Faithlife Sermons

Sermon Tone Analysis

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*WHERE IS GOD WHEN EVERYTHING GOES WRONG?*
*Genesis 39:1-23*
*David Riley*
*Liberty** Baptist Church*
*August 22, 1999*
 
 /Gen 39:1-23/
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/1          Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there./
/2          And the LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man.
And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian./
/3          Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and {how} the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand./
/4          So Joseph found favor in his sight, and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge./
/5          And it came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house, and over all that he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house on account of Joseph; thus the LORD'S blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field./
/6          So he left everything he owned in Joseph's charge; and with him {there} he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate.
Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance./
/7          And it came about after these events that his master's wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, "Lie with me."/
/8          But he refused and said to his master's wife, "Behold, with me {here,} my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge./
/9          "There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife.
How then could I do this great evil, and sin against God?"/
/10        And it came about as she spoke to Joseph day after day, that he did not listen to her to lie beside her, {or} be with her./
/11        Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside./
/12        And she caught him by his garment, saying, "Lie with me!"
And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside./
/13        When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and had fled outside,/
/14        she called to the men of her household, and said to them, "See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed./
/15        "And it came about when he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, that he left his garment beside me and fled, and went outside."/
/16        So she left his garment beside her until his master came home./
/17        Then she spoke to him with these words, "The Hebrew slave, whom you brought to us, came in to me to make sport of me;/
/18        and it happened as I raised my voice and screamed, that he left his garment beside me and fled outside."/
/19        Now it came about when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, "This is what your slave did to me," that his anger burned./
/20        So Joseph's master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king's prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail./
/21        But the LORD was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer./
/22        And the chief jailer committed to Joseph's charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible {for it.}/
/23        The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph's charge because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made to prosper./
/(NAS)/
/ /
*INTRODUCTION*
        
Have you ever had one of those days when everything that could go wrong did go wrong?
Have you ever had one of those days when the harder you try to do things right, the easier things seem to go wrong?
I read about a man who was filling out an accident report form for an insurance company, explaining how he had received the injuries that put him in the hospital.
He responded:
        
Dear Sir:
        
I want to explain in this letter the details of what put me in the hospital.
I am a bricklayer by trade.
On the day of my accident, I was working alone on the roof of a brand new six-story building.
When I completed my work, I discovered that I had about five hundred pounds of brick left over.
Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley that was attached to the side of the building at the top of the 6th floor.
Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel and loaded the brick into it.
Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the five hundred pounds of brick.
You will notice in block 11 of the Accident Report Form that I weigh 135 pounds.
Due to my surprise, at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope.
Needless to say, I proceeded in a rather rapid rate up the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down.
This explains my broken arm and shattered collar bone.
Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent up the side of the building, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were too deep in the pulley.
This explains my two broken fingers.
Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my pain.
At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel.
Devoid the weight of the bricks the barrel now weighed approximately fifty pounds.
I refer you again to my weight of 135 pounds in block 11.
As you might imagine, I began a rapid decent down the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the 3rd floor, I met the barrel coming up.
This accounts for the two fractured ankles and the dislocation of my left kneecap.
Slowed only slightly, I landed directly on the pile of bricks beneath me, and this explains the cracked three vertebrae in my  back.
Finally, as I lay there on the bricks in pain, unable to stand, and watching that empty barrel six stories above me, out of relief that it was over, I let go of the rope.
That explains the fractured skull.
Now even if you haven't ever experienced something quite as traumatic as that, you are going to have days, weeks, and months, maybe even years, when everything seems to go wrong.
This is true whether you know God, believe God, love God, serve God, or not.
Joseph certainly had his share of days when everything went wrong.
Joseph had more than his share of dark days and rainy nights.
Chapter 39:20 we read,
/ /
/Gen 39:20/
/20        So Joseph's master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king's prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail./
/(NAS)/
/ /
Joseph had been put into a dark dirty dungeon with some of the roughest characters in all of Egypt; not for doing what was wrong, but because he did what was right.
He was there not because of his bad crime, but because of his good character.
For a large part of his life Joseph's tombstone could have read: "Nice guys finish last."
Yet, through it all, Joseph remained "a nice guy."
Joseph remained completely devoted to God whether he was up on the mountaintop or down in the valley.
He knew how to handle adversity and prosperity.
Peter Marshall once said,
 
"It is a fact of Christian experience that life is a series of troughs and peaks.
In his efforts to get permanent possession of the soul, God relies on the troughs more than the peaks, and some of his special favorites have gone through longer and deeper troughs than anyone else."
Those words apply perfectly to Joseph.
We can learn from Joseph valuable lessons on how to make it when everything goes wrong.
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*I.
Remember The Promises Of God*
        
It is not coincidental that at the beginning of the entire narrative about Joseph, we read about his dream:
 
/Gen 37:5-11/
/5          Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more./
/6          And he said to them, "Please listen to this dream which I have had;/
/7          for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf."/
/8          Then his brothers said to him, "Are you actually going to reign over us?
Or are you really going to rule over us?"
So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words./
/9          Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, "Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me."/
/10        And he related {it} to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have had?
Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?"/
/11        And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying {in mind.}/
/(NAS)/
       
This dream was God's word to Joseph; God's promise for Joseph.
There was a dream about the sheaves, and there was a dream about the stars.
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