Joseph and Jesus #12

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

“These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brethren; and the lad was with the sons of Bilhah, and with the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives: and Joseph brought unto his father their evil report” (Genesis 37:2 KJV).

Let us search the Scriptures to see how Joseph is a type of the antitype Jesus….

We Berean Bible students have seen how Joseph and Jesus are alike in excess of 20 specific traits and circumstances. This is certainly not coincidental. To those who want to see, hear, and believe, it is as clear as can be. Joseph served as a template, foreshadow, preview, pattern, or outline: by nature, that is a type in the Bible. Centuries later, the antitype (Jesus Christ) shared those same qualities and underwent those very situations. By studying the one, we better appreciate the other, rejoicing how the LORD God was omniscient, knowing well in advance what would occur all along. Joseph’s whole life—even seemingly insignificant attributes and situations—prophesied what another beloved Son would be like and what He would experience.

“Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (1 Peter 1:10,11). Like the other Old Testament prophets, Moses (who wrote about Joseph in Genesis) possessed limited knowledge. He had no idea the Holy Spirit was using him to present Messiah’s two comings with such vivid details—one arrival to suffer and die, and a return to conquer and reign. Stephen, speaking in Acts 7:9-16, had more light than Moses, for by that time the Lord Jesus Christ had already come once and the saints in early Acts were anticipating His reappearance. With a completed Bible canon, we have even greater insight than Moses and Stephen combined. May we be thankful!

Joseph is just one of several types of Jesus Christ: other examples include Joseph’s brother Benjamin, plus Adam, Abel, Noah, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, David, and Solomon. While beyond the scope of this study, they too are equally fascinating.

Indecisive Israel #10

Friday, September 15, 2017

“Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:14,15 KJV).

Whom shall Israel follow? (It depends on their circumstances!)

Once Judge Abdon dies, Judges chapter 13 opens with Israel doing evil in the sight of the LORD. He gives them over to the Philistines 40 years. The angel of the LORD appears to Manoah and his wife, informing them that they will have a child who “shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (verse 5). This boy is Samson. In the coming years, he indeed slays many Philistines. Samson, in weakness, meets a tragic end. After judging Israel 20 years, he lets the Philistines capture him. They blind him, but he kills 3,000 more Philistines before taking his own life. (Judges 13:1–16:31)

Historically, the Book of Judges ends with Samson. Nevertheless, five subsequent “addendum” (hindsight) chapters detail Israel’s religious, moral, and social breakdown throughout that 450-year period (Acts 13:20). Judges chapters 17-21 document very dark, horrific events—especially chapter 19 (appalling, to say the least!). Baal worship gains a foothold in northern Israel in Micah’s house. Eventually, the whole tribe of Dan adopts Micah’s idolatrous religious system. Priests are now called “father.” A Jewess, servant-wife of a Levite, plays the whore. Then, the Jews of Gibeah rape her and ultimately beat her to death. Israelites war amongst each other—25,000 die in battle!

So, the “yo-yo,” “rollercoaster” 450-year period of the Judges ends. The Book closes with such sobering words: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (21:25; cf. Judges 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25). Frankly, dear friends, that expression says it all, and it is an apt conclusion!

(Before we summarize and conclude this devotionals arc, we will break away from it for one day to present a special study.)