Study for the Month of December, 2011
The Unfair Exchange
By Nathaniel Fajardo
Whole Gospel Ministries
For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own 0wn soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Mark 8: 36, 37.
The Bible teaches that true Christians are “living epistles seen and read by all men” (2 Cor.3: 2, 3). They are known for their Christlike love or charity which is manifested in honesty, integrity, justice, knowledge, kindness, mercy, patience, temperance, forbearance, meekness, benevolence, and fairness in all their dealings and transactions. They literally love, not hate their enemies. Matt. 5:__Rom.___.
In the world but not of the world (John 17: 14-17) they have been called out from their past sinful, world-loving ways to trained of God to become ambassadors of His spiritual kingdom on earth, which is one with the church above. Eph. 3: 14, 21.
Joseph, as well as Daniel exemplified these graces and virtues in their lives and works.
Joseph was a type of Christ in very specific aspects of his life and works. Notice:
“Through Joseph’s bondage in Egypt, he became a savior to his father’s family. So the crucifixion of Christ by his enemies made Him the Redeemer of mankind, the Savior of the fallen race, and ruler over the whole world. . .
As Joseph was sold to the heathen by his own brothers, so Christ was sold to His bitterest enemies by one of His disciples [Judas]. Joseph was falsely accused and thrust into prison because of His virtue; so Christ was despised and rejected because His righteous, self-denying life was a rebuke to sin; and though guilty of no wrong, He was condemned under the testimony of false witnesses.
And Joseph’s patience and meekness under injustice and oppression, his ready forgiveness and noble benevolence toward his unnatural brothers [the Egyptians], represent the Savior’s uncomplaining endurance of the malice and abuse of wicked men, and His forgiveness, not only of His murderers, but of all who have come to Him confessing their sins and seeking pardon.” —Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 239-40.
In dealing with the Egyptians during their calamitous famine, as second in command to Pharaoh over the whole Egyptian empire, the sacred record says, Joseph “gave them bread in exchange for the horses, the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds. . .Thus he fed them with bread in exchange for all their livestock that year.” Gen. 47:13-17. They got in return what they gave, value for value—a fair exchange indeed!
“Daniel and his companions In Babylon were, in their youth, apparently more favored of fortune than was Joseph in earlier years of his life in Egypt; yet they were subjected to tests of character scarcely less severe. . . . . By their wisdom and justice, by the purity and benevolence of their daily life, by the devotion of their interests of the people,— and they, idolaters—Joseph and Daniel proved themselves true to their early, true to Him whose representatives they were. These men, both in Egypt and Babylon, the whole nation honored; and in them a heathen people, and all the nations with which they were connected, beheld and illustration of the goodness and beneficence of God, and illustration of the love of Christ.
“What a lifework was that of these noble Hebrews! As they bade farewell to their childhood home, how little did they dream of their high destiny! Faithful and steadfast, they yielded themselves to the divine guiding, so that through them God could God could fulfill His purpose.
The same mighty truths that were revealed through these men, God desires to reveal the youth and children today. The history of Joseph and Daniel is an illustration of what He will do for those who yield themselves to Him and with the whole heart seek to accomplish His purpose.
The greatest want of the world is the want of men—men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though the heavens fall.
But such a character is not the result of accident; it is not due to special favors or endowments of Providence. A noble character is the result of self-discipline, of the subjection of the lower to the higher nature—the surrender of self for the service of love to God and man. The youth need to be impressed with the truth that their endowments are no their own. Strength, time, intellect, are but lent treasures. They belong to God, and it should be the resolve of every youth to put them to the highest use. He is a branch, from which God expects fruit; a steward, whose capital must yield increase; a light to illuminate the world’s darkness. Every youth, every child, has a work to do for the honor of God and the uplifting of humanity.” – Education, pp. 56-58. ( to be continued…)