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5-28-17: Unbelievable - God is with Me

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I. Me and We
Missing the end of the story...
We want resolutions…sometimes, however, we don’t wait long enough.
II. God
A. In a Pit
Genesis 37:3 NRSV
Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves.
Joseph was the favorite. Jacob loved him more than any of the other children.
Genesis 37:4 NRSV
But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.
Genesis 3:4 NRSV
But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die;
Not only that, he was one of the youngest. Envy boiled in the heart of his older brothers. So much envy that they could not even speak peaceably to him!
Genesis 37:5 NRSV
Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.
Genesis 3:5 NRSV
for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
To make matters worse, Joseph had dreams of greatness. He dreamed that even his brothers and father would end up bowing down to him. This is the kind of dream that, if you have it, you make sure to keep it to yourself! No good can come from sharing such a dream. However, Joseph didn’t have a strong enough character to keep it to himself, so he let his brothers know.
Genesis 37:19–20 NRSV
They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer. Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”
Genesis 3:
An opportunity came to get rid of Joseph. They had the murder all planned out. They would kill him, throw him into a pit, and say that a wild animal had killed him. Their envy was now matured and giving birth to a murderous plan.
I’ve always wondered what it was like for Joseph. Having his brother take him and him into a pit must have been terrifying. We get some sense of what it might have been like later .
Genesis 42:21 NRSV
They said to one another, “Alas, we are paying the penalty for what we did to our brother; we saw his anguish when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this anguish has come upon us.”
Later they talk about the day they threw Joseph into a pit. They heard him pleading with them. His cries of help went unheeded. I wonder if they were sitting down eating lunch as he cried out for help and mercy.
THe only mercy he received was being sold into slavery.
Jospeh began with high hopes and big dreams.
Envy caused his brothers to put him in a pit
He was sold into slavery
B. In Prison
He did well in Potifer’s house. He was in charge.
Genesis 39:2 NRSV
The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man; he was in the house of his Egyptian master.
Genesis 39:3 NRSV
His master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hands.
This was not where Joseph wanted to be, but, he did well. God was with him. Everything he did prospered and he was given more and more responsibility.
Life was going as well as it could given the circumstances, but all that was about to change.
Genesis 39:7–8 NRSV
And after a time his master’s wife cast her eyes on Joseph and said, “Lie with me.” But he refused and said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my hand.
Genesis 39:7-
Jospeh was standing up for what was right. Perhaps the reason why we read that God was with him was because he was with God.
Genesis 39:
Genesis 39:10 NRSV
And although she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not consent to lie beside her or to be with her.
Genesis 39:
Genesis 39:11–12 NRSV
One day, however, when he went into the house to do his work, and while no one else was in the house, she caught hold of his garment, saying, “Lie with me!” But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside.
Again, an opportunity arose…not for Joseph to be freed, but for someone to take advantage of him. This time potifer’s wife, upset that Joseph continues to rebuff her advances, sees an opportunity when Jospeh runs leaving his garment in her hand.
Genesis 39:11-12
Genesis 39:13 NRSV
When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside,
Genesis 39:14–15 NRSV
she called out to the members of her household and said to them, “See, my husband has brought among us a Hebrew to insult us! He came in to me to lie with me, and I cried out with a loud voice; and when he heard me raise my voice and cry out, he left his garment beside me, and fled outside.”
Genesis 39:13
She lies. She lies. She lies. which lands Jospeh in prison.
Genesis 39:20 NRSV
And Joseph’s master took him and put him into the prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined; he remained there in prison.
Genesis 39:21 NRSV
But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love; he gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer.
Genesis 39:20
Once again we learn that GOd was with Joseph. Perhaps the bible continues to tell us this because given the story, it would be easy to forget. Given all of Joseph’s trouble, it would be easy to wonder where God was.
Nevertheless, Joseph continues to prosper.
He continued to do well
He was accused of a crime he didn’t commit
He was put in prison
C. Forgotten
Then…we think he finally catches a break. Two prisoners have dreams. He interprets them. The cupbearer’s dream indicated that he was going to be restored back to his positon as cupbearer. Joseph thinks he finally has a chance to get out of the prision.
Genesis 40:14–15 NRSV
But remember me when it is well with you; please do me the kindness to make mention of me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this place. For in fact I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews; and here also I have done nothing that they should have put me into the dungeon.”
Genesis 40:14
Genesis 40:23 NRSV
Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
The guy just can’t catch a break!
Genesis 41:1 NRSV
After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile,
Genesis 40:
We learn that he was in prison two more years…forgotten.
Genesis 41:
I wonder how he felt at this point. Was he ready to give up? Was he ready to call out to God in anger?
Genesis 41:38 NRSV
Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find anyone else like this—one in whom is the spirit of God?”
Genesis 41:39–40 NRSV
So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command; only with regard to the throne will I be greater than you.”
Genesis 41:39-
He still did well
He intrepreted a dream (and would receive freedom for his kindness)
He was forgotten…UNTIL! the right time.
III. You and Us
Judges 6:12 NRSV
The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, “The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior.”
Judges 6:13 NRSV
Gideon answered him, “But sir, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all his wonderful deeds that our ancestors recounted to us, saying, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt?’ But now the Lord has cast us off, and given us into the hand of Midian.”
Judges 6:14 NRSV
Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this might of yours and deliver Israel from the hand of Midian; I hereby commission you.”
Gideon’s Question:
Could our troubles be part of something bigger?
What if God wants to use our troubles for his glory and kingdom?
God didn’t cause these things…but he never left Jospeh becuase, I believer, JOseph never lost hope in God. Joseph was able to believe that even in light of his difficulty, God was still at work.
What if, we knew that we were never alone?
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