Harold S. Paisley
Excerpt from This Joseph by Harold S. Paisley
Seven things were given to Joseph when he was installed to his high office in the government of Egypt: a ring, a robe, a chain, a chariot, a proclamation, a name and a bride. We are intrigued with the insignias of glory bestowed upon the beloved son, the perfect servant, the silent sufferer, who now becomes the supreme sovereign in the administration of the kingdom. As before, in all this our eyes behold the One who is greater than Joseph, the One in whom God ever found joy and delights to honor.
1. The Signet Ring: The Seal of Authority.
This is a beautiful illustration of the official glory of Christ. And Pharaoh took the signet ring from off his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand (Genesis 41:42). This marked Joseph as the man who had supreme authority given into his hand. The signet ring was used in imprinting any document decreed by the king causing its content to become the law of Egypt. Pharaoh thus placed all authority in Joseph. Pharaoh invested tremendous power in Joseph, bringing responsibilities which he could only handle with God's help. The ring upon his hand was the seal of authority, and also of confidence. Joseph's hand is a subject mentioned many times: the hand of the servant, filled with blessing for others; the hand wounded in the prison, hurt no doubt as were his feet by chains; but now that same hand carries the evidence of all authority. Our glorious Lord, who once was subjected to toil and pain, has been highly exalted now and all authority in heaven and on earth is in His hand (Matthew 28:18). We rejoice in the present glory of Christ.
Joseph as a type of the Lord in exaltation is accurate in many details. For example, Joseph shared the throne of Pharaoh. So we read of the Lord Jesus who said, I overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne (Revelation 3:21). One day Christ will sit on his own throne, as Israel's King, in Jerusalem, the city of the great King. Today He sits upon His Father's throne, rejected by the world and His own nation of Israel.
2. The Vestures of Fine Linen: The Sign of Advancement.
And Pharaoh arrayed him in vestures of fine linen tGenesis 41:42). In the apparel of a statesman we have a revelation of his moral glory. Pharaoh in bestowing this robe sought to reverse the act of Potiphar's wife who removed Joseph's robe. He cleared the name of the one who had been subject to slander and suffering. Joseph had been stripped of his coat of many colors, the emblem of his sonship. He left his servant's raiment in the house of his master. He left the garment of the sufferer at the scene of his sorrow, to be replaced with the vestures of royal favor and righteous vindication.
God's answer to the deep trials of His beloved Son is His present glorious position as the Great High Priest in garments of glory and beauty. We rejoice in the moral perfection of the Lord Jesus down here and the answering glory now above. We compare the description of our glorified Lord as given by John when he saw Him on the Patmos vision: Clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle (Revelation 1:13).
3. The Golden Chain: The Symbol of Assignment.
When Pharaoh put the golden chain about Joseph's neck, it was the insignia of his high office and an evidence of essential worth and glory. Gold is the sovereign metal and points to the absolute and essential Godhead of the Lord Jesus. Joseph wore a chain of iron around his feet (Psalm 105:17,18) as a lowly captive, but he exchanged this for a chain of gold around his neck, as a lofty celebrity.
Many practical lessons may be observed. Once the chain of sin, like iron, fettered our walk, but thank God the iron yoke has broken and the chains are gone. The believer now wears a golden chain of love and salvation. In possession of such dignity, we should seek to manifest our heavenly position.
To be continued.