Thursday, April 18, 2013
Today’s Topic: The Revealer of Secrets
Today’s Text: Genesis 41:45 (ESV) And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah.
When I was in fourth grade I tried to change my name. I was fascinated with the story of Jonathon in the Bible, and wanted to be just like him. So on all of my schoolwork I changed my name. It didn’t take long for the teacher to call my parents into a conference and explain that I was a troubled boy, at least in the area of identity. My parents were upset and demanded I stop using that name and return to my given name because it had significance for them. To this day I have never been told what that significance was, but I obliged.
I’ve been called many other names in my life. I had nicknames like Gork, Stringbean, and Trumpet. The first one was likeable because it was a derivative of my name, but the others were not so fun because they reflected physical appearance. I will leave you to determine what Trumpet referred to.
Names are meant to be significant. It is by the name of Jesus that we are saved, and in this case it represents both character and mission. Some names in the Bible reflected physical appearance, like Esau. The names we give our children may have family significance. Sometimes names were changed to reflect a change in a person’s life, like Saul to Paul or like Joseph to Zaphenath-paneah. Not a household name is it, but it has deep significance.
Joseph’s new name was given to him by Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt. It occurred right after Joseph had been summoned from his false imprisonment to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams. Having proven himself to be the Revealer of Secrets, Pharaoh chose that as his name. As a type of Christ, Joseph’s new name connects us to one of the missions of Jesus, to be the Revealer of Secrets.
Joseph revealed secrets in a variety of ways.
- He wore a fancy robe given to him by his father, which revealed the true heart of his father. Jesus also wore a robe – not just the one fought for by the guards at the cross, but the robe of flesh, and by wearing it He reveals the love of the Father. He showed us how much the Father loves His Son, and He revealed to us how the Father’s love can be ours.
- Joseph’s robe also revealed the true nature of his brother’s hearts. Jesus, in the robe of the flesh, also reveals the secrets of man’s heart. He was the Light shining in the darkness, exposing all the thoughts and intents of man’s actions.
- Joseph also, through the interpretation of dreams, revealed the plans that were necessary for the survival of the nation during the coming famine. Likewise, through His teaching on earth and through the prophets and writers of Scripture, Jesus reveals to us the plan and purpose of God that will bring survival in the coming days of God’s wrath.
Just as Pharaoh needed Joseph to make sense of what was going on in his personal and political life, so we need Jesus, the Revealer of Secrets, to make sense of what is going on in our lives and in the world around us. Just as Pharaoh had to place his faith in what Joseph said, so we must place our faith in what Jesus said. He is our Revealer of Secrets.