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With New Testament Eyes: 10 - Joseph and His Brothers

By Henry Mahan


      Genesis 42-45

      God, in his wisdom, uses the natural world, creatures, and events to illustrate the spiritual world, his saving grace, and his redemptive work in Christ Jesus. The wonders which God performs in the heart can be seen in the wonders God performs upon earth and records in his word (1 Cor. 10:4; John - 3:14; Matt. 12:40). It is the duty of the preacher and the teacher to look for these parables and pictures and preach Christ from them. Joseph's dealings with his brethren is a picture of our Lord's dealings with his erring brethren, given him by the Father and purchased with his blood.

      41:57 - 'The famine was in all lands' The terrible famine was not only over the land of Egypt but over all lands and reached to all people. There was no food even in Israel, the chosen people.

      This is what the word of God declares concerning sin and spiritual death. It is a famine of sin and spiritual death which is over all of Adam's race, even the elect of God.

      'Death passed upon all men, for all have sinned' (Rom. 5:12).

      'For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God' (Rom. 3:23).

      'We were by nature children of wrath, even as others' (Eph. 2:3).

      'You were without Christ, having no hope and without God' (Eph. 2:12).

      42:1 - Jacob heard some good news 'There is corn in Egypt.' Jacob called his sons together to tell them the good news. 'We do not have to die, for I have heard that there is plenty of corn in Egypt.' This is the good news of the gospel preached to hungry, weary, and dying sinners--we do not have to continue in spiritual poverty, hunger, and death; for there is life, mercy, and grace in Christ Jesus.

      'If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink' (John 7:37).

      'He hath filled the hungry with good things' (Luke 1:53).

      'I am the bread of life' (John 6:48-50).

      Jacob could not be sure that the rumor he had heard about corn in Egypt was true, but we can be sure the bread of life and the water of life in Christ is true because we have the sure word of God (1 John 5:9-11).

      Jacob did not know that his own son was in charge of the corn in Egypt; therefore, he might have entertained doubts that he could buy food there. But we can be sure that all who come for mercy and grace will be received and blessed; for our heavenly Father has given all things to Christ our Saviour, brother, and friend, who loves us and gave himself for us! Jacob wasn't sure that he could get enough food for such a large family. There were 70 of them. But we know that our Lord's grace is sufficient to save to the uttermost ALL who come to God by him (Isa. 1:18; 1 John 1:7-9; Matt. 11:28).

      Jacob sent money to Egypt to buy corn. God's grace is free. 'All the fitness Christ requireth is to feel your need of him.' (Isa. 55:1-3.)

      42:1-2 - 'Why do you hesitate' Why do you stand looking at one another? Get down to Egypt and buy food that we may live and not die!' This is the urgent, immediate command of the gospel. You are a sinner, you have no life nor hope in yourself nor in another; if you remain where you are, you will perish forever.

      There is life in Christ Jesus, Who, of God, is made unto us all we need (1 Cor. 1:30; Col. 2:9-10). Come to Christ, flee to Christ, believe on Christ (Isa. 45:20-25; John 5:39-40).

      Read Chapters 42-44 and study the dealing Joseph had with his brethren who had hated him without a cause, who had sold him into slavery, who had dealt so harshly and cruelly with him.

      Their sin must be revealed to them, and they must own their guilt (Gen. 42:21-23). These proud brethren must be humbled before him, bow down, and plead for mercy (Gen. 44:14). There must be evidence of genuine repentance (Gen. 44:33-34) .

      Is this not a picture of God's dealing with all whom he saves?

      1. Our sin, sins, and even the corruption of our best deeds are brought before us (1 John 1:8-10; Isa. 64:6).

      We own our guilt of unbelief and our part in Adam's fall and the crucifixion of God's dear Son (Isa. 53:1-3).

      2. We come hungry, empty, and needy before God's throne of grace, confessing our sins and owning God's justice in condemning us (Psalm 51:3-4). We fall at the feet of Christ Jesus, whom we denied, rejected, and crucified, and own that he is Lord and can do with us what he will (Matt. 8:1-2; Rom. 10:9-10; Phil. 2:9-11).

      3. This is not outward form nor ritual nor feigned repentance. Like Judah of old, we are genuinely pleading for his mercy to the undeserving and waiting upon the Lord. Salvation is in him, of him, and his to give. He can justly condemn us or mercifully save us. We have no claim on him; nor is he obligated to help us, only as he is faithful to his covenant in Christ.

      45:1-5 - In due time Joseph revealed himself to these brethren and spoke peace to them.

      Christ will in due time reveal himself to sincere seekers and speak peace to their hearts (John 6:37-45).

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant

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