Joseph vs Jesus

I came across this interesting comparison of parallels between Joseph and Jesus. Some great food for thought.

Joseph and Jesus Compared

  • Joseph was a shepherd
  • Jesus was our Shepherd
  • Joseph was a beloved son
  • Jesus was a beloved Son
  • Joseph was stripped of his tunic
  • Jesus was stripped of His tunic
  • Joseph was sold for twenty pieces of silver by Judah
  • Jesus was betrayed for thirty pieces of silver by Judas
  • Joseph was abandoned by his brothers
  • Jesus was abandoned by His disciples
  • Joseph was falsely accused of crime
  • Jesus was falsely accused of crime
  • Joseph was imprisoned with two criminals, one of whom would be released
  • Jesus was crucified with two criminals, one of whom would be saved
  • Joseph was became ruler of all the land
  • Jesus was became King of heaven
  • Joseph provided food to hungry people
  • Jesus provided food to hungry people
  • Joseph was reunited with his brothers, who bowed down to him
  • Jesus was reunited with His disciples, who worshiped Him
  • Joseph was reunited with his father
  • Jesus was reunited with the Father in Him

Abraham’s Faith

“If you despair in knowing you do not have Abram’s faith, take comfort in knowing you have Abram’s God. He can build in you the faith of Abram, because He built it in Abram himself.” -David Guzik

Ark of Salvation

I was watching a Ken Ham video clip about Dinosaurs and the Bible tonight, and aside from the double entertainment value of his fun Aussie accent, there was an interesting parallel he drew between Noah’s ark, and Jesus.

The only way to be saved was to walk through the door of the ark. Jesus likewise is the door to (eternal) salvation (see John 10:9). In both cases many don’t believe and choose not to walk through the door and perish. I never really thought about the door of the ark being symbolic of the cross before…but somehow seeing a video where they make an illustration of “you need to come through the doorway to be saved” with pictures, it seemed so obvious and John 10:9 “I am the door” comes immediately to mind.

And keep in mind the bible also says the next judgment will not be by water but by fire… (2 Peter 3:6-7)

Abraham: Promises of God

Probably all of us are at least somewhat familiar with the story of Abraham, and remember his frequent title as the “father of faith” and remember his acts of faith being credited to him as righteousness, such as tithing to Melchizedek and taking his son up on the mountain as an offering to God.

Do you remember what God promised Abraham in Genesis 15:4? God said “this man will not be your heir, but one who will come forth out of your own body shall be your heir”. God promised him offspring, and not only that but that his descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky (Gen 15:5).

But somewhere in that I see a lacking in faith. He could have had faith that God would bless his wife Sarah with child, but when they just weren’t…ahem…making any babies, successfully…Sarah doesn’t have the faith (at that point) that God is going to give them a child within God’s design for a man and a woman, and tells her husband to sleep with her servant and get her pregnant. And the result of that whole fiasco was Islam (Ishmael), and a blessing by God to multiply his descendants to be “too many to count”. And when God says no, he’s going to establish his covenant with a son of Sarah, not Ishmael, (Gen 17:19) they have some disbelief in their heart. “Abraham fell on his face and laughed.” In his heart he said, ‘Will a child be born to a man 100 years old. And will Sarah who is 90 bear a child?” (Gen 17:17)

Sometimes God’s promises seem crazy, they seem impossible. Everyone knows nobody who’s 90 years old can get pregnant. That’s just crazy. But sometimes God promises us things that seem crazy too.

But I challenge you: What has God promised you that you aren’t taking him seriously about?

Its so easy to have that doubt, even the “father of faith” doubted God’s promises. Has God spoken something into your life, but you just laugh and say “that’s never going to happen” and start plotting in your own fleshly way how to “make God’s promise” a reality…but not quite in the way God intended? When really, God was just saying, hold on just a little longer in faith that I do come through on my promises?….God wants to bless you with things he’s already promised you.

Are you waiting in eager expectation for the blessing God has individually promised you? I challenge you to take God at his word that he is faithful, no matter what circumstances may lead you to believe. God is greater than our circumstances. And he has some huge blessings he wants to do in your life.

(Its interesting to note also that despite Abraham’s doubts that God could give him a child, he still was obedient to what God told him to do, and had his entire family circumcised, even at his old age. There are further implications you can draw from this…)

Genesis 5: Beauty and the Shadow

I was reading Genesis chapter five today, and I know some of you groan “not another genealogy” but I kind of get all excited, because there’s a lot of interesting under the surface meanings that you discover if you actually study them rather than just read them; like for one thing, in Hebrew culture, names are more than “just a name”, its supposed to represent the essence of the being, which as you may remember is why it was such a big deal that Abram, Sarai, even Saul were given new names in the bible. There’s some interesting names in those lists of who begot who.

Many of you have probably heard Genesis is the “book of beginnings”. But do you know who the first person named in the bible for having two wives was?

His name was Lamech, which means “powerful” in Hebrew (says Strongs). He was a descendant of Cain (yeah, that same guy who killed Abel, you remember your bible history right), one of the seventh generation of mankind. He was also the first person in the bible to kill under the guise of self-defense (but that verse could be a whole other sermon in itself).

His two wives names? Adah and Zillah. Adah means Ornament or Beauty. Zillah means Shade or Shadow.

Beauty and the Shadow. Lovely. Gives quite a mental image of what the dynamic is when you step outside “God’s design” of a man and his wife. Someone gets left in the shadow. Isn’t that always the way its been since the beginning of time? Having two women never quite worked out for everyone involved, did it? Wouldn’t you just really love to be Zillah, living in the shadow of the more beautiful wife of your husband? What does this tell you about God’s design for marriage? Its an interesting thought to ponder.

If you want some bonus nuggets, or bible study idea: cities in the bible, who built them, why, what kind of character did the people starting cities have, were those people godly, what was God’s reaction to the city, were they in obedience to God…there are a lot of questions you can ask yourself. For some starter nuggets: Cain built the very first city. Nimrod built the first kingdom including the city of Babel–and we all have a pretty good idea how God felt about them building the city of Babel, rather than dispersing to fill the earth like God had commanded. It kind of seems like a little bit of a trend. What a contrast to the cities in Revelation, the cities of God versus the cities of Man in Genesis.

Genesis Sermon

I was listening to one of Mike Macintosh’s old sermons and he took this long detour through talking about Joseph going to Egypt with his wife Sarai. It was interesting to listen to a “different perspective” than the one I got from hearing Miles sermon on it–it just had a different emphasis. Mike pointed out (which apparently this never hit me before) that when Abraham is saying his wife is all hot and the king’s going to want her, you’re talking about a 60 or 70 year old lady being called such an attractive babe that the king’s gonna want to meet her. Wow. Flattering yes, but something about putting it that way makes it almost seem like an unfounded fear of what might happen. The rest of it was interesting too, emphasizing the duties of a christian husband as a model of Christ, and how Abraham was just not living up to that and not encouraging his wife’s faith (eg. they’re both laughing at god’s promises) like his asking his wife to lie to protect his back rather than what he should have been doing, warning her and opening up some honest conversation and encouraging her to be strong against temptation such as the king or whoever else

The Nephilim (Genesis)

“The Nephilim were on the earth in those days–and also afterward–when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were heroes of old, men of renown.”

Do you know what a Nephilim is? In Hebrew, it literally means “the fallen ones” (or equivalently “those who have fallen”), but is translated into greek from “gigantes” to either giants or “earth born”, doesn’t make another reappearance until the book of numbers:

“We saw the Nephilim there (the descendents of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

In context there, this is when Moses and his people have just scouted out the promised land and basically are like “Yeah, the land’s great, its abundant with food–its the land of milk and honey–but umm, one small problem there’s giants there, lets just forget it, this whole promised land thing just isn’t worth if it if we have to deal with giants”

And there’s other references of Anak’s descendants and stuff, but the Nephilim are only directly mentioned twice in the entire bible, elusive like Melchizedek.