Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him. (Genesis 37:3-4)
The animosity between Joseph and his brothers was certainly unfortunate and, to some degree, tragic. However the exile of Joseph into Egypt had to happen; it was foretold to Abraham in Genesis 15 at Covenant of the Pieces. Still, why did have to happen at the hand of his own brothers? The obvious answer is that Joseph’s suffering had something to do with what would transpire with the Messiah. Of Yeshua it is written, “He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him” (John 1:11). Likewise, Joseph’s brothers despised him and would not consider him their leader and, yet he would rule anyway, even if among the Gentiles. Wherever he went, he ruled whether in Potiphar’s house, the prison house or Egypt itself. This is the pattern we see in the coming of Messiah to His own.
He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return…. But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’” (Luke 19:12, 14)
This parable was validated later when Yeshua was crucified. Given the opportunity to release Him from Pilate, the crowd led by the chief priests declared, “Away with him, crucify him! … We have no king but Caesar” (John 19:14). However, like the cruel actions of Joseph’s brothers, these actions played a role in God’s purposes.
In Joseph’s case, he was in Egypt that he might be Israel’s savior in a time of famine. This would lay groundwork for Exodus and journey to Sinai. The rejection of Yeshua by His brethren laid the groundwork for God’s greater purpose — that you and I might come into the family of God. According to the Psalmist, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes” (Psalm 18:22-23).
Who would consider it marvelous that He was rejected and then crucified? I would as should you considering that this was the way that led to our salvation. Others may have refused to acknowledge Him as King but let it never be that we refuse to acknowledge Him as such. He was King, He is King and He will be King. Amen!
Blessings and Shalom,