Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 100
Foundational themes in Genesis – Study 100 (Key verses: Gen 44:14-34; Gen 45:1-8)
The theme of spiritual glorification is highlighted for us in the life of Joseph in the book of Genesis. God’s elect are the first to be given spiritual glorification as they are also the first to be taken through the process of judgment (1Pe 4:17). This judgment was typified in Joseph’s life firstly through the hatred and jealousy from his ten brothers and also during the thirteen years of working as a slave and even imprisoned in Egypt. Joseph did nothing wrong which merited this treatment except openly confessing and living his righteous calling…it was all after the counsel of God’s will (Gen 45:7; Gen 50:20; Eph 1:11). For those on whom “the spirit of glory and of God resteth” this was written to show how the “reproach for the name of Christ” is linked to spiritual glorification:
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
1Pe 4:15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
1Pe 4:16 Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
The end of them will be a later judgment which is typified in the life of Joseph’s brothers. But they are first used by God to give Joseph much hatred and hardship by selling him in slavery in Egypt where he was also unfairly imprisoned. But through God’s interventions Joseph was exalted to the throne of Egypt by the Pharaoh to eventually control the food supply of the whole earth during the time of famine. This control and supply of food reminds one of the thousand year rule on earth by God’s overcoming elect when the Word of God will be the rod of iron which rules the nations in an outward manner:
Rev 2:26 And he that overcometh [like Joseph], and he that keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give authority over the nations:
Rev 2:27 and he shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are broken to shivers; as I also have received of my Father.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
This period on the earth is brought about because the elect are, like Joseph, the only people whom God ordained to be “discreet and wise” in this age to mature through judgement how to discern the good from the evil, to “prove all things [and to] hold fast that which is good” (Heb 2:10; Heb 5:14; 1Th 5:21):
Gen 41:39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:
Gen 41:40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
Like Joseph’s brothers who confessed and believed that they were “true men”, this symbolic thousand year period of “great plenty” actually deludes the world to be puffed up in self-righteousness, even while they build up resentment against the rule of God through His elect (Gen 42:11; Num 16:1-5; Num 16:41-50; Num 29:12-34; Job 1:9-10; 1Co 10:1-12). We know from scripture and from life experiences that when the flesh has plentitude, there is an insatiable desire for more and more (Pro 15:27; Ecc 5:10; Luk 12:15; 1Jn 2:16; 1Ti 6:9-10; Jas 4:3). This is why Jesus will always cut off this supply of a physical diet of miracles, fish and bread at some point to be replaced by His own spiritual diet of His flesh and blood, which brings deep offense and resentment to His carnal followers (Joh 6:26-27):
Joh 6:53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
Joh 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
But period of a “great plenty” is how God designs an occasion against the flesh (Jdg 14:4; Jer 12:3; 1Co 1:29). God appointed a time when all will be dying to this sinful and rebellious flesh and be judged to learn true righteousness to be clothed with the spiritual raiment of Christ (1Co 15:26; Rev 20:7-15; Rev 21:1-5):
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
Like Joseph in type, the elect is not only ordained by God to be the rulers and judges of the world in the thousand year reign on earth, but also the judges in the judgment of the lake of fire:
1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?
1Co 6:3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
The lake of fire judgment is called the second death because those who were not raised in the first resurrection will be the second group who will be raised from the dead in spiritual bodies, with their carnal minds still intact, still hating the true doctrine of Christ and His elect (Heb 9:27; 1Pe 4:17). This lake of fire will be the biggest revelation of God’s mercy on His carnal creation as this is where all the works of each creature will be revealed by His chastening wrath and fire:
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Joseph was given this judgment in type, and in his dealings with his brothers, we also see this judgment revealed where the works of his brothers needs manifestation. Since the time Joseph saw his brothers for the first time in Egypt, he had to restrain himself on several occasions not to make himself known to them. This reveals the loving and caring heart of the Father. God is a merciful Father who established a carnal and evil creation for a limited period of time in which He uses that evil to bring forth His spiritual creation which “yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Gen 50:20; Ecc 1:13; 2Co 12:7-10; Heb 12:6-11). Even the most powerful Ruler of all things employs patience and longsuffering to bring forth something so beautiful and worthwhile which will reflect His flawless and holy character to the full:
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance [Greek: “metanoia” = a change of mind].
Joseph was working on a plan to bring his brothers to see that all things are working according to a perfect plan. But they could not see this as they could not even recognise Joseph, even as they could not accept him as the elect while he was still young (Gen 37:2-11; Gen 42:8-14). It is this patience of Joseph with his spiritually blinded brothers that helps all of us to know how God gives us His mercy to give to them whom God has placed in our lives, even when they are used by God to say and do evil things to us. This is also what the apostle Paul had to endure when his own unbelieving and spiritually blinded Jewish brothers were not given to see these deep things of God:
Rom 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Rom 11:31 Even so have these also now not believed, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Rom 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.
Joseph is showing mercy to his brothers by taking them through the necessary time of torment in judgment. Joseph’s words to these brothers were indeed fire which tormented them for some time as God’s Word is fire even in the mouth of the elect, the mighty nation of God:
Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
Jer 5:15 Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the LORD: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.
Jer 5:16 Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men.
Judgment is indeed a merciful process by which the mind of our old man is revealed and the new spirit life and mind of Christ is brought to us (Isa 26:9; Heb 12:5-8). This is how judgement is to be received, but by God’s design the flesh experiences judgement in a negative way:
Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he [all who worship the beast and his image] shall be tormented with fire and brimstone [Greek: “theion” = to become Godlike] in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.
The presence of the Lord and His judges should be seen as how the torment is made bearable as even the fire and the brimstone are symbols of healing and salvation (Isa 30:20-33; Isa 34:9; Jer 5:14; Mat 3:11-12). This is the ultimate true fast (or famine) which reveals the true meaning of “that great day of God Almighty” which is “the supper of the great God” (Rev 16:14; Rev 19:11-21):
Isa 58:5 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD?
Isa 58:6 Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Isa 58:7 Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Isa 58:8 Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward [your full protection].
While the brothers of Joseph still could not recognise him or his plan with them, they returned to Egypt for the second time during this time of famine. Benjamin came with the other brothers as instructed by Joseph and Benjamin was also now openly favoured at the table with five more portions of food than what the other brothers received. Joseph also commanded his steward to put his silver cup in the sack of Benjamin to set the brothers up for their biggest trial yet:
Gen 44:1 And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in his sack’s mouth.
Gen 44:2 And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, and his corn money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.
Gen 44:3 As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.
Gen 44:4 And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?
Gen 44:5 Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.
After the silver cup of Joseph was found in the sack of Benjamin, the brothers did not desert Benjamin as they did with Joseph, even with the knowledge that Benjamin was favoured by their father, like Joseph was favoured. This reveals the beginning of a change of mind in these brothers which Joseph was working toward. They all returned to the house of Joseph whom they as yet could not recognise:
Gen 44:14 And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph’s house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.
Gen 44:15 And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?
Judah is the spokesperson for the brothers and in this revealing speech we see that he did not want to plead their innocence at all. He actually confessed their iniquity which God has uncovered, according to Judah:
Gen 44:16 And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.
We remember when Joseph was seventeen years old, it was the same Judah who suggested that Joseph be sold as a slave:
Gen 37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
Gen 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
Gen 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
Now the silver which they thought was profit at that time has now appeared in another form to bring judgment to them. Our sin will find us out and expose our hearts as God will use our own wickedness to correct us, even as our own words and judgment reveal our guilt (Num 32:23; Isa 66:4; Mat 7:2; Luk 19:22):
Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
What we deem to be for our profit in natural terms (our own silver – which is dross) is the seed we sow and we cannot avoid reaping the same harvest (Mat 7:12):
Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
But Judah’s confession did not divert the judgment they still needed to endure, even for the seventeen years Jacob came to live in Egypt before he died, and these were still the fears and torment in the hearts of Joseph’s brothers:
Gen 50:15 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
Gen 50:16 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,
Gen 50:17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
Gen 50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
This again proves that repentance and an acknowledgment of sin and iniquity do not replace judgment – repentance initiates that process (Heb 6:1-2). Even when we ask forgiveness from someone, we still need to know that within ourselves is hidden sin which takes time to be revealed and dealt with through judgment:
Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Joseph also, like his steward earlier on, did not agree to the terms and conditions as put forward by Judah:
Gen 44:17 And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.
Each one shall bear his own load. This spiritual principle highlights the falsity of the doctrine of the substitutionary death of Christ:
Gal 6:4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Gal 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
But Judah was determined to reason with this still unknown ruler, and through Judah’s words the process of the changing of hearts of these brothers were captured for us:
Gen 44:18 Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh.
Gen 44:19 My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother?
Gen 44:20 And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him.
Gen 44:21 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him.
Gen 44:22 And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.
Gen 44:23 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more.
Gen 44:24 And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.
Gen 44:25 And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food.
Gen 44:26 And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man’s face, except our youngest brother be with us.
Gen 44:27 And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons:
Gen 44:28 And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since:
Gen 44:29 And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.
Gen 44:30 Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s life;
Gen 44:31 It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.
Gen 44:32 For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.
Gen 44:33 Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.
Gen 44:34 For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.
Judah gives us a few pointers as to what the giving of an account to God entails. Here we also see that he repeats the words of Joseph and Jacob and how they had no other option to do what was commanded. They obeyed and did the words that were commanded. This is also revealing because we will all come to see that God is the One who ordained every thought and every action of each creature since the beginning – we indeed live by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Mat 4:4):
Psa 139:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Psa 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Psa 139:3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
Psa 139:4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
Psa 139:15 (ASV) My frame was not hidden from thee, When I was made in secret, And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Psa 139:16 (ASV) Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them.
Jer 10:23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Pro 20:24 Man’s goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?
Judah and his brothers were all doing what they were ordained to do and they are starting to see this wonderful truth that few are given to see in this age. This is what Joseph was waiting for and now the time has come for him to reveal himself to these brothers, even in their time of their darkest agony:
Gen 45:1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.
Gen 45:2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.
Gen 45:3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.
The brothers “were troubled at his presence” tells us what the world will experience when the elect, the Christ, is revealed to them. Joseph explained to them how God was the One who worked all of this and they were merely instruments (“whom ye sold”) in His hands to “preserve life”:
Gen 45:4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.
Gen 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.
Gen 45:6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.
Gen 45:7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.
Gen 45:8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
God indeed works all things in His creation, even the evil and the wicked are there for His purposes:
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Eph 1:11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Joseph’s silver cup in Benjamin’s sack also points to the reconciliatory role the elect of God is playing in this whole process of uniting all in the Christ in order to bring all in the Father (1Co 15:22-28):
Eph 1:9 (YLT) having made known to us the secret of His will, according to His good pleasure, that He purposed in Himself,
Eph 1:10 (YLT) in regard to the dispensation of the fulness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth–in him;
Detailed studies and emails relating to these foundational themes in Scripture are available on the www.iswasandwillbe.com website, including these topics and links:
The Lake of Fire in Genesis
The Purpose of This Lake of Fire of The Elect
Is Conversion Difficult for Those in The Lake of Fire
The Biblical Overview of The Plan of God – Part 11
The Biblical Overview of The Plan of God – Part 12
Numbers in Scripture
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