The brethren of Joseph figured they had real cause to be alarmed whenever their father, Jacob, passed away. They surmised that with him out of the way there was nothing to keep Joseph from carrying out his vengeance on them for their shameful treatment of him, as a young man, which resulted in him being sold, as a slave, into Egypt. On the one hand they were right to be concerned as they contemplated the wickedness of their actions coupled with the power of life and death which Joseph, now a prince in Egypt, possessed.
Yet their fears were magnified (without real cause) since they failed to recognize the great love that Joseph had for them as their brother. He is a living example of that love which Peter describes saying, “And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.” (1Pet 4:8); as he quotes from Proverbs 10:12. Joseph was also a firm believer in Romans 8:28 long before it was penned by Paul the apostle and recognized that even their transgression and mistreatment of him was ordered by the GOD of heaven and earth who does “according to HIS will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth.” Joseph is also in this purpose a type of CHRIST.
The LORD will spare nothing in HIS purpose to deliver HIS elect bride and keep her protected and safe at all times. “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28) This is the essence of HIS promise made through the psalmist, “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” (Psa 91:5-7)
The LORD knows that we are but dust, HE knows our frame, and HE speaks great words of comfort to HIS own. Has HE not sent HIS own messengers with the gospel of good tidings which speaketh on this wise? “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not: for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (Isa 43:1-7)
HE spared not HIS own SON, sending HIM to suffer in the room and stead of those which HE loved from before the foundation of the world. Wherefore then arise those doubts and fears which beset the sons of GOD from time to time? Does HE not continually teach those who tremble at the mention of HIS glorious NAME, that HE intends to give them the kingdom? Is the gospel message not true when HE says? “Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.” (Rom 8:30-33)
Is it not appropriate that we should tremble when we consider our own crimes against our DELIVERER, even as the brothers of Joseph did? I tell you that none who are convicted by the HOLY GHOST of their own sin can escape this dark foreboding which causes even the strongest of men to cry out for mercy as that mountain and morass of sin which caused their SAVIOR’s shame and suffering is revealed to them by HIS power. Do they not each one recognize the right of “JOSEPH” to destroy them, and can any of them think of a reason why HE should not? No! such fear and trembling is ordained by HIM that HE might then soothe the troubled brow and whisper sweet words of comfort to those HE is pleased to disturb.
If we be without chastening, then we are not HIS sons. If we are not troubled by our sin then we cannot be called by HIS name, for HIS SPIRIT does indeed reprove HIS people and convinces them of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Yet this is not the destination for which HIS people are designed, but rather the preparation in the journey, for HE does bring HIS people into a place of great blessing. “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.” (Psa 66:10-12)
Joseph was one of those which the writer of Hebrews says, “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”(Heb 11:13) His life ends in Egypt and he is buried in a coffin in that barren desert land, but he knew that one day GOD would deliver HIS people from that wasteland and “By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.” (Heb 11:22)
Those to whom the gospel of JESUS CHRIST has been revealed are not among those who die without having received the promise. We have received the PROMISE. We are not waiting for it to be revealed, since John said, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) Yet we can somewhat identify with those who confess that they are strangers and pilgrims in the earth, for we yet see through a glass darkly, desiring to behold HIM face to face. Therefore we rejoice in the HOPE that Job expressed when he said, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27) “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1Thess 4:18)mam