Sermon #26 Series: Pictures of Grace in Genesis
Title: Joseph Opening The Storehouses - A Picture of Grace
Text: Genesis 41:55-57
Subject: Joseph as a type of Christ
Date: Tuesday Evening - January 28, 1992
Joseph was so hated by his brothers that they “could not speak peaceably unto him” (Gen. 37:4). Because he was so greatly loved by Jacob, they envied him. Because God revealed to Joseph that he would one day rule over them, his brothers were filled with jealousy. Therefore, being full of jealousy, envy, and hatred toward Joseph, his brothers sold him into slavery. But God was with Joseph. By several acts of divine providence, he wound up in prison in Egypt. There he met the chief butler of Pharaoh’s court and interpreted his dream. Later, when Pharaoh had a dream which none of the magicians of Egypt could interpret, the chief butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh about him (Gen. 41:1-14). Pharaoh called for Joseph and asked him to interpret his troubling dreams; and Joseph did so. God revealed to Joseph that there would be seven years of great abundance in the land of Egypt followed by seven years of great famine (Gen. 41:28-32). Then, Pharaoh appointed Joseph to be ruler over all the land of Egypt, second only to himself (Gen. 41:39-46). The seven years of great abundance came, then the seven years of great famine. Let’s pick up the story at verse 55. Read with me Genesis 41:55-57. The title of my message tonight is Joseph Opening The Storehouses - A Picture of Grace.
As I read this 41st chapter of Genesis, there are numerous texts of Scripture which come to my mind. The spiritual lessons to be gleaned from this chapter must not go unnoticed.
1. I see here an example of God’s Glorious Sovereignty. It is written, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of waters: he turneth it withersoever he will” (Prov. 21:1). It was no accident that Pharaoh dreamed what he did when he did. God’s time had come for Joseph to be delivered from prison and exalted to a position of great honor. Pharaoh’s dreams were but the instrument employed by God to accomplish his purpose.
Indeed, we see the hand of God in the whole history of Joseph. God was behind the scenes, secretly, sovereignly accomplishing his own purpose. Nothing happened by accident. God who is above all, ruled and overruled all the events recorded in Genesis 37-50, all the creatures, and all their actions, good and bad, to accomplish his will and purpose concerning Joseph and his chosen people (Gen. 45:5; 50:20; Isa. 46:9-11; Acts 4:26-28; John 6:37-39).
God’s sovereignty, as it is revealed in the life of Joseph, extends to all men and women, righteous and wicked, all the elements of nature, the weather, the crops of the field, and the cattle, all the nations of the world, and even to the dreams of men! “Our God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased” (Psa. 115:3). “Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and in all deep places” (Psa. 135:6).
2. This story of Joseph also shows us that the Wisdom of this world is foolishness. “Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?” (1 Cor. 1:20). “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God” (1 Cor. 3:19).
In Joseph’s time, Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs, was the most advanced civilization of the world. It was the center of learning, science, education, culture, and philosophy. But the Egyptians were idolaters. Hence, they had no true wisdom. The light they had was darkness. The magicians of Egypt was impotent. All their wise men could not decipher the meaning of Pharaoh’s dream and tell him what God was about to do. So pharaoh had to turn to Joseph, the only man in the land who knew God, for instruction.
3. Does that not demonstrate something of The wisdom of faith? Psalm 25:14 declares, “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.” God makes known his counsels, his purposes, and his truth, not to the wise, the mighty, the noble, and the great people of the world, but to them that believe him. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” All true knowledge begins with faith in Christ.
4. Joseph certainly demonstrates the fact that “all things work together for good to them that love the Lord, to them who are called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). How this story of Joseph demonstrates the goodness of God’s providence toward his elect. How we need to lay this to heart! We, too often, become so occupied with our present circumstances that we forget the promise of God. That ought not to happen. “Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust Him for His grace. Behind the frowning providence, He hides a smiling face.” Remember, “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof” (Eccles. 7:8). Saints of God, be of good cheer, faint not! Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy “cometh in the morning.” So it was with Joseph. For a season he suffered wrongfully, but in the end God vindicated him and exalted him, so that he said, “God hath made me forget all my toil,” and “hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Gen. 41:51-52).
5. Certainly, Joseph stands before us as An Example of faithfulness to God. In the greatest trials, adversities, and surroundings, Joseph walked with God. Though he had no godly companions and lived in a heathen land among idolaters, he never became one of them. He maintained a strong testimony to the truth of God and the grace of God. Even in Egypt, Joseph glorified God, and there God honored Joseph, as it is written, “Them that honor me I will honor” (1 Sam. 2:30).
Let us lay these five lessons to heart…
· Our God sovereignly rules all things.
· The wisdom of this world is foolishness.
· “The secret of the lord is with them that fear him.”
· “All things work together for good” to God’s elect.
· God honors those who honor him.
However, this story of Joseph and his opening of the storehouses is intended by God the Holy Spirit to reveal and magnify the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior, and to show us the grace of God in him.
I cannot possibly explain all the parallels between Joseph and Christ that are to be found in this chapter. There are simply too many.
1. As Joseph, in due time, was delivered from prison, so Christ was raised from the dead at God’s appointed time.
2. As Joseph was the revealer of secrets, so Christ reveals the things of God to his people.
3. As Joseph warned of coming danger, and urged men to make provision for it, so Christ warned sinners of the wrath of God and urged them come to him for salvation.
4. As Joseph was wonderful in counsel, so our Savior’s name is Wonderful Counselor.
5. As Joseph was exalted over all of Egypt, so Christ has been exalted over all things.
6. As Joseph was worthy of his exaltation, so Christ is worthy of his.
7. As Joseph was, upon his exaltation, invested with the glorious apparel of Pharaoh, so Christ exalted is clothed with the glory which he had with the Father before the world was made.
8. As Joseph’s power and authority were publicly owned and acknowledged by all men, so all men shall one day publicly own and acknowledge Christ as Lord.
9. As Joseph was given a wife by Pharaoh, so God the Father has given his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, a bride.
10. As Joseph’s marriage was planned and arranged by Pharaoh, so the marriage of the Lamb was planned and arranged by the Lord God in eternity.
11. As Joseph was 30 years old when he began his life’s work, so the Lord Jesus Christ began his public ministry when he was thirty years old.
12. As Joseph went forth on a mission from Pharaoh’s presence, so Christ came into this world to do his Father’s will.
13. As Joseph’s exaltation was followed by a season of great plenty, so Christ’s exaltation was followed by a time of great grace, poured out upon the earth.
14. As the years of plenty were followed by years of famine, though Joseph was still on the throne, so these last days, these perilous times, are years of great famine, though Christ is still on his throne.
15. As in the days of famine, Joseph opened the storehouses of Egypt to all who came to him, so now the Lord Jesus Christ opens the storehouses of God’s abundant grace to all who come to him.
In conclusion let me show you three things.
I. JOSEPH OPENED THE STOREHOUSES BY ROYAL AUTHORITY. (41:41, 44, 45).
Pharaoh gave all things into Joseph’s hands, all food, all authority, all power. When the people came to Pharaoh for anything, he said, “Go to Joseph!”
Even so, by God’s royal design and decree, all things pertaining to life and godliness, all grace, all mercy, all salvation, all life, and all heaven, have been given into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ. God the Father has put all things in Christ (John 3:35-36).
A. All power and authority belong to Christ (John 17:3).
B. All the fulness of the Godhead is in Christ (Col. 2:9-10).
C. All the fulness of grace and glory are in Christ (John 1:16; Col. 1:19).
D. The only way any sinner can get anything from God is to go to Christ. He has everything (Eph. 1:3-4).
E. Why? “For it pleased God!” God is determined “that in all things Christ might have the preeminence!”
II. JOSEPH WAS THE ONLY FIT PERSON TO OPEN THE STOREHOUSES (41:53-55).
He was the only one who knew what was going on and what must be done. Joseph had prophesied that the famine would come. No one else knew about it. Joseph planned the crops, and built the storehouses, and had them filled before the famine came (41:35-36, 49).
Even so, our Lord Jesus Christ is the only fit Person to open the storehouse of God’s mercy, love, and grace to needy sinners.
A. As Joseph foreknew the famine in Egypt, though he did not cause it, our Lord Jesus Christ foreordained the fall and famine of humanity, though he did not cause it.
1. The fall of Adam and the spiritual famine of his race are evident (Rom. 5:12, 19)..
2. These things did not take God by surprise (Gen. 2:17).
B. As Joseph built the storehouses and filled them in anticipation of the famine, so Christ, in the covenant of grace, provided for the needs of his people before the world began.
1. The storehouse is God’s covenant (Eph. 1:3; 2 Tim. 1:9).
2. The provision is Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8).
Christ filled the storehouse! In the fulness of time the Son of God came to this earth in human flesh. He obeyed the law in order that his people might have perfect righteousness before God. He died on the cross that we might be justified through his blood. The storehouse is full. Let all who are hungry come. You will find grace abundant and free in Christ!
· Christ is the only One with Capacity to contain all fulness.
· Christ is the only One with Wisdom to distribute all fulness.
· Christ is the only One with eternality to continue to be all fulness for evermore (2 Tim. 1:12; Phil. 3:20-21).
III. “AND JOSEPH OPENED ALL THE STOREHOUSES! (41:56).
Joseph became the savior of all people, Jews and Gentiles. He opened the storehouses and dispensed the bread of life to the perishing multitudes. His resources to do so were immeasurable (41:49). What joy it gave to Joseph to see the people coming to him and to give them the bread they needed!
A. That is why he built the storehouses in the first place and filled them, so that the people might eat and live!
Christ became our Surety, our Substitute, and our Sin-Offering, so that sinners might be saved by him (Matt. 1:21; 1 Tim. 1:15; Lk. 19:10).
B. Though the storehouses were filled, they would have brought no glory to Joseph, and would have done no good for the people, if he had not opened them.
Joseph’s glory was not that he had plenty, but that he was delighted to distribute it! This is the glory of our Redeemer - “He delighteth in mercy!” He has plenty, and he delights to distribute it. His chief glory is his goodness (Ex. 33:18-19). Our Savior cries to men, “Ho, everyone that is thirsty, come ye to the waters!”
1. Christ is the Bread of Life. He bids you to eat and live!
2. Christ is the Water of Life. He calls you to come and drink!
C. Joseph opened the storehouses “when the people cried for bread” (41:55-56).
When hungry sinners cry for bread, Christ opens the storehouse and feeds them (Matt. 7:9-11; Lk. 11:5-13).
1. Lost sinners who cry to him will be heard (Rom. 10:13).
2. Needy believers who cry to him will be heard (Heb. 4:16).
D. Joseph opened the storehouses to all who came (41:57).
They were opened not to the Egyptians only, but to all nations. All who came to Joseph got bread. Even so, our Lord Jesus Christ opens the storehouse of grace to all who come to him, Jew and Gentile, black and white, rich and poor, male and female, old and young! (Matt. 11:28). “Whosoever will, let him come, and take of the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17). Jesus Christ is the mighty Savior, able and willing to save unto the uttermost all who come to God by him (Heb. 7:25).
As Pharaoh said to the people, “Go to Joseph,” so I say to you, whatever your soul’s need is, “Go to Christ!”
1. He has all power and authority.
2. He alone can open the storehouse of heaven.
3. He will open the storehouse to all who come to him!