Series Code: TWH
Program Code: TWH000038A
00:32 I'd like you to take your Bibles this morning
00:34 and open to Genesis 50.
00:46 And we're going to read the scripture reading
00:48 for this morning.
01:01 The Word of the Lord
01:04 "Joseph said to them..."
01:08 Verse 19 and 20.
01:13 "Joseph said to them,
01:15 do not be afraid,"
01:18 for I am...
01:21 "For am I in the place of God?"
01:25 But as for you, you meant evil against me,
01:29 but God meant it for good.
01:33 In order to bring it about as it is this day,
01:38 to save many people alive."
01:44 Let us pray.
01:48 Our loving Father in heaven,
01:49 this morning we open our hearts
01:50 to the wooing of Your Holy Spirit...
01:57 For in the journey that each one of us
01:59 is taking right now if it were not for Your grace,
02:03 our stories would be catastrophic.
02:08 And so, Lord, we pause this morning
02:11 at the fountain of grace to drink afresh again
02:16 as we peer into the life
02:19 of one who is so much like us
02:21 yet in many ways quite different.
02:25 And we pray for You to speak to our hearts
02:29 that the purpose of Jesus may be revealed,
02:34 that Your love may be revealed.
02:39 And that You may be exalted that we might find
02:42 as it were courage to go
02:43 through the trials and difficulties of this life
02:48 that will land us in that place of grace.
02:52 In Jesus' name, amen.
03:00 Our greatest trial
03:04 is the introduction of God's greatest dream.
03:10 Our greatest trial is often the introduction
03:13 of God's greatest dream.
03:17 Said another way,
03:19 our greatest trial will prepare us
03:22 for God's greatest dream.
03:26 Said yet still another way,
03:30 the brightest morning only rises on those
03:34 that endure the darkest night.
03:37 The journey to God's
03:40 greatest dream.
03:44 I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it
03:45 but a number of years ago,
03:49 I bumped into a clean version,
03:53 you got to say that nowadays
03:55 because movies are quite crude of a story
04:00 that someone kept telling me
04:01 about called Shawshank Redemption.
04:06 I hope you saw the clean version
04:10 of a young man by the name of Andy Dufresne
04:13 who had been wrongly accused and had been placed in jail.
04:17 But he knew he shouldn't be there.
04:22 And although incarcerated in an institution
04:25 where very few people find freedom
04:28 and very few get out.
04:29 Matter of fact statistically no one had broken out up
04:31 until that particular point.
04:34 But although he had been incarcerated in body,
04:38 he was free in his mind.
04:41 And as one of the other inmates said,
04:45 "What crime have you committed?"
04:46 He said, "I'm innocent."
04:49 And the other inmate replied,
04:50 "Everybody in here is innocent."
04:54 That's just how it is.
04:58 But the sun would rise and set on Andy Dufresne
05:00 this young mild mannered man
05:02 whose mind was somewhere else
05:05 other than in the Shawshank prison.
05:09 He envisioned freedom.
05:11 He thought about freedom.
05:14 He planned for freedom.
05:16 And 20 years later by his diligent planning,
05:21 by his diligent passion
05:23 through the trials and difficulties
05:26 he went through
05:27 to the many nights spent in isolation,
05:30 to the many beatings he endured,
05:33 to the hardships of the prisoners.
05:36 To the beating that brought him within inches of his life.
05:41 To the shame and embarrassment
05:42 of even those that he worked for,
05:44 the warden who had one moment favored him,
05:46 but at the other moments tormented him.
05:48 He kept his mind free and clear
05:51 until one day through a 500 yard tunnel
05:56 of filth Andy Dufresne broke
06:01 through on a thunder filled rainy night.
06:04 As he stood up and extended his hands
06:07 indicating I am finally free.
06:11 You know many of us don't know
06:12 that the price of freedom
06:14 sometimes require that we go
06:17 through many yards of filth in our lives.
06:21 And only those who determine
06:23 that even the stench of our experiences
06:26 will not prevent us from freedom
06:30 will eventually one day breathe the air of freedom.
06:34 And such was the life of this young man named Joseph.
06:38 The brightest morning rose on him
06:40 because he endured the darkest night.
06:43 And I say again,
06:45 our greatest trial
06:46 is but the introduction of God's greatest dream.
06:49 Very few stories in the Bible grab your attention
06:52 such as the story of Joseph and his 12 brothers.
06:56 And as it were his four mothers
06:58 and his father
06:59 who plopped himself in the midst of confusion.
07:02 All the components
07:04 of one of the greatest blockbusters
07:05 are in this saga
07:08 that extends from Genesis 37 all the way
07:12 to Genesis 50.
07:15 Thirteen chapters, thirteen years.
07:19 How amazing that God orchestrated
07:22 every step of this young man's life.
07:24 Jealousy, deception, hatred,
07:28 envy, contention, lies, anger,
07:32 conspiracy, pain, reconciliation, redemption,
07:37 deliverance, forgiveness,
07:39 and finally joy all the components
07:42 of the journey of the Christian life
07:45 are incased
07:47 in the sermon entitled from "Pits to Palaces".
07:50 Let me say this morning,
07:51 your life may be in a pit but if your God's child,
07:54 if you endure you are on your way to the palace.
07:59 Today you will discover
08:01 that God's dream for us never dies.
08:04 God's promises are always reliable.
08:07 And God is orchestrating
08:10 our future in spite of what comes,
08:13 Paul the Apostle said it so wonderfully.
08:16 And we know that all things, how many things, church?
08:19 All things work together
08:23 for good to those who love God,
08:26 to those who are the called according to God's purpose.
08:29 Not just the good things.
08:33 But the despair, the hatred,
08:35 the contention, the envy, the lies,
08:37 the anger, the conspiracy, the jealousy,
08:39 the deception, all things work together for good.
08:42 You see, for Paul also says,
08:44 if God before us, come on now, who can be against us.
08:48 And when God chooses a person,
08:50 when God chooses a young man or a young woman,
08:53 we must never forget that the highway
08:57 that will shape our dream is named tribulation.
09:04 The highway on which we travel to God's greatest dream for us
09:09 is a highway named tribulation.
09:11 If you have your Bibles, go to Genesis 37 with me.
09:14 And we're going to walk
09:15 through the life of this young man.
09:17 And we are going to see ourselves.
09:20 We're going to see that God's dreams never die,
09:24 and God's promises are reliable.
09:27 And God is in fact
09:28 the orchestrator of our future.
09:33 Genesis 37.
09:42 And I begin in verse 3.
09:46 "Now Israel..."
09:48 who is also Jacob,
09:51 "Loved Joseph more than all his children,
09:56 because he was a son of his old age:
09:59 also he made him a tunic
10:02 of many colors."
10:07 I would not want to be
10:10 in the place of Jacob.
10:14 I got to spend little time developing who Jacob is.
10:16 Jacob is a man
10:19 who not long before
10:21 this had stolen his brother's birthright.
10:25 And his life was pursued by Esau.
10:29 And God met him at a night of wrestling and Jacob said,
10:32 "I refuse to let you go unless you bless me."
10:35 And God blessed him
10:37 and changed his name from Jacob to Israel.
10:42 So Jacob was not unfamiliar with the deception
10:46 because he himself
10:47 had portrayed it in his own life
10:50 stealing the birthright,
10:52 having his brother sell his birthright
10:54 for a bowl of lentils.
11:05 But here he stands amidst the 12 sons that,
11:08 for the most part he orchestrated not God.
11:11 You see, Jacob was a man that was impatient with God.
11:14 But God's dream was more powerful
11:17 than anything that Jacob could do to prevent
11:21 that dream for his life.
11:23 God's dream for Joseph was more powerful
11:27 than any hatred that his brothers
11:30 could extend before him.
11:31 You see to understand
11:33 what happened to Joseph
11:35 we first have to understand the kind of man that Jacob was.
11:39 Jacob's household was contentious
11:41 because Jacob failed to wait on God,
11:44 not only that but Jacob's wife Rachel.
11:47 When you read the story,
11:49 Rachel was such a lovely woman
11:50 that the Bible said in the early days
11:52 when he was seeking a wife,
11:54 Rachel was so beautiful that when he kissed her,
11:57 he lifted up his eyes and cry.
12:02 And no matter what his father-in-law Laban
12:04 put him through, he was willing to go through
12:05 and work for her seven years at a time
12:08 just so that when his labor was done,
12:11 he could embrace this young woman named
12:13 Rachel the woman of his dreams.
12:17 The woman that God desired for him.
12:20 But when God made the promise
12:21 that he would bless Jacob and Rachel,
12:25 and Rachel was unable to bear children,
12:28 she became impatient with God and made suggestions.
12:31 She made proposals to Jacob
12:33 that since I am unable to bear children.
12:37 Since I am as the Asian man said
12:40 who is just becoming familiar with the English language
12:43 he was sitting on an American Airlines jet.
12:45 He was on his way to America.
12:47 And he was on his way to America
12:48 to try to get his wife
12:50 to find a way to have her have children.
12:53 And with his broken English
12:54 he was telling an American why he was coming to America.
12:57 And he says,
12:58 "Why are you on your way to America."
12:59 And he says, "My wife is impregnable.
13:05 My wife is unbearable.
13:09 My wife is inconceivable."
13:13 A disaster on the human language
13:15 but the American man understood what he meant.
13:18 Rachel was unbearable. Rachel was impregnable.
13:23 Rachel was inconceivable.
13:24 But she made suggestions to Jacob
13:27 that were ridiculous
13:28 but even more ridiculous than the suggestions.
13:32 Lord have mercy was the fact that he followed them,
13:36 can somebody say, umm.
13:40 That was approved by the board by the way.
13:42 Jacob followed
13:45 the ridiculous proposals of his wife.
13:48 And when you follow that,
13:51 Rachel had a maid.
13:56 And Rachel said, "Well, my maid is fertile.
14:00 Why don't you have a child with my maid?"
14:02 And Jacob said, "Okay."
14:06 Now I want you to know
14:08 that was a long time ago, come on ladies say, amen.
14:12 That's not going to fly today.
14:14 You got to be out of your God given mind
14:17 to make that suggestion.
14:18 And even more than that your husbands
14:20 got to be insane to follow.
14:26 But if you go back far enough,
14:31 wasn't too different than Abraham.
14:34 It's amazing how family traits go on
14:36 from generation to generation.
14:39 And when you keep on going down the line,
14:40 you begin to see the lineage unfolding
14:42 because in fact
14:44 the pattern continues to repeat itself
14:47 in the context of polygamy.
14:48 She said, "My maid is fertile,
14:51 go ahead and have a child with her."
14:52 And he had a child with her and another child with her.
14:55 And then she pointed to Leah, her sister who Jacob...
14:59 Who Joseph which I can't figure out
15:03 after he married her and spent a night with her,
15:06 he didn't know that she wasn't Rachel.
15:11 Yeah, you know what I mean.
15:13 Joseph, yeah, him too.
15:20 I wish they had different names.
15:24 So Leah now receives the proposal.
15:29 And Leah now bear sons for Jacob.
15:32 And then Leah's handmaid bears sons for Jacob.
15:36 And God in His patience bears along with this motley crew
15:41 that we now call the 12 tribes of Israel.
15:46 Messed up where the foundation that was messed up.
15:52 But the good news,
15:53 they all are mentioned in Revelation.
15:55 Come on say amen somebody.
15:57 Because each one of them except Dan...
16:04 Was all saved.
16:06 Dan never made it.
16:07 Because Dan was that individual,
16:09 that's why you have to be very careful.
16:11 Dan lived his life focusing on everybody else's sin.
16:16 And when you don't focus on your own sin,
16:18 you cannot be saved from sin.
16:21 The Bible says, Dan shall be a serpent by the way,
16:24 a viper in the path that bites the horse's heel,
16:27 so that the person
16:29 who is the rider always falls back.
16:31 Dan was critical.
16:34 But he never looked at his own life.
16:36 And he was replaced by Manasseh.
16:45 But the problem in the story
16:46 began for Joseph when the sons realized
16:51 that he was favored over all of them
16:54 because he was the firstborn of Rachel,
16:57 the wife that God gave to Jacob.
17:01 And Jacob so excited
17:02 that God came through for his wife
17:05 who had felt the unease of being ostracized,
17:09 barren, no child,
17:11 finally God visits her with a young man named Joseph.
17:15 God smiles on her.
17:18 And Jacob pours his joy
17:22 into that young man name Joseph.
17:26 Buys him a beautiful outfit.
17:28 A coat of many colors. Now look at verse 4.
17:31 And he brags about it.
17:33 He brags about it.
17:34 And because he had a divided household,
17:36 children of contention, impatience and out of control,
17:40 the Bible says
17:41 how his brothers felt about him in verse 4.
17:43 "But when his brothers saw
17:45 that their father loved him more than all his brothers,
17:49 they hated him,
17:50 and could not speak peaceably to him."
17:55 This verse demands a pause to parents.
18:00 There's nothing more dangerous to your household
18:02 than when your children sense
18:05 that you favor one more than you favor the other.
18:10 I know that, I was raised...
18:18 I was raised in a home where I was the last child.
18:23 And to understand my mixed up family,
18:25 you got to follow me carefully.
18:27 I was raised by a man from Barbados
18:29 and a woman from Trinidad,
18:30 Pastor CA has some Barbadian in him.
18:32 Am I right?
18:35 And he was so desirous,
18:37 the man raising us was so desirous.
18:40 He and his wife didn't have children,
18:42 they brought us over from Trinidad
18:43 that they had adopted a young Trinidadian boy
18:46 who was Indian, West Indian.
18:50 And they desired so much to give them a good education
18:52 but he spurned it, he didn't want it.
18:54 They want to give him the best schools, and colleges,
18:56 and every advantage that they could offer him,
18:58 but he didn't want it.
19:00 And he threw it back at them.
19:03 And my sister, the second one that came along.
19:06 She was offered the same advantages.
19:09 We'll pay for your college education.
19:10 We'll put you through school. We'll give you piano lessons.
19:14 And she didn't want it.
19:16 And so when my time came,
19:17 I wanted piano lessons and I didn't get it.
19:20 I wanted my college to be paid for,
19:22 but I didn't get it.
19:24 And the response was, do you see what they did,
19:27 I'm not going to waste my time on you either.
19:30 And I found myself at Oakwood College
19:32 on the promise
19:33 that my tuition would be paid for the first year.
19:36 When I made the phone call at home,
19:38 my dad said, "I'm not giving you anything.
19:40 It's better for you to just come on home."
19:44 So I know what it's like to be in a home
19:49 where child feels the tension of being left out
19:53 and the other two being favored above them.
19:56 But I want to tell you,
19:57 I said to you before, God's blessings,
20:01 the greatest trials are often
20:03 the introduction to God's greatest dream
20:05 because I look back now
20:07 and I am better off than my brother and my sister
20:11 because God had a different dream for my life.
20:13 But He had to shape me through the avenues of tribulation.
20:16 That's why parents, I want to say to you today,
20:18 don't ever let it be said of you
20:20 that your children sense.
20:24 And if you're already on that avenue,
20:25 you can change it, you can turn it around.
20:27 But if you want to have a peaceful household,
20:29 if you want your children to be at peace
20:31 even in blended families,
20:33 show that each one is loved as much as the other.
20:38 Can you say amen to that?
20:42 God allowed Joseph when he was only 17
20:45 for his life to be turned upside down.
20:47 And look at verse 5 and 7.
20:49 Joseph at 17 years old.
20:51 A pivotal age at 17 years old,
20:54 God allowed Joseph's life to be turned inside out.
20:58 The Bible says, "Now Joseph had a dream.
21:03 And he told it to his brothers, and they hated him even more."
21:06 You know, sometimes I want to pause and say something
21:08 because I know that is in your mind.
21:10 Sometimes God has given you a dream,
21:12 but there are times you got to know
21:15 when to keep your mouth shut.
21:19 Am I right?
21:20 I mean, you got an extra check in the mail,
21:22 you don't go around saying to people,
21:23 "You know, I know you broke but God sent me a check
21:26 for $2,000 this week."
21:28 And you wave your money in their face
21:30 and they are broke as ever.
21:32 And then the next week God sends you more money,
21:34 and God does this and God does that.
21:36 One of the problems that Joseph had as a young man
21:39 and God straightened this out is that he loved to boast
21:43 because he knew his father favored him.
21:46 But there was another side of that,
21:47 God gave him dreams that it was also imperative
21:51 for his brothers and his father to know about
21:53 because those dreams were but a precursor
21:57 of what God would do for them many years down the road.
22:04 And so while there are those who like to boast
22:05 about their successes at the behest of others.
22:09 I speak to those who are hearing
22:11 about the blessings of God in somebody else's life.
22:14 If you hear that God is blessing somebody,
22:16 don't be jealous, praise God for them
22:21 'cause your blessing is coming.
22:23 But your blessing will never come
22:24 if you hate God's blessings in somebody else's life.
22:28 You've got to praise God that He's blessing you in your life.
22:31 And don't be upset that God is blessing somebody else
22:33 in their life 'cause God blesses each of us
22:35 at different intervals.
22:37 If somebody is being blessed, praise God.
22:39 Rejoice for them.
22:41 The Bible says, now Joseph had a dream, verse 5.
22:45 And he told it to his brothers, and they hated him even more.
22:51 So he said to them,
22:53 "Please hear this dream which I have dreamed."
22:56 I can see him now a little young man,
22:59 all the brothers however long it took for them
23:00 all to be born.
23:02 They all are older than him
23:03 and here he is as little lad missing.
23:05 Come on, listen to what I have to say to you.
23:07 And he's about to tell him a dream
23:08 that is not favorable to any one of them.
23:13 "There we were," he says, verse 7.
23:16 "Binding sheaves in the field, then behold,
23:21 my sheaf arose
23:25 and also stood upright.
23:27 And indeed your sheaves stood all around
23:31 and bowed down to my sheaf."
23:36 I can hear it brother, I wish I could just choke him.
23:40 Every time he opens his mouth, my skin crawls.
23:46 What did Jacob do by having a son like him?
23:53 The last thing they wanted to hear
23:55 was that Joseph would succeed
23:57 and that they would amount to very little.
24:00 But that wasn't the end of it.
24:02 Look at verse 9.
24:07 Then he dreamed still another dream
24:13 and told it to his brothers,
24:16 and said, look.
24:20 Bible doesn't say that it happened the next day
24:21 or the next week but he had another dream.
24:23 And I'm sure they were done with his dreams already.
24:26 "Look I have dreamed another dream,
24:28 and at this time, the sun, the moon,
24:34 and the eleven stars," did what?
24:38 "Bow down to me."
24:40 "You might be a star, all eleven of you
24:42 might be a star,
24:44 but your stars are going to bow down to my star."
24:49 Can you see it?
24:51 Can you see the look of discontent in their faces?
24:59 To make it clear, this was not an additional dream
25:01 but just another piece of the many pieces
25:05 that would complete God's dream for him.
25:07 God unfolds our dreams little by little.
25:12 He lets us know at different intervals.
25:13 And let me just say this,
25:15 when God has a dream for your life,
25:16 He chooses at what point to reveal
25:18 the next component for you or the next component to you.
25:22 Only as you embrace
25:23 and are faithful in this component
25:26 where God see fit to reveal the next component.
25:30 And when I look back on our ministry how God led us.
25:35 There are times that
25:36 in our walk after 30 years of ministry,
25:38 and going on 35 years of marriage,
25:40 there are times when I hear God say to me,
25:44 "John, I want you to go back in your relationship with me
25:49 to 1989, to 1992.
25:53 And your dedication to 1995
25:56 when your life was difficult and in trial.
25:59 I want that version of John back."
26:02 And every now and then God calls on us
26:04 to readjust our lives.
26:06 Can I get an amen to that?
26:07 Every now and then God calls on us to remind us
26:10 that you may be successful,
26:12 but don't be so overly successful
26:15 that you forget who you really were.
26:19 So God chooses to reveal pieces and pieces.
26:22 And not only did he tell this to his brothers
26:24 but it says in verse 10,
26:26 "So he told it to his father, and his brothers.
26:28 And his father rebuked him, and said to him,
26:31 'What is this dream that you have dreamed?
26:33 Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come
26:36 to bow down to the earth before you?"
26:39 And when you read
26:40 what Ellen White has to say about it.
26:41 Ellen White says that Joseph's brothers
26:44 were so amazed by his purity,
26:46 by the innocence that he displayed
26:48 that they knew that he was not saying this
26:51 out of self glory, they admired him,
26:54 but they hated him at the very same time.
27:00 But don't miss verse 11.
27:03 "And his brothers envied him, they did," what church?
27:07 "They envied him,
27:09 but his father kept the matter in mind."
27:14 His father said, "Could it be that
27:18 God is revealing the future to us through Joseph?
27:22 Could it be that these dreams that irritate us
27:25 is an indication, a sign from God
27:28 about how our future is going to unfold?"
27:30 So when somebody comes up with something
27:32 that you may not be in agreement of, hear them out
27:35 because sometimes God may speak through somebody
27:38 for our own good.
27:41 But if we reject it,
27:45 then we can place ourselves in the same position
27:49 as Joseph's 11 brothers.
27:53 When you follow the story in the first eight verses
27:55 of the story, the word hate is mentioned three times.
27:59 By the time you get to verse 11,
28:01 a new word is introduced, his brothers envied him.
28:07 As if it couldn't get any worse,
28:09 hate gave birth to envy.
28:12 And then verse 18 reveals the innermost feelings
28:15 about their brother.
28:16 The Bible says, "They conspired against him
28:20 to kill him."
28:22 Now I'm going to fast forward.
28:27 At 17 Joseph is sold for $2,560 to the Ishmaelites.
28:36 As Joseph is 17, Jacob his father has lied
28:39 and told that Joseph is dead.
28:40 They lied to his father and say that Joseph is dead.
28:46 Then the Ishmaelites who bought him
28:48 now sell him to the Egyptians.
28:50 And as an indentured slave in the court of Egypt,
28:54 Joseph serves under the direction of Potiphar.
29:01 And we read 39:2, 3.
29:15 I love this verse.
29:17 The Bible says, "The Lord was with Joseph."
29:19 Come on say amen somebody. The Lord was with Joseph.
29:23 Here's the point, in spite of being sold,
29:26 in spite of being left for dead,
29:28 in spite of being delivered as a slave,
29:30 the Lord was with Joseph.
29:33 And he was a successful man.
29:36 And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
29:41 And his master saw that the Lord was with him,
29:44 and that the Lord made all he did
29:47 to prosper in his hand.
29:57 But the one thing we have to be assured of
29:59 is when God is prospering you, the devil takes notice of it.
30:03 He takes notice of it, Gloria.
30:05 He looked at Joseph's life and said,
30:07 "I cannot allow this man to be the one
30:09 to experience God's fulfilling dream for his life."
30:11 And so he tries to derail the dream of God.
30:15 And you know the story very well,
30:16 God allowed Joseph to be in charge of all
30:21 that is in Potiphar's house except Potiphar's wife.
30:27 And Potiphar's wife begins to notice
30:30 how stately, and how strong, and how healthy
30:34 a young man that Joseph is, and she makes passes at him,
30:38 and tries to get his attention.
30:40 And Joseph said to her,
30:42 "My master has given me in charge of everything
30:45 in his household, his money, his finances,
30:48 his administration, everything, but you,
30:51 how can I do this great wickedness
30:54 and sin against God."
30:56 He made up his mind not to cross the boundary
30:59 and to philander with Potiphar's wife.
31:04 Potiphar's wife had more intention for Joseph
31:06 than Joseph had for Potiphar's wife.
31:12 And she tore her garment and made it appear as though
31:14 that Joseph tried to rape her, and he got thrown in jail,
31:18 and spent two years in jail at least for a crime
31:23 that he did not commit.
31:25 And while he's in jail,
31:31 he uncovers the plot to kill Pharaoh.
31:33 And he asked his fellow inmates to let Pharaoh know that
31:37 I by God's grace uncover the plot.
31:40 Remember me when you get out and the cup bearer,
31:44 and the baker gets out of prison,
31:46 and doesn't mention a thing about Joseph.
31:49 And he spends two years more in prison.
31:53 Now, I got to pause and ask you a question.
31:56 I don't like to ask questions, but at some point or the other,
31:59 when you go through difficulties in life
32:02 at that stage and that magnitude,
32:05 it sometimes may appear to you that God has left you.
32:08 But I want to let you know,
32:10 no matter how difficult it gets,
32:11 if you keep your relationship with God pure,
32:14 God will never forsake you in spite of the circumstances
32:18 that surround your life.
32:23 And he is eating prison's food now.
32:27 He's in a cell for doing nothing wrong.
32:30 And the Bible says in Genesis 40:23,
32:32 "When the time comes they forget Joseph."
32:35 Two more years passed before the truth is told,
32:37 and Joseph is set free.
32:39 And finally, Pharaoh has a dream
32:41 and God makes known through Joseph
32:43 the interpretation of Pharaoh's dream
32:46 and then he is restored.
32:48 Every trial has a beginning and it has an end.
32:53 Every trial has a beginning and an end.
32:55 The prophet says, "Weeping may endure for the night,
32:58 but joy comes," when?
33:00 "In the morning." Every trial.
33:02 And as I said to you earlier, the road to blessings
33:05 is often the highway of trials.
33:08 But God allows those trials because some of us
33:11 need to be shaped, and some of us are
33:13 so full of ourselves that God has to break us down
33:16 before He builds us up to His glory.
33:21 But it takes a person that really trust God
33:23 to go through difficulty without walking away from God
33:26 because at any point Joseph could have said,
33:28 "This is unfair.
33:30 First I'm in a pit, then I'm sold as a slave,
33:33 now I'm in Egypt as a slave,
33:35 I'm forcefully accused, I'm in prison.
33:37 I'm in prison, they forget me.
33:45 I'm done with this Christianity."
33:49 People leave church for less than that.
33:54 Thank you, Bob.
33:56 Have mercy has been approved by the board.
33:58 Have mercy.
34:00 No, really people walk away from God for less than that.
34:06 Why haven't you been to church?
34:09 "Cause a few months ago, somebody gave me
34:12 a bad look after church on Sabbath.
34:15 If you cannot endure trials among your own brethren,
34:18 you are not ready to endure trials
34:20 when the world turns against you.
34:24 Trial is the method whereby we are shaped
34:28 and molded for God's great purposes.
34:33 And to go to the beginning from the beginning of the story
34:36 to now fast forward toward the end of the story,
34:39 every trial has a beginning, and every trial has an end.
34:45 The blessings that had been delayed finally arrived.
34:50 Wrapped in the blessings of God.
34:52 Wrapped in the favor of God.
34:55 Wrapped in the glory of God.
34:59 So finally, God begins to shine some brighter light
35:03 on Joseph as He pulls him out of prison.
35:05 Finally, the power of God rests upon now
35:08 a more mature man.
35:10 And now he is governor of all the land of Egypt.
35:16 And the vision that Pharaoh had now begins to come to pass.
35:22 And every land except Egypt is going through a famine
35:27 including the land of Canaan.
35:32 Now this is where the plot thickens.
35:40 Our lives are often lives of abundance and of lack.
35:44 What did I say?
35:46 Abundance and what else? Lack.
35:49 God knows where the abundance is coming from,
35:52 and God knows when the days of lack are coming.
35:57 But the Apostle Paul said, "It is not up to us
36:00 to be fearful of the days of lack,
36:03 to enjoy the days of abundance
36:05 because when you trust God, here is the promise.
36:08 And my God," says it with me, "And my God shall supply
36:13 all of my need according to His riches
36:18 in glory by Christ Jesus."
36:25 The plot thickens,
36:28 Jacob finally gets to the place where he accepts the idea
36:31 that Joseph is dead.
36:35 In the midst of the famine he sends his sons
36:37 to look for food.
36:38 And they hear that Egypt has an abundance of food.
36:42 Pharaoh had a dream of fat calves and thin calves.
36:47 And Joseph said, "There's a famine coming
36:49 that's going to last for seven years.
36:50 So what you need to do is store up as much as you can.
36:53 So when the famine comes,
36:54 Egypt is not left without supply."
36:57 And the news gets around, Egypt has food.
36:59 So Jacob sends his sons to Egypt.
37:02 Oh, how God...
37:04 Oh, I want to say this, God, it may take time
37:06 but God sends us back to the ones that offend us
37:10 or that we offend so that we can get things
37:13 right for the glory of God.
37:15 It may take a while.
37:17 But for God to cause us to be His sons
37:20 that live in peace, that live in harmony.
37:22 You may avoid a person as long as you want,
37:25 but God knows in your heart what is there.
37:32 And so they go to Egypt looking for food,
37:36 but God is sending them to Egypt to get repentance.
37:39 They go for something to eat, but God is going
37:42 because of something that's eating them.
37:44 Come on now.
37:46 They're going because their supply is dwindling,
37:50 and they're about to understand
37:52 that God supplies more than enough for those
37:55 seeking God's blessings.
37:57 They're on their way to Egypt.
38:00 God put Joseph in a position not just to provide food.
38:04 But God put Joseph in a position
38:08 to provide forgiveness.
38:14 Can I take a minute or two on forgiveness?
38:23 Forgiveness is not human.
38:28 Forgiveness is not human.
38:33 I'm reading one of the best devotional books
38:35 I've had in many years.
38:39 A man by the name of Oswald Chambers.
38:46 And he points out in such beautiful terms
38:52 about the forgiveness of God.
39:01 And he says that, "God does not forgive us,"
39:04 and I want you to hear me carefully.
39:05 I want to unpack this very carefully.
39:07 God does not forgive us
39:10 simply because He's a God of love.
39:13 That's a fact.
39:15 God does not forgive us just because
39:19 He is a God of love.
39:21 People say, "Well, God will forgive me
39:23 because He loves me."
39:25 He loved us before Jesus died.
39:29 So the question is, if He loved us
39:31 before Jesus died, why did Jesus have to die?
39:37 Because it's only by the death of Jesus
39:39 that forgiveness is imparted to us.
39:43 God does not forgive us because He's a loving God.
39:46 He forgives us because Jesus took on Himself us,
39:50 took us to the cross, died in our place.
39:53 And at the moment of His death before He close His eyes,
39:57 Jesus uttered the words, "Father, forgive them,
40:02 for they know not what they do."
40:04 Forgiveness is not something that's human.
40:06 Forgiveness is not something that we do naturally.
40:08 God has to take hold of our hearts
40:10 for any forgiveness to be extended by us,
40:14 and any forgiveness to be permanent
40:16 in the lives of somebody else.
40:18 Can you say amen to that?
40:19 It's not natural.
40:21 You think about it.
40:22 We always add conditions to our forgiveness.
40:24 I'll forgive you but...
40:30 Don't you ever...
40:37 What if God did that to us?
40:39 Mitch, I'm going to forgive you,
40:41 but if you ever step out of line again...
40:51 This is where I want to say
40:52 praise God for His long suffering.
40:59 God suffers long in His kind because God is love.
41:05 He forgives us because of the life of Jesus.
41:07 He does not forgive us because we deserve it.
41:11 He forgives us because the blood of Jesus,
41:14 His Son cleanses us.
41:17 That's why the text is there, "If we confess our sin,
41:20 He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin
41:23 and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
41:30 That's not human, that's divine.
41:35 But now the sons are there and they are in Egypt.
41:43 And as they go to visit, the now governor of Egypt,
41:47 they have no idea that Joseph is their brother.
41:52 He looks like an Egyptian.
41:53 He walks like an Egyptian.
41:55 He talks like an Egyptian.
42:00 They don't even know him.
42:02 He has learned the language of the Egyptians.
42:04 And to conceal his identity
42:06 he speaks in the tongue of Egypt,
42:08 the Egyptian tongue,
42:10 and an interpreter communicates to them in Hebrew.
42:13 So they had no clue
42:16 that he is who they don't know him to be.
42:21 If I said it right, praise God.
42:24 They don't know who he is.
42:26 And also when you read
42:27 as he does not allow himself to be easily seen by them
42:30 because Hebrews and Egyptians don't sit together.
42:37 He gives them supply
42:39 and he says, "Now go home
42:41 but leave Simeon until you come back."
42:45 And so Simeon is kept in prison.
42:49 And then he says, "Now go home.
42:51 And in a show of favor
42:55 I want you to bring Benjamin back with you."
42:58 What you don't understand
42:59 is when he sits down the brothers
43:01 to feed them in Egypt,
43:02 he sits them down at a table
43:04 and then all of a sudden dawns on them.
43:06 I see you, Karen.
43:08 It dawns on them that they have no clue,
43:10 when he sat them down, he sat them down in age order.
43:17 God begin to, wait a minute, wait a minute.
43:21 How did that happen?
43:23 How could he have known our age?
43:25 They began to talk among themselves,
43:26 and he is overhearing them,
43:28 and they don't have a clue that he's even understanding
43:30 because they think he is an Egyptian.
43:36 Now I want to say this,
43:37 God gave Joseph in the story
43:41 the right to teach his brothers a lesson.
43:47 So he says, when you go home, bring Benjamin.
43:51 And they go back home and said,
43:52 "Dad, we've got food in abundance.
43:54 But here's the caveat, Simeon is still in prison.
43:57 He's back there in Egypt.
43:58 And to get him out, we've got to take Benjamin."
44:00 And the father says, "Benjamin?
44:02 I don't have Joseph
44:04 and now you're going to take Benjamin,
44:05 the only son left from Rachel, the woman that I really love.
44:09 Oh, no. Oh, no.
44:10 There's no way I'm sending Benjamin back."
44:13 But when the famine gets worse,
44:16 Jacob makes a desperate choice to save his family.
44:19 And he relents and sends
44:21 his youngest son Benjamin back to Egypt.
44:32 I wish I could preach long today but I can't.
44:36 Please don't say amen.
44:42 'Cause this sermon...
44:47 when Joseph sees Benjamin...
44:52 he is so moved to see his brother.
44:55 And he weeps so loudly
44:58 that is heard throughout the court of the palace.
45:03 He weeps, he weeps aloud.
45:08 Genesis 43:30.
45:10 "Now his heart yearned for his brother.
45:13 So Joseph made haste and sought somewhere to weep,
45:17 and he went into his chamber
45:20 and wept, and wept, and wept."
45:32 They released Simeon.
45:35 And they're sending all the food
45:36 back that they need to Canaan.
45:39 And for some unusual reason
45:41 he gives Benjamin five times more food
45:43 than all the other brothers
45:45 and they don't think anything unusual about that.
45:47 And then he did something else, he put a golden cup
45:50 he had one of the suppliers
45:52 put a golden cup in Benjamin's bag.
45:55 And on the way back to Canaan they get stopped along the way
45:59 by those men that were dispatched
46:01 intentionally to fulfill God's plan.
46:06 And they said, "The King's Cup is missing."
46:09 And they said, "Would we do such evil to a man
46:12 who has shown such favor to us?"
46:17 And they begin to search through all the bags
46:18 and they come up to Benjamin and there they find the cup.
46:22 But before that moment they said,
46:23 "We are so grateful to the king.
46:25 If we have stolen it," they were so sure they didn't,
46:28 "if we have stolen it, deal with us unjustly,
46:31 make us a slave, take us back to Egypt,
46:35 kill us if you find us guilty."
46:38 And they find it in the bag of Benjamin.
46:43 And the brothers begin to lament
46:45 that they made the conditions of their own capture,
46:50 "Kill and slave, keep in Egypt.
46:54 How could we do that?"
46:59 And Benjamin is caught
47:02 and commanded to remain in Egypt.
47:09 And his brothers now more mature,
47:12 they go back to Egypt with him.
47:16 And now they're waiting for the governor to come out.
47:19 They're waiting for the governor to come out
47:20 and make the judgment.
47:22 And he comes out. And then he...
47:25 It is so difficult for him to maintain his composure,
47:30 God is tugging on his heart.
47:33 And in 45:2, the Bible says, "And he wept aloud.
47:37 And the Egyptians
47:39 and the house of Pharaoh heard it."
47:40 And the Bible says, "He couldn't even speak,
47:43 he wept so loudly,
47:44 Joseph looking at his brothers."
47:57 And then he said to his brothers
48:01 after he cleared the hall of all the Egyptians,
48:03 he said to his brothers, "Come, come to me.
48:05 Come near to me."
48:06 And so they came near to him and then he said to them,
48:09 "I am Joseph, your brother
48:11 whom you sold in Egypt."
48:16 And instead of hatred, there are hugs,
48:19 instead of rebuke, there is repentance,
48:22 instead of fear, there is forgiveness.
48:25 Come on somebody say amen.
48:27 The reconciliation that took years to accomplish.
48:31 Fear turns to forgiveness, rebuke turns to repentance,
48:37 hatred turns to hug.
48:39 And there they are in the complete embrace
48:42 of God's goodness to them.
48:45 God turns a tragedy of many years into a triumph.
48:50 And we read these words in Genesis 45:5.
48:55 Listen to the words of God.
48:57 "God sent me before you to preserve life.
49:01 God send me but now do not therefore be grieved,
49:04 or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here:
49:08 for God send me before you to preserve life."
49:12 God has a way of working out His dream
49:15 and get this, not just for us,
49:20 but for our families, for our lives.
49:26 But if you would dare go through
49:28 the difficulty of trials
49:29 just so that your family can be blessed.
49:32 That takes a person whose heart is moved by God,
49:35 whose heart is moved by God's compassion,
49:37 whose heart is filled by God's Holy Spirit.
49:39 Forgiveness is not a natural thing.
49:44 And then the verse that we have all heard and have coined,
49:47 Genesis 50:20.
49:51 "But as for you, you meant evil against me,
49:57 but God meant it for good."
50:01 Let's read that together.
50:02 "But as for you, you meant evil against me,
50:06 but God meant it," what?
50:07 "For good.
50:09 In order to bring it about as it is this day,
50:12 to save many people alive."
50:19 Now I want to cap off by saying this.
50:21 The life of Joseph is a life parallel to Jesus.
50:26 Look at the parallels, it's amazing.
50:27 Joseph's life is spared as he is exiled in Egypt.
50:31 Christ is taken to Egypt as a child to spare His life.
50:35 Joseph is 31,
50:37 he is exalted to governor of Pharaoh by Pharaoh.
50:40 Christ was 31 when He began His ministry.
50:43 The Bible says of Jesus,
50:44 the government shall be upon his shoulder.
50:47 Joseph is sold to heathen enemies
50:49 by those closest to him, his family.
50:52 Christ is sold to His bitterest enemy by those closest to Him,
50:56 one of His disciples.
50:58 Joseph is going to condemned to prison by false accusation.
51:01 Christ is condemned to the cross
51:04 by the testimony of false accusation.
51:06 Look at the parallels, it's amazing.
51:08 Joseph is a type of Christ.
51:10 In the hour of Joseph's greatest trial,
51:13 there was no water for him in the pit.
51:16 In the hour of Jesus' greatest trial,
51:19 there was no water for Him on the cross.
51:23 Joseph is released from prison in his third year.
51:28 Jesus is raised from the tomb on the third day.
51:32 Come on say amen somebody.
51:34 Joseph changes his garment
51:36 when he is released from prison.
51:38 Christ changes His garment
51:40 when He is released from the tomb.
51:43 Joseph forgives those who betray him.
51:45 Christ forgives all of us,
51:51 not just the Jews, not just the Romans,
51:53 Christ forgives all of us.
51:54 Can you say amen?
51:56 Because all we like sheep have gone astray.
51:59 Joseph is given all authority
52:01 after he is released from prison.
52:03 And Jesus says, "All authority is given to Me
52:07 after His resurrection."
52:09 Through the trials of Joseph,
52:11 his family is spared in a time of trouble.
52:14 And through the trial of Jesus,
52:16 we will be spared in our time of trouble.
52:20 So what's the purpose of the story?
52:25 If I were to summarize with this closing statement,
52:27 it is this.
52:30 God allows our trials
52:34 to take us from our pit to our palace.
52:39 Our trials will shape us for our blessings.
52:46 But I want you to remember this.
52:48 And you can play softly, Adam, I appreciate it.
52:53 Are you listening?
52:55 Here it is.
52:57 The coin of the entire message, here it is.
53:02 What you become during your trials
53:08 are more important than what you become
53:10 at the end of your trials.
53:14 What you become during your testing
53:18 is more important than what you become
53:21 at the end of your testing,
53:23 for the trial will shape you
53:25 if you allow God's hand to remain upon your life.
53:30 The trials will mold you.
53:31 They'll break you down.
53:33 They'll put you in the pit of your experiences.
53:35 They'll turn the world against your family, friends.
53:37 It will seem as though you're closed in by everything
53:40 that is designed to crush you.
53:41 But if you remain faithful during the trials,
53:47 at the end of your trials
53:51 you will be what God always knew that you were going to be
53:55 a glory to the kingdom of God.
53:58 This morning how many of you,
54:00 I don't want to know about your trials,
54:01 but how many of you want to be all that God wants you to be
54:05 in the midst of your trials,
54:07 not just at the end, in the midst of your trials.
54:11 If that's your desire today, I'd like you to stand with me,
54:15 we want to sing a closing stanza of this song.
54:42 God sent His Son
54:48 They called Him Jesus
54:54 He came to love
55:00 Heal and forgive
55:06 He lived and died
55:13 To buy my pardon
55:19 An empty grave
55:23 Is there to prove
55:27 My Savior lives
55:30 Let's just sing that chorus together.
55:33 Because He lives
55:39 I can face tomorrow
55:46 Because He lives
55:52 All fear is gone
55:59 Because I know
56:06 He holds the future
56:13 And life is worth
56:17 The living just
56:20 Because He lives
56:26 Our heads are bowed, our eyes are closed.
56:29 My heavenly, Father, today we stand because You live.
56:34 Your trials, Your betrayal,
56:39 Your scourging,
56:42 Your false accusations.
56:46 You bore them all, Father, because You loved us.
56:52 And then You bought a gift
56:53 called forgiveness to extend to each one of us.
56:56 So divine, so devoid of humanity,
57:00 You came to us in the broken down state
57:03 like the 11 brothers of Joseph,
57:06 envious, jealous, contentious,
57:09 liars, deceptive.
57:14 At best our righteousness is like filthy rags
57:17 but You came to us.
57:20 And when You could have condemned us,
57:21 You gave us food to eat.
57:24 When You could have condemned us,
57:26 You embraced us.
57:28 And with Your tears You drew us in as Brother to Brother,
57:33 Savior to saved.
57:37 And, Father, today, we thank You
57:39 that our lives are no longer in the pit,
57:44 but we are on our way to the palace.
57:48 But, Father, this morning there's somebody here
57:49 who may be wrestling with forgiveness.
57:54 They may be recounting all the things
57:56 that have happened to them
57:58 from their betrayers from those who have disliked,
58:03 and have maligned, and have wrongly accused them.
58:08 That may be even something
58:09 that they've done in their own lives
58:11 to bring the displeasure of God upon them.
58:13 And in their pit they wonder
58:15 what tomorrow is going to bring.
58:18 In the moment of their slavery, they wonder whether or not
58:20 God still cares and loves them.
58:22 But today, Lord, I want to thank You for reminding us
58:25 that You love us with an everlasting love.
58:30 And with loving kindness You draw us.
58:33 So, Lord, today as we stand on December 2nd,
58:37 the year is about to close,
58:39 may it close with a reconciliation
58:41 between our brothers and our sisters,
58:44 between member and member alike,
58:48 between those called to represent You Lord,
58:50 may we extend that gift
58:53 through the channels of Christ to one another
58:56 that we may go into the New Year healed and whole
58:58 and one in Jesus.
59:01 That we all together may walk together
59:03 on our way to the palace.
59:05 So we thank You today for Your saving grace.
59:08 May we not take it for granted,
59:10 may we rejoice, and reflect, and reveal.
59:17 Forgiveness is so divine.
59:19 And this we ask that You may be honored
59:23 and that You may be glorified.
59:26 In Jesus' holy and precious name we pray.
59:30 Amen and amen.