The Life of Joseph - Lesson 51, Continuing the Life of Joseph in Egypt.
Genesis 50:19, And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
For one thing Joseph knows that such humble submission as his brothers are now exhibiting should be given to God.
Joseph wants none to have the idea that he is in the place of God.
Joseph knows that God had used their evil and turned it for good.
What if Joseph had opposed the will of God by exercising vengeance upon his brothers.
He would then be in the place of God for vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.
As a man of authority he was in a position to exercise vengeance and destroy each one of his brothers and therefore oppose the will of God.
Wasnít that will expressed by Jacob in his blessings of his sons.
Wasnít each one to be a tribe of Israel?
Joseph has seen the hand of the Lord in his life since his brothers sold him into slavery and most likely before that.
He has recognized the Lordís sovereignty, his wisdom, his grace and now he wants his brothers to also recognize those things.
Joseph knows exactly who is in charge here, and it is not himself.
Who am I that you should bow in humble submission to me?
God has this case in hand and Joseph asks:
What could I do to interfere with Godís plans even if I desired to do so?
Am I in the place of God that I should take it upon myself to judge you?
This is the meaning of the question: Am I in Godís place?
Have I the right to do so?
That is wisdom, to know where God is going and to go with him instead of opposing his will.
Joseph explains his question "Am I in Godís place?" in:
Genesis 50:20, But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Joseph, a man of faith sees Godís hand in everything.
He has spiritual vision which brings him above this situation to see it as God sees it.
It is the Lordís hand that he sees in this whole wonderful history of his family.
He sees nothing happen that is apart from this.
Learn this, that God is in control of the situation
You can devise all evil but God will devise all good.
God is good and whatever evil man devises, God can only devise good because God is good.
Out of your desire to destroy me God has saved you and your little ones and your flocks and your herds, and your posterity.
God cannot do otherwise for He is good!
That is his character and character allows certain action and prohibits certain actions.
And as a child of God Joseph simply believes and acts as his father, God, would.
As a servant of God can Joseph do otherwise?
Genesis 50:21, Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
In this whole affair Joseph knows that he has been appointed by God to be the leader and savior of this family.
He had not come to condemn his brothers but to save his brothers and their families.
The words that he spoke to his brothers are words that Christ would also speak to those who receive him.
For all, like Josephís brothers, have sinned against a holy God and those who repent will be nourished and comforted.
Jesus said I came to seek and to save that which was lost.
John 3:17, For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
As Joseph was hated by his brothers who were Israel so too was Jesus Christ hated by Israel and mistreated as no other.
He came unto his own and his own received him not.
But as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
Yes, Josephís brothers hated him, despised him and despitefully used him, but Josephís grace overcame their hatred and though the working of Godís grace drew them to himself.
Such was Joseph and such is Jesus Christ our Lord.
We can disappoint him as Peter disappointed the Lord, but Godís love is more powerful than anything we can bring against it.
Genesis 50:22, And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his fatherís house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years.
Joseph was sold by his brothers when he was 17 or 18 years old.
Joseph was 30 years old when he stood before Pharaoh.
Joseph revealed himself to his brothers two years into the seven year period of famine, or 9 years after standing before Pharaoh, so two years into the famine he was 39, having now been in Egypt 22 years.
Jacob was in Egypt 17 years and then he died so at Jacobís death Joseph was about 56 years old.
This verse tells us that Joseph lived an hundred and ten years so Joseph lived 54 years in Egypt after Jacobís death.
Apparently he or his brothers made no attempt to return to Canaan knowing that they were to remain in Egypt until God called them out.
Following verses in this chapter indicate that Josephís years in Egypt were long, prosperous and peaceful years.
Josephís years were spent in favor with the Pharaoh and in his service in high office.
Little is made of his role in Egypt because Godís will has been now accomplished.
His role in Egypt had only been mentioned when it was necessary to Godís will.
(Take this as a principal of life, only what's done for Christ will last or be mentioned, all else is wood, hay and stubble)