Joseph had every reason to seek revenge. After all, his brothers deeply resented his popularity in the family, so much so that one day they threw Joseph into a ditch to die and lied to their father about his death. In today's terms, Joseph was an abused little brother. Today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll continues a message started on Thursday's program. He's teaching from the book of Genesis and recounting this abusive relationship between Joseph and his brothers. Chuck titled his message, When God Gives Grace to Endure, and he begins with prayer. Our Father, when we uncover the truth, it's like discovering a treasure in a vault that has not been opened before.
It's like walking into the most beautiful setting that we couldn't have even imagined. And to think that it is coming from the life of a man whose brothers wanted to kill him, who sold him into slavery and abandoned him, but you never left him. In fact, you raised him up to become the wind beneath their wings to give them food to survive and hope for the rest of their days. Teach us, Lord, break through the traditional thinking that has shaped us and scarred us all these years and then free us to soar with Joseph into new heights of relief and recovery. Use our gifts, we pray, as we give them to you with hearts full of gratitude for seeing us through all those things that others did intending to harm us.
But you are here. You are bringing glory out of all of that pain. Thank you for the privilege of learning today what we must believe and live by. Through Christ, we give our gifts and we express this prayer. And everyone said, amen. You're listening to Insight for Living. To study the Bible with Chuck Swindoll, be sure to download his Searching the Scriptures studies by going to insight.org slash hope.
And now the message from Chuck titled When God Gives Grace to Endure. Today is the story of an abused 17-year-old boy. According to Genesis chapter 37, we know precisely that is his age. So as I've asked you all along, put yourself in the sandals of each person we meet and imagine your 17-year-old or when you were 17, still in your formative years, out of the blue, because of jealousy, since he was the father's favorite, being the younger, youngest in the family, the brothers hated him and decided to murder him. None of it known to Joseph, of course. As Joseph makes his way to where they all were, they ambush him, discuss how to kill him, throw him in a cistern with plans to take his life until one says, no, we can make some money out of this. And they see a caravan coming from Canaan going to Egypt and they think, let's sell him. We don't know what scars Joseph lived with or how the Ishmaelites in that caravan treated their slave. So they bring him to Egypt. How different from where he had been in the quiet, quaint little village where he lived with his father, Jacob, and his brothers. He is now thrust into a country who speaks a language he doesn't know, who observe customs he's never observed, and worshiping gods of other names with strange animal faces in this weird, setting, fast-paced Egypt. What by Pharaoh's captain of the guard named Potiphar, put into the house as a house slave.
What a shock. From favored son to forgotten boy. From pampered child to enslaved. Young man, unknown, living now with his memories and looking up into the night sky with no moon. How easy it would have been for him to nurse a grudge and to lick his wounds as he rehearsed the abuse, none of which was deserved. I've looked and looked and looked and looked, not one reference to a lingering hatefulness or statement of revenge or moment to get even. He's 17, 18, 19, 20.
No daddy, no family, no Canaan. He's a tool in the hand of a seductive woman who attempts to seduce him and make him her sex slave. Doesn't even fall for that. She accuses him of rape.
Her husband believes her, maybe. But he puts him in the king's prison and leaves him. When you get toward the end of the story in chapter 50, he says to his brothers, you intended to harm me. I know that. I knew what you were doing when it happened. He's not in denial. You meant it to me for evil.
But my God, greater than all of us and the whole world put together, intended it for good. Well, we left him in prison a moment ago, so we'll go back. And he's forgotten. He is. He's there with, he's a model prisoner.
Not surprising. He wins the heart of a warden. He wins over the friendship of fellow inmates. And when you read through the story, it's like, good night.
What kind of a guy is this? And he, in fact, helps two of his inmates with dreams they have, and he interprets them, and they take that information, and it gets them relieved from prison. He said, wait, wait, wait. Before you leave, before you go out of the cell, just remember me. Don't forget me. So he's very human.
I'd like to be out of this place. And they forgot him. One of them especially did. Went running about his business. The other one was killed. And the one that lived on because of Joseph. Forgot about Joseph. And here he is, left in this Egyptian dungeon.
What must that have been like? All the abuse, all the wrong, all the false accusation, all the previous years, all of it, and he's forgotten. Not a word of bitterness. Not one. This man is living large the life of a believer. I serve a faithful God who knows everything and has a plan beyond what I could ever imagine.
It's an epical event. No one, no one could have predicted. Now fast forward to Pharaoh. Pharaoh has dreams. He can't find the answers.
He gets word that there's an inmate in one of the prisons that might be able to help. And Joseph comes and stands before Pharaoh and gives him the answer. A famine is coming. You must store up grain because it will be a famine that covers the earth. You must be prepared. And Pharaoh knows this is the correct interpretation.
So out of the blue, read it for yourself. Chapter 41, verse 37. Joseph's suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. So Pharaoh asked his officials, can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the Spirit of God? That's Pharaoh talking. This guy's got the Spirit of God.
Listen to these answers. God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you. Clearly no one else is so intelligent or wise. You will be in charge of my court and all my people will take orders from you. Here's an epical event no one could have imagined.
Here's a man still in inmate garb hearing. You will be sitting on my throne or beside me on my throne. Only I will have a position higher.
Verse 41, Pharaoh said to Joseph, I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt. Whoa! Head spinning, but that's not all. Look. He pulled his credit card from his hand. Well, it says signet ring from his hand. And he placed it in Joseph's hand and said, the wealth is all yours.
Spend it. You're in charge. He dressed him in linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Then he, I love this, then he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second in command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted. The Hebrew says, bow to me. You're in the presence of second in command, the prime minister of the land. Pharaoh said to him, I'm Pharaoh.
No one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval. That's a pretty good job description. And by the way, verse 46 tells us a very important detail. He was 30 years old. Do the math.
17 to 30. Nothing but brokenness, abuse, mistreatment, foul language, inappropriate claims against him. Thrown in prison out of an accusation that was not true. Left there and forgotten. 13 until this moment, here he is, dressed like royalty, having gone through all of that that was so unfair and undeserved.
He's now sought out, admired, honored and promoted by the Pharaoh of Egypt. Average person is going to think, hot dog, wait till my brothers are starving and come to me for food. Just wait.
But he doesn't. Matter of fact, we're not left to wonder. The famine spread through all the earth. Last verse of the chapter. So naturally, the guys in Canaan are starving. Daddy says to the boys, you got to go to Egypt. I hear there's a man that's got got the key to the to the greenery. We got to get some. We got to buy some grub.
We got to be able to survive. So he sends his boys. He keeps the youngest.
And chapter 45, cut to the chase. Joseph has messed with them back and forth. They don't know who he is. This is what makes the story so interesting. He knows who they are, but they don't know who he is. I love stories like this where I read something and they don't know it. I talk to you guys don't know what's going on.
And you only knew they don't know. So they're standing with their hat in their hand and they're begging for food and Joseph is back here. Finally can't take it any longer.
Look at 45. Verse one. He could stand it no longer. Set everybody out of the room. He's alone with his brothers.
Is this great or what? It's this terrific moment. And he calls them up. He says, hey Joseph, I'm Joseph.
Those brothers didn't know whether to spit or wind their watch. They're looking up and they're like, oh Lord, have mercy on me. He is going to slice my neck open. I won't know it till I sneeze. He is going to do it quick.
But he doesn't. Is daddy okay? Is he still alive? Yeah, that's fine. Okay.
They still don't believe it. Verse four. Come closer. I'm Joseph, your brother whom you sold into slavery. Yeah, we got that. But he says, don't be upset. Don't be angry with yourselves.
Isn't that an amazing statement? Who's the one that's supposed to be angry? The abused. Unless of course his God's greater than his pain.
Look at what he says. Here's the reason I tell you not to be angry or fearful. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve lives. End of verse five.
This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years. Verse seven. God sent me here. Verse eight.
Sounds like a broken record. It was God who sent me here. Not you. You weren't in charge. You thought you were, but you weren't. God brought me here to be the manager of Pharaoh's land and he made me master over all of it.
He's trying to break through all of their preconceived notion that he would respond to them like they would have responded to him had he been in their sandals. He says, no, no, no. That's not who I am. It is God who has made all of this happen. Look at this.
All this beauty and wealth and royalty. Guys, it's our God who's done this. There is no, now stay with me in this because we're all enamored of today's teachings about how you cannot get away from those scars and the emotional abuse and all of the memories. Look. Joseph. It's God. He delivered me. God got me out of prison. God got me out of slavery. God got me in front of Pharaoh. God gave me the answer to dreams. God's responsible for my promotion.
Who am I to judge you? Look, I have a chance to feed the world with grain because of God who has been at work in my life. In fact, he says it down in verse nine into the verse. God has made me master over all the land of Egypt.
Verse 12. Then Joseph added, look, come up here close. You can see for yourselves that I really am Joseph.
Look, probably pulled his headpiece off. Look closely. I'm your brother. But the best part of all, I am here because of what God has done in spite of you. You're listening to insight for living, and we've come to one of the most dramatic surprises in the entire Bible when Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers. And there's much more that Chuck's wind all wants to show us. So please keep listening. This is message number six in Chuck's brand new 12 part teaching series called clinging to hope to learn more about this ministry.
We invite you to visit us online at insight world.org. But first, let me remind you that Chuck wrote a 12 chapter book that runs parallel with this series as well. It's also called clinging to hope. People often tell us how much they appreciate Chuck's authentic writing style. His approach to tough topics is refreshing and convincing. Plus, Chuck insists on staying true to what God's word teaches and doesn't teach on the topic of hope. So if you're listening to introduce a friend to Chuck's teaching or maybe searching for a book that's suitable for your small group at church, this is the one. To purchase a copy of clinging to hope, go to insight.org slash hope, or call us.
If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. This daily Bible teaching program and the other resources we produce are created just for you. And for that reason, we love receiving your feedback because your comments reinforce that God is using insight for living to touch lives. For instance, we recently heard from a friend who said, Chuck, for more than two decades, you've been a voice of the spirit to comfort, convict, and restore my weakened heart, especially during the storms of my life. May God continue to shower you with strength, wisdom, and courage.
Well, I can assure you, we love hearing your stories. And when you partner financially with Insight for Living Ministries, you are the channel he's using to make an impact. So as God moves you to join us, we invite you to give generously. To give a donation today, call us.
If you're listening in the United States, call 800-772-8888. Or you can go online to insight.org slash donate. In March, 2023, Insight for Living Ministries is hosting an unforgettable journey to Israel. Carefully plan to deepen your understanding of the Bible and draw you closer to God.
Here's Chuck Swindoll. For thousands of years, no place has been more meaningful to God's children than the land of Israel. The rugged landscape reminds us to find refuge in God alone. The fertile valleys invite us to follow our shepherd. Jerusalem's position at the very center of the world announces the good news of Christ to every nation. And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and Insight for Living Ministries, March 5th through the 16th, 2023. Every time I visited the Holy Land, I returned home with a refreshed heart for God and a renewed vision for the world.
Really, I mean it every time. And so I want you to have the same life-changing experience. To learn more, go to insight.org slash events, or call this number 1-888-447-0444. Insight for Living Ministries Tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Bill Meyer. Join us when Chuck Swindoll describes a horrific family offense and the graceful response of an abused brother. That's Monday on Insight for Living. The preceding message, When God Gives Grace to Endure, was copyrighted in 2019 and 2022, and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2022 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-11-20 15:39:58 / 2022-11-20 15:47:22 / 7