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You are here: Home arrow Brochures arrow Religious History arrow He Sent a Man Before Them - Even Joseph

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In reviewing the history of the many lives of the Old Testament, the sacred record presents to us a wide variety of personalities. Every character whose lives, words or deeds that became a part of Biblical history was necessary to develop God’s master plan for His glory in the earth. One Biblical character whose life and destiny that has been woven into the fabric of human history is Joseph, the eleventh son of the patriarch Jacob. The magnitude of the divine promise given to Joseph’s great grandfather in the Abrahamic Covenant is actually fulfilled in the dual offspring of this one who was “separate from his brethren” Gen 49:26.

The inspired writer of Psalm 105 in recounting the covenantal relationship of the Abrahamic family, succinctly and briefly states the major part in which the Lord used Joseph to preserve the chosen family. The text reads; “He [God] sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him. The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.” Psa. 105:17-22.

The sterling character and undying faith displayed by Joseph during extremely difficult days in Egypt were formed in him when he was a lad while still at home with his father Jacob. The birthright blessing which he and his offspring received was his long before his dying father verbalized it in prophetic form as recorded in Genesis 48:1-22 and 49:22-26. The Lord Himself had predestined Joseph to be the possessor of the family birthright (I Chron. 5:1-2) and leader over all his brethren.

It has been said that some leaders are made while other leaders are born. In the case of Joseph, his leadership ability was predestined by divine election before he was born and then formed and cultivated into his character by the Holy Spirit while going through the ‘school of hard knocks.’ When Joseph shared his first dream of the sheaves in the field with his brethren, they were perceptive enough to its meaning to retort with the envious questions, “Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?” Gen. 37:5-8 Even his godly father Jacob seemed shocked when hearing of Joseph’s second dream of the sun, moon and eleven stars bowing down to Joseph. This idea seemed preposterous to Jacob and therefore Joseph was rebuked with the questions, “What is this dream that thou has dreamed? Shall I and they mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth?” Gen. 37:10

Even though there were very difficult days ahead for both Joseph and his brethren, it is evident that the Lord was not only training Joseph for leadership over his family, but also getting his brethren use to the idea. The brief commentary on the life of Joseph found in the words of King David in Psa. 105:19 is the highest compliment to Joseph’s undying faith in the promises of God. It says, “until the time that his word came; the word of the Lord tried him.” In paraphrased and amplified form the Psalmist is telling us “until the time of Joseph’s deliverance from the Egyptian prison and exaltation to the position of prime minister over all the land, the only source of his trust and confidence was the word of the Lord as revealed to him in the dreams he had as a young lad.”

It’s an amazing fact, understood only through the truth of divine election, that the Lord chose Joseph’s two sons and their offspring to be the ones to rise to leadership prominence around which the story of human history would be woven. In spite of the false theory of equalitarianism that has pervaded both secular and religious institutions, it is obvious that the Almighty has programmed into the genetic and spiritual DNA of Ephraim and Manasseh the quality of character to rise to leadership prominence in the earth even to this present day. The divine destiny of cultural, economic, technological, agricultural, governmental and spiritual leadership is clearly seen in the modern nations of Great Britain and the United States.

It was upon the onyx stones which represented the dual tribe of Joseph that the names of the twelve tribes were engraved. God clearly commanded Moses; “And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel: Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth.” Ex. 28:9-10. This command would have been meaningless without God’s further command to place these two onyx stones upon the shoulders of the High Priest. God said, “And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.” Ex. 28:12.

It is extremely significant that through the lips of the silver-tongue prophet Isaiah, the Lord said that the government would be upon the shoulders of the Messiah. This familiar prophecy reads; “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder:” Isa. 9:6. Obviously, the use of the singular word, ‘shoulder’ refers to both shoulders. Otherwise which shoulder would the government rest upon? The prophecy of the duality of greatness concerning Ephraim and Manasseh as spoken by their ‘father’ Jacob; the duality of the onyx stones upon which the names of the twelve tribes were engraved as a memorial before the Lord and placed upon the shoulders of Aaron; and the unmistakable prophecy of Isaiah that government would be upon the shoulders of the promised son of David is undeniable proof that the spiritual and civil leadership in the earth would be invested and executed in a duality of nations. Jesus Christ is the rightful heir of King David, yet God has destined to leadership greatness the dual tribe of Joseph whereby to execute His law of equity and righteousness in the earth.

The promise was made that “the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come . . .” Gen. 49:10. Without a doubt, this coincides with the promise of the angel Gabriel to the virgin Mary when he said “and the Lord God shall give unto him [Jesus] the throne of his father David” Luke 1:32. Yet at the same time, the dual tribe of Joseph was the one whom Jacob prophesied “from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:” Gen. 49:24. The psalmist Asaph said that this same shepherd of Israel leads Joseph like a flock. Psa. 80:1. In the Mosaic blessings of each tribe, it is the horns of Joseph that “shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh,” Deut. 33:17. It’s the dual tribe of Joseph currently existing in the earth that makes a suitable cultural and spiritual environment for the throne of David to exist. Historically, it has been the two great nations of Great Britain and America that has been responsible for the cultivation and nurturing of the Christian Faith and the acknowledgement of Jesus Christ as the only true God and Savior of the Adamic race. Therefore, it has been under the leadership of Joseph’s two sons that has made it possible so that “unto him [Jesus and the Christian faith] shall the gathering of the people be,” Gen. 49:10.
 
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"TO SERVE THE PRESENT AGE,
MY CALLING TO FULFIL,
O MAY IT ALL MY POWERS ENGAGE,
TO DO MY MASTER'S WILL!"

MAYNARD G. JAMES
(1902-1988)
HOLINESS EVANGELIST

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