Sunday, June 24, 2012


Last week - Jacob became Israel
Today - Joseph - 11th. son of Jacob

Full Story - Gen. 37 - 50   12 chapters (omit chapter 38)

Three themes:  I.  God's Provision/Providence - He cares, He provides
                      II.  God's Purpose - His reason
                     III.  God's Presence

Story of Joseph - the highlights.
            Loved by Jacob - Gen. 37:3
            Despised by his brothers

At age 17 - he had two dreams - (12 sheaves of grain) (sun, moon, and 12 stars)
In both dreams 11 of the 12 bowed down to his object.

Led to extreme hostility:  Therefore, the brothers sold him into slavery!!!

In Egypt.... Gen. 39:1-2 - made steward over household of Potiphar. prison  Gen. 39:20-21- made trustee to the prison warden

Vs. 40 - he interprets dreams while in prison which leads to (vs. 41) Pharoah's dreams.  (cows, grain heads)

So.... Gen. 41:41 - leads to Gen. 41:46 which leads to Gen. 41:50-52

When his brothers come to him for food, they are recognized by Joseph - Gen. 42:6
Later, he revealed his identity - Gen. 45:3-8 - (very important to see Joseph's attitude)

So....the whole family came to Egypt. 
        death of Jacob - Gen. 50:18-20

(Joseph died in Egypt, was embalmed, and carried to the Promised Land during the Exodus.)  Ex. 13:19

Examine:  3 Themes in the life of Joseph
Ask:  Is is true for me also???

I.  God's Providence (His care, to meet needs, to provide)
Obvious that God did this for Joseph; what about me?
NOTE:  A.  "Providence" describes attitude as well as actions.  Not just capable to meet our needs, but willing to do so.
So Jesus + Father" - Matt. 6:4, 6, 8, 9, 31-32
B.  His promise is to meet needs, not wants.  Example:  Paul - Phil. 4:11, 4:19

*The "doctrine of sufficient grace" - 2 Cor. 12:7-9  God's grace is sufficient to meet real needs, not perceived needs.
Objection:  what about those who starve, slain, succumb, murdered, martyred, etc.
On one hand, to skeptics, this is "Cop-out Theology!"
On the other hand, the testimony of millions of Christian sufferers, is "His grace...... sufficient".  When it comes to those times of deep distress and suffering, He gives sufficient grace to endure what's happening now.

II.  God's Purpose  (obvious for Joseph, but for me???)
Jer. 29:11 - "plan" = purpose, design, reason
Joseph is an illustration of Rom. 8:28 - God works!

Question:  How much does God orchestrate? (pre-determine?) what happens?  Vs.
how much does He use situations and circumstances we create?

ANSWER:  not always clear, simple.  BUT, know we have a providential Father with a plan and a purpose who is active and able!!!

III.  God's Presence - "was with Joseph in slavery, prison"
On one hand, it may not have been a "felt" presence, however, there was always an active presence.

So... Heb. 13:5 - for Christian sufferers, God's presence is more important than answers!!

1.  Was this true for Joseph?  Was God providential, purposeful, present?

2.  Is it true for me???  Does He meet all my needs, have a plan for me, with me all the time?

if so---
3.  Will I embrace it?  - more than believing it intellectually.  It is acting on it and living accordingly.

If answer is "yes" - then 2 more challenges:
1)  Will I embrace these truths in difficult times?  - when world unravels and comes apart?

2)  Will I embrace these truths in comfortable times?  (which is often more difficult)
It is often much easier to trust in His providence when times are bad, then when times are good.

1 Pet. 5:7

No comments: