Chapter 34 Humiliation And Exaltation

He was there in the prison (Genesis 39:20).
See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt (41:41).
Joseph opened all the storehouses (41:56).

The history of Joseph occupies a large place in the Book of Genesis. The image of our Lord is easily recognizable, and His voice is clearly heard in all of Joseph’s varied circumstances. He is set before us as specially loved of his father, and sent to serve among his brethren but hated of them.

But he would have nothing to do with their evil words and ways and could only bring his father an evil report of them. The favor shown him by his father only brought out their enmity. The more the father approved him, the more they hated him. Sold into Potiphar’s household, the wife of Potiphar tried to seduce him. Through her lying, he was cast into prison. In all these things you see pictures of the life of our Lord in His life here on earth.

His Humiliation

Joseph in prison was a guiltless person. He was indeed a sad spectacle—an innocent man cast into a dungeon of infamy and numbered with transgressors. In this we see our Lord “made sin for us,” and brought to prison and to judgment. Books have been written to prove the innocence of the Lord Jesus. But they miss the point.

We must go deeper, and remember that the real arrest of the Lord Jesus was by the justice of God. He had no sin of His own, for He could do no sin, yet for us men and our salvation the whole mountain of the world’s sin was laid upon Him. He hung on Calvary’s tree laden with the transgressions of all. The guiltless Son of God consented to assume all this. “The LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

He thus appears, by substitution, as covered with the total mass of man’s sins, the doer of all their evil deeds, the speaker of all their evil words, the harborer of all their evil thoughts. It was the justice of God which laid hands on Him, and the love of God that was willing to bear it all. Justice shines out at the cross in all its intrinsic worth, and mercy and love shine there in a blaze of utter brightness.

Joseph spent thirteen years in prison undergoing severe testing. There he interpreted the dreams of two offenders. Of the two, one was restored, the other left to perish. Released from prison, Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams—a picture of our Lord as the wisdom of God.

His Exaltation

Joseph was not left in the place of humiliation. He was raised out of it and made to sit on Pharaoh’s right hand of majesty, with the government of the whole realm laid upon his shoulders. All the evil that was done to him was overruled by God to bring about his exaltation. Joseph became, not only ruler of Egypt but, in seven years of famine, the savior of all. Thus we learn from our Lord’s rejection by Israel that the pleasure of the Lord prospered in His hand, and He was raised up to be Lord of all.

Our Lord, like Joseph, was tested in very lowly circumstances in His life on earth, but the testing only the more manifested His moral glory and qualified Him to rule. His moral worth was proved before His exaltation. God’s testings are often in secret before any exaltation to public view.

In his exaltation, Joseph was given a wonderful title— “Zaphnath-paaneah,” which means, “a revealer of secrets.” He was also the savior of the world. The Lord Jesus is indeed that today! Every blessing of God is administered through Him. As Pharaoh exalted Joseph, so God has exalted the true Joseph, His beloved Son, to be the salvation, and life, and plentiful supply for all men everywhere.

His Plentifulness

“Go unto Joseph!” was the command when hungry men came to buy corn in Egypt as famine, with all its consequent misery, raged throughout the whole world. Supply for all human need was placed in Joseph’s hands. At that time the whole world was prostrate in dire need. The staff of life had failed, and hunger presided in every home. But the storehouses of Joseph were full, and only he had authority and power to grant relief. Thus, in vivid picture, we are shown the Lord Jesus as “the Bread of life.” To go to Him is to go to the Source of abundant supply and to be satisfied forever.

It is only of the Lord Jesus that it is said, “He hath filled the hungry with good things.” The Lord has given His body and His blood for the spiritual food of His people. “My flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.” It is our heavenly Joseph to whom we must go, for only He can feed us to satisfaction.

Satisfied with Thee, Lord Jesus,
I am blest;
Peace which passeth understanding,
On Thy breast;
No more doubting, no more trembling,
Oh, what rest! Oh, what rest!

Occupied with Thee, Lord Jesus,
In Thy grace;
All Thy ways and thoughts about me
Only trace
Deeper stories of Thy glories
Of Thy grace! Of Thy grace!

Taken up with Thee, Lord Jesus,
I would be;
Finding joy and satisfaction
All in Thee;
Thou the nearest and the dearest
Unto me! Unto me!

Miss C. A. Wellesley