Friday, April 13, 2012
JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/13 /2012
JOSEPH’S GENTILE BRIDE, Lesson 50a
The life of Joseph is an amazing story of the providence and power of Almighty God. The Bible tells us of the favorite son of Jacob, as he is betrayed by his own brothers and sold into slavery. As a slave, Joseph demonstrates a godly testimony in the face of tragedy and temptation. Then Joseph is falsely accused of a crime and thrown into prison. Even in that Egyptian prison, Joseph displays a clear, consistent testimony of faith.
As Joseph languishes in that prison, up in the palace, Pharaoh has a dream he could not interpret. Joseph is remembered and released from the prison. He interprets Pharaoh’s dream and Pharaoh elevates Joseph. He removes him from the prison and makes him Prime Minister of Egypt. When we arrive at our text, Joseph has just been exalted to a position of great power and authority. He has been given Pharaoh’s ring. He has been dressed in the finest cloths in the land. He has been given an expensive gold chain. Everywhere he goes; the Egyptian people bow before Joseph and honor him for his position and his power. The slave has become a sovereign ruler, and all this took place in his life because of the Unseen Hand of divine providence.
Our text tells us that immediately after Joseph was exalted to his new position he was given a bride. Soon after that a family was born to Joseph there in Egypt. I want to take our time today to consider Joseph’s Gentile Bride. In the woman that was given to Joseph I see a wonderful picture of the Bride of Christ.
As you study the book of Genesis, there are three brides that stand out as types of the Bride of Christ. Let me share them with you now.
· Eve – She is a picture of the Creation of the Church. Adam was placed in a deep sleep and God removed a rib from his side. Eve was formed from this rib. The church was formed when Jesus died on the cross and His side was opened for us. We are a product of His sacrificial love.
· Rebekah – She is a picture of the Calling of the church. Abraham’s servant found her in a pagan land and called her come be the bride of Isaac. They asked her, “Will you go with this man?” And, she answered, “I will go!” She left her old life behind and set out with the servant. It was a long journey, through a harsh land, but the servant was with her to encourage her along the way. Eventually he brought her to Isaac and they were married in his home.
The church was also brought out of a pagan land. The Holy Spirit came to us and called to come to Jesus. We accepted His invitation by faith and set out a journey to meet the Bridegroom. The way is hard and rough, but the Comforter is ever with us to guide us, encourage us and bless us. One day, we will reach the end of the journey and we will meet our Bridegroom, the Lord Jesus Christ in His home in Heaven.
· Asenath – She is a picture of the Coronation of the church. She became the bride of a man who was brought out a time of humiliation. Her husband was exalted and she was exalted along with Him. She was brought out of obscurity and made to live in a fine palace.
I will try to flesh all this out in the message, but the Bride of Christ was called out of obscurity to share the glory of the Heavenly Bridegroom. One day, we will join Him in His heavenly home.
Let’s take some time today to consider the woman who became the bride of Joseph. We do not have a lot of information regarding her life, but the few details we do have speak volumes to us today. In this woman we are allowed to see a few characteristics of the Bride of Christ. I want to point those characteristics out today as I preach on the subject: “Joseph’s Gentile Bride“. Let’s see if we can spot ourselves and all that the Lord has done for us in these verses.
HER SINFUL PAST
The woman Joseph received as his bride was named Asenath. This name means “Belonging to the goddess Neith.” Neith was known as “The mother earth of the Delta”. She was worshiped as the mother of the Egyptian gods Isis, Horus, and Osiris. This goddess was known as the source of all wisdom. The Egyptians believed that all the other gods would go to Neith for counsel when they had a dispute among themselves. Asenath was raised to worship false, pagan gods.
Asenath was the daughter of Potiperah, the priest of On. His name means “Given by the sun god”. On, also known as Heliopolis, was one of the most important religious cities in Egypt. The great temple to Ra, the sun god, was there.
Ra was depicted as a great falcon wearing a gold disk as a crown. This temple also housed a sacred bull that was worshiped by the Egyptians. Pharaoh was believed to be the incarnation of Ra, and was worshiped as a god. Asenath would have been raised in deep paganism and deep spiritual darkness.
Asenath was oblivious to the God of Abraham, Jacob and Joseph. She wasn’t aware of God, and even if she had been, she would have cared nothing for Him! God knew her! Even in her lost condition, God was working to bring her to a place of salvation. When she married Joseph, her pagan past was blotted out. I have no doubt that Joseph told her all about His God, the true God, and the God of all the earth! Surely Joseph introduces Asenath to Jehovah! I have no proof, but I think this woman probably got saved!
· Asenath is a picture of lost humanity. Like her, every human being is born in the depths of spiritual darkness. We did not know God and we deserved nothing from God but judgment and Hell. Our condition is clearly revealed in Eph. 2:1-3; 12. This is just a reminder of what we were before we met the Lord Jesus. By the way, it does us good to look back! It deals a death blow to self-righteousness and spiritual snobbery! We need to be reminded of where we came from, (Isa. 51:1).
If you are saved today it is because God delivered you from your sins by His amazing grace! Like Mephibosheth, you and I were wasting away in our Lodebar, when the King of Glory came and “fetched” us unto Himself, (2 Sam. 9:1-13).
Like Asenath, when we came to Jesus and were saved by grace, our sinful past was forever blotted out, ( Psalm 103:12; Isa. 38:17; Isa. 43:25; Jer. 50:20; Micah 7:19; Col. 2:13-14; 1 John 1:7). In God’s eyes, the Bride of Jesus has been justified and glorified, (Rom. 8:30). In His eyes, we are spotless and pure today, (Eph. 5:2).
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Out of My Bondage” By W. T. Sleeper (1887)
Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night, Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light, Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness, into Thy health, Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself, Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of my shameful failure and loss, Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross, Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth’s sorrows into Thy balm, Out of life’s storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm, Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of unrest and arrogant pride, Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessèd will to abide, Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love, Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove, Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the fear and dread of the tomb, Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy throne, Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the depths of ruin untold, Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold, Jesus, I come to Thee.
INVITE A FRIEND TO THE TEAM!