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Today's post is brought to you by the number 110.
I have posted on this before, but as it was back in the early days when I averaged about 1 hit a fortnight, there's no harm in revisiting it. Anyone who can remember it from the first time round gets extra brownie-points!
Joseph lived 110 years, as did Joshua. I am struck by this symmetry in the Word, between the man who led the people of Israel into Egypt, and the man who led them back into Canaan.
Both Joseph and Joshua are types of Christ. I have already mentioned about the typology of Joseph, but the typology of Joshua is just as strong. Joshua was the conquering commander of God's people who led them in victory after victory to take hold of their inheritance. In fact even his name is identical to Jesus. It is only because Joshua is transliterated directly from the Hebrew Old Testament, and Jesus is transliterated via the Greek of the New Testament that the names are different. In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament) Joshua is called Jesus too!
The early church historian Eusebius makes much of this. In a great insight he points out that the two men that Moses had with him in the tent of God's presence, both had their names changed prophetically. Aaron became the high priest, the anointed one; and Hoshea son of Nun, had his name changed to Joshua. Thus in the Greek, these two men with Moses before the Lord were "Christ" and "Jesus"; just one more way the whole testimony of Scripture points forwards to our Lord.
This symmetry then becomes highly significant. Egypt was a time of sorrow and trial for God's people. Yet God wants it to be clear, that the same Lord who led them in would also lead them out! This is something we see repeated many times in Scripture, in particular in the book of Daniel. God does not always spare his people from the time of trial, but he is always with them in it, they only last an allotted time, and he always leads them out stronger than when they went in. The people of Israel went into Egypt as 70 individuals, but emerged as a mighty nation of over half a million!
So apart from this symmetry, is 110 in itself significant as a number? Maybe! I'd like to put forward that 110 is significant, in terms of times of trial for God's people, as being 40 + 70. We see this pattern in the very last chapter of Genesis. In the same passage where we are told that Joseph lived 110 years, we are also told the times of preparation and mourning for Israel (Jacob): 40 days, and 70 days respectively. Just like the flood, this period of 40 days reoccurs in Scripture as a time of preparation and testing; and both 40 years and 70 years represent times of mourning for Israel (the people) as the time in the wilderness, and the exile in Babylon.
By placing these two types of Christ, like book ends, either side of the time of trial in Egypt, and linking them with a number also representative of trials, God is revealing himself as the God who is there for us in every fiery-furnace of life. Trials may come, but God is always faithful. He is always with you, his strength is always available to you. You can and will overcome all that life can throw at you, and in the end, God will lead you out with increased strength to a place of greater blessing. In the 24 years of my walk with the Lord, I can testify this is always true.
Enough of the shadows and types, let us come out into the light, and see what the reality himself has to say on this matter:
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (Jn 16:33)