Saturday, April 14, 2012
JOSEPH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, 4/14/2012
JOSEPH’S GENTILE BRIDE, Lesson 50b
HER SPECIAL PLACE
· When Joseph came out of prison, he was elevated to a position of great power and great majesty. He was made to sit at Pharaoh’s right hand. When Joseph was elevated, his bride was elevated with him!
Asenath was from a prominent pagan family. She was the daughter of a well known priest. But, when she became the wife of Joseph, she finds herself the bride of the most powerful man in the land.
Asenath did not achieve this honor on her own. In fact, she had nothing to do with the matter. She was picked out by Pharaoh and she was given to Joseph. In other words, there was no special merit in Asenath; she was merely the object of sovereign choice. Nothing is said about Asenath regarding her looks, her talents, or anything else. It seems that her husband and not Asenath is the center of attention. It is also worthy of noting that Joseph did not succumb to the polygamous tendencies of the Egyptians. He only took one bride!
Again, in all these things, Asenath is a picture of the Bride of Christ. Like Asenath, the Bride is the Father’s gift to His Son, (John 6:37). Every person who is saved by the grace of God was chosen by Him, handpicked for the honor of being in the Bride, (John 15:16; Eph. 1:4; John 10:16). There is no other explanation for His choice but His grace and His love for the lost, (Eph. 2:4-5).
God chose us in Jesus in eternity past, (Eph. 1:4), and He called us to come to Jesus for salvation, (John 6:44). When we came by faith, we were saved out of our sins and our lost past was done away with forever. Not only did He save us from our sins, He elevated us! He did this in two precious ways.
First, He elevated us by changing our lives. He gave us a “new birth” and made us into a “new creature”, (John 3:3; 2 Cor. 5:17). He lifted us out of the muck and mire of our sins, and set us on a new pathway of holiness for the glory of God, (Psa. 40:1-3). He changed our lives and made us alive to the things of God, (Eph. 2:5). He gave us a new nature, (2 Pet. 1:4). He lifted us out of the mess Adam left us in and made it possible for us to live a life that is pleasing to God. Praise His name!
Secondly, when we were saved, God put us in Jesus, (1 Cor. 12:13, 1 Pet 3:21). According to Eph. 2:6, He lifted us up and made us to sit with Him in His throne. You see, our Savior, like Joseph, suffered a time of humiliation and rejection. He died and descended into the grave. But, He rose again and ascended to Heaven and took up His place at the right hand of His heavenly Father. When we came to Him by faith, He lifted us out of our sins and caused us to sit with Him. I was a wretched, dirty, rotten sinner, but today I sit in Heavenly places in Jesus Christ! If you are saved, you are as good for Heaven as if you were already there. If you are saved, your past is gone and you enjoy the blessings, the power and the presence of the Lord God of glory!
Our Heavenly Bridegroom only has one Bride! He redeemed her when He died for her sins on the cross. He secured her eternity when He rose again from the dead. He has gone ahead to prepare a place for her, (John 14:1-3). One day soon, He will return and claim her unto Himself and take her home to the place she already is! The only way to be a part of His Bride is for a lost sinner to hear His call to come (Rom 10:17), for them to believe, repent and be baptized (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38), to confess (Rom 10:10), and trust and follow Jesus by faith, (Eph. 2:8-90) . When they do, they are eternally saved!
By the way, the focus in this family should be on Him! It does not matter who I am and it does not matter who you are. All that matters is the Lord Jesus and God His Father (What I am and to whom I belong)! Are you in the Bride?
HER SOVEREIGN PART
We are told that Asenath bore Joseph two children. These two boys were a special gift to Joseph from the Lord. In choosing their names, Joseph acknowledged God’s hand at work in his life. Joseph named the first boy Manasseh. This name means “Forgetting”. Joseph tells us that the Lord had allowed him to forget the trials he went through. Joseph named his second son Ephraim. This name means “Twice Fruitful”. It shows us that Joseph’s faith in the Lord had not waivered at all. In spite of all he had endured, Joseph was still walking by faith.
These two boys would grow up and become the heads of two out of the twelve tribes of Israel. They would replace Joseph and Levi as part of the twelve. The grace of God had lifted Asenath out of obscurity and made her a part of God’s sovereign plan. She was given a big part in the formation of the nation of Israel.
Again, this is a picture of the Bride of Christ! The redeemed saints of God have been made a part of God’s plan to bring the world to Himself. He saved us and called us into His service, (Eph. 2:10. Imagine that! He would take the like of us and use us for His glory. He has placed His hand on our vessels; He has placed His Spirit within these vessels, and He can use these vessels in ways we never imagined, if we would only yield ourselves to Him, (2 Cor. 4:7). What an honor it is to serve the true and living God!
He has given us the Gospel of grace to take to a lost and dying world , and He has commissioned us to take it to the ends of the earth, (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8). We are His Bride! We are His masterpiece, (Eph. 2:10). We are His love letter to the world, (2 Cor. 3:2-3). We are the living, breathing, moving proof that God loves sinners. We are commissioned and commanded to tell this lost world that what the Lord did for us, He can do for them too. That is our mandate!
Conc: Life changed for Asenath forever when she was presented to Joseph. I am sure she never imagined that she would be the wife of the Prime Minister of Egypt! She was given an honor above all others!
I praise the Lord that I am part of the Bride of Christ! I praise His name for loving me, for dying for me, for saving me and for letting me a part of His work in the world today. What a blessing! But, I must confess, I do wonder, why me? Why would He choose me?
Do you know Him? If you don’t and would like too, you can. If He is calling you to come to Him, now would be a good time to do just that! Are you serving Him like you should? The hour is growing late and the time to do something for Jesus is now! Now is the hour to preach His Gospel; to tell others about Him, and to serve Him without reservation.
TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“Mansion Over The Hilltop” By Ira Stanphill (1949)
I’m satisfied with just a cottage below A little silver and a little gold But in that city, where the ransomed will shine I want a gold one, that’s silver lined.
I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop In that bright land where we’ll never grow old.
And someday yonder, we will never more wander, But walk on streets that are purest gold.
Though often tempted, tormented and tested And like the prophet, my pillow a stone.
And though I find here, no permanent dwelling, I know He�ll give me a mansion my own.
Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely I’m not discouraged, I’m heaven bound.
I’m just a pilgrim in search of that city I want a mansion, a harp (robe) and a crown.
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