“…Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way” (Genesis 45:21)
This story is a great lesson for the child of grace to know that God has a way of escape in the midst of the famine. Jacob and his family, except Joseph, were in a grievous famine and they had run out of food. Soon, without food, they would all perish from the effects of the famine on the land.
But praise God for His Provision in the famine. (1 Corinthians 10:13) “There hath no temptation (test or trial; James 1:2-4) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” This is exactly what God did for His Chosen People through Pharaoh. (See Genesis 45:17-20.) And this is exactly what Christ has done for His People in His Atonement on the Cross.
It pleased Pharaoh to hear that Joseph’s brothers had come to Egypt and that they were reunited with Joseph (verse 16). Then, Pharaoh commanded Joseph to tell his brothers and family to come to Egypt to live (verses 17 and 18). Pharaoh told Joseph that he would give Joseph’s daddy and family the good of the land and that they would eat the fat of the land (verse 18). Pharaoh also instructed Joseph how he was to move his family to Egypt. Joseph was to send “…wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come” (verse 19).
Pharaoh also commanded Joseph to tell his daddy and family to leave their “…stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours” (verse 20). Joseph did as Pharaoh had commanded. He sent wagons to bring the little ones, the wives, and his father to Egypt. Plus, as verse 21 says, “…and gave them provision for the way.” In verses 22-28, the wagons were sent to Jacob; he was also told Joseph was alive; Jacob believed them not and he fainted. But when Jacob was told of all that Joseph had said, and when he saw the wagons (or the way of provision to escape the famine, or trial), Jacob revived and said, “…It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die” (verse 28). This Jacob and his family did, as is recorded in Genesis 46, 47, and 48.
This story is also rich in typology of God’s provision for the child of grace in the famine of this wicked world and even in individual trials that come by appointment to the child of grace in his earthly journey. Note the typology:
- Pharaoh gave the commandment to Joseph to make provision for Israel, God’s covenanted people. So God the Father gave the commandment to His Son, Jesus, to make provision for His Seed (John 3:16). So the Father is the Sender of the Son to and for His Seed’s Salvation in the famine of sin (Romans 6:23).
- Joseph is a type of Christ who carried out the Eternal Purpose in making provision through His Office Work in a human body, yet without sin (John 1:29; 2 Corinthians 5:21).
- The wagons type out the provision itself, which is Salvation in Christ (Romans 8:29-39); which includes Regeneration, Sanctification, and Glorification.
- Regarding not their “stuff” types out leaving the things of this world in exchange for the good of Egypt (here Egypt stands for the Kingdom of God).
- The “provision for the way” types out the ministry of the Holy Spirit in giving His Seed power to overcome all barriers; and giving perception, or understanding, of Christ and His Benefits living within them (Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19).
The application found in our text for the child of grace is to give Hope in the Eternal Purpose, whichis God’s Provision in Christ Jesus.God’s wagon is our provision for the way of Salvation. In this wagon are:
- Eternal Justification, in the mind of God before time (1 Peter 1:18-20; Ephesians 1:3-11). That is, the people of God have always been Justified (or declared righteous) in the Purpose of God in Christ;
- Judicial Justification, which deals with Christ’s Atoning Work on the Cross in time (Romans 3:24-25; 5:1-2); and
- Experiential Justification, which is when a person experiences the New Birth and knows without doubt that he is saved in Christ’s Work on the Cross as his own personal Sacrifice, Substitute, and Savior (Galatians 4:1-7; John 3:1-8; Romans 8:14-16), and comes to make confession of the same.
Christ is “The Provision” for His Seed (1 Corinthians 5:21). He is the “Wagon,” “our salvation,” to provide for His people in the journey of life as they are allowed to enjoy the good of His Kingdom and to eat of the fat of the land and to see the glory of Joseph (Genesis 45:18, 13), or Christ, as King of kings and Lord of lords (John 14:1-6; 17:1-26).
The Holy Spirit is the Perception and Power of the Provision for the way. John 3:3-8 explains that you cannot see the Kingdom of God and you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God without the New Birth. Therefore, He is the Power of God working in the children of Promise (Romans 8:1-16; Philippians 2:13; 4:13, 19; Ephesians 3:16; 2 Timothy 1:8-11; Galatians 2:20). He is the Teacher and Guide (1 Corinthians 2:9-16; John 16:13-14); He is the Sustainer and the Preserver and the Seal of the Seed of God (Ephesians 1:13-14), until the redemption of the purchased possession. He is the Righteousness, Peace, and Joy of the Seed of God (Romans 14:17).
Child of God, leave your “stuff” (your wisdom, your pride, your strength, your riches, your earthly ties; which will not last; which cannot sustain you; which moth and rust corrupt) and come to know the benefits of the King, of His Glory, and of His Kingdom. If you are to make the journey through the famine, you must partake of the wagon, which is The Provision for the way. You must come to confess Christ is The Provision for the way, and it is His Life living in you and through you wherein you stand and rejoice and have perfect peace in the midst of the famine.