TODAY’S READING: Genesis 48–50
Jacob inserts into his own eschatology (Gen. 49:1) the central nugget that Shiloh will come from the house of Judah and to him shall be the obedience of the people (v. 10). The same sentiment is echoed in Romans three different times when Paul talks about “the obedience to the faith of all nations” (Rom. 1:5; 15:18; 16:26). As Genesis comes to a close, Jacob prophetically opens our eyes to the promise of Jesus in Matthew 24:14 (this gospel of the Kingdom will preached to all people groups and then Shiloh will come) and Revelation 5:9 and 7:9 (around the throne of the King at the end of it all—or better put, the beginning of it all—men and women from every tribe, tongue, and people will worship).
Along the way, we can’t lose the big plot in the smaller pains. God weeps when we miss the big picture because we’re so focused on particular problems (Gen. 50:17). It was not about Joseph being spoiled. It was not about Joseph being thrown in a pit, falsely accused, stewing in prison, or even creating wealth for Pharaoh. It was always about life being saved. It was always about God’s promise to Abraham running unbroken and unhindered through time and place—all the way until Shiloh comes.
Joseph remembered the big picture and held steady to the reality that “God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (v. 20). There is no place for hand-wringing about our culture or our times or the state of the world. Our sovereign God has taken all that was meant for evil and re-purposed it for good in order to bring things about as they are this day, to save many people alive, to save some from every people of earth.
As Joseph himself came to the end of his race, he reminded all who follow that the baton must be continually passed: “I am dying; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land of which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob” (v. 24). And thus Genesis ends as it began—not about land, but about God’s promise to bless every people, every nation on earth through Abraham and his seed. Joseph reminded his brothers and children that every generation inherits this promise and this responsibility. We are to be the brokers of God’s blessings in Jesus to every people group on earth—and then Shiloh will come. Even so, come Lord Jesus.