Chapter 4 The Blessing Of Joseph

Of Joseph he said, Blessed of the Lord (Deuteronomy 33:13).

Joseph is an amazing type or picture of our Lord Jesus Christ. The brightest jewel in his father’s house, we see the sparkle of our Lord’s life in Joseph’s early grace—his persecuted youth, his rescue from the pit, his firm resistance to suggested evil, his prison sufferings, his exaltation to be a prince and ruler of all Egypt, his call to be the savior of his house—all is a wondrous window into the life of our Lord. Joseph’s life, with all its light and shadows, graphically depicts the life of our Lord. He is “separated from his brethren”—cast out because He differs and was different. Joseph would not walk in evil ways. He loathes his brethren’s vices; they loathe his grace. He is also a true type of all true believers who are blessed with all heavenly blessings in Christ Jesus.

Joseph’s Fullness

The blessing of Joseph exhibits in his day the full measure of earth’s fertility. The lands inherited by his sons were extremely fruitful, such as Gilead and Bashan to his son Manasseh, and the fields of Samaria to his son Ephraim. There was no other land in all Palestine so full and fertile as these lands. The fruit of them was rich and ripe under the most genial conditions. The land blossomed under heaven’s softening rains. The mountains supplied rich ore. The lower hills were luxuriant in vines and olives. Joseph’s sons feasted at nature’s overflowing table. All these things were but an image of the far better wealth believers have in Christ the Lord. Think of some of the rich blessings which come down to us in Him: “That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith”—“We…are the children of promise”—“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Galatians 3:14; 4:28; Ephesians 1:3). Or this in John 15:5: “He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit.” We can only blossom and bud and flower and bear fruit when blessed by the Lord Jesus. How blessed are we as our Heavenly Joseph’s sons in Him—blessed with all spiritual blessings in every good work and word. Then, too, for Joseph there was “dew” —which speaks of refreshment and God’s favor and goodness—and also “the deep that coucheth beneath,” which refers to fountains of waters springing up from beneath and all of which carry great spiritual significance.

Joseph’s Goodwill

There was an assurance given to Joseph of God’s goodwill—“The goodwill of Him that dwelt in the bush.” This was the crowning blessing of all. Moses counted that revelation as the moment supreme in history. It was a revelation of Christ to his soul. Our own heaven surely began when we were given evidence of God’s goodwill toward us! How sweet is this assurance! It was surely God’s goodwill that His beloved Son leave Heaven’s glories to undertake our full redemption—to live and die on our behalf. We gaze upon His low estate—His sufferings—His cross—His blood—His death—His grave—and all speak of God’s goodwill. That same goodwill will present us faultless before the Father’s throne in glory. It will joy over the redeemed while endless ages roll. Nothing can separate us from “The goodwill of Him that dwelt in the bush.” He is the Head of His people—the Head of the righteous ones on whom all the blessings of grace are and from whom they descend to all His spiritual offspring (Psalm 100:3; Ephesians 1:3). Joseph was separated from His brethren when sold into Egypt, but became the shining glory of his brethren when he became ruler over all the land.

Joseph’s Triumph

“His horns are like the horns of unicorns.” The head of the unicorn is an insignia of royalty and kingly power. As a type of our Lord, Joseph was to crush every foe. His conquering power is thus described: “With them he will push the people together to the ends of the earth.” That sets forth in picture form the triumphant life of our Lord and this triumph is communicated to all who believe in Him, so that they, too, experience this triumphant conflict with all opposing force. The Lord’s blessing is to implant courage that His people might prevail, wave their palms of victory, and sing their everlasting hallelujahs. Joseph’s sons are to be “strong in the Lord and in the power of His might”—strong in Christ who is the horn of our salvation and who by His strength will push our enemies far from us.

We sometimes look upon ourselves as a very small minority—a few here, a few there. But when all the Lord’s people are gathered home—when the whole body is complete—how vast will be the assembly of His people! That ransomed multitude is numberless. O blessed be our God for what He bestows upon the head of our heavenly Joseph. What a bright crown of glory shines upon His brow! What rubbish is this world’s tinsel and gifts! What this world has is nought but a fading flower—a fleeting shadow—a tottering reed—a dried-up brook. The real treasure is upon the head of our heavenly Joseph—and upon those who are His through the abundance of His grace.

When all Thy mercies, O my God!
My rising soul surveys,
Transported with the view
I’m lost in wonder, love, and praise.

Ten thousand thousand precious gifts
My daily thanks employ;
Nor is the least a cheerful heart,
That tastes those gifts with joy.

Through every period of my life
Thy goodness I’ll pursue;
And in eternal glory bright
The precious theme renew.

Through all eternity, to Thee
A joyful song I’ll raise:
But oh! eternity’s too short
To utter all Thy praise.

—Joseph Addison