“The king…made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance.” [Psalm 105:20-21].
In the affliction of Joseph and his later exaltation to Pharaoh’s right hand in Egypt, we have such a foreshadowing of the humiliation and exaltation of Christ as to emphasize the authority and inspiration of God’s holy Word.
Joseph the blameless, sold by his own to the Gentiles for a paltry sum, as was the greater Joseph, betrayed by His own for thirty pieces of silver, and delivered to the representative of Gentile power, Pontius Pilate.
Joseph’s service as a slave resulted in his utter humiliation, being brought down in ignominy and shame, being made to suffer as a criminal in Pharaoh’s dungeon. There he met two offenders, a butler and a baker. One was delivered from prison; the other perished.
Behold the greater Joseph, the One who thought it not robbery to be equal with God. See Him humble Himself unto the death of the cross. Witness two thieves dying with Him. One looks to Jesus by faith and is saved; the other, like many on this earth in every generation, dies as he lived, in his sins.
It was said of Joseph’s exaltation to the side of Pharaoh, “He made him lord of his house.” His lifting up was sudden, powerful, and glorious. Overnight he became the greatest man in Egypt.
Let all this pale into utter insignificance when we consider the elevation of the Christ of God as our mighty representative in heaven, bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh, the one and only mediator between God and men. Let us ever bow humbly, and reverently worship the One who, although obedient unto death, rose triumphantly over death, hell, and the grave. [Dr. Bert Cooke].
RAISED UP BY THE LORD
“The Lord raiseth them that are bowed down”
“Jesus can raise us up to health, to hope, to happiness [Psalm 146:8].…. He has often done so, through former trials….and He will repeat His deeds of kindness. What an honour to be raised up by the Lord! It is worthwhile to be bowed down that we may experience His upraising power.” [C.H. Spurgeon].
“We avow our firmest belief in the verbal inspiration of all Holy Scripture as originally given. To us, the Bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but is the Word of God.” [Spurgeon’s Baptist Confession].
All Scripture is inspired and profitable. [2 Tim. 3:16].
All Writers are inspired and prophetic. [2Peter 1:21].
Every Word is inspired and pure. [Proverbs 30:5. Matthew 4:4].
Every Jot (smallest Hebrew letter) and
Every Tittle (smallest Hebrew distinguishing mark) is inspired and preserved. [Matthew 5:18]
RUNNING THE RACE
“I press toward the mark of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” [Philippians 3:14].
Here we have a master of illustration drawing spiritual lessons from the sporting arena of the Greek games. Whether it was the foot race or the chariot race Paul had in mind is not clear, but either one will do. One thing is certain: a race must have a starting point.
The Christian race must begin by trusting Jesus Christ, who is “the Author and Finisher of our faith” [Hebrews 12:2]. As the runner must come to the starting line, so we must come to Christ and start for heaven at the cross. A good start is necessary; otherwise, the race may be lost at the beginning. Like good athletes, we must maintain a steady pace and run with patience, for the Christian race is a marathon, not a sprint.
Many runners are content to think that they are as good as others. Some are even content with just being in the race, but the zealous Christian is devoted to “the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” This means he will divest himself of every hindering thing. He will not be distracted by the successes or failures of the past. The things that are behind must be set aside, and the things that are before must take their place. It is necessary to renounce sin and to lay aside doubtful things that are hindrances to the race.
We must keep our eyes on the finishing line, which again is Christ. How wonderful it will be at the end of the course to receive the eternal prize from His nail-pierced hands and to hear Him say, “Well done.” [Rev. David Creane].
When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is set them a-praying. [Matthew Henry].