New Blog Post: Genesis 47: Joseph Saves Lives

I enjoy the throne room scene in this chapter.  We can imagine Pharoah and his court in all its pomp and glory.  Then in walks an old Hebrew nobleman, Jacob, shuffling a long, leaning on his staff.  This is supposed to be Jacob’s audience with Pharaoh, but the author portrays it more as Pharaoh’s audience with Jacob.  Who is the esteemed one here?  Jacob is the elder statesman, and the elderly were highly esteemed in the ancient world.  Also, notice how Jacob blesses Pharaoh–not the other way around.  It strikes me that Jacob is fulfilling the Abrahamic Covenant before our eyes, as he blesses the King of Egypt.  Joseph also blesses the world (again, Abrahamic Covenant–see Gen. 15 & 17) as he saves Egypt and the surrounding nations from famine.  We may feel bad for the Egyptians, who gave everything they had to Joseph (including themselves!) in exchange for food.  But one commentator explains that slavery was an acceptable way for an ancient person to avoid poverty.  These people were trying to survive the famine, and as slaves, Joseph would provide for their needs.  So in this story, the Lord used Joseph to save lives and bless the world.  This makes me wonder how I/we are being used to do the same.  How are we being a blessing to the world?

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