Summary: Joseph was blessed by his father prior to dying, but it was the hand of God that sustained Joseph throughout his life.
Intro. We come to our eighth sermon in the Life of Joseph. We began with the change in his father. He has gone from the son that was favored to the sovereign leader of the Egyptian kingdom. To do that, God allowed him to go into a pit, a place of temptation, a prison, and then the palace.
His brothers have been discovered. His father has been informed and provisions made to bring them to Egypt. In chapter 47, Joseph brings his family, 70 in all, to Egypt. Jacob meets Pharaoh and greets him. Jacob was 130 years old. At the end of chapter 47, Jacob made Joseph vow that when he died he would not be buried in Egypt, and Joseph promised. In Chapter 48, Joseph brings his sons to Jacob, and Jacob blessed them, blessing the younger stronger than the older. Then we come to chapter 49.
In our text we have an Old Testament Judgment seat. Jacob has called his sons together and prophecies over them before he dies.
Reuben, who was “unstable as water”.
Simeon and Levi were instruments of cruelty.
Judah receives the authority - (the line of Christ) was the one that the brethren would praise. From him would come the Scepter, the ruler. Verses 11-12 prophesy the crucifixion.
Zebulun the Sea dweller
Issachar the strong one
Dan the judge
Gad would eventually be the overcomer
Asher would be successful
Naphtali would have goodly words
And Benjamin who would be “ravin as a wolf” he speaks of his sons.
In like manner, we will one day stand before the Lord!
Romans 14:10 "But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ."
2Co 5:10 "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad."
As we realize that, I want us to look at the one that we have studied.
At this time, Jacob and the entire family lived in Goshen under the provision of the Egyptian government, because of Joseph. As Jacob comes to the son, who he thought was dead, he says: Here we see the way that the father, at his time of judgment, sees the faithful son. He was favored at the beginning, but had a good testimony at the end. I have said this in many sermons. It is not how we start - it is how we finish!
In our Text, we see:
I. The Bough (Family) - vs. 22 - Bough (branch) literally is speaking of a son, which Jacob refers directly to Joseph, the favorite son.
Jacob blessed the family based on Joseph.
A. He had a source - Well - Psalm 1:3 "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." He was tapped into the right source!
B. He had Success - The taller the wall, the higher Joseph would climb. Every wall, just made him grow -He triumphed over all opposition!
C. He had Sustained - Here is a wonderful picture of Christ - In the famine of sin, Christ sustains the family of God!
II. The Bow - 23-24
A. Enemies - Called archers, - their arrows are attacks
David used the metaphor in Psalms 64:3 "Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words:"
- Forsaken by his Brothers - Genesis 37:8 "And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?" And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And they sold him into slavery
- False Accusation - Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of attempted rape.
- Forgotten by the butler of Pharaoh.
- The Famine! Even that was an obstacle.
- His Flesh - The Confrontation with the Brothers - but he showed grace.
All of these were enemies to his integrity! But he did not fail.
B. The Endurance - His bow “abode in strength” When all was said and done, their strengths were gone, and the strength of Joseph remained.
1. His Bow of Virtue - Potiphar’s house - no military bow, but that which he opposed to all their injuries, to wit, his own virtue,
2. His Patience - Prison
3. His Temperance - As he dealt with the brothers who betrayed him
4. His Faith - Genesis 45:5 "Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life."