Summary: Joseph had been promoted politically to the highest position in the Egyptian government, but his father would promote him to a higher position spiritually – in God’s nation, Israel.
Joseph’s Spiritual Promotion
(46:1-50:26, esp. 48:1-20)
1. Sometimes promotions are not measurements of success.
2. The boss called one of his employees into the office. "Rob," he said, "you've been with the company for a year. You started off in the mail room, one week later you were promoted to a sales position, and one month after that you were promoted to district manager of the sales department. Just four short months later, you were promoted to vice-president. Now, it's time for me to retire, and I want you to take over the company.
What do you say to that?"
"Thanks," said the employee.
"Thanks?" the boss replied "Is that all you can say?"
"I suppose not," the employee said.
Main Idea: Joseph had been promoted politically to the highest position in the Egyptian government, but his father would promote him to a higher position spiritually – in God’s nation, Israel.
I. Jacob’s Family Relocates to EGYPT (46:1-50:26).
A. On the way, God appears to Jacob in Beersheba to ENCOURAGE him.
B. His family has 70 DESCENDANTS, not including in-laws, etc.
C. The clan arrives in GOSHEN (46:28-30).
• Joseph and Jacob are reunited after over 20 years. He says, “Now let me die…”
D. Family representatives MEET Pharaoh (46:31-47:12).
1. Joseph advises them to stress they are SHEPHERDS.
2. This would SEGREGATE them from the Egyptians so they would not ASSIMILATE.
• Jacob was 130 years old when he appeared before the Pharaoh.
E. Joseph proves himself a SHREWD prime minister (13-26).
1. He ends up helping Pharaoh get all the money, livestock and land in Egypt.
2. This results in the people keeping the land, but paying a 20% tax perpetually.
F. Jacob BLESSES his heirs (47:27-48:22).
• He had lived in Goshen for 17 years .
• He was now near death.
• He made Joseph promise to bury him in Canaan.
1. He specially blesses and elevates Joseph’s TWO sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (48:1-22).
2. He blesses and PROPHESIES about his other sons (49:1-27).
G. Jacob and Joseph DIE (49:28-50:14).
1. Jacob died at age 147 and was buried in Canaan with family and Egyptian honors.
2. His brothers fear that Joseph was going to take revenge now that Jacob was dead.
3. They doubted that Joseph had forgiven him, so they claimed that Jacob left them with a message: please don’t harm my sons.
4. Joseph was hurt by this ruse, and assured them they he actually had truly forgiven them.
Verse 50:20-21, “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. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
5. Joseph died at age 111, and he requested that his bones be brought back to Canaan when the Hebrews returned (the Exodus).
II. Joseph Receives a SPIRITUAL Promotion (48:1-20).
A. Jacob ADOPTS his two grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh.
B. This was a double-inheritance for Joseph, the right of the FIRSTBORN.
1. God is pictured in Genesis as adjust who was considered firstborn.
2. Ishmael born first, but Isaac given rights of firstborn.
3. Esau born first, but Jacob given rights of firstborn.
4. Reuben born first, but Joseph given rights of the firstborn.
5. Manasseh born first, but Ephraim given the rights of the firstborn.
6. God works based upon the person, not protocol.
C. The tribe of Joseph becomes TWO tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh.
• The count continued to be 12 tribes, because Ephraim and Manasseh were called the two “half tribes.” [fluid: Deuteronomy 33, Simeon left out; Ezk. 48:30-34, Ephraim left out, Revelation 7, Dan left out] Same thing with 12 apostles….Mathias, Paul.
• These were two important tribes, especially Ephraim. After Israel split, the northern kingdom was still called Israel, but sometimes Ephraim for its largest tribe. The southern kingdom was called Judah after its largest tribe.
• What an amazing legacy – two tribes of God’s people!
• What kind of legacy do we want?
Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel invented dynamite and other explosives. He used his enormous fortune from 355 patents to institute the Nobel Prizes.
In 1888, Nobel's brother Ludvig died while in France. A French newspaper erroneously published Nobel's obituary instead of Ludvig's and condemned Nobel for his invention of dynamite. Provoked by the event and disappointed with how he felt he might be remembered, Nobel set aside a bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes to honor men and women for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and for working toward peace. [source: www.biography.com]
D. We can be so tempted to be RELEVANT and to connect that we soon accept the world’s (culture’s) values, forgetting we once believed differently.