Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Christ and Genesis

Every time I read Genesis, I am amazed with something new that had never seemed as exciting to me before. The account of Joseph was a tremendous blessing to me last week and further helped me to see the sovereignty of God over every detail of our lives.

Consider Joseph, sold into slavery by his own brothers. As we watch the story unfold it seems that all of the odds are against Joseph initially. He is despised and misunderstood by his brothers, falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and then sent to languish in an Egyptian jail for no crime at all. But God had not left him. God had sent him away from his family, a family that was falling apart with immorality, deception, and dissension, in order to preserve the family of Israel and keep the Abrahamic covenant.

This part of Genesis includes, in my opinion, some of the sweetest accounts of God’s providence. It is fundamentally about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God is here preserving a people for Himself, but He is showing Joseph as a type of Christ. Like the Christ to come, Joseph grew in favor with God and man (Genesis 39:21, Luke 2:52). Joseph was sent to an unknown place, enduring sorrow and hardship, in order to preserve and save the people of God. Christ was sent to a dying world, bearing shame and our sin, in order to bring ruined sinners to Himself.

So many of our stories are largely unwritten and we have no idea what the outcome will bring. Maybe God is not giving you exactly what you want right now, His purposes will still stand in your life. Maybe you are facing great uncertainty with direction in your life, God has not forgotten you. Just like in Joseph’s life our small frames are mere pieces in the much bigger picture of redemptive history. God is working all things out for our good, and His glory. Imagine the feelings Joseph must have had when he realized that his dreams were coming true years later. It is no wonder that he had to excuse himself on more than one occasion to weep. And when he finally reveals himself we read such an amazing verse of complete trust in the purposes of God:

“And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life.”

Only in Christ can we express, and believe, such things about the purposes of God. Like the Christ that his life is pointing to, he did not revile back when he was reviled. There is a trust that comes after weeks, months, or eve n years, of darkness that begin to show glimpses of light. Surely the disciples were distraught in the three days before Resurrection Sunday, but the conqueror arose victorious that by His death He may preserve life eternally.

Joseph preserved the life of his immediate family, but like every person (with the exception of one) in the book of Genesis, he too died and was no more. And every other leader in the Old Testament died too, until the Man came, who conquered sin and death for those who are found in Him. Trust in His purposes this day, dear Christian. They are far more perfect than we could ever imagine. And He never forgets His children.

1 comment:

debt said...

What a great reminder of the faithfulness of our God!! We were just talking about Joseph with Micah and all he endured as a young man. I know the text does not shed alot of light on all that Joseph was feeling or struggling with during his unjust captivity and false accusation, but you do see his trust in God throughout, by his response to his brothers. I can only imagine that he spent many a night praying and wrestling with God over how his life had turned out, but at the same time, he submitted to God's will and rested in Him. We do not always see what God is doing, but He is doing something in the midst of our cloudy times. I need that reminder often. Thanks for sharing it.