Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Monday after the Festival of the Transfiguration of our Lord

Posted on February 11, 2019 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: Genesis 41:38-57 (NKJV)
41:38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?”
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring off his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand; and he clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 And he had him ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried out before him, “Bow the knee!” So he set him over all the land of Egypt. 44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, and without your consent no man may lift his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” 45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnath-Paaneah. And he gave him as a wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On. So Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.
46 Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 47 Now in the seven plentiful years the ground brought forth abundantly. 48 So he gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them. 49 Joseph gathered very much grain, as the sand of the sea, until he stopped counting, for it was immeasurable.
50 And to Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. 51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” 52 And the name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
53 Then the seven years of plenty which were in the land of Egypt ended, 54 and the seven years of famine began to come, as Joseph had said. The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 55 So when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread. Then Pharaoh said to all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph; whatever he says to you, do.” 56 The famine was over all the face of the earth, and Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold to the Egyptians. And the famine became severe in the land of Egypt. 57 So all countries came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain, because the famine was severe in all lands.
All of our reading of the Old Testament ought to be Christocentric. Nothing in the Old Testament is simply there for historical record-keeping. Here too in this story of Joseph and his rising to great importance in Egypt we find an image of Christ. Joseph is a type of Christ here, and it is in the most obvious way. In verse 54 it says: “The famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.” There was bread in the land of Egypt because of Joseph. Joseph gave out life in a world of death.
Our world is starving spiritually. In our twenty-first century over-abundance, men are skin and bones spiritually. They try to eat the husks of rationalism, pluralism, or socialism, but find no sustenance. The spiritually starving turn to false religions and generic spirituality, but find them empty and not able to feed the soul. There is only one store house in this world where one can find the Bread of Life. The Church is the storehouse, and the Eucharist is the bread.
Joseph is a type of Christ. Jesus Christ gives out the Bread of Life from His inexhaustible stores, and the whole world is welcome. Christ is our Bread of Life, and He leads us on our pilgrimage. We, like Joseph, may not know how God is leading us through this world, but, like Joseph, we trust that our God will lead us to safety and blessing.
We pray: Lord God, help us to trust You through difficult times, and remind us always where our life is to be found. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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