February 27, 2022 | Mike Avato
Passage: Genesis 41:1-23
The news that Joseph is in prison sounds really bad. But almost immediately we learned that the “keeper of the prison” favored Joseph because “the LORD was with him.” As a matter of fact: The one point that the narrator of this story wanted us to get repeating it over and over was this: THE LORD WAS WITH JOSEPH. This is what the first readers of this story needed to hear. And this is what we need to hear today! The main point of last week was this fact that God is with his people in both prosperity and adversity.
THINK ABOUT THIS: How could God take a Hebrew boy that is utterly loved and favored by his father and put him over a foreign nation to become a savior to thousands? We are watching it happen in the life of Joseph. Think about what God has done to make this happen.
First, God had to move Joseph out from his father Jacob’s house. Of course, Jacob would have never agreed to let him go to Egypt so God used the evil intent of his brothers to do it! Speaking to his brothers afterwards, Joseph says,
Genesis 50:20 (ESV) 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.
Second, God gives Joseph favor everywhere he goes. We saw it in Potiphar’s house, then while he is in prison, and now as we shall see this week, even with Pharaoh! Hence, this week's main point: THE SOVEREIGN GOD SAVES BY RAISING HIS SUFFERING SERVANT TO THE PLACE OF POWER.
God will deliver Joseph from the prison and elevate him to prime minister of Egypt. This happens when he interprets Pharaoh's dreams and offers a plan to avoid the disaster of famine. Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of the plan to save lives. Joseph is the suffering servant raised to prominence in order to save thousands. This points us to Christ who is the ultimate suffering Servant who suffered at the hands of his brothers in order to save his people from their sins. Jesus takes this story even further because he also offers himself as the "Living Bread" and says that the one who feeds on him will never die. Just as the life sustaining grain was able to keep the people alive, Jesus sustains spiritual life.
John 6:35 (ESV) Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
Then Jesus says,
John 6:51 (ESV) I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
The famine is over because the suffering Servant is raised to the right hand of the Father and saves us to the utmost!