Coincidence? Not on your life.
He had me at twenty pieces of silver. That's when I first had this niggling sensation at the corners of my mind . . . a sense of 'hey, does this remind you of anyone else?' Reminded me of Another who was sold for 30 pieces of silver ... Another who was betrayed by one so close to him.
Was Joseph a patriarch or a prophet? The answer is 'yes...both,' and is quite interesting. While he was one of the patriarchs of the Jewish people, his life served as a sort of foreshadowing or picture of the Messiah to come, also from the line of Abraham.
Oh, I have loved getting to know the man, Joseph, in our last days! What a stalwart in the faith - staying true to God in spite of disappointment, in spite of being sold into slavery--separated from his family and the land of his birth. Joseph remained faithful in the face of great temptation, false accusation, wrongful imprisonment - all the while wondering, 'So God . . . about those dreams you gave me? What in the world is going on?'
To put a wrap on our look at Joseph's life, consider with me the brilliance of God. In imparting his story to men to record in the written pages of millennia past and future ~ the whole thing holding together in the Word of God we hold in our hands, similarities emerge between the lives of Joseph and Jesus.
Take a look with me at these remarkable parallels, and where found in Scripture:
>>Beloved of his father:
Joseph: 'Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children. Genesis 37.3a
Jesus: 'This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.' Matthew 3.17b
>>Envied and hated
Joseph: When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him... Genesis 37.4
Jesus: He knew that the chief priests without a cause handed Him over because of envy Mk 15.10;
"They hated Me without a cause." John 15.25b
>>He foretold that one day he would rule
Joseph: "Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood around and bowed down to my sheaf." Genesis 37.7
Jesus: "It is as you said. Nevertheless... you will see
the Son of Man sitting at the
right hand of the Mighty One..." Matthew 26.64
>>Stripped of his Clothing
Joseph: They stripped Joseph of his multi-colored coat Genesis 37.23b
Jesus: They stripped him. Matthew 27.28a
>>Stayed strong in face of temptation
Joseph: Joseph resisted temptation by Potiphar's wife. Gen. 39.7-12
Jesus: In all points tempted as we are
yet without sin. Hebrews 4.15b
Mentioned earlier, both Joseph and Jesus were betrayed by 'a brother' for silver.
All these things the pair held in common . . . coincidence? Sure, if you also believe that the dozens of Messianic prophecies Jesus Christ of Nazareth fulfilled were also coincidental! No, no. 'Twas the invisible hand of God . . . providence.
Here's the thing: when Joseph suffered, God was with him, and he was still at work.
While Joseph waited for God to fulfill his purposes in him, God was with him and always working.
When Joseph stepped into his destiny,
he could turn around and see the hand of God
ever present, patiently, sovereignly at work.
Same with you. Even when you think God has forgotten, he has not.
Even when you feel alone, he is with you.
Even when you do not feel lovable, he loves you.
Here's what God says to you, wherever you find yourself just now . . .
I know the plans that I have for you...
They are plans for peace and not disaster,
plans to give you a future filled with hope. Jeremiah 29.11, GW
No coincidence there,