Saturday, January 9, 2021


The story of Joseph introduces a new theme in Scripture: God's man rejected by God's people. That theme will repeat many times in many familiar stories: Joseph in Egypt, Moses in Midian, David in Hebron, virtually all the prophets, and of course Christ Himself. We might even see that theme carried into Paul's life (2 Timothy 1:15).

Very closely related to God's man rejected by God's people is the gentile bride. Asenath is the first of the gentile brides, but hardly the last. She's only mentioned three times in Scripture that I can find: Genesis 41:45, Genesis 41:50, and Genesis 46:20. She's a remarkable character. We don't have any record of a word she says, and we only know two things she does: she marries Joseph, and she has two children (ok, maybe that's three things). The rest of Asenath's life is none of our business: she has a life with Joseph that no one else gets to see.

Christ, of course, has a gentile bride (Ephesians 5:28–32). Many of the Christians I know have a view of the future glory of the bride of Christ that's quite public; but I think it'll be more like Asenath's.  Right now, God's Man is rejected, and we get to be a blessing to Him in the world that rejected Him. We're here for Him. When He is accepted by God's people, the story will go on with them from there, and we might fade out of it. Not because we aren't important to Him, but because we've been called to a relationship of such intimacy with Him, that it's no one else's business. I think we'll be like Asenath and Zipporah, disappearing from the story, but not from His life.

We might notice that Asenath is never mentioned without a reminder that her father was an Egyptian priest. All three times Scripture mentions her, it adds on the note about her father. We're reminded every single time that she had been an idolater. Asenath didn't come from some godly family: she had no spiritual heritage. 

What a reminder that God loves idolaters!

And doesn't that bring to mind the Lord's encounter with the woman at Sychar? Here's a woman who's spiritually and morally bankrupt, and the Son of God meets her at the well, and gives her the most detailed discourse on worship in Scripture. I was in a Bible reading on John 4, and someone said, "God looks for worshipers in Satan's trash heap."  That's a clumsy but profound description of John 4. A woman who is  enough of a pariah to have to go to the well when no one else does, is met by the Son of God and told how to be a worshiper of the Father (John 4:21–24). Notice the Lord talks about "the Father". That's not a title He throws around lightly. And He uses it when He talks to this woman at the well.

I think it's natural for us to want to be a sort of a Miriam: very vocal, taking a clear role in leadership. But I am sure our calling is to be more like Zipporah, more like Asenath. We've been called out of idolatry to an intimate relationship with the Man of God. We've been called to turn to God from idols, to wait for His Son from Heaven (1 Thessalonians 1:9–10). We've been called to be His.



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