Gospel Truth in the Narrative of Joseph

We are close to starting our last push through our study of Genesis, and it will begin with Moses’ account of Joseph and how they ended up in Egypt in the first place needing rescue. And….Joseph’s history is loaded with gospel.

There is so much gospel imagery in the story of Joseph. Jesus told us in Luke 24:44-49 that all written about him in the law, prophets and Psalms must be fulfilled, then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures: 

Luke 24:46-47 (ESV) “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

This narrative of Joseph points us to this truth in it’s inspired historical details.  

Psalm 105:16-22 interprets this Joseph narrative as well helping see even more details of gospel goodness as the one who orchestrates this whole thing in order to show just judgment and righteous salvation coming from his hand. 

It was God who brought the famine and broke the supply of bread. 

To work this all out, Yhwh saw fit to give Pharaoh a dream to warn him what was about to take place, but Pharaoh can’t understand what his dream means because he does not know the Lord, and his magicians can’t understand it either because they don’t know Yhwh either. Who will tell him what it means?

Joseph will! Why? Because Yhwh sent Joseph ahead to provide the answers, and the practical application on how to respond to God’s warning Pharaoh in this awesome agricultural stroke of genius. 

How does Joseph point us to Jesus? Man has sinned and brought the just judgment of God on all of created order. Famine is a just judgment of God on man for his rebellion against Yhwh’s rule. But Yhwh, being merciful and kind, determined to preserve a people for himself, chose to send one of his very own ahead to speak the truth, suffer, be mistreated as guilty although innocent in the place of guilty men and provide a way to escape just judgment if they will only hear and obey his word. That prophet, savior, king? Joseph. 

Do you see the gospel pattern?

Man has brought the just judgment of God on all created order through rebellion and sin. Death and hell are just judgments of God on man for his rebellion against Yhwh’s rule. But Yhwh, being merciful and kind, determined to preserve a people for himself, chose to send a son, his only Son, to speak the truth, suffer, be mistreated as guilty although innocent in the place of guilty men and provide a way to escape just judgment if they will only hear the good news and obey his word to repent and believe. That prophet, savior, priest, king? Jesus!

Ya’ll, that is only the tip of the gospel iceberg in Genesis all the way to Malachi. Those gospel patterns are precisely why the New Testament writers under the Holy Spirit’s authorship preach from the inspired text of the Old Testament. Jesus built the gospel into history revealed in a narrative of that gospel woven into the movement of people and nations in order to save people and nations and bear witness to the glory of God in the gospel. Wow. 

Read the word, think on the word, hide the word in your heart, act in obedience on the word and delight in the Lord Jesus in worship.

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