God’s Blessing and Provision, Part 2: We’re in the Family of The Provider
In my last blog post I discussed the balance between stewarding our resources while remaining completely dependent on God during the increase in economic instability or political turbulence, civil unrest and especially natural disasters.
A wonderful example of this principle is Joseph. His leadership during the great famine of his time not only demonstrates his response to and preparation for hard times, but has additional significance for us today because of the fact that he is a foreshadow of Yeshua Himself. I believe Joseph’s story provides us a glimpse of what’s ahead for Yeshua’s followers as end-time events escalate.
Joseph is a Type of Messiah
Let’s start by looking at the parallels between Joseph’s life as depicted in Genesis 37-40 and the life of Yeshua from the gospels. Tony Robinson, Director of Restoration of Torah Ministries, provides an excellent study of this topic, in which he demonstrates how Joseph’s life is a picture of the person and work of Yeshua the Messiah. I will summarize it here:
- Yeshua was born of a virgin, Mary; Joseph’s mother, Rachel, was believed to be barren until she had Joseph in Isaac’s old age.
- Joseph was a shepherd; Yeshua is called “The Good Shepherd.” (John 1:10)
- Both Joseph and Yeshua were hated by their brothers. (John 15:24-25)
- Joseph’s dreams were prophecies of his future authority; Yeshua’s life was preceded by numerous prophecies about His Kingship and authority. (Is. 9:6-7)
- Joseph’s father sent him to check on the welfare of his brothers; The Father sent Yeshua to His brothers on earth. (Mark 12:1-12) (John 10:1-21)
- Joseph was rejected by his family because of his position with his father, but was later accepted as their savior; Yeshua was rejected by most at His first coming because of His claims as the Son of God, but will be accepted at His second coming.
- Joseph’s brothers conspired to leave him for dead; the religious leaders conspired to kill Yeshua. (Matt. 26:29 & 27:1)
- Joseph’s and Yeshua’s conspirators determined not to kill them, but handed them over to Gentiles to do so. (Luke 23:1-5)
- Both Joseph and Yeshua were put into a hole in the earth – Joseph an empty well/pit, representing death; Yeshua in a tomb.
- Reuben went back to the well seeking to save Joseph, but he was no longer there; Yeshua’s followers went to the tomb seeking Him but He was no longer there. (Luke 24:1-8)
- Joseph was stripped of his “coat of many colors”; Yeshua was stripped of His clothes before His crucifixion. (Matt. 27:26-33)
- Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver; Yeshua was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver. (Matt. 27:3-10)
- Joseph’s coat was dipped in blood; Yeshua’s Kingly garments will be stained with blood at His return. (Rev. 19:13)
- Joseph was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife; Yeshua was falsely accused. (Matt. 26:59-60)
- Joseph was stripped of his right standing in Egypt and became a slave in prison; Yeshua emptied Himself to come to earth as a human and was treated as a criminal. (Phil. 2:7-8)
- While in prison, one of those Joseph prophesied over (The Baker) died and one was restored to his former position (The Cupbearer); while on the cross, one criminal joined Yeshua in paradise, the other did not. (Luke 23:39-43)
- Joseph is taken from prison and appointed second in command under Pharaoh; Yeshua is raised from death to the right hand of the Father. (Acts 2:29-33)
Joseph’s Life Continues as a Foreshadow
The parallels are undeniable, making one difference very compelling: Joseph’s life on earth continues on. Considering him as a foreshadow of the work of Yeshua, we have a chance to see what this type of Messiah does as severe hardship befalls the earth. Through the remainder of Joseph’s story, we get a glimpse into what’s ahead for us as Yeshua’s followers as this world enters times of severe hardship.
Let’s look at the parallels between the rest of the story in Genesis 45-47 and the prophecies about our future:
|Joseph’s Experience||End-Times Prophecies|
|The famine of Joseph’s time lasted seven years.||The end-times tribulation is prophesied to last seven years
(Daniel 9:24-27 and Revelation 11:2-13:5)
|Joseph was sent ahead to save his brothers lives “in a great deliverance.”||Yeshua tells us, “Immediately after the distress of those days…the Son of Man will come on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”
|Joseph called Jacob and all of his family members out of their land lest they die of starvation, inviting them to join him in the land of Egypt.||We are instructed to come out of Babylon, symbolic of this world’s system.
(Jeremiah 51 & Revelation 18)
|Joseph prepared Pharaoh and his family ahead of time to be able to settle in the region of Goshen.||Yeshua said, “I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
|In Goshen, Joseph provided everything his family desired from the storehouses of Pharaoh and due to the lush grazing land for their flocks. The Egyptians had to purchase all their food from Joseph, and outside of Egypt there were no provisions at all.||In the context of His second coming, Yeshua said, “Do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.”
|Twenty percent of the crops from the seven abundant years could not feed 100% of the people for seven years of famine. Joseph’s food stores were supernaturally multiplied to feed the world.||God will supernaturally provide for His people during the tribulation. One example is Revelation 12:6: “The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.”|
Imagine Goshen versus the rest of the world. Joseph’s family lived in abundance during the last five years of the famine, surrounded by Egyptians and foreigners who had traded all their livestock, all their land and even themselves just to obtain enough to live on.
Considering Joseph as a type of Messiah, delivering all those who asked from starvation, and considering ourselves as the family of Joseph, this account provides us a picture of how we will be cared for during times of tribulation. We’re in the family of The Provider, Jehovah Jireh!
- Yeshua has been sent ahead to deliver us.
- Yeshua has prepared a place for us.
- We must not rely on this world’s system, but on His provision.
- While we can prepare, we don’t have to worry about how we will sustain ourselves, God will supernaturally provide.