Monday, April 16, 2007

Zaphenath-panea, Truth Part 5

Imagine for a moment young Joseph as he considered the dream that God had given him. What could it possibly mean? All he knew is that in some way he would rule over his family, and that is about all we and Joseph know until we all get surprised by Pharaoh many years later. What Joseph actually saw was a glimpse of one moment of the dream, yet the fullness of this dream was hidden.

As Joseph went from his dream to a literal pit, became slave then prisoner all seemed lost. The plans of man seemed to rule supreme, and there was nothing Joseph could do to change his situation, not even encouraging an influential person with his spiritual gift. He was simply a forgotten novelty, good for a moment but not needed afterward.

So where was God when all this was going on? Frankly, right in the middle of it, and He was bringing Joseph, his family, and Pharaoh into a head-on collision with a problem that eclipsed any of their dreams or insecurities. It ultimately was not about any of them or their positions. It was about the salvation of the known world from a terrible famine. The need is the same today, but the famine is greater. It is spiritual.

In one day the only man who knew about the problem and had the authority to act was aligned with the one man who understood the magnitude of the problem and had the perfect solution from God. In rapid succession Joseph was remembered, found, washed and brought before Pharaoh. Joseph’s gift – it had never stopped working and had even brought him here – manifested in such wisdom that Pharaoh made him governor of Egypt and gave him a name that described his true calling, Zaphenath-panea, which is often translated “God speaks”.

Joseph was eventually reunited with his family as they traveled to Egypt for food. They were fearful when they realized that the one whom they had condemned was now the one who could save them. Joseph’s ultimate response was mercy. He was walking in the footsteps that Jesus would one day reenact on a much grander scale, with the descendants of the same brothers and ultimately with the whole world.

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”
Gen 50:20

A few simple truths from this story:

  • God is in control even when evil seems to prevail, and His goals are always GOOD no matter what the circumstances. Rom 8:28
  • Serving others during adversity gets our eyes off of ourselves and protects us from the lies of the enemy.
  • It is ultimately not about us or fulfilling a personal dream. It is about God’s goodness and mercy to a world that treated Him like they treated Joseph. It is about saving the lost.

    צצפנת פענח - He still speaks. He still saves.


Daniel said...

Wow! I never saw the connection between Joseph and Jesus as clearly as I do now after reading your posting. God is definitely in the habit of sending saviors in uncoventional forms such as in a pit, a basket and ultimately a manger. I'm sure there are other examples thoughtout the Old Testament and I'll keep an eye out for them from now on. Your blog is making me realize the unbreakable and consistent truths sown into God's word from front to back. Thanks and keep them coming :D

Mike said...

Daniel, Joseph’s life is so rich with types of Christ and His earthly ministry that I could not begin to touch it in-depth in this blog, but I did try to give a few nuggets. Ultimately, I want to show that God is as faithful with us in difficult situations as He was with Joseph. Thanks for the encouraging comments.

Bryan said...

Fantastic post and a definite Old Testament picture of Jesus. Thanks for sharing.