“Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and clothed garments of fine linen and put a gold chain about his neck.” (Genesis 41:42)
For Pharaoh to place his signet ring on Joseph’s finger symbolized that he bestowed royal authority upon Joseph – he was, in effect, the leader of the government. He would have the authority to seal decrees as he saw fit. Bestowing the gold collar upon him was a custom peculiar to Egyptian culture and was done to acknowledge someone of distinction. In this case it was to signify that Joseph was the Royal Viceroy. It is apparent that, due to the dramatic chain of events and Joseph’s wise counsel, Pharaoh instinctively trusted him and entrusted his kingdom to him. Thus, the one who had been despised by his own was given all authority over the land of Egypt.
This element of the story is overtly prophetic and messianic. It screams to us, “This is about the Messiah” who, according to Isaiah, would be “Despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; … yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:3-4). As I said yesterday, there is no glory without the suffering. This is something that Messiah acknowledged to His disciples when He encountered them on the road to Emmaus — “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:26).
In today’s world it is far too easy to be overwhelmed with the threats and intimidation that come from those in seats of power. In every land there are those who use their authority to “lord it” over others (Matthew 20:25) because that is the way of the nations. In so doing, these same nations reject and despise the One who is sovereign and whose laws are righteous and just. Yes, they have been given a season to do such but, one day thanks be unto God, the Despised and Rejected One will ascend to His Throne and rule and reign with justice and righteousness. As Isaiah prophesied:
“The government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
Kings and kingdoms come and go; governments and rulers rise and fall. But one day His Kingdom on this earth will be a reality and, so, let us take comfort in this truth.
Blessings and Shalom,