high, He was made Head of the Church. His Word is clothed with absolute authority. No one can come in or go out without Him,

1. Is the Headship of Christ recognized today? The bane, as we see it, of the Church is the supplanting of the authority of Christ. This authority is now invested in men. On the one hand, the power may be clothed in an individual, or, on the other hand, it may be placed in a committee or board of operation; but wherever any authority dares to step in and dispute the absolute sovereignty of Christ in the Church, the whole purpose and plan of God is broken.

We do not doubt but that there were men in Egypt who were given places of trust and authority over local constituencies in the gathering in of grain, but in no event could this authority supersede the authority of Joseph.

There may be in the Church pastors and prophets and teachers and evangelists; there may be deacons and elders and bishops; all of these may have a certain place of authority, but their authority is a subjugated authority.

In the Church One is our Master, and all we be brethren. He who would be lord at all must be servant of all.

2. Is the Headship of Christ obeyed? Do Christians follow the dictates of the Lord Jesus, or, are they subject to the dictates of men? Are saints more concerned with what "The Leaders" may say, than with what the Lord may command?

Listen to the voice of the Master, "Let no man glory in men." "Be not ye the servants of men."

III. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY THE BESTOWAL OF PHARAOH'S RING AND ROBE (Genesis 41:42 )

"Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck." All of this gave unto Joseph the insignia of honor and kingly recognition.

1. We should keep in mind that Joseph was not placed upon the throne of Egypt. He was given a seat on Pharaoh's throne. Thus our Lord was not enthroned on His own throne when He ascended on high, but He was placed on the throne of God.

Our Lord Himself said to the Twelve, "Ye which have followed Me * *, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Thus, His throne is yet future. By Him it is written: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne." Christ's throne is the throne of David. He who made Christ to sit on His throne will yet cause Him to sit upon His own throne, even in Jerusalem.

2. We should also remember that Joseph was given the signet of Pharaoh. Pharaoh's ring upon Joseph's hand intrusted to Joseph Pharaoh's authority. Whom he would he could set up, and whom he would he could put down, so long as he retained Pharaoh's ring. God, the Father, hath also invested unto God, the Son, all judgment. "The Father judgeth no man but hath committed all judgment unto the Son."

3. We should likewise keep before us the fact that Joseph's linen apparel was a princely bestowal. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. Satan is the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, who energizes the sons of disobedience. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of God sent from Heaven.

How different was the ring and the robe and the golden chain with which Joseph was now attired to the prison garb which he wore in the prison!

IV. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY THE SUBJECTION OF THE PEOPLES TO HIS AUTHORITY (Genesis 41:43 )

1. God hath said that to Christ every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. Divine worship should never be accorded unto man, but Divine worship is commanded unto Christ who is both Son of God, and God, the Son. Before Him we rightly fall prostrate and crown Him Lord.

2. God hath made Jesus Christ both Lord and Christ. He hath set Him over the nations. At the time of this writing the world has refused to acknowledge Christ's Headship, but the time is coming when the Father will say to the Son, "Yet have I set My King upon my Holy Hill of Zion." "He shall rule the world in righteousness."

Christ is also Head over His Church. Here He holds all power although not all have accepted His rule. In spite of this the True Church numbered by innumerable multitudes does reverently bow before Him.

The mark of sin is insubordination to Christ. The Prophet wrote, "We have turned every one to his own way." The highest reach of redemption is the spirit of abject obedience. The believer gives up his will and way for Christ's will and way. He crowns Christ as Lord.

In Heaven all the holy ones worship the Lord saying, "Holy, Holy, Holy; Lord God Almighty!" May we who are upon the earth join that sacred throng and acclaim God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost!

Remember this: if we do not crown Him Lord of all, we do not crown Him Lord at all.

V. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS PLACE NEXT TO THE KING (Genesis 41:44 )

The message of Genesis 41:44 is, "I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."

Here was autocratic power placed in Joseph. Only Pharaoh was greater than he, and even Pharaoh, as we have seen, had placed his ring upon Joseph's hand.

This is the message of Jesus Christ. Hear Him as He makes His claims to authority and power:

1. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17 ). The Jews then took up stones to stone Christ, for they knew that He made God His Father, making Himself equal with God.

2. "What things soever [the Father] doeth, these also doth the Son likewise" (John 5:19 ). In this statement Christ spoke of the absolute unity of purpose and action between Himself and the Father. He could do only that which the Father did, not because He was a helpless weakling, but because He was perfectly one with the Father.

3. "As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will" (John 5:21 ). Here is the practical outworking of the Divine unity of Father and Son. If the Father raises the dead, so also doth the Son. The same power which is the Father's is also the Son's. The raising of the dead was a supreme miracle and attested the Deity of Christ.

4. "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22 ). Here the Son is one with the Father in executive power. Yea, the Father has placed the Son in charge of "judgment" all judgment belongs to the Son. Such bestowal of power is the Son's, only because He is one with the Father.

5. "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father" (John 5:23 ). This is the only logical conclusion of that which has just gone before. There is no possible recognition of or approach to the Father except through the Son.

VI. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS NEW NAME (Genesis 41:45 f.c.)

"And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah." What a remarkable name is this! It means "savior of the world."

Our Lord Jesus bears many such titles, each of which is significant of some phase of His work toward the saints or the world.

1. He is called Jesus which means Savior. The angel said to Mary, "Thou shalt call His Name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." Joseph was called savior by the world because it was he who suggested and carried out the plan to save the people physically from the terrors of famine. Jesus Christ is Savior in a far deeper sense. Those who trust Him and come unto Him He saves from eternal death, and saves them unto eternal life.

2. He is called Lord. He is called this by virtue of His resurrection and His seat of authority. Joseph in reality was lord over the Egyptians, but Jesus is Lord over all.

3. He is called Christ. The name means "Anointed." He was anointed of the Father, and He is destined to be the Messiah of the world, and particularly of Israel.

There are many other names which could be mentioned. In fact, Dr. Horton has a book of daily devotions which supplies to each day of the year a new and distinct name accorded to Christ in the Bible. He is Wonderful, and Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. All of these are meaningful Names of Christ.

He is Jehovah-Jireh and Jehovah-tsidkenu, Jehovah-Shalom, Jehovah-nissi, and the other wonderful Jehovah titles.

He is the Light of the world, the Door, the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the Light.

He is the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd.

VII. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY THE BESTOWAL OF A GENTILE BRIDE (Genesis 41:45 l.c.)

1. The Gentile Wife. "And he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-pherah, priest of On." Here is another wonderful picture of our Lord. We must remember that we are discussing Joseph at the time of his exaltation. It was during that time that he obtained the Gentile bride. The Church is the Bride of Christ. In the Book of Ephesians we read how Adam said, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." In speaking of this garden of Eden statement, the Spirit said, "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church."

There are many New Testament references to the marriage which awaits the Lord's Return. One of the climactic statements is found in Revelation: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His Wife hath made herself ready." During this age the Spirit is calling out of the nations a people for His Name.

2. The Gentile wife presented by Pharaoh. It was Pharaoh who gave Asenath to Joseph. It was he who prepared for the marriage, and, beyond a doubt, it was he who honored the marriage festivities with his presence.

The Father is preparing the Bride for Christ. He it is who gives the marriage to the Son. For our part we believe that the Father will be present in the air when the glorious consummation of the marriage shall take place. There is no reason we should doubt this. There are several reasons why we should believe it.

(1) The Book of Daniel describes, in chapter 7, the placing of the thrones in Heaven, Upon one of them the Ancient of Days sits and before Him stands one like unto the Son of Man.

(2) The Book of Revelation gives the same picture, The Father sits on the throne holding a seven-sealed book in His hand, while the Son steps forth and receives the book.

It is true we are looking for that Glorious Appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.

AN ILLUSTRATION

"JOSEPH'S EXALTATION IN EGYPT"

Christ, the Lord. A few years ago we had the privilege of studying, in the Rospighosi Palace in Rome, Guido Reni's great picture "The Aurora." It is on the ceiling, and can be studied only with the greatest difficulty from the floor. But a mirror is so placed on a table that it reflects the picture, and one can study it. there with ease and pleasure. God is a Spirit, and He is in the Heaven, "dwelling in light unapproachable." It was not easy to know Him there. But the Incarnation, the Word, becoming flesh and dwelling among us, was the bringing of the reflection of the glorious Person of God dawn to earth in human form and life. Men looked at Jesus and saw the likeness of God, "the express image of His person." He was Christ, the Lord. H.


Verses 28-30

Joseph's Exaltation in Egypt

Genesis 41:14-16 , Genesis 41:28-30 , Genesis 41:40-44

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

As we study the exaltation of Joseph in Egypt we cannot but remember his degradation. To see the one without the other, is to lessen the vital comprehension of either. Unless we grasp his degradation we cannot grasp the glory of his exaltation, and vice versa. We need to know how far he went down, to know the height to which he was lifted up.

1. The way to get up is to get down. Here is our Scriptural text, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." Another Scripture puts the same thing in a somewhat different way: "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Along with these Scriptures is one also which shows the other side: "He that exalteth himself shall be abased." There is an abundance of Bible examples of both. When "this poor man cried," "the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles." There has never been a time, whether with Joseph or with David or with any man or nation, that God did not hear the cry of humiliation and contrition. It is always so.

On the other hand, every one who has lifted himself up against God in pride and self-exaltation has been brought low.

In all of this we have before us the Christ and His spirit of humiliation, and the antichrist and his spirit of exaltation. The Lord Jesus, "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."

The antichrist will exalt himself above God and against all that is called God, so that he as God, shall sit in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Thus shall he be brought low. All that see shall narrowly look upon him, saying, "Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world a wilderness?"

Which route do we travel with the Christ or with the antichrist?

2. The way to be rich is to become poor. To the Laodiceans Christ says, "Thou sayest, I am rich, * * and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Jesus Christ became poor that we, through His poverty, might be made rich. God hath chosen the poor of this world, who are rich in faith, to be the heirs of the Kingdom.

3. The way to be wise is to become a fool. That is, we never can know the wisdom which is from above until we renounce the wisdom which man teacheth. Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

Thus God chooses the "foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and * * the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." God would not have any flesh to glory in His sight.

4. The way to be strong is to become weak. This is in line with what we have just said. Samson shorn of his locks, wherein lay the sign of his Nazarene vow, was weak like any other man. Power belongeth unto God. Man is inherently weak. We can do nothing in the realm of the spiritual in the strength of our own flesh, yet we can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth us.

David's power did not lie in his skill with his sling, it lay in his faith in God. Jonathan was not the. mighty slaughterer of the Philistines because he was a superman in physical strength. His victory lay in the word: "There is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few." Gideon overcame the Midianites by the power of God.

I. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS CHANGE OF GARMENTS (Genesis 41:14 )

1. Jesus Christ left the dungeon experiences when He went to the Father. As He hung upon the Cross His visage was more marred than any man, and His form more than the sons of men. He was a Man from whom men turned away their faces. His sufferings were necessary, His emaciated body with its inflamed wounds, matted hair, exposed nerves all of these were necessary, but they were not the visage or the form that He should bear as He entered into the realms of the glory of God His Father.

2. Jesus Christ was physically altered before He went to God. From the grave He arose, and as He arose He came forth with a body glorified. The two disciples going to Emmaus knew Him not. He certainly did not carry the visage which they had last seen upon His worn and weird countenance.

3. Jesus Christ changed His raiment when He went to the Father. He now was clothed in the garments of glory.

Let us pause for a moment to ask if what was true of Joseph and of our Lord is not also true of us. We certainly cannot go into the presence of God to walk in light carrying with us the marks of the dungeon. We must first be born anew, we must come out of the life of shame, and the prison experiences. We, also, must be changed in body. Have we not read, that we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye? Before we go to God, we must put off the body of this humiliation; mortality must be swallowed up in life.

II. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS HEADSHIP OVER THE HOUSE OF PHARAOH (Genesis 41:40-41 )

Thus it was that Pharaoh set Joseph over all the land of Egypt. When Jesus Christ ascended up on high, He was made Head of the Church. His Word is clothed with absolute authority. No one can come in or go out without Him,

1. Is the Headship of Christ recognized today? The bane, as we see it, of the Church is the supplanting of the authority of Christ. This authority is now invested in men. On the one hand, the power may be clothed in an individual, or, on the other hand, it may be placed in a committee or board of operation; but wherever any authority dares to step in and dispute the absolute sovereignty of Christ in the Church, the whole purpose and plan of God is broken.

We do not doubt but that there were men in Egypt who were given places of trust and authority over local constituencies in the gathering in of grain, but in no event could this authority supersede the authority of Joseph.

There may be in the Church pastors and prophets and teachers and evangelists; there may be deacons and elders and bishops; all of these may have a certain place of authority, but their authority is a subjugated authority.

In the Church One is our Master, and all we be brethren. He who would be lord at all must be servant of all.

2. Is the Headship of Christ obeyed? Do Christians follow the dictates of the Lord Jesus, or, are they subject to the dictates of men? Are saints more concerned with what "The Leaders" may say, than with what the Lord may command?

Listen to the voice of the Master, "Let no man glory in men." "Be not ye the servants of men."

III. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY THE BESTOWAL OF PHARAOH'S RING AND ROBE (Genesis 41:42 )

"Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck." All of this gave unto Joseph the insignia of honor and kingly recognition.

1. We should keep in mind that Joseph was not placed upon the throne of Egypt. He was given a seat on Pharaoh's throne. Thus our Lord was not enthroned on His own throne when He ascended on high, but He was placed on the throne of God.

Our Lord Himself said to the Twelve, "Ye which have followed Me * *, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Thus, His throne is yet future. By Him it is written: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne." Christ's throne is the throne of David. He who made Christ to sit on His throne will yet cause Him to sit upon His own throne, even in Jerusalem.

2. We should also remember that Joseph was given the signet of Pharaoh. Pharaoh's ring upon Joseph's hand intrusted to Joseph Pharaoh's authority. Whom he would he could set up, and whom he would he could put down, so long as he retained Pharaoh's ring. God, the Father, hath also invested unto God, the Son, all judgment. "The Father judgeth no man but hath committed all judgment unto the Son."

3. We should likewise keep before us the fact that Joseph's linen apparel was a princely bestowal. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. Satan is the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, who energizes the sons of disobedience. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of God sent from Heaven.

How different was the ring and the robe and the golden chain with which Joseph was now attired to the prison garb which he wore in the prison!

IV. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY THE SUBJECTION OF THE PEOPLES TO HIS AUTHORITY (Genesis 41:43 )

1. God hath said that to Christ every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. Divine worship should never be accorded unto man, but Divine worship is commanded unto Christ who is both Son of God, and God, the Son. Before Him we rightly fall prostrate and crown Him Lord.

2. God hath made Jesus Christ both Lord and Christ. He hath set Him over the nations. At the time of this writing the world has refused to acknowledge Christ's Headship, but the time is coming when the Father will say to the Son, "Yet have I set My King upon my Holy Hill of Zion." "He shall rule the world in righteousness."

Christ is also Head over His Church. Here He holds all power although not all have accepted His rule. In spite of this the True Church numbered by innumerable multitudes does reverently bow before Him.

The mark of sin is insubordination to Christ. The Prophet wrote, "We have turned every one to his own way." The highest reach of redemption is the spirit of abject obedience. The believer gives up his will and way for Christ's will and way. He crowns Christ as Lord.

In Heaven all the holy ones worship the Lord saying, "Holy, Holy, Holy; Lord God Almighty!" May we who are upon the earth join that sacred throng and acclaim God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost!

Remember this: if we do not crown Him Lord of all, we do not crown Him Lord at all.

V. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS PLACE NEXT TO THE KING (Genesis 41:44 )

The message of Genesis 41:44 is, "I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."

Here was autocratic power placed in Joseph. Only Pharaoh was greater than he, and even Pharaoh, as we have seen, had placed his ring upon Joseph's hand.

This is the message of Jesus Christ. Hear Him as He makes His claims to authority and power:

1. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17 ). The Jews then took up stones to stone Christ, for they knew that He made God His Father, making Himself equal with God.

2. "What things soever [the Father] doeth, these also doth the Son likewise" (John 5:19 ). In this statement Christ spoke of the absolute unity of purpose and action between Himself and the Father. He could do only that which the Father did, not because He was a helpless weakling, but because He was perfectly one with the Father.

3. "As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will" (John 5:21 ). Here is the practical outworking of the Divine unity of Father and Son. If the Father raises the dead, so also doth the Son. The same power which is the Father's is also the Son's. The raising of the dead was a supreme miracle and attested the Deity of Christ.

4. "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22 ). Here the Son is one with the Father in executive power. Yea, the Father has placed the Son in charge of "judgment" all judgment belongs to the Son. Such bestowal of power is the Son's, only because He is one with the Father.

5. "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father" (John 5:23 ). This is the only logical conclusion of that which has just gone before. There is no possible recognition of or approach to the Father except through the Son.

VI. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS NEW NAME (Genesis 41:45 f.c.)

"And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah." What a remarkable name is this! It means "savior of the world."

Our Lord Jesus bears many such titles, each of which is significant of some phase of His work toward the saints or the world.

1. He is called Jesus which means Savior. The angel said to Mary, "Thou shalt call His Name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." Joseph was called savior by the world because it was he who suggested and carried out the plan to save the people physically from the terrors of famine. Jesus Christ is Savior in a far deeper sense. Those who trust Him and come unto Him He saves from eternal death, and saves them unto eternal life.

2. He is called Lord. He is called this by virtue of His resurrection and His seat of authority. Joseph in reality was lord over the Egyptians, but Jesus is Lord over all.

3. He is called Christ. The name means "Anointed." He was anointed of the Father, and He is destined to be the Messiah of the world, and particularly of Israel.

There are many other names which could be mentioned. In fact, Dr. Horton has a book of daily devotions which supplies to each day of the year a new and distinct name accorded to Christ in the Bible. He is Wonderful, and Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. All of these are meaningful Names of Christ.

He is Jehovah-Jireh and Jehovah-tsidkenu, Jehovah-Shalom, Jehovah-nissi, and the other wonderful Jehovah titles.

He is the Light of the world, the Door, the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the Light.

He is the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd.

VII. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY THE BESTOWAL OF A GENTILE BRIDE (Genesis 41:45 l.c.)

1. The Gentile Wife. "And he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-pherah, priest of On." Here is another wonderful picture of our Lord. We must remember that we are discussing Joseph at the time of his exaltation. It was during that time that he obtained the Gentile bride. The Church is the Bride of Christ. In the Book of Ephesians we read how Adam said, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." In speaking of this garden of Eden statement, the Spirit said, "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church."

There are many New Testament references to the marriage which awaits the Lord's Return. One of the climactic statements is found in Revelation: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His Wife hath made herself ready." During this age the Spirit is calling out of the nations a people for His Name.

2. The Gentile wife presented by Pharaoh. It was Pharaoh who gave Asenath to Joseph. It was he who prepared for the marriage, and, beyond a doubt, it was he who honored the marriage festivities with his presence.

The Father is preparing the Bride for Christ. He it is who gives the marriage to the Son. For our part we believe that the Father will be present in the air when the glorious consummation of the marriage shall take place. There is no reason we should doubt this. There are several reasons why we should believe it.

(1) The Book of Daniel describes, in chapter 7, the placing of the thrones in Heaven, Upon one of them the Ancient of Days sits and before Him stands one like unto the Son of Man.

(2) The Book of Revelation gives the same picture, The Father sits on the throne holding a seven-sealed book in His hand, while the Son steps forth and receives the book.

It is true we are looking for that Glorious Appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.

AN ILLUSTRATION

"JOSEPH'S EXALTATION IN EGYPT"

Christ, the Lord. A few years ago we had the privilege of studying, in the Rospighosi Palace in Rome, Guido Reni's great picture "The Aurora." It is on the ceiling, and can be studied only with the greatest difficulty from the floor. But a mirror is so placed on a table that it reflects the picture, and one can study it. there with ease and pleasure. God is a Spirit, and He is in the Heaven, "dwelling in light unapproachable." It was not easy to know Him there. But the Incarnation, the Word, becoming flesh and dwelling among us, was the bringing of the reflection of the glorious Person of God dawn to earth in human form and life. Men looked at Jesus and saw the likeness of God, "the express image of His person." He was Christ, the Lord. H.


Verses 40-44

Joseph's Exaltation in Egypt

Genesis 41:14-16 , Genesis 41:28-30 , Genesis 41:40-44

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

As we study the exaltation of Joseph in Egypt we cannot but remember his degradation. To see the one without the other, is to lessen the vital comprehension of either. Unless we grasp his degradation we cannot grasp the glory of his exaltation, and vice versa. We need to know how far he went down, to know the height to which he was lifted up.

1. The way to get up is to get down. Here is our Scriptural text, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." Another Scripture puts the same thing in a somewhat different way: "He that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

Along with these Scriptures is one also which shows the other side: "He that exalteth himself shall be abased." There is an abundance of Bible examples of both. When "this poor man cried," "the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles." There has never been a time, whether with Joseph or with David or with any man or nation, that God did not hear the cry of humiliation and contrition. It is always so.

On the other hand, every one who has lifted himself up against God in pride and self-exaltation has been brought low.

In all of this we have before us the Christ and His spirit of humiliation, and the antichrist and his spirit of exaltation. The Lord Jesus, "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."

The antichrist will exalt himself above God and against all that is called God, so that he as God, shall sit in the Temple of God, showing himself that he is God. Thus shall he be brought low. All that see shall narrowly look upon him, saying, "Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world a wilderness?"

Which route do we travel with the Christ or with the antichrist?

2. The way to be rich is to become poor. To the Laodiceans Christ says, "Thou sayest, I am rich, * * and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked." Jesus Christ became poor that we, through His poverty, might be made rich. God hath chosen the poor of this world, who are rich in faith, to be the heirs of the Kingdom.

3. The way to be wise is to become a fool. That is, we never can know the wisdom which is from above until we renounce the wisdom which man teacheth. Why? Because the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

Thus God chooses the "foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and * * the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty." God would not have any flesh to glory in His sight.

4. The way to be strong is to become weak. This is in line with what we have just said. Samson shorn of his locks, wherein lay the sign of his Nazarene vow, was weak like any other man. Power belongeth unto God. Man is inherently weak. We can do nothing in the realm of the spiritual in the strength of our own flesh, yet we can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth us.

David's power did not lie in his skill with his sling, it lay in his faith in God. Jonathan was not the. mighty slaughterer of the Philistines because he was a superman in physical strength. His victory lay in the word: "There is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few." Gideon overcame the Midianites by the power of God.

I. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS CHANGE OF GARMENTS (Genesis 41:14 )

1. Jesus Christ left the dungeon experiences when He went to the Father. As He hung upon the Cross His visage was more marred than any man, and His form more than the sons of men. He was a Man from whom men turned away their faces. His sufferings were necessary, His emaciated body with its inflamed wounds, matted hair, exposed nerves all of these were necessary, but they were not the visage or the form that He should bear as He entered into the realms of the glory of God His Father.

2. Jesus Christ was physically altered before He went to God. From the grave He arose, and as He arose He came forth with a body glorified. The two disciples going to Emmaus knew Him not. He certainly did not carry the visage which they had last seen upon His worn and weird countenance.

3. Jesus Christ changed His raiment when He went to the Father. He now was clothed in the garments of glory.

Let us pause for a moment to ask if what was true of Joseph and of our Lord is not also true of us. We certainly cannot go into the presence of God to walk in light carrying with us the marks of the dungeon. We must first be born anew, we must come out of the life of shame, and the prison experiences. We, also, must be changed in body. Have we not read, that we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye? Before we go to God, we must put off the body of this humiliation; mortality must be swallowed up in life.

II. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS HEADSHIP OVER THE HOUSE OF PHARAOH (Genesis 41:40-41 )

Thus it was that Pharaoh set Joseph over all the land of Egypt. When Jesus Christ ascended up on high, He was made Head of the Church. His Word is clothed with absolute authority. No one can come in or go out without Him,

1. Is the Headship of Christ recognized today? The bane, as we see it, of the Church is the supplanting of the authority of Christ. This authority is now invested in men. On the one hand, the power may be clothed in an individual, or, on the other hand, it may be placed in a committee or board of operation; but wherever any authority dares to step in and dispute the absolute sovereignty of Christ in the Church, the whole purpose and plan of God is broken.

We do not doubt but that there were men in Egypt who were given places of trust and authority over local constituencies in the gathering in of grain, but in no event could this authority supersede the authority of Joseph.

There may be in the Church pastors and prophets and teachers and evangelists; there may be deacons and elders and bishops; all of these may have a certain place of authority, but their authority is a subjugated authority.

In the Church One is our Master, and all we be brethren. He who would be lord at all must be servant of all.

2. Is the Headship of Christ obeyed? Do Christians follow the dictates of the Lord Jesus, or, are they subject to the dictates of men? Are saints more concerned with what "The Leaders" may say, than with what the Lord may command?

Listen to the voice of the Master, "Let no man glory in men." "Be not ye the servants of men."

III. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY THE BESTOWAL OF PHARAOH'S RING AND ROBE (Genesis 41:42 )

"Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck." All of this gave unto Joseph the insignia of honor and kingly recognition.

1. We should keep in mind that Joseph was not placed upon the throne of Egypt. He was given a seat on Pharaoh's throne. Thus our Lord was not enthroned on His own throne when He ascended on high, but He was placed on the throne of God.

Our Lord Himself said to the Twelve, "Ye which have followed Me * *, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." Thus, His throne is yet future. By Him it is written: "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame and am set down with My Father in His throne." Christ's throne is the throne of David. He who made Christ to sit on His throne will yet cause Him to sit upon His own throne, even in Jerusalem.

2. We should also remember that Joseph was given the signet of Pharaoh. Pharaoh's ring upon Joseph's hand intrusted to Joseph Pharaoh's authority. Whom he would he could set up, and whom he would he could put down, so long as he retained Pharaoh's ring. God, the Father, hath also invested unto God, the Son, all judgment. "The Father judgeth no man but hath committed all judgment unto the Son."

3. We should likewise keep before us the fact that Joseph's linen apparel was a princely bestowal. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace. Satan is the prince of this world, the prince of the power of the air, who energizes the sons of disobedience. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Prince of God sent from Heaven.

How different was the ring and the robe and the golden chain with which Joseph was now attired to the prison garb which he wore in the prison!

IV. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY THE SUBJECTION OF THE PEOPLES TO HIS AUTHORITY (Genesis 41:43 )

1. God hath said that to Christ every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess. Divine worship should never be accorded unto man, but Divine worship is commanded unto Christ who is both Son of God, and God, the Son. Before Him we rightly fall prostrate and crown Him Lord.

2. God hath made Jesus Christ both Lord and Christ. He hath set Him over the nations. At the time of this writing the world has refused to acknowledge Christ's Headship, but the time is coming when the Father will say to the Son, "Yet have I set My King upon my Holy Hill of Zion." "He shall rule the world in righteousness."

Christ is also Head over His Church. Here He holds all power although not all have accepted His rule. In spite of this the True Church numbered by innumerable multitudes does reverently bow before Him.

The mark of sin is insubordination to Christ. The Prophet wrote, "We have turned every one to his own way." The highest reach of redemption is the spirit of abject obedience. The believer gives up his will and way for Christ's will and way. He crowns Christ as Lord.

In Heaven all the holy ones worship the Lord saying, "Holy, Holy, Holy; Lord God Almighty!" May we who are upon the earth join that sacred throng and acclaim God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost!

Remember this: if we do not crown Him Lord of all, we do not crown Him Lord at all.

V. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS PLACE NEXT TO THE KING (Genesis 41:44 )

The message of Genesis 41:44 is, "I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."

Here was autocratic power placed in Joseph. Only Pharaoh was greater than he, and even Pharaoh, as we have seen, had placed his ring upon Joseph's hand.

This is the message of Jesus Christ. Hear Him as He makes His claims to authority and power:

1. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (John 5:17 ). The Jews then took up stones to stone Christ, for they knew that He made God His Father, making Himself equal with God.

2. "What things soever [the Father] doeth, these also doth the Son likewise" (John 5:19 ). In this statement Christ spoke of the absolute unity of purpose and action between Himself and the Father. He could do only that which the Father did, not because He was a helpless weakling, but because He was perfectly one with the Father.

3. "As the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will" (John 5:21 ). Here is the practical outworking of the Divine unity of Father and Son. If the Father raises the dead, so also doth the Son. The same power which is the Father's is also the Son's. The raising of the dead was a supreme miracle and attested the Deity of Christ.

4. "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son" (John 5:22 ). Here the Son is one with the Father in executive power. Yea, the Father has placed the Son in charge of "judgment" all judgment belongs to the Son. Such bestowal of power is the Son's, only because He is one with the Father.

5. "That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father" (John 5:23 ). This is the only logical conclusion of that which has just gone before. There is no possible recognition of or approach to the Father except through the Son.

VI. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY HIS NEW NAME (Genesis 41:45 f.c.)

"And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnath-paaneah." What a remarkable name is this! It means "savior of the world."

Our Lord Jesus bears many such titles, each of which is significant of some phase of His work toward the saints or the world.

1. He is called Jesus which means Savior. The angel said to Mary, "Thou shalt call His Name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins." Joseph was called savior by the world because it was he who suggested and carried out the plan to save the people physically from the terrors of famine. Jesus Christ is Savior in a far deeper sense. Those who trust Him and come unto Him He saves from eternal death, and saves them unto eternal life.

2. He is called Lord. He is called this by virtue of His resurrection and His seat of authority. Joseph in reality was lord over the Egyptians, but Jesus is Lord over all.

3. He is called Christ. The name means "Anointed." He was anointed of the Father, and He is destined to be the Messiah of the world, and particularly of Israel.

There are many other names which could be mentioned. In fact, Dr. Horton has a book of daily devotions which supplies to each day of the year a new and distinct name accorded to Christ in the Bible. He is Wonderful, and Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. All of these are meaningful Names of Christ.

He is Jehovah-Jireh and Jehovah-tsidkenu, Jehovah-Shalom, Jehovah-nissi, and the other wonderful Jehovah titles.

He is the Light of the world, the Door, the Way, the Truth, the Life, and the Light.

He is the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd.

VII. JOSEPH'S EXALTATION WAS SHOWN BY THE BESTOWAL OF A GENTILE BRIDE (Genesis 41:45 l.c.)

1. The Gentile Wife. "And he gave him to wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-pherah, priest of On." Here is another wonderful picture of our Lord. We must remember that we are discussing Joseph at the time of his exaltation. It was during that time that he obtained the Gentile bride. The Church is the Bride of Christ. In the Book of Ephesians we read how Adam said, "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh." In speaking of this garden of Eden statement, the Spirit said, "This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church."

There are many New Testament references to the marriage which awaits the Lord's Return. One of the climactic statements is found in Revelation: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His Wife hath made herself ready." During this age the Spirit is calling out of the nations a people for His Name.

2. The Gentile wife presented by Pharaoh. It was Pharaoh who gave Asenath to Joseph. It was he who prepared for the marriage, and, beyond a doubt, it was he who honored the marriage festivities with his presence.

The Father is preparing the Bride for Christ. He it is who gives the marriage to the Son. For our part we believe that the Father will be present in the air when the glorious consummation of the marriage shall take place. There is no reason we should doubt this. There are several reasons why we should believe it.

(1) The Book of Daniel describes, in chapter 7, the placing of the thrones in Heaven, Upon one of them the Ancient of Days sits and before Him stands one like unto the Son of Man.

(2) The Book of Revelation gives the same picture, The Father sits on the throne holding a seven-sealed book in His hand, while the Son steps forth and receives the book.

It is true we are looking for that Glorious Appearing of the Great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.

AN ILLUSTRATION

"JOSEPH'S EXALTATION IN EGYPT"

Christ, the Lord. A few years ago we had the privilege of studying, in the Rospighosi Palace in Rome, Guido Reni's great picture "The Aurora." It is on the ceiling, and can be studied only with the greatest difficulty from the floor. But a mirror is so placed on a table that it reflects the picture, and one can study it. there with ease and pleasure. God is a Spirit, and He is in the Heaven, "dwelling in light unapproachable." It was not easy to know Him there. But the Incarnation, the Word, becoming flesh and dwelling among us, was the bringing of the reflection of the glorious Person of God dawn to earth in human form and life. Men looked at Jesus and saw the likeness of God, "the express image of His person." He was Christ, the Lord. H.


Verses 45-57

Joseph, the Administrator

Genesis 41:45-57

INTRODUCTORY WORDS

We delight in stepping into the scenes that covered fourteen years of Egyptian history seven years of plenty, and seven years of famine. During all of that period Joseph sat, as it were, at Pharaoh's right hand, clothed with authority and power.

1. Joseph, the administrator, was ruling under an invested power. His power was given him by Pharaoh, It was given by Pharaoh upon the basis of his (Joseph's) wisdom.

Our Lord Jesus Christ said, "All power is given unto Me, in Heaven and in earth." This statement of our Lord's by no means upsets Christ as God and co-equal with the Father, It does emphasize the fact that a special power is Christ's by the Father's investment, because of His incarnation. The Lord's exaltation to authority and power as Head of the Church by no means lessened or increased His prerogatives as "Deity." Christ, in speaking to the Father, said, "And * * Father, glorify Thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was."

The thought that Christ, by virtue of His incarnation and death, was accorded a place as Deity is all at variance with the Scripture. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." His eternal power and Godhead we all admit. He was inherent God.

However, Christ was power and authority in a new realm, in which He could never have known authority apart from the agonies of His Cross. On one occasion Christ said, "Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life [for the sheep]." This by no means suggests that the Father did not always love the Son. It does suggest, however, that a new love came into the heart of God a love that was different and was made possible through Christ's sacrificial act.

Christ could never have had authority and power as a Savior of men nor as the Head of the Church if He had not gone down into the depths of His humiliation. He was lifted up, not to Deity, but to a new realm in the range of Deity, because He suffered.

2. Joseph, the administrator, was ruling under an invested power which was dependent upon the fulfillment of his dream and the consummation of his wisdom. When Joseph was brought up out of the pit and stood before Pharaoh he announced seven years of plenty to be followed by seven years of famine. Had Joseph's prophecy been broken anywhere during the period of those years, he would, beyond doubt, have been immediately dethroned.

Had there been no famine, Joseph would have been made a laughing stock before the world. Had there been no famine Pharaoh's wealth, spent in the purchase of grain, had proved a complete squander. The grain would have rotted in Joseph's storehouses had the land still produced its plenty.

Let us now turn to the Lord. He has been exalted to the right hand of authority and power. Millions upon the earth are giving Him homage. What would happen if Christ's prophecies of things to come are not verified?

Before Christ died He was not unwilling to place every claim He had ever made to Deity upon His resurrection. When Christ gave His prophecies concerning the Church and its place among men; and, concerning the world and its course during this age; and concerning the conditions of the end of the age, He knew that His place of authority and power was always at stake.

Day by day, as Joseph's interpretation of Pharaoh's dream met their fulfillment, Joseph was the deeper intrenched in his place of authority. Thus the faith of saints today, who know how the world is moving along the very lines which were prophesied by the Lord nineteen hundred years ago, is doubly strong and unshakable.

3. Joseph, the administrator, had power in relation to world dominion. The authority of Jesus Christ which was given to Him by the investment of the Father has no bearing upon Christ's power or glory in the realms of His eternal Godhead the realm where He was ever worshiped with the Father and the Son as the angels cried, "Holy, Holy, Holy."

Christ's new power is a power related to the world. He said, "All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations." He has a new power above and He has a new power on earth, but that power is related to the peoples of the world. The power has to do with His Headship over the Church and to His exaltation as a Savior.

I. JOSEPH WENT OUT FROM THE PRESENCE OF PHARAOH (Genesis 41:46 ; Genesis 41:2 nd cl.)

1. He actually went from Pharaoh to the people.

We are observing that every word spoken concerning Joseph has its parallel in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ came forth from the Father. Other men are of the earth, earthy; Christ Jesus is the Lord from Heaven. We are from beneath, He is from above. We are of natural generation, He was of supernatural generation.

Only once did our Lord speak plainly of His birth, and then He added, "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world ." The Lord did always emphasize the fact that He came forth from the Father and came into the world.

All of its may be sent forth by the Lord, but the Lord Himself was sent forth from the Father.

2. He went from the presence of Pharaoh, clothed with the authority of Pharaoh. It was, to all purposes, as though Pharaoh had gone forth himself.

Was this not the claim of Christ? He said, not only that He came forth from the Father, but He also said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." Christ, moving among men, was the same as though the Father had moved among them. In all things Christ was the express image of the Father's Person, and the brightness of the Father's glory. He who saw Christ could say, "I have seen the Father."

II. JOSEPH WENT THROUGH ALL THE LAND OF EGYPT (Genesis 41:46 ; Genesis 41:3 d cl.)

1. Pharaoh could not go throughout the land, but Joseph went. The king was hemmed in by certain proprieties and necessities. The Father does not pass around among men, but the Son does. Of Christ it is written, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." How wonderful it is: Christ tabernacling among men. When Christ came, He came as a babe, born of Mary and laid in a manger. The holy Child mid the cattle seemed to prophesy the Son of God mingling among men. It was Christ who sat with the publicans and sinners and ate with them.

2. Pharaoh could not go, but Joseph went manifesting Pharaoh's glory and power. Jesus Christ was among men, and it is written, "(And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of Grace and Truth."

Christ even said, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; how sayest thou then, shew us the Father?"

As Joseph moved among the people, they felt that they had a manifestation of royalty. They had not beheld Pharaoh, but they had beheld the representative of Pharaoh, who was Pharaoh's replica.

3. Pharaoh could not go, but Joseph went everywhere. Jesus Christ said, "Let us go into the next towns, * * also, for therefore am I sent." Thus the Lord became a journeyman, going hither and thither.

We have a feeling that this ministry of Jesus Christ has been committed now unto us. The work He began, we are to carry forward. If Christ were in God's stead carrying the message of life, then we are in Christ's stead. If God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, He has now committed unto us that same Word of reconciliation.

When our Lord was ready to depart, He said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature."

The Apostle Paul carrying out the spirit of the great commission said, "According to our rule abundantly, to preach the Gospel in the regions beyond you."

As Joseph went throughout all the land of Egypt, sent of Pharaoh; so must we go out over all the world sent of God.

III. THE YEARS OF PLENTY (Genesis 41:47 )

Immediately following Joseph's exaltation to the throne, the years of plenty began to come. Of those seven years of plenty we read, "The earth brought forth by handfuls."

1. There is suggested to us the bounteous grace of God. Calvary with its sacrifice stands for God's mercy, but not merely mercy, but plenitudes of mercy. In the Cross of Christ there is. a redemption sufficient for all, deficient toward none, and yet efficient only to those who believe.

2. There is suggested to us the earlier harvests following Pentecost.

(1) At Pentecost there were about three thousand added to the Lord. During the whole of Christ's earthly ministry there were numbered some five hundred brethren, but in one day after His exaltation there were added about three thousand.

As Joseph began to gather in the grain in such abundance, there must have been great rejoicing throughout Egypt. We know that as the harvest of souls came in at Pentecost, they did eat their meat with gladness and single-ness of heart, praising God.

(2) Following Pentecost, we read, "And the number of the men was about five thousand." The Lord was giving great victory as the Apostles spoke the Word of God with boldness. Great grace was upon them all. The saints who were possessors of houses and lands brought the prices of the things that were sold and laid them at the Apostles' feet for distribution. By the hands of the Apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people, and believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.

(3) In the days of the Apostle Paul the whole world seemed turned upside down. We read, "And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the Word, of God and prevailed." It was not long until the great harvest was gathered in for God, and the Gospel was preached throughout the world.

IV. JOSEPH GARNERING THE FOOD (Genesis 41:48-49 )

It must have been a wonderful sight as the seven years of plenty passed to behold the garnering of the grain. The food was all gathered and laid by in the cities of Egypt. The corn thus reaped and conserved became in number as the sand of the sea. It was so much that Joseph ceased counting, for it was without number.

The early disciples who carried on the Word and the work after Christ's exaltation to the throne of the Father did not fail to garner the souls. Those who were added to the Lord were also added to the Church.

The command of the Master was not only to go but it was to go, to disciple, to baptize, and to teach them all things whatsoever the Lord had commanded.

Let no evangelist or pastor think that he has completed his task by the mere fact of ripened harvests. Harvests must be placed in the storehouse, and saved sinners must be placed in the Church of God.

The Church is the pillar and ground of the truth, but the Church is also the conserver and instructor of saints. Paul, in the Spirit, wrote to Titus, saying, "For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee."

The Church stands for us as the great household of the faith. It is the whole family of God. It is builded for fellowship and for the conservation and upbuilding of those who believe.

V. THE YEARS OF FAMINE (Genesis 41:54 )

1. The years of famine had been duly prophesied. Perhaps as the seven years of plenty ran on, from year to year, the Egyptians began to imagine that the years of famine would not materialize. There are many now who say, "Tomorrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant." They stand set against any possible days of tribulation. They cry to the pulpit to prophesy unto them good things. They think, "We shall never be in adversity."

Against all such roseate speeches, the famine began to come, God has told us that there shall be another day of famine and of distress. For years the world mocked the preacher who dared to face the waves of prosperity that swept the land and proclaimed the coming of the Great Tribulation.

2. The years of famine came gradually. The text says, "They began to come." It was not all at once as from a clear sky that the change from plenty to poverty gripped the world. Thus, also, the Great Tribulation is divided into two great parts. (1) The Beginning of Sorrows, and (2) The Tribulation intensified.

As we now write (June 1933), we believe for our part that the Seven Years of tribulation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet and corroborated by the Lord Jesus Christ and by many Prophets, has begun to come.

When Joseph announced his interpretation of Pharaoh's dream, many, no doubt, laughed him to scorn. However, as the famine began to come, and as it took a deeper and deeper hold upon the world the scoffers awoke to the truth of God's Word through His servant.

Thus, today, the scoffers are sitting up and taking notice, as the prophecies of God's Word about the present hour of darkness are rapidly coming to pass, and the whole world is becoming involved in economic and moral disaster.

VI. JOSEPH THE ONLY HOPE OF THE FAMINE SUFFERERS (Genesis 41:55 )

When the hungry began to call upon Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh said, "Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do."

1. The world may turn to men and to antichrist and to Satan, but as the tribulation gets deeper and darker the utter collapse of every agency will occur.

Leagues of nations will prove no more than leagues of notions so far as any effective solving of social unrest is concerned.

All kinds of alliances will be made to meet the exigencies of the hour of tribulation; kings will set themselves together and take counsel; however, their counsel will come to naught.

For awhile the antichrist and the false prophet, Satan-energized may seem to meet successfully the needs of the hour, and lead men out of the labyrinth of seeming collapse, yet, after a short reign of peace the whole will once more become a veritable battle field, while famine and pestilence follow hard upon their heels.

2. Joseph was the sole help for Egypt and the world. He alone could give the needed bread; and Christ is the sole help of the world at this moment, He is the only hope of peace and prosperity and economic redemption. Under Him alone and under His rule will righteousness and peace kiss one another.

Joseph was not only the dispenser of bread, but he was the dispenser from unlimited stores. He had all the world needed.

Jesus Christ alone is the Bread which came down from Heaven. He has Bread enough to satisfy the hunger of the world.

So far as the physical bread is concerned. He holds the power of the seasons in His hand; He controls the winds and the rain. He speaks, and all the elements obey His will. Thus, when He is on the throne, He can and will cause the plowman to overtake the reaper. The hills will melt with new wine.

In the realm of the spiritual, Jesus Christ is the Bread that satisfies. He says, "He that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst."

VII. ALL COUNTRIES CAME TO JOSEPH FOR CORN (Genesis 41:57 )

Joseph became more than a local blessing the whole world came to Him. When Christ died on the Cross, the veil of the Temple was rent from top to bottom. The middle wall of partition which separated the Jew and Gentile was broken down, and the Gentiles became heirs in the same body. The Church is not alone the storehouse of the Bread of Life, but from its provisions bread goes out to the whole world.

Christ, over all, is food to all who come to Him. Not one race, but all, not one class, but all, are invited to the house of the Lord, and to our Joseph. The call is a world-wide call, "Come and dine."

To whom shall we go? Christ alone is the Bread of Life.

AN ILLUSTRATION

CHRIST OUR CONQUEROR

In 1863, in the crisis of our Civil War, there was an interesting phenomenon that took place in Virginia City in Nevada. One day the bright summer sky was suddenly overcast with dense masses of threatening cloud, and the lightning played vividly. Suddenly on Mount Davidson's eastern slope that confronted the city, a delicate golden tongue of flame was seen swaying in the wind. For an hour that flame continued to sway to and fro on the mountain's brow. The explanation of it was simply this: there was an unseen rift in those dark, dense masses of cloud, and through that rift the evening sun flung his luminous beams and lit up the American flag that we raised on the summit of Mount Davidson. It was the national emblem that was glowing in the burning beams of the setting sun. The people stood there wrapped in admiration and entranced in astonishment. That flag was the unknown signal of two victories that had taken place that day Vicksburg had yielded, and Gettsyburg was won. Often there are dark, dense masses of cloud in our firmament; but, blessed be God, there is a rift in the storm-cloud, and the Sun of Righteousness shines forth with healing in His beams, and they rest on the flag of the Cross raised on the very mountain heights of the strongholds of Satan. Let us stand and look at that symbol with thankfulness that Christ is not dead and never can die, and by that sign shall we conquer. Dr. A. J. Pierson.

 


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Genesis 41:4". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lwc/genesis-41.html.

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Friday, December 6th, 2019
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