Joseph was a famous person of the Old Testament. He was the favourite son of his father, but hated by his elder brothers because of jealousy. His father sent him to visit them, but they plotted to kill him instead. Finally, they sold him into slavery in Egypt. Although Joseph turned from a beloved son into a slave, he still feared God. The Lord was with him and gave him success in everything he did, so that he gained the confidence of his master. Later on, he rebuked the advances of his mistress, and was falsely accused and thrown into prison. But God was still with him, and he found favour in the eyes of the prison warden. The pain of wrongful imprisonment did not strip Joseph’s heart of the fear of God. The Lord revealed what would happen in the future in a dream to Pharaoh, and interpreted that dream to the king through Joseph. From then on Pharaoh trusted Joseph, and gave him the important responsibility of governing all of Egypt. So Joseph was elevated from a prisoner to the chief minister. Pharaoh granted him the highest authority, and awarded him a noble name: “Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah.” (Genesis 41:45) This name meant “all riches and glory are bound to his person”. Joseph had surpassing wisdom and ability, and fully received the help of God. In seven abundant years, he stored up much food for Egypt. When the seven years of famine came, many people came to Joseph to plead for food. So lives were preserved because of Joseph, and people from his whole country and the surrounding areas all received his blessing.
In this age, people enjoy a bountiful materialistic life. Yet vices and morality decay continuously. The people of the world give free rein to their desires and commit transgressions. They look but do not see the revelations exposed by the one true God within the cosmos and throughout history, deliberately denying the existence of God, and not knowing that a frightening destruction is about to befall mankind. Just as had occurred to Egypt in the past, after the abundant harvest, a great and fearful calamity would come. According to the Bible’s revelation, the course of the world’s progression will only become more and more difficult. Natural disasters and human tragedies will happen more and more frequently. The tide of false doctrines, heresies, iniquities and opposition to God will become more and more pronounced. Most will not care why God will judge the world, and won’t seek to understand who Christ is.
God loves deeply the people He created. Before the coming of that great and fearful day of punishment, He first sent His beloved Son Jesus to earth. Christ served humbly as a servant, preaching the Gospel of Salvation to mankind, and testified to His true deity through miracles and signs. But the Jews were hard-hearted and rejected Him, even nailing Him to the cross. God however redeemed the sins of man through the death of Jesus, and also resurrected Him from the dead, bestowing life to those who repented their sins to God and accepted Christ as their Saviour. Not only that, God also exalted and glorified Christ, giving Him the name that is above every name, so that at His name all the living and the dead in heaven and on earth will bow down and worship Him, confessing that Jesus is Lord and Christ, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). The honour and glory of Christ exceed that of Joseph, for He owns many more noble and glorious names (Revelations 19:12, 16). The prophet Isaiah in the Old Testament had long ago prophesied, “He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Almighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) The book of Matthew records, “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins….They will call Him Immanuel, which means, ‘God with us.’” (Matthew 1:21, 23) Jesus Christ became the eternal Saviour of mankind. The salvation He brings far exceeds the work of Joseph. For He loves mankind and even died for sinners, so that all who call upon Him and trust in Him will cast off their sins and eternal punishment. Behold, there is one man greater than Joseph!
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
By: Daniel To