Commemoration of Joseph, Patriarch
Today, we remember and thank God for Joseph, Patriarch.
The story of the patriarch Joseph, beloved child of Jacob, is one of the most stirring pieces of literature in the bible. It is also an amazing typological prophecy of our Lord Jesus Christ. As the son of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel, Joseph had a special relationship with his father that his brothers resented. God spoke to Joseph in dreams. He foretold that Joseph’s father and mother and all his brothers would bow down to him. This only increased his brothers’ resentment of him.
When they had opportunity, they betrayed him. They sold him as a slave to some passing traders. Joseph began a life of captivity in Egypt. Meanwhile, his brothers took the beautiful robe that had belonged to Joseph and marked him as the favored son, dipped it in the blood of an animal, and led their father to believe that his beloved Joseph was dead.
In Egypt, God blessed the young man, and Joseph soon rose to prominence with his master. But when his master’s wife falsely accused him of rape because Joseph would not consent to commit adultery with her, he was put in prison. There God was with him and granted him favor in the sight of the prison warden. When he interpreted dreams to Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker, each came to pass as Joseph had foretold. He begged the cupbearer to remember him to Pharaoh, but the cupbearer forgot until Pharaoh had a dream that no one could interpret. The cupbearer mentioned Joseph to Pharaoh. He was taken from prison and by God’s wisdom interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and advised him what to do. Seeing the wisdom of the young man, Pharaoh made him to be the prime minister of all Egypt.
As famine ravaged Palestine, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy grain. There they encountered Joseph, but now grown up and dressed as an Egyptian. He knew them, but they did not know him. He tested them and found they were indeed remorseful over their sin against him years before. He finally revealed himself, to their shock and then fear. He comforted them: “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive.”
The Church cannot read the story of Joseph without thinking of our Lord. He, too, was rejected by His brothers, sold, handed over to arrest and even to death. Yet, the Father has raised Him, exalted Him, and all so that He could bring blessing, could save many lives. The biblical account of Joseph is a powerful prophecy of our Lord and His salvation. His story is the Old Testament explication of the promise from Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.”
Glorious and blessed Trinity, how beyond all human wisdom is Your kind providence and plan! You graciously fulfilled Your promises to Joseph the patriarch in a wondrous way. Through the path of humiliation and suffering, You lifted him to glory and honor, prefiguring the Passion and resurrection of our Lord. Fill us with the confidence that You can and do work all things together to bring us blessing; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
WILLIAM Weedon Celebrating The Saints 58-59