I am preaching through Genesis right now and have come to my favorite part of the book, the story of Joseph (Gen. 37-50). I love this portion because it demonstrates God’s loving and all-wise providence. Even though Joseph went through the ringer, he was able to look back through the lenses of providence and say, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Gen. 50:20). God’s sovereignty shines forth as his providence unfolds.
But it’s not just the big picture of Joseph’s life that serves to underscore sovereignty. It’s also the various components of his life. When we collect the details of Joseph’s life we see a glorious reflection that closely mirrors another life we are so intimately familiar with. In fact, when you look at a list of the details, sometimes it’s hard to discern whether we are talking about Joseph or Jesus. This is not because Joseph was Jesus’s favorite Bible hero he wanted to emulate. It is because God is sovereign, and he has been laying the tracks for the glory of Christ throughout redemptive history. (Here is a link to the sermon From Prisoner to Prince.)
Here is a list of similarities that should cause you to marvel at sovereignty.
- He is the object of his father’s special love.
- He had promises of divine exaltation.
- He was mocked by his family.
- He was sold for pieces of silver.
- He was stripped of his robe.
- He was delivered up to the Gentiles.
- He was falsely accused.
- He was faithful amid temptation.
- He was thrown into prison.
- He stood before rulers.
- His power was acknowledged by those in authority.
- He saves his rebellious brothers from death when they realize who he is.
- He is exalted after and through humiliation.
- He embraces God’s purpose even though it brings him intense physical harm.
- He is the instrument God uses at the hands of the Gentiles to bless his people.
- He welcomes Gentiles to be part of his family.
- He gives hungry people bread.
- People must bow their knee before him.
When we collect the details of Joseph’s life we see a glorious reflection that closely mirrors another life we are so intimately familiar with. This is not because Joseph was Jesus’s favorite Bible hero he wanted to emulate. It is because God is sovereign and he has been laying the tracks for the glory of Christ throughout redemptive history.