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Tag Archives: Joseph

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:26-28)

The Spirit will help us when we’re weak, and for everyone who loves God, everything works together for good. Now if that’s not encouraging, I don’t know what is… But, now, what about when a loved one dies? Does God work out even that for good? And what about when we actually do give in to temptation, where’s the Spirit that will help us in our weakness then?

I believe Joseph is more qualified to answer the first question:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (Genesis 50:20)

Even in the death of a loved one, or some other seeming catastrophe, God is able to work it for good. You can’t get more catastrophic than what happened to Joseph: sold by his brothers as a slave, not to mention being put into prison. Yet, what happens to him? He rises to a place of significant power; only second to the Pharaoh himself. Things may seem very bad at times, but in everything, no matter what it is, God is sovereign, and He’ll work whatever it is out for good for those who love Him.

But that still leaves the second question: where is the Spirit, when we fall to temptation? He’s always with us, giving us strength in our times of weakness, and pulling us up when we fall to temptation. That’s where ‘the Spirit’ is.

God will always work everything out for good for those who love Him, yes. And the Holy Spirit will always help us in our times of weakness. But we are still to do everything in our power to cut off access to whatever it is that’s causing us to sin, whatever that may be.

So, the point is this: God is sovereign over every situation, no matter how bad, and the Holy Spirit will always help us, no matter how bad we’ve messed up. – Which, by the way, isn’t an excuse to sin. As Paul put it, “How can we who’ve died to the sinful nature, now live in it?”, roughly speaking, in Romans 6. – So, rather than finding out how exactly God works out every bad situation for our good and His glory, let’s just try to give Him glory from the start.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquotation: Genesis 50:20-21

Hello again!

Just to let you know: today will probably be the last day I transquote anything for a long time; it’s the end of Genesis. So I hope God really speaks to you in this transquote. — This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

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. (Genesis 50:20-21)

Transquotation:

When Jesus was being crucified, the Pharisee’s meant for evil. They wanted Him dead. Yet what they intended for evil, God intended for the saving of many lives; our lives. — We are alive (Spiritually) today, because He died. We need to always remember this; it will put our entire life into perspective.

Explanation of the transquote:

Jesus died so that we could live! He gave up His own life for us, He was beaten to the point of not even looking a human being, and then crucified. I would dare to say that the Pharisee’s intended that for evil. They’re like Joseph’s brothers, trying to kill the one they will one day bow down too. Yet what the Pharisee’s, like with what Joseph’s brothers did, God intended for the saving of many lives. Though it’s true the number of lives which were saved by Joseph, and the number of lives saved by Jesus, are different, the point remains: what was intended for evil, God intended for the saving of many lives.

New Testament confirmation:

The following verses are after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead:

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life. (John 11:45-53)

Context confirmation:

So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. (Genesis 50:21)

The Holy Spirit was sent to “provide for us,” if you will, while we wait for the return of Jesus. Not only for us, but for our (not mine, I don’t have any; I’m still thirteen) children too. — This supports the transquote by strengthening the connection, in this passage, between Jesus and Joseph, and between us and Joseph’s brothers.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquotation: Genesis 48:20

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying, ‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.'” Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. (Genesis 48:20)

Transquotation:

Through Jesus’ death for us, God forgets our sin! Through Jesus’ taking on Himself the sin of the world, in fact, becoming sin Himself, and dying, our sin is no more in the sight of God. Rather, He now makes us to be fruitful in His kingdom.

Explanation of the transquote:

It may help at this point to realize the meaning of the names of Joseph’s sons:

Ephraim means, “Doubly Fruitful.” And Manasseh means, “Forgetfulness.” — Now that I’ve filled you in on that…

By them ‘Israel would pronounce blessings.’ To put it another way: by forgetfulness and fruitfulness (not necessarily in that order), people would bless each-other. Which, you may note, is rather like how God blessed us: through His son’s death, He “forgets” (i.e. destroyed along with His son) our sinful nature, and made us “fruitful” in overcoming our sin and sharing the Gospel with others.

Now that we’ve explained the transquote, let’s verify it with the New Testament, and with its context:

New Testament confirmation:

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Context confirmation:

But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.” (Genesis 48:19)

God “forgets” (i.e. utterly destroys) our sinful nature (as compared to the flesh, which we’ll still have until we die)… But then, He makes us even more fruitful then we were sinful. — This supports the transquote by strengthening the connection, in this passage, between what God does for us, and Ephraim/Manasseh.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquotation: Genesis 47:23-25

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. And at the harvests you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.” And they said, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be servants to Pharaoh.” (Genesis 47:23-25)

Transquotation:

Behold, we have been bought by Christ for God, and have been given the seed of the Gospel with which to sow. Let us therefore be glad and willing servants of God!

Explanation of the transquote:

Joseph bought Egypt for Pharaoh, Jesus bought the world for God. Joseph fed all of Egypt. Jesus promises to feed with Spiritual food all those who accept Him into their lives. Joseph gave the people seed to feed themselves with. Jesus gives us Himself, with which we can feed ourselves and others. Because Joseph had saved their lives, the Egyptians became willing servants; giving one fifth of their crop to Pharaoh. Jesus saved our lives, therefore our lives are not our own, but His. We don’t give just one fifth of our crop to God either, seeing as our crop is real people, we give them all to God.

We see a near perfect picture of Jesus in Joseph, here… Alright, granted, Joseph took all the Egyptians money, all their cattle, their land, and they themselves because they had no choice but to give those things to him, and Jesus doesn’t do anything of the sort (in fact, to the contrary, He gave Himself, His possessions, everything up, to save us). Even so, aside from that, we see a near perfect picture of Jesus here in Joseph… Except, for everything Joseph did, Jesus did a hundred times better (and then some).

New Testament confirmation:

5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” (Luke 22:19)

Context confirmation:

Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to Pharaoh. And give us seed that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.” (Genesis 47:19)

And likewise, when we ask for God to keep us from Spiritually dying, He does so: He gives us the seed of the Gospel so that we may live through His son, Jesus’ death. — This supports the transquote by strengthening the connection, in this passage, between us and the Egyptians.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquotation: Genesis 46:1-3

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here am I.” Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. (Genesis 46:1-3)

Transquotation:

Jesus died for us! He has made a way for us to at last talk openly with God, and to receive answers from Him! In this way, He has promised to free us from the bondage of slavery to sin, and He has promised to continue making us pure, sanctifying us.

Explanation of the transquote:

Let’s look at the verses we just looked at in a different way real quick:

First there came a sacrifice, offered by Israel. Then God “talked” to Israel through visions, and told Him that He would “make into a great nation.” In our case, the sacrifice was Jesus, and the promises God gives us aren’t to make us into a great physical nation (per se), but a great Spiritual one. But aside from that, the general idea is still there (I believe). i.e. That Jesus saved us, and through that we are given a “promise”.

In the case of Israel, that promise was singular in nature and was that God would make him into a great nation. On the other hand, God has given us (i.e. His children) hundreds of promises in His word, all of which He promises to fulfill (if not, per se, in the exact time frame, or way we expect Him to fulfill them). So, though there’s a difference in the number and type of promise/s, the idea remains. Which is that, through a sacrifice being made, God “talks” to us, – in some way or other, in the case of Israel that way was through visions. For us, it’s usually, at least in my experience, through God’s word; the Bible – followed by (a) promise/s being made.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s confirm that transquote with the New Testament, and context:

New Testament confirmation:

13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”

 14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”

   And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  (Revelation 7:13-14)

Context confirmation:

I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes.” (Genesis 46:4)

Here we see God ‘promising to be with Israel’. Likewise, God promises, among other things, to be with us in the world. — This supports the transquote by strengthening the connection, in this passage, between us and Israel (formerly known as Jacob).

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquotation: Genesis 45:4-5

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. (Genesis 45:4-5)

Transquotation:

Because of our sin, Jesus came to Earth: He changed us, preserving our lives from our sin. Our sin was evil, but through it, God has made a relationship with us! What was intended for evil, God used for good.

Explanation of the transquote:

We were sinful, I don’t think anyone can deny that. We had no relationship with God, which is a side-effect of sin. And, not only that, we had no hope of breaking our sin or of ever having a relationship with God (much less any of the other benefits that come with being a Christian). Yet then God sent Jesus to Earth to ‘preserve our lives’. Likewise, Joseph’s brothers sinned when they sold Joseph into slavery, yet it turned out even better for all of them than if they had never sinned. This may seem very confusing, but let me try to explain:

In the past, there was Adam and Eve. Eve was deceived by Satan into eating of the true of the knowledge of good and evil, and then enticed Adam to eat of it as well. This cut off the relationship they had with God, and brought the sin nature into the world. Then came Jesus, who bridges the gap (that sin made) between us and God. So now, we don’t just have a relationship with God, but now we also have love and gratitude for God, and can truly praise His name (because of what He’s done for us). Formerly it wasn’t possible for us to know how much God loves us, but because sin entered into the world, it’s very possible. All one must do is look to Jesus being crucified to see what I mean. So, in a sense, it really is better that sin came into the world than if it hadn’t. This doesn’t mean that we should sin, but that because of Jesus’ forgiveness of our sin, our relationship with God is stronger.

New Testament confirmation:

Christ gave Himself for us, that He might deliver us from this present evil world (Galatians 1:4)

Context confirmation:

For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. (Genesis 45:6)

Joseph, because of the famine, was going to preserve his family’s lives. Likewise, Jesus preserves His family (us) from our sin, which causes a Spiritual famine in us. — This supports the transquote by strengthening the connection, in this passage, between Joseph and Jesus.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquotation: Genesis 44:33

Hello again!

Just to give you a bit of context, the following verse is at the point where Joseph has had his servant plant his cup in Benjamin’s sack of grain, has had his servant capture them for their “misdeed”, and is threatening to throw Benjamin in prison. — This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers. (Genesis 44:33)

Transquote:

We were standing trial before God because of our sin, waiting for our conviction, and eternal imprisonment sentence. But Jesus came, taking our place; pushing us behind Him, putting Himself on a cross. And in this way, we are saved.

Explanation of the transquote:

Jesus took all the shame that, by right, belonged to us. He took all our sin onto Himself, and, going still further, died on a cross to save us. Now, while Judah never died for Benjamin, he did offer to, in essence, give up his life for him. Jesus, a long time later, went a couple thousand steps further, doing what we just discussed (i.e. died for us).

New Testament confirmation:

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

Context confirmation:

For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’ (Genesis 44:32)

Jesus made His life “a pledge of safety” for our’s. He died, so that we wouldn’t have too: I’d call that “keeping us safe,” wouldn’t you? — This supports the transquote by strengthening the connection, in this passage, between Jesus and Judah.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquote: Genesis 42:17-19

Hello again!

These verses are right after Joseph’s brothers left their homes and traveled to Egypt, in order to buy grain from Joseph. After seeing them, Joseph recognizes them, and promptly declares they must be spies. At this point, he throws them in prison (well, that’s the gist of it anyway). — This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

And he put them all together in custody for three days. On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, (Genesis 42:17-19)

Transquote:

Christ, after He was crucified, descended to Hell for three days. Yet on the third day,  he rose again! And with Him, he led those who had been captives; giving them Himself to eat.

Explanation of the transquote:

Alright, perhaps there is a difference, in that in this case, the person who set them free didn’t set them free by joining them in prison… And there’s the matter of Joseph being the one who actually put them in there in the first place. And there’s also a bit of a thing about them only being in prison for three days, as compared to us who in prison from the time we were born, until the time when Jesus set us free. But, aside from those things, it’s fairly accurate:

We were put in the prison of our own sin, and so were Joseph’s brothers. If they hadn’t sold Joseph, he would’ve never been in the position to put them in prison. Therefore, technically speaking, they were in prison because of their sin.

On the third of we were set free, as were most of Joseph’s brothers.

Joseph fed them after He set them free… Not with himself (thank goodness), as Jesus does, but he still fed them.

And finally, there’s another thing that we and Joseph’s brothers had in common: we were both horrible, wretched sinners, and we both regretted it. But than Jesus/Joseph forgave our sins and set us free!

New Testament confirmation:

17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. 19 After being made alive,[a] he went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits— (1 Peter 3:17-19)

Context confirmation:

Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” (Genesis 42:21)

Actually, what ‘one said to the other’ was correct. It was because of their sin that they were in prison; as I said in my explanation of the transquote. Likewise, it’s because of our sin that we’re put in the prison of our sins. But Jesus sets us free! And thank God for that. — This supports the transquote by strengthening the connection between us and Joseph’s brothers.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquotation: Genesis 41:1; 8; 56-57

Hello again!

A quick forewarning here, the verses will probably seem extremely disjointed, that’s because I didn’t want to copy and paste the entire chapter into this one blog post. So instead, I copied and pasted the verses that tell the same story… Only, without the context of the other verses. Now that I’ve said that:

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, (Genesis 41:1)

So in the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was none who could interpret them to Pharaoh. (Genesis 41:8)

So when the famine had spread over all the land, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe in the land of Egypt. Moreover, all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth. (Genesis 41:56-57)

Transquotation:

And when, after living a life full of disobedience to God, we realized we did need to be made right with God, we called upon on all our efforts and will power, and tried to work our way to Heaven. But none of our works could save us, and we were greatly troubled by our sin and our own inability to conquer it. Yet then came Jesus, and though there was a great famine in our souls, he fed us with Himself; His own body, and we were saved.

Explanation of the transquote:

We, like Pharaoh, tried to summon all our resources (magicians) and overcome sin… Or in Pharaoh’s case, find out the meaning of a dream. Yet then came Jesus, or in the case of Pharaoh, Joseph; and He saved us/told him his dream.

New Testament confirmation:

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying,“Take and eat; this is my body.”

 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. (Matthew 26:26-28)

Context confirmation:

And let them gather all the food of these good years that are coming and store up grain under the authority of Pharaoh for food in the cities, and let them keep it. That food shall be a reserve for the land against the seven years of famine that are to occur in the land of Egypt, so that the land may not perish through the famine.” (Genesis 41:35-36)

Joseph had the solution for Pharaoh: store up food. Jesus has the solution for us: Himself. They both had a solution for two sinners… Though the solutions were very different, the concept is the same. — This supports the transquote by supporting the connection between Joseph and Jesus.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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Transquotation: Genesis 40: 9-13; 15; 20

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

Verses:

So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. (Genesis 40:9-13)

On the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants. (Genesis 40:20)

For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.” (Genesis 40:15)

Transquotation:

On the third day, Jesus arose from the grave, bringing those who were formerly captives out from the pit.

Explanation of the transquote:

Let’s look at this in another way:

On the third day after a prisoner was told he would be “lifted up,” a king has “birthday,” and look at that, the prisoner was also suddenly set free and lifted up…

This isn’t exactly a perfect transquote by any means, there are several differences. Such as, for example, the cup-bearer was lifted up from physical-prison to stand by a physical-king, while we’re lifted up from a Spiritual prison and, after we die, will stand/sit by a Heavenly king… And there’s the small matter of their being a difference between being born and being raised from the dead. But, aside from that, I think the general idea is still fairly clear:

We were prisoners in the pit; prisoners of Satan. But then, a king was “born out of the ground,” and led us captives in His wake.

New Testament confirmation:

 

7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it[a] says:

 

   “When he ascended on high, 
   he took many captives 
   and gave gifts to his people.”[b(Ephesians 4:7-8)

Context confirmation:

He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. (Genesis 40:21)

And likewise we’ll stand by the king when we die. Only, our king is the king of kings and Lord of Lords.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

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