Promises of Blessing

Joseph’s brothers fell down before him and said, “Behold we be thy servants.” Such an expression is natural to one who does not know the heart of God. Mephibosheth said this to David, and the prodigal planned to say it to his father when he returned home; how many today are com­ing to God in this way, as though the attempt to serve God would bring them into His favor. Mephibosheth was not received as a servant, but “as one of the king’s sons,” and the prodigal was given the best robe, the ring, the shoes, and above all, the welcome, not of a servant, but of a son. And so here, Joseph did not deal with his brothers as servants, but said, “I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them and spake kindly unto them.” We must be in God’s family before we can serve Him in a way that pleases Him, and then our service is not one of bondage, but of love. The way to get into God’s family is by new birth — by accepting Christ as one’s own personal Saviour (Galatians 3:2626For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:26)). Dear reader, have you done this? Until you do, all your serv­ice is useless, yes, even hateful to God, because it is not a service of faith or love, and His Word says, “Whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:2323And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)).
I could not work my soul to save,
For that my Lord hath done;
But I would work like any slave,
For the love of God’s dear Son.
Harm Turned to Blessing
Joseph then told his brothers that al­though they thought to harm him, God had turned it into blessing. We know, too, that this world did all the harm they could to Jesus, the Son of God, but God has turned their wicked act of crucifying Him into the foundation of all blessing to fallen man. Joseph was able to save many people alive for a few short years, but Christ’s finished work has brought eternal life to all who believe on Him — blessed Saviour!
At last Joseph died — and he died in faith, assuring his brothers that God was going to fulfill His oft-repeated promises of blessing. When the chil­dren of Israel were brought back to Canaan about four hundred years later, Joseph’s bones were taken and buried there to await the glorious resurrection morn, though Joseph knew very little of it then, but it is now very near — “The coming of the Lord draweth nigh” (James 5:88Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (James 5:8)).
God’s Grace and Blessing
We have now come to the end of this interesting book of Genesis, and will just make a few remarks in closing. Genesis has often been spoken of as the seed plot of the Bible, because it gives us an outline, in type or figure, of all the great truths revealed in the other 65 books. It reveals the ways of God in grace with men and women, and while recording their failures, it shows us how, through that which figured the death of Christ — the coats of skins, Abel’s sacrifice, the ram caught in the thicket by his horns, and many others — God could go on with sinful man and bless him. Dear young reader; let us remind you once again of the importance of every word of God. Read it carefully and prayer­fully every day of your life, and you will learn more of its living depths as the years go by.
Further Meditation
1. What did Joseph say to his brothers after they fell down before him as his servants?
2. Looking back over the book of Genesis, how many types or figures of Christ and His work can you identify in it?
3. Though it’s a pretty long book, you might find Notes on the Pentateuch: Genesis to Deuteronomy by C. H. Mackintosh well worth your investment of time. His writings are wordy by modern standards, but the vibrant warmth for Christ and clear exposition of fundamental truths make the time spent worth it.