The Daily Word of Righteousness

Imputation and Transformation, continued

"I also shall make him My first-born, The highest of the kings of the earth." (Psalms 89:27—NASB)

The firstborn son is given a double portion of the inheritance so he may provide for the family.

It is of note in the fifth chapter of First Chronicles that the right of the firstborn passed from Reuben to Joseph and his sons.

The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father's marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright, and though Judah was the strongest of his brothers and a ruler came from him, the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph)— (I Chronicles 5:1,2—NIV)

We note also, in the above passage, that a ruler came from Judah.

There is deep symbolism here. If we go over to the thirty-seventh chapter of the Book of Ezekiel we find a passage about two sticks.

The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.' Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Ephraim's stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.' Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. (Ezekiel 37:16,17—NIV)

One stick represents the Ruler from Judah, Jesus Christ. The second stick represents the right of the firstborn given to Ephraim on behalf of Joseph. Ephraim was born of a Jewish father and a Gentile mother. Jacob prophesied that Ephraim would be the father of many nations, not just the one nation of Israel.

Paul tells us that the two sticks, the cross, have removed the "dividing wall of hostility" between the Jewish elect and Gentile elect.

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. (Ephesians 2:14-16—NIV)

The two sticks symbolize the cross of Christ by which Judah (the elect Jews) and Ephraim (the father of many nations, signifying the elect Gentiles) become one new Man.

In choosing Joseph as the firstborn the Lord passed over several older brothers. We need to remember that Reuben lost the birthright because of moral sin. Joseph was a savior of many nations, including his own family, and the right of the firstborn became his.

The interpretation is that God's firstborn, after Jesus Christ, will be composed of elect Jews and Gentiles and they will be, as was true of Joseph, the ones who will preserve the family of Israel as well as the Egyptians and the rest of the world, so to speak.

To be continued.