Joseph was only seventeen years old when he was sold as a slave in Egypt by his brothers, for twenty pieces of silver. During the thirteen years he was a slave, he must often have thought of how he was well loved by his beloved father Jacob, of his favourite brother Benjamin, and of the old home. But before his troubles came, he had learned to trust God; and though he was a slave, people soon begun to find out that God was with him. He was so faithful in all he did that his master proved that he could be trusted, and things went well when Joseph was looking after them. But Joseph went a step lower. He was put in prison because of a false accusation brought against him.
Joseph was a dreamer, and before he was a slave, he had dreamt that he would be a great ruler and his father and brothers would bow down before him, which greatly angered his brothers when he told them about the dreams, and they were determined to prevent his dreams from coming true. He could also interpret dreams, and during his slavery and prison time,and all those thirteen years, he must often have wondered how the dreams were to come true.
Joseph had two fellow- prisoners, and one night they each had a dream, and they did not know what the dreams signified, but Joseph was able to tell them and their dreams soon came true. It was through his fellow-prisoner that he was at last brought before the notice of the King of Egypt. And now the fulfilment of Joseph's dreams was coming near.
The King had two dreams, and neither he nor anyone else in the palace could tell what they meant. When the King learnt that Joseph, who was still in prison, could interpret dreams, he sent to fetch Joseph out of the prison, who was very quickly brought him. The King told Joseph his dreams, and Joseph at once saw that God had sent them to him to prepare him for what was coming.
Joseph not only interpreted the dreams, but advised the King what to do to prepare for the famine signified by the dreams. The King was so pleased with Joseph and his wisdom that he made him ruler over all the whole land, to carry out the plans which he had suggested. Everyone in Egypt was told to bow down before Joseph. But though the people of Egypt bowed down before Joseph, his father and brothers had not done so yet.
The famine was very bad in other countries, and soon the news spread that there was corn in Egypt, so that from all parts of the world the people thronged the palace and store houses of Joseph. At last Joseph saw his brothers amongst the crowd, and he knew them at once, but they did not know him, and they bowed to him like the other people from other countries who had come to buy some corn in Egypt. So his dreams at last came true.
The beautiful story of Joseph is not only very interesting in itself, but is one of the most striking and wonderful picture of the life and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. He too was the well loved of his father: His brethren, the sons of Israel or Jacob, hated Him "without a cause." They envied Him, and at last tried to get rid of Him by nailing Him to the cross. He had left His father's house when He "took upon Him the form of a servant;" but God was with Him all the time just like Joseph. He too was sold for the price of a slave. We read in the psalm that in prison they hurt Joseph's feet with felters, but they pierced feet of the Lord Jesus with cruel nails.
Joseph had two fellow-prisoners and this reminds us that when the Lord Jesus was crucified there were two other who were evil-doers, or malefactors, one benefiting from the encounter while the other did not. The way to the throne for Joseph was through the prison house, and he had only to wait God's time. The Lord Jesus had to go to the cross first, but He will sit upon His throne. The king was so pleased with Joseph when he interpreted his dreams that he made him ruler over the land. So here again we see in Joseph a picture of the Lord Jesus, who has been exalted by God after dying for us on the cross, and like Joseph, " given a name which is above every other name, and at the name of Jesus every knee should bow"
Today Jesus is the only one who can feed our souls, and satisfy all hungry hearts. When we come to God to tell Him that we long for peace, He tells us to go to the Lord Jesus who opens all His storehouses as Joseph did, and gives us as much as we can carry (Genesis 44: 1).
Rev. Dr. Samuel Ndungu