Seeing the Son Within

When Jacob met Joseph’s sons, he said, “Ephraim and Manasseh belong to me just as Reuben and Simeon do” (Gen. 48:5).  Joseph regarded Ephraim and Manasseh’s sons in the same way (Gen. 50:23).  Jacob and Joseph saw their grandchildren as their children; they saw no difference between them when it came to affection, status, and…

An End in Itself

Jacob’s death revives fears among his sons that Joseph will retaliate because of their cruelty towards him (Gen. 50:15).  Although Joseph already reassured them he held no grudge, they don’t yet trust this.  Once again, they appeal to Joseph for mercy (Gen. 50:16-18).  Joseph replies, “Am I in the place of God?  You planned evil…

Embalmed

After Jacob dies, he is embalmed (Gen. 50:2-3).  Embalming was an Egyptian practice and betrays something of the world’s mindset. Embalming was and is meant to preserve the dead person.  There have been various methods throughout history but the basic idea is the same: the dead flesh is treated with substances that slow decay.  Modern…

The Chosen One(s)

Near the end of his life, Jacob told Joseph that Joseph’s sons would be as his own sons. Because of this, Jacob asked to bless them. Joseph brought Manasseh, his first born, and Ephraim, his second born, to Jacob. According to natural order, Jacob would’ve placed his right hand on Manasseh, thereby conferring the greater…

Freely Owned

As famine worsened in Egypt, people came to Joseph seeking food.  The grain Joseph stored up for Pharaoh over seven years was the only food in the land.  For awhile, people paid money for grain. “Joseph collected all the money to be found in the land of Egypt.”  Eventually, people ran out of money (Gen….

There, There

Spiritually, we don’t mature unless God brings us “there,” to those places of pressure and pain.  We may well ask, “Why?”, and this is the question most on our lips during such seasons.  It is tempting to think we can grow without going “there,” to assure ourselves that suffering isn’t a necessary part of spiritual…

There

After Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers, he asked them to bring his father, Jacob, and the rest of their family to Egypt. Jacob was stunned and didn’t believe his sons at first.  But when he at last accepted their report, he couldn’t wait to see Joseph (Gen. 45:26-28). His first night on the…

Process

“God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.  Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Gen. 45:7-8). Joseph said the above words after revealing his identity to his brothers.  It is striking that he absolves…

The Stranger Inside

Because there was famine in Canaan, Jacob sent 10 of his sons to Egypt, where he heard there was grain for sale (Gen. 42:2-3).  When Jacob’s sons came before Joseph, he recognized them, but they didn’t recognize him (Gen. 42:7-8). We have seen how Joseph’s life foreshadows Christ’s death and resurrection.  Joseph’s brothers hated him…

Life out of Death

Joseph embodies the key reality of spirituality: life out of death.  God is a God of life out of death.  This is His way.  Everything He does or creates expresses it.  If we would truly know the Lord, our experience will be marked by life out of death. Joseph’s brothers threw him into a pit…