"And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance" (Genesis 45:7).
The story about Joseph, his being sold into slavery by his brothers, his rise to authority and power in Egypt, and his being reunited to his brothers and father is both heart-wrenching and spirit-lifting, but there is a more compelling one below it.
A glimpse of this deeper story manifests itself in the words, "posterity" and "deliverance." Both point back to the Garden where the Lord, soon after being rejected by Adam and Eve (through disobedience), first spoke of hope and deliverance. He revealed that someone would be born of a woman who would reverse the Fall (Genesis 3:15).
All through Scriptures we see Satanic opposition to this promise. Cain, Eve's firstborn, murdered her secondborn, but then Seth came on the scene (Genesis 5:3). Lamech boasted of his murderous exploits (Genesis 4:23), but Noah found grace in God's eyes.
In the passage before us, we see how the Promised Seed of Jacob continued to be preserved: the children of Jacob would not die of famine in Canaan. The Lord was working all things together for good (Romans 8:28), even when Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery. They indeed acted heinously, but underneath were the everlasting arms.
In addition, even on the surface Joseph's brothers were learning that sibling rivalry and boastful pride were ugly sins. They were learning that the Lord of grace was training them in humility for their own good. Much more than this was being accomplished, however. The Lord was preserving "a posterity," even the posterity--His only begotten Son who would accomplish the ultimate work of deliverance. PGH