September 17, 2014

Joseph: the World's Benefactor

Genesis 41:53-57

All the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.
—Genesis 41:57


Joseph’s story and influence have gradually shifted from a local setting (in a family), to a national setting (in the land of Egypt), to a much wider setting described as “all the world.” Indeed, because Joseph, with God’s wisdom, has stored up grain in Egypt against this major famine, Egypt has become the most powerful nation in the known world of its day.

The famine spreads disaster in “all the other lands.” And “all the world” comes to Egypt to find food because the drought is “severe everywhere.”

What is this revealing to us? It is painting a picture of a wondrous possibility: that the entire world, facing death by starvation, can be fed with life-giving nourishment by one person: Joseph. Pharaoh himself tells the people, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”

Again this story points us to Christ and his mission, appointed by God to save the world “when the set time had fully come” (Galatians 4:4). Jesus came to save us, the people of all nations, by feeding his very life into our starving souls.

God’s work in and through Joseph can inspire us to serve faithfully so that God can work in and through us too. As Joseph’s life points to the mission of Jesus in many ways, our lives can reflect that of Jesus, the ultimate Savior and Sustainer of life. In what ways can we be like the voice, hands, and feet of Jesus, bringing goodness and blessing in God’s world today?

Lord Jesus, fill us with your life, and help us to share it, bringing blessing to others in your name. Amen.

About the author — Kenneth D. Koeman

Rev. Ken Koeman is a pastor at Bellevue, Washington, Christian Reformed Church. He has written Today devotions in past years and has also authored numerous articles for The Banner, the magazine of the Christian Reformed Church. Ken and his wife, Kay, live in Bellevue and have two children and five grandchildren.

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