Lesson 8 - Joseph

Lesson 8 - Joseph

(Genesis 37:1-50:26)

Joseph was the youngest and the favorite of the sons of Jacob.  Because Jacob favored Joseph, his brothers hated him, especially when their father had a special coat of many colors made for Joseph.  Joseph also related two dreams to his brothers and his father, which indicated that the family would bow down before Joseph as if he was ruling over them.  Hearing this dream made his brothers hate him even more.

There are three main happenings in the life of Joseph that we will look at in our study.

  1. Joseph sold to traders by his brothers and ultimately into slavery by the traders – Genesis 37:13-36
  2. Joseph as the ruler of Potiphar’s household, imprisoned by Potiphar, released and promoted by Potiphar – Genesis 39:1-41:57
  3. Joseph is reunited with his family – Genesis 42:1-50:26

One day, Jacob sent Joseph to check on his brothers.  When they saw him coming they quickly plotted to kill him, but were restrained by Reuben.  Instead they ended up throwing Joseph into a pit and then sold him to a caravan of Ishmaelites for 20 pieces of silver.  The brothers then dipped Joseph’s coat into the blood of a goat and brought it back to Jacob.  They told him that their brother had been killed by a wild animal.  Jacob believed them and mourned for his favorite son.

The traders from the caravan eventually sold Joseph into slavery in Egypt to Potiphar.  Potiphar was an officer of the king’s court and the head of the royal kitchen.  Joseph was very successful in Potiphar’s house and became the head of the entire household. 

Potiphar’s wife tried on many occasions to seduce Joseph, but he remained faithful to Potiphar and to God.  She eventually trapped Joseph in her bedroom and Joseph had to flee leaving behind his coat.  Potiphar’s wife used the coat to falsely accuse Joseph and he was sent to prison as a result.

However, even in prison Joseph prospered, being made the head of all prisoners by the chief jailor.  Joseph’s release from prison came as a result of being able to interpret the dreams of the king.  The king made Joseph his second in command and Joseph effectively ran the country.

Joseph was reunited with his family as result of a famine in the land of Canaan where his family lived.  Egypt had plenty of food stored because of Joseph’s efficient planning as the second in command.  His brothers made the trip to Egypt to buy food and Joseph recognized them, but they did not recognize him.  After a series of events designed by Joseph to make his brothers see the error of their ways and how God had used their treachery to bless their entire family, his family joined him in Egypt.  The story of Joseph is truly a story of redemption, promotion and blessing in the face of adversity. 

Redemption

The Biblical definition of the word redeemed is “to be purchased from the slave-market of sin.”  There are three Greek words for redemption: “agorazo” meaning to buy, “exagorazo” meaning to buy out of or remove from sale and “lutroo” meaning to release on receipt of ransom or payment.  (Romans 7:14)

There are several definitions for sin in the Word of God: falling short of God’s righteousness, which is lacking the perfection needed to enter Heaven (Romans 3:23), transgression, which is overstepping God’s law (Psalm 51:1-4), trespasses, which is deviation from God’s righteousness (Ephesians 2:1), disobedience which is rebellion against God’s law (I Timothy 1:9-10), and unbelief in Christ as Savior (the only unpardonable sin) (John 8:24).  Christ redeemed us from all categories of sin.

The believer is also redeemed from the Mosaic Law, which had been distorted into a system of “pseudo-salvation” by religious Jewish leaders.  The Law was never designed to provide salvation, but rather it shows us our need for a Savior and points us to Jesus Christ.

Christ, Our Kinsman Redeemer

(Book of Ruth)

The Old Testament practice of the “kinsman redeemer” is a perfect example of how Christ redeems us.  Certain requirements had to be met in order for a person to free someone from slavery.  The redeemer had to be a relative, he had to be able to redeem by meeting the purchase price and he had to be willing to redeem the person in slavery.

By His taking on humanity, Jesus Christ became a “kinsman” to all mankind. (John 1:1-3,14)  In order to meet the purchase price, Christ had to be perfect (no sin of His own to pay for).  He was born of a virgin, therefore, He had no sin nature and He lived a sinless life, which qualified Him to meet the purchase price for our sin.  (Matthew 1:23, I Timothy 3:16; Romans 5:8; II Corinthians 5:21,

Hebrews 2:9-11, 4:15: I Peter 1:18) Christ was also willing to redeem us.

Christ was obedient to the Father’s plan for salvation and gave His life freely.  Christ even restricted the use of the power of His deity (doctrine of Kenosis) and used the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish all of this for us. (Philippians 2:5-8; Romans 5:19, Luke 22:42, 23:46)

The results of redemption are that the believer is:

  1. Redeemed from the curse of the Law
    1. Its penalty - Galatians 3:13
    2. Its obligation - Galatians 3:10, 24-25; Romans 6:14; Colossians 2:14-17
  2. Adopted into God’s family - Galatians 4:4-7
  3. Redeemed from the power of sin – Romans 6:11-14; Titus 2:14
  4. Redeemed from the presence of sin in the eternal state - Romans 8:23; Ephesians 1:14; Philippians 3:21
  5. Forgiven for all sin - Colossians 1:14
  6. Given an eternal inheritance – Ephesians 4:30; Hebrews 9:11-15
  7. Justified (declared righteous) - Romans 3:24
  8. Sanctified (set apart to God) - Ephesians 5:25-27
  9. Victorious over Satan - Colossians 2:14-15; Hebrews 2:9-18
  10. Given a mediator with God, Jesus Christ – I Timothy 2:5-6

Unlike you and me, Joseph did not have the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, he had to rely on faith-rest to overcome the evil from his brothers, the advances of Potiphar’s wife and the false imprisonment.

Faith-Rest is knowing, believing and applying the promises, the principles and the doctrines of the Word of God. (Isaiah 33:6)  There are over 7,000 promises in the Bible for the believer.  These promises do us no good unless we mix them with faith and apply them to our situation. (Hebrews 4:2)  Claiming these promises eliminates mental attitude sins such as fear, worry and anxiety, which cut off Divine Viewpoint Thinking.  Faith-Rest will restore Divine Viewpoint Thinking and stabilize the believer in times of pressure and adversity.

Faith-Rest is a relaxed mental attitude. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Satan is going to use everything at his disposal, which includes his World System and Human Viewpoint Thinking, to distract you from your spiritual life.  Remember that the spiritual life is a battle.  When you spend time worrying, being upset and disgruntled about life, you’re lining up with Satan’s program and you have lost the battle.   Peter warns us about the strategy of Satan in I Peter 5:7-9.

Casting means “to make a deposit”.  In the case of the believer he is to deposit “all of his cares” or literally “all of his anxieties” on the Lord.  In other words, give all your worries to God and leave them there.  This means that no one is strong enough to carry his own worries.  So stop trying to do the impossible and instead use God’s system, Faith-Rest.

The Mechanics of the Faith Rest Technique

Mechanics means that you have made a resolve; a decision as to future action.  This means that you have predetermined in your mind what course of action you will take when a problem arises.  The Faith-Rest Technique is a versatile technique for overcoming any difficult situation, any problem or any disaster.  By faith the believer applies doctrine logically while resting in the promises of God. By reaching a doctrinal rationale the believer is reexplaining to himself the basic concepts of doctrine that pertain to his relationship with God.  This will be necessary in a crisis because emotion will normally take over and suppress proper thinking.  YOU must take deliberate steps to reestablish the control of the Holy Spirit in your soul.

Here is how the Faith-Rest Technique works:

  1. The believer claims a promise.  A promise is a guarantee from God thatexpresses His essence (sovereignty, righteousness, justice, love, eternal life, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, immutability and veracity).  When you lay hold of one of these promises you are able to bring emotion under control, which of course allows you to think.  Before, you were in a state of panic, but now you have peace.  This, however, is only the beginning of the drill.  Now you must begin to think. (Romans 8:28- God is working all things together for my good, if I am a maturing believer.)
  2. The believer applies doctrinal rationale.  The application of Bibledoctrine requires the believer to recall certain doctrines that have been stored in his soul.  A rationale is the rational basis for something or an explanation of reasons or principles.  It is at this time that the believer explains again to himself the doctrine that is pertinent to the situation.  (Romans 8:29-30-God has a predesigned plan for my life.)
  3. The believer reaches a doctrinal conclusion.  This means that the  believer is able to take control of the situation.  By asking and answering certain questions pertaining to his spiritual life, the believer takes control and evaluates the circumstances.  He can now make good decisions from a position of strength and take action using the good judgment and the wisdom from Bible doctrine stored in his soul.  (Romans 8:31-35- If God is for me, who can be against me or separate me from the love of Christ?  Therefore, I can take control using the power of the Holy Spirit to enable me.)