Genesis 39

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“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt” (Genesis 39:1 NKJV).

January 19, 2017

Joseph was “taken down to Egypt.” The Lord’s plan to elevate Joseph over his brethren, and one day rescue them from famine, led downward. The dreamer found himself in a nightmare. Down, down, down he went. The once favored son was betrayed by his brethren, stripped of his robes, thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, falsely accused, and left forsaken in a prison. Yet, Joseph’s character never crumbled, nor did his faith fail. He kept on trusting the Lord. And the Lord lifted him up to save his family. If Genesis 38 revealed the wickedness of humanity, then chapter 39 foreshadowed God’s eternal plan to rescue it.

The story of Joseph points to Jesus. For the beloved Son of God would one day remove His divine robes, and make “Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and come in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:6-7), He would be betrayed by His brethren and become “obedient to the point of death, even death on the cross. Therefore God will highly exalt Him and give Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:8-11).

Just as Joseph’s betraying brothers later bowed before him, so rebellious humanity will one day bow before the Lord Jesus. Reading the Scriptures, we should always look for Jesus. Looking with spiritual eyes, we will see Him on every page.

“How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9 ESV)

January 19, 2016

After the ugly sexual sins of the previous chapter, it’s refreshing to see Joseph resisting temptation and maintaining his purity. Yet, surprisingly he is not immediately rewarded, but falsely accused and imprisoned for it. The world doesn’t reward righteousness, but God does. And even though Joseph was fallen from favored son to household slave, and then from slave to prisoner, God had not left him. In the midst of his low estate, God was with Joseph. No matter the circumstance, God gave Joseph favor before those in authority over him. And Joseph was found faithful in every place, so that in the fulness of time, God elevated him to the right hand of Egypt’s royal throne.