Sermon June 21, 2015 Genesis 47:11-27 “Beholding the Glorious Gospel in Genesis”

June 21, 2015                                                                                           Genesis 47:11-28

Series: Divine Hope for Dysfunctional Families

Today’s Message: “Beholding the Glorious Gospel in Genesis”

Pastor Louis Prontnicki     Maple Glen Bible Fellowship Church

 

God often gives us in the Old Testament physical situations that reflect greater spiritual realities that become clearer in the New Testament. For example, the Passover lamb in Exodus points us to the grater Lamb of God in Jesus; or the manna given in the wilderness points us to the greater Bread of Life in Christ. There’s a sentence that puts it succinctly: “The New is in the Old contained; The Old is by the New explained.”

And in this passage in Genesis, I believe we have at least three pictures or analogies of greater gospel truths:

1. Joseph’s Authority Foreshadows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Ps. 105:21-22)

2. The Egyptians’ Desperate Condition Reveals our Spiritual Bankruptcy and our Great Need of a Savior(vv. 13-26)

3. The Israelites’ Prosperity Mirrors the Blessings of the Gospel (vv. 11-12. 27)

 

1. Joseph’s Authority Foreshadows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (Ps. 105:21-22)

Consider the life of Joseph. He grows up as the 11th of 12 sons, and is despised by his brothers. He is betrayed by those close to him, and suffers extreme humiliation, as an alien in a foreign land. But then in a miraculous and sudden turn of events, Joseph is exalted above all and saves many nations from total starvation. This lowly brother, who was hated, betrayed, sold for pieces of silver and considered as dead is now ruler of the region, savior of the people, and in his hand is the power of life and death! Who does that remind us of, but Jesus Christ our Lord!

In Joseph we have a movie trailer of the full length feature film that will star Jesus Christ!

In the same way, consider what Psalm 105:16-22 says about the authority of Joseph in Egypt:

“He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food;  and he sent a man before them—  Joseph, sold as a slave.  They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of the Lord proved him true. The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free. made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed,  to instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom.

The parallels between Joseph’s life and Jesus’ life are uncanny….and yet we have no acknowledgment of this in the New Testament. Why not? I don’t have an answer, but here is what we can say: Joseph, as an Old Testament ideal man, prefigures the Perfect Man, Jesus Christ, who lived a sinless life, and by whose active and passive obedience, his people were saved. (Burton Goddard)

So as we marvel at Joseph as the supreme ruler, the master, the provider and sustainer of life, and the teacher of wisdom, we are pointed to the greater glories of Jesus Christ! (Imagine that you are in Egypt, and Joseph is your master, savior, and teacher. How does that feel?)

In a greater was, is Jesus your Lord and your King? Is he your Master and Redeemer? Are you bowing before Him and worshipping Him with joy and obedience?

 

2. The Egyptians’ Desperate Condition Reveals our Spiritual Bankruptcy and our Great Need of a Savior (vv. 13-26)

Note: This famine reminds us that we live and have food to eat only by God’s providence. All our money would not keep us from starving… if God withheld all rain for just 2 or 3 years.

Now there is a dramatic contrast between the destitution of the Egyptians (13-26) and the prosperity of the Israelites (11-12, and 27). Let’s look at the Egyptian’s situation first.

Note what Joseph did with the Egyptians:

– He collected all the people’s money (for food)

– He took their livestock, in exchange for food.

– He bought all the land in Egypt, for Pharaoh

– He reduced all the Egyptians to servitude.

– He established a 20% tax in Egypt that remained in force.

If this appears to be harsh, consider two things. The first is that Joseph’s economic policy simply made Egypt in fact what it always was in theory: the land became Pharaoh’s property and its inhabitants his tenants. The second is that this was the only way to save the people from starvation. Joseph had the food they desperately needed, and they had to surrender all to get it. (Imagine yourself in that position)

Here’s where the foreshadowing of the gospel comes in: Joseph asked no more of the Egyptians than God requires of those who will be eternally saved. The Egyptians valued their physical salvation so much that they gave up their money, their material goods, and even themselves to Joseph. In a similar way, these are the terms which God has laid down for you and me to have eternal life; namely, unconditional surrender to our King. We must come to the point of realizing that because our condition is terminal, we must place our entire future in the hands of Jesus Christ, just as the Egyptians trusted in Joseph. We must surrender every element of self-sufficiency, everything of value, and rely solely upon Jesus Christ, who died and rose for our salvation. He offers to us all the riches of heaven…only if we trust in Him completely

Or in Jesus’ own words, ‘Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If any one wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. For what will a man be profited, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”’ (Matt. 16:24-26).

The Egyptians’ Desperate Condition Reveals our Spiritual Bankruptcy and our Great Need of a Savior. So…what is the Lord calling you to surrender to Him? Do you feel your great need of a Savior? Have you surrendered the control of your life to Him?

 

3. The Israelites’ Prosperity Mirrors the Blessings of the Gospel (vv. 11-12. 27)

In what Joseph did for his father and his brothers (vs. what he did for the Egyptians) we can see glimpses of God’s unmerited blessings to us, in Jesus Christ:

For his family:

– He intercedes before Pharaoh to allow them to live in Goshen, the best of the land.

– He settles his father and brothers in the best part of Egypt, giving them property there.

– He provides for his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, as much as was needed for the number of children they had.

– Because of Joseph’s efforts, the Israelites acquitted property in the best part of Egypt and became very fruitful and greatly increased in number.

So Israelites prosper while the Egyptians become impoverished. The sons of Israel (1) acquire property (2) were fruitful and increased greatly in number (v. 27), while at the same time, the Egyptians (1) sold their property (2) sold their livestock (3) sold themselves, in order to but food to stay alive. Isn’t that a striking picture of the blessings of Christ in the Gospel?

Would you also notice that God’s lavish provision for His people here did not require that the nation they lived in would have to experience economic prosperity. No. Israel prospered in Egypt’s darkest hours. Israel was provided for in abundance while the rest were barely surviving.

Application: If God could care for His people in times of famine, then He can care for us in times of great disaster, too. God’s ability to provide for His own does not depend upon the Dow-Jones averages.

      Now to keep us from the error of a “prosperity gospel,” let’s remember that the fruitful growth of Israel at this time paved the way for her future persecution. A lesson in history will help put this section into perspective. For over the centuries, God would use this disparity between the Israelites and the Egyptians to eventually cause a future Pharaoh to oppress the Israelites, thereby setting the scene for God’s redemptive act in the Exodus.

So what appears to be a great and undeserved blessing and time of prosperity may not only be a token of God’s mercy and grace; it may also be the means by which He sets you up for greater lessons and leaning more on Him, in hard times. Nevertheless, it is clear that the Israelites’ Prosperity Mirrors the Blessings of the Gospel.

So…are you living as a son or daughter of the King? Do you know that He has given you everything you need for life and godliness?

 

And so in summary, we see that “The New is in the Old contained; The Old is by the New explained.”

-Joseph’s Authority Foreshadows Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior

-The Egyptians’ Desperate Condition Reveals our Spiritual Bankruptcy and our Great Need of a Savior.

-The Israelites’ Prosperity Mirrors the Blessings of the Gospel.

 

Therefore:

  • Are you beholding God’s glorious gospel of Jesus as you read these chapters in Genesis? Do you see Christ as the center, the focus of all Scripture?
  • Do you see yourself as a starving Egyptian, ready to give up everything, so that you can live? (That’s what it’s like to come to Jesus)
  • If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, are you living in the blessings of the glorious and undeserved gospel?