Genesis 50:15-21 – “When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Perhaps Joseph will hate us, and may actually repay us for all the evil which we did to him.” 16 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, 17’Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”‘ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18 Then his brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.”
19 Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.” NKJV
I love the statement of Joseph in verse 19 and have used it to encourage myself on more than one occasion. What men mean for evil, God will take and order it for good. I believe that is the basis of what Paul said in Romans 8 that “all things work together for good, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Not that all things are good, and all things Joseph experienced were anything but good but the finished product was good and God demonstrated His willingness and ability to take the schemes of evil and produce something of beauty and fulfill the purposes of God.
In studying the life of Joseph and the history of Jacob (Israel) there are some things that make my heart leap for joy as I see, once again, how God deposits little hints and insights into his purpose and plan. He does little things that seem coincidental but with God, there is nothing coincidental. In the New Testament, I find that Jesus began His public ministry at the age of 30. In Genesis, we find that Joseph was elevated to his position of power at the age of 30. Joseph began his ministry of purpose to preserve the Seed Line of Jesus at the same age that Jesus began His public ministry designed to Redeem mankind. Joseph, in that sense, is a type of Jesus. I find that more than a little interesting and it resonates with me and speaks to my heart that God is so detailed in His plans for us and wants us to be able to glean truth from His Word so He continually leaves breadcrumbs along the way to get our attention and encourage our hearts.
If you will examine the record you will find that 66 souls (people) came with Jacob to Egypt and if you look at the number of books in the Bible you find 66. I do not believe that is coincidental but intentional and gives validity to the Christian Bible as the inspired Word of God, complete and entire. Then if you add the 66 that came with Jacob to the 4 that were with Joseph you have 70 and that is the number of elders that Moses appointed and the number mentioned in Luke 10 that Jesus sent out. What does 70 mean? What is the significance of 70? The number 7 represents perfection and the number 10 completeness and if you multiply that by 7 you find ULTIMATE PERFECTION and COMPLETION. Jesus has finished the work and now empowers us and sends us out into His harvest. Israel spent 70 years in Babylonian Captivity before returning to the land. Jerusalem kept 70 Sabbaths while Judah was in Babylonian captivity and seventy sevens are 490 years as prophesied in Daniel.
God is faithful and keeps His word and covenants. God has a plan and He leaves us little breadcrumbs throughout scripture to encourage us and open our eyes to His truths. May the Lord inspire your heart to dig a little deeper into His word and mine the nuggets of truth He has placed as handfuls on purpose for us.
May the Lord bless your richly and enhance your work, walk, and warfare!