Monday, November 14, 2016
TheLifeOfJoseph : Genesis 47:1-22
In this chapter, all promises come to fruition. Joseph has brought his family to Egypt and, as promised, brought them to a place (called Goshen) where they could survive. Each and every one of their needs were provided for. Yet, in this chapter, we read of a formality in the Egyptian culture.
Joseph presents some of his brothers to Pharaoh as well as presents his father. Both of these presentations add to the value of how important Pharaoh saw Joseph. Joseph's family were important to him, Joseph was important to Pharaoh so...we see both parts of Joseph's life meeting. As explained, we do see formality, but I can't help but see this as yet another confirmation of God's will and His beautiful Sovereignty.
As these relatives of Joseph are presented to Pharaoh it's clear that there is translation being done as Pharaoh speaks to Joseph's family through Joseph (perhaps more than because of language barrier - we see cultural appropriateness as Pharaoh is not directly speaking to them), yet this is the final 'it really is true' section. Perhaps there were those in Joseph's family who still were quite doubtful if this were actually going to come about as Joseph said it would. Other than traveling a great distance from their home-land and seeing Joseph again, their family had not actually heard from the mouth of Pharaoh all that Joseph had said would take place. So yes, maybe this was a formality, but I see it as a true testament of Joseph's word, but much, much more. This is a true testament of God's Sovereign hand.
And yet, the job Joseph had to do was still bearing down on him. His family has been settled and is provided for and within a very short period of time, he is reminded that his other job is still very much a priority. How to mix family responsibilities and work responsibilities has always been a juggling act, even in Biblical times yet Joseph switches gears and deals with the needs of the Egyptians. Here we find a very important piece of a historical record coming together here.
Take a look again at these verses: Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh. So give us seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.” So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh’s. As for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt’s border to the other (vs. 19-21).
Pandora's Box begins to open and some of the Egyptian story begins to unravel; the Egyptian Slavery story begins unfolding before our very eyes. We now begin to clearly see how the story of Moses (and even Jesus) begins to form through the life of Joseph.
May we continue to trust and see the LORD's hand in our lives, even through the desperate cries of the people.