Summary: Overview of Joseph. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: email@example.com)
Reading: Acts chapter 8 verses 8-18.
• Thanks to Andrew Lloyd Webber and a variety of catchy tunes;
• The story of Joseph is very well known.
(1). Joseph and his coat.
• Joseph and his ‘multi-coloured coat’,
• N.I.V. “Richly ornamented robe” (Genesis chapter 37 verse 3).
Many scholars believe it was probably a long sleeved garment:
• One boy was given the job of foreman over the others,
• While the others had to roll up their sleeves, or wear short sleeves for work,
• The foreman had a long sleeved coat.
• Because he gave the orders and was overseer of the project.
• Joseph was the foreman, put in charge of his brothers,
• Even though he wasn’t the eldest.
• That meant he was exempted from the menial tasks of farming.
• And as you can imagine, his brothers were not happy about this.
(2). Joseph The favourite:
• Joseph was born to Jacob and Rachel in their old age, and became Jacob’s favourite son.
• He is the great grandson of Abraham, the fourth generation.
• And Joseph will continue an unusual pattern found in Genesis.
• That is, that the younger, NOT the oldest will receive the blessing,
The blessing meant:
• Financially you received double, a greater inheritance.
• Secondly you were regarded as the head of the family (took control).
• The natural heir, Reuben who was the first born (Genesis chapter 49 verse 3),
• Will once again be overlooked,
• And it will be the younger son (Joseph),
• Who will get the father’s blessing and also the greater inheritance and prominence.
• Joseph not Rubin.
• Jacob not Esau;
• The Israelites trace their ancestry back to Jacob not Esau.
• Isaac not Ishmael.
• A pattern is evolving that the younger son, NOT the oldest will receive the blessing.
(3). Joseph The distinct.
• Joseph is different in many ways from the three generations before him,
• God dealt with Joseph differently than he did with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob.
• God is often called; “The God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob”.
• God is never called; “The God of Joseph”.
• Angels appeared to Abraham, Isaac & Jacob.
• But they never appear to Joseph.
• God spoke directly to Abraham, Isaac & Jacob,
• But he never speaks directly to Joseph.
• He did speak through dreams and enabled him to interpret dreams,
• But God never spoke directly to Joseph.
• We never read of Joseph talking or praying to God.
• So there is a difference when it comes to Joseph.
Joseph’s story is a key narrative because it gives us an explanation, a link:
• Between Genesis and Exodus,
• Telling us why & how this Israeli family ended up in Egypt.
• Genesis Chapter 47 verse 13:
• A famine arose and their was a shortage of food.
• So they go down into Egypt and stay for 400 years,
• And this family grow into and become a great nation.
• Without the story of Joseph,
• The book of Exodus would not make sense.
4 Levels or 4 ways to read this story:
(1), On a human level.
• On a human level, it is a very vivid story:
• With very real & strong characters, it is a great adventure;
• And in many ways it is stranger than fiction,
• That’s why it makes a good musical or film.
You could summarise Josephs life-story into 2 chapters:
• Chapter 1: Down.
• Chapter 2: Up.
• Chapter 1 Down: Joseph the man who went all the way down;
• From his fathers favourite son to being a household slave.
• Chapter 2 Up: and he went all the way up:
• From being a forgotten prisoner to being Prime Minister.
So on a human level:
• It is a cracking story;
• Which is why it is a very popular musical,
• With adults in the West End,
• Or with school children who perform their own school concerts.
An over view of Josephs life:
• His birth to age seventeen.
• Is told in Genesis chapter 30 verse 24 to chapter 37 verse 2:
• During this time; Joseph’s family is in transition, unsettled and on the move.
• We read that his family are involved in jealousies, lust and hatred.
• Seventeen to age thirty;
• Genesis chapter 37 verse 2 to chapter 41 verse 46:
• During this time Joseph enters into young manhood, and his story takes off,
• He is rejected by his brothers, sold into slavery and he ends up in prison.
• Age thirty to his death;
• Genesis chapter 41 verse 46 to chapter 50 verse 26: