All through the Scriptures and down through the corridors of history, we see many patterns. Recently we spoke about the patterns of God calling His people into the desert to find life. Of course this, like so many of the patterns we find in Scripture are counter-intuitive. That is because, one is of the flesh , the wisdom of man, and one is of the Spirit, the wisdom of God that confounds man.
I want to speak this morning about one of these patterns. We see in Scripture, when God calls a man or a people, there is always a competing element that comes against that which He has called. We see that with Cain and Abel and Saul and David, Jesus and the Pharisees , the Catholic church and the martyrs and so on. We saw it with Isaac and Ishmael. One was of the promise and the other one was birthed in an attempt to fulfill the promise by human efforts. One of the flesh, one of the Spirit and the flesh would come to persecute the one of the Spirit. We see it again in Jacob.
To him was the promise yet he attempted in his flesh to fulfill that which was already promised. Even although there were two brothers in the same womb, and even although one was the elder,and the Scriptures say that there was two nations within the womb of Rebekah, to only one was the promise. Jacob would eventually flee from his rightful place because he feared the vengeance of his brother.
Now, we see this pattern continue in Joseph. And it is Joseph I would like to focus on this morning. Joseph was highly favored of his father and he was hated by his brothers for it. First we see that Joseph brought an " evil report," about his brothers. His brothers, away from the presence of their Father, would live in another fashion, an ungodly fashion. For lack of a better phrase, they were hypocrites. Now we know the hatred that was aroused against Jesus when He unveiled the hypocrisy of the pharisees and of course they would plot His downfall and death. We see the same pattern emerge with Joseph.
Not only was he highly favored by his father and dressed in particular robes that would set him apart, he also had dreams and visions. When his brothers finally had opportunity to settle their scores with Joseph, they would act according to their natures and we know that they would have killed him but decided to sell him into slavery and then go back and lie to their father, something they were well accustomed to.
Now here is the point I am coming to. Joseph of course, was a type, a type of the Church to come. A perfect example of our own journey as remnant sojourning saints. Gods genuine children have the same opposition today. As the persecution arises, it will undoubtedly be by those who call themselves after the name of Jesus. Yet each child of God will be prepared for what is to come. The desert experience, the wilderness experience that God has called us to is akin to Joseph's long journey back. Of course Joseph was enslaved, falsely accused , imprisoned and oftentimes thought he had been forgotten.
Yet God never abandoned him and even allowed him to find favor in the midst of his trials. And we see that the pinnacle of Joseph's walk comes in the midst of a terrible famine. It's this famine that brings his brothers to a place where they can confront their past. It is in the midst of this severe famine that reconciliation and forgiveness is brought about. Can I suggest that only in a set of circumstances like this can a unity be brought about in the Body of Christ. Just as persecution scattered the saints from Jerusalem and caused them to take the Gospel everywhere, the coming persecution will cause us to gather together again.
God is raising up a people who will hold out the chance of life in the midst of death. With spiritual starvation all around us, God has prepared vessels and He has filled them with oil. They will bring light when gross darkness covers the land. They will take what they have been given and they will share and feed the hungry and give living waters to those who thirst. So brothers and sisters, saints and children of the living God. Although it may seem that you have been forgotten , that is not true.
God is preparing you. Be patient, wait upon the Lord, continue and be steadfast. The time is fast approaching and the Bridegroom is surely coming. Yet, just as it is darkest just before the dawn, so prior to the light of heaven shining for all to see, there will come the greatest darkness ever known.
And it is for this purpose that we were born. For we have been called to shine in this darkness and stand firm as all around us descends into chaos and hell. Out of all of this will bring a separation and then we shall know who are the children of promise and who are the children of the flesh. One is life and brings life to others, and the other is death and brings death and persecution to the saints. Yet, in the midst of the severest fire stands the Holy one of God, Christ Himself. We will stand with Him and we shall overcome by the Blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimonies and this equally vital part, that we love not our lives unto death.
No matter what comes, we shall never deny our Lord who is our very life. May the Spirit of the Lord encourage you today. He goes before you and He is your rear-guard. What you could never do in the flesh, you shall rise up and do by the power of His Spirit. God is with you, God has been with you, and God will always be with you. Amen!