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January 7, 2022 1:00 am
Have you ever thought, “Where does God factor in all my unfulfilled dreams?” You’re not alone. Joseph’s dream seemed destroyed—until the day he sees his brothers for the first time since they sold him into slavery. In this message, you’ll begin to sketch three portraits of Joseph’s painful encounters with his brothers. You’ll see how a divinely-directed famine brought Joseph and his brothers together—physically and relationally. No matter what you’ve been through, God is still with you, and He has bigger dreams for you than you could ever imagine.Click here to listen (Duration 25:02)
Dream was almost destroyed circumstances. God saw to it.
The dreams international consequences.
There was a far bigger purpose of Joseph even realized in the same may be true for you church in Chicago. This is when who's clear thinking helps us get across the finish line after loser, where are we now in Joseph's amazing story.
I find this story to be absolutely remarkable because God was willing to make sure that there was a famine in Egypt but also of course in Canaan in order to bring the family from Canaan into Egypt. Hundreds of people were suffering.
They didn't know why they didn't know that God had this ultimate purpose in mind just like you and I often times we don't know what God's purposes, but behind all of the events that we do not understand behind all of those events is the hand of God.
That's why this story is so incredibly important. And even as we listen. Now let us be encouraged to know that the hand of God that was on Joseph is the same God whose hand is on us and what a story, and what an ending to the story that we are beginning to understand at this point in the series talking about dream.
Some of our dreams or fill some of them are unfulfilled and some will never, others are in the process summer shattered.
We all have them. We all need them. And the question is where does God fit into all of them. Remember that God gave Joseph a dream 17 years old. He dreams that his 11 brothers are going to bow down before him, kind of a prideful dream actually but as it turns out it was a dream given to him by God and then God did what he frequently does when he gives us a dream. He causes that dream to die, it dies a very deep and lasting. First of all, his dream died because his family tried to sabotage it. His brothers sold him into prison in Egypt and that was the end of his dream. They said we will kill him and that will end his dream.
Some of you have families that wanted to do that you and then one season. Egypt is exalted and that he is falsely accused of rape as we noticed in as a result of that, he gets thrown into the dungeon and that is the end of the dream for sure. Two full years prison for doing something that is right and good and pure and holy God says I want you to dive your reputation indicting your dream in jail but there the word of God tested him and then he had to die to his friends. He helped the cupbearer and he said remember me now when you get out of prison, but we read that the cupbearer did not remember Joseph.
He died to his friends if the dream was ever going to be fulfilled if it was ever going to happen. It would be because God would have to do it, God would have to do it and today we learned that God did it.
God did it. What we'd like to do in the time before us is to sketch three portraits three portraits to be nice to have a video camera if we could've actually seen this happen all that we can do today is to describe it, and because were going to be covering the three chapters of the Bible. I'm actually going to be going through those chapters and telling you the story making some comments before we wrap it up and develop and continue to develop our theology of dreams, so I want you to take your Bibles and let's look at the first portrait in Genesis chapter 42 Genesis chapter 42. The portrait is the first visit. The first visit of the brothers to Joseph, who was in Egypt 1242 opens with a famine in the land, and Jacob says to his sons why are you staring at one another. I have heard that there is grain in Egypt go down there and buy some for us. From that place so that we might live and not die so because Egypt is grain. Remember because of Pharaoh's dream and Joseph was helping Pharaoh fulfill his dream and Joseph became a leader. The secretary of agriculture and by the way, had a lot of wisdom in how he was able to organize this massive massive attempt to save grain for seven years so that there would be something to eat during the seven years of famine and and so what happens is the brothers they go down to Egypt. Now you must remember that at this point Jacob is still playing favorites. You remember several weeks ago we talked about that he had Joseph, who was his favorite, and Benjamin.
It was his favorite regimen would've been in his early 30s by now Jacob keeps them at home. He can't go with the brothers and 10 brothers make the trip. What happens is this Joseph decides when he sees them when he sees them, and they bowed before him.
Joseph decides that he's going to re-create as far as possible the conditions that he faced when he was in that and he's going to do that for them so that they see and mirror put up to their faces and they see themselves so he does three things. First of all, he accuses them of being spies. It says in verse nine, Joseph remembered the dreams which he had about them and he said to them that you are spies you have come to look at the parts of our land. They of course protest and say nowhere not and he repeats it in verse 14 Joseph said to them, it is as I said to you. You are spies what they said he was he's coming to spy on us. They said as he was walking along this very colored multicolored coat. So he accuses them of being spies. Then he throws them in jail for three days to soften them and to give them a taste of what it's like to be under authority, and then he does 1/3 thing by Symbian. Their eyes notice he says if you want to see my face again. It must be with your younger brother, but was left at home but notice in verse 21 they said one to another. Truly, we are guilty concerning our brother because we saw the distress of this old when he pleaded with us yet we would not listen. Therefore, this distress has come upon us. We are getting a taste of our own medicine.
Now what you need to realize is that they did not know that Joseph was overhearing the conversation because there was an interpreter present. They thought that he spoke only Egyptian and that he did not know Hebrew. That's what the interpreter was, therefore, supposedly, but Joseph of course. Having grown up with them he understood full well what was happening. It says in verse 23 they did not know however that Joseph understood, for there was an interpreter between them. Did you notice Joseph as a boy, did not endure his time in the pit with tranquility, as if to say what shirt it cellmate. He was just like any 17-year-old he pulled his brothers don't do it, but they were so cruel that they sold him anyway and now their memories.
20 years later their memories are beginning to to read construct what happened in there saying this is the distress that we put upon Joseph and it is now upon us.
Notice it says that verse 24 and Joseph turned away from them and wept when he returned to them and spoke to them.
He took Simeon from them and found him for their eyes. Could I say in passing that you get two different glimpses of Joseph here you see the strong Joseph who binds Simeon but you also see the Joseph that is so tender, that is so overcome by the emotion of the moment. He has to leave the room to weep at the brothers saw only the very strong are rough hands. They did not see the hot tears and may I say that that's the way God's dealings are often with us. Some of you know what it is like to have God deal with you harshly. You may feel like they only sit in the book of Ruth no longer call me Naomi, call me Tara God has dealt bitterly with me and that's the side of God. We sometimes see the side where people are taken away in death, the side where there is sorrow and suffering, and where there does not seem to be any resolution of the paying.
That's the side we begin to see and we begin to doubt God.
I want you to know that there is another side that is the Lord Jesus Christ was deeply touched with the feelings of our infirmities. If only if only we could see the compassion of God. If only we could see the loving kindness of God. If only we could see that we sometimes cannot trust his hand or it is severe only we could see his heart. We would know then that all of God's thoughts towards us and his dealings with his children are always benevolent there always benevolent. He has a hidden purpose is a hidden purpose, but his love toward us is tender, compassionate and kind.
What was Joseph doing here.
He of course put money into their sex than the money that they had brought with them was returned to them and instead of rejoicing.
They say in the last part of verse 28. What is this that God has done to us.
Conscience is beginning to be activated like a dying battery. It is now being recharged and they see in this something not to rejoice, but it is this strange, inexplicable hand of God.
They go back to Jacob and they tell him what happened and he they tell him about Simeon and they continue to maintain the lie. They say that we are honest man.
We told him and one of the sons is gone. He's dead, they never did reveal to Jacob the truth and what does Jacob say the last part of verse 36.
All these things are against me Jacob. If you have ever looked at his personality type. He was not an optimist is not the kind of person who ever saw the good side. All they could think is all this is against me. What he didn't know is that actually all these things were for him. They were for him, but he didn't see it at that point what's going on in the text, Joseph. You see, new, first of all that friendship and reconciliation had to be based on trust, what he needed to do is to test these brothers to see whether or not they had changed throughout the years.
Whether or not they had become trustworthy or whether they were the same guys that he had grown up with and he needed to test them.
The reason that he could send them back and knew that they would come by now I'm sure that the dream was being revived any thought of the dream is the end about the foreign he knew that Benjamin eventually would have to come. Reason is because when he had his dream. There were 11 brothers that bow down before him 11 sheaves and 11 stars so he knew that in the end, the dream would still come to pass will that's really the first snapshot the first snapshot is of the dream partially fulfilled as the brothers bow down before Joseph and as they now recognize what it is to get a taste of their own medicine. I don't think that Joseph had a malicious bone in his body. He did not want to even the score. In fact, later on he explicitly says that as we will see next time where he says that you know God meant this for good. You meant it for evil but do not fear. I am not going to take out vengeance on you. Joseph was just testing them to see whether they had changed. That's the first snapshot. Let's go to the second and that is the second visit that the brothers have in chapter 43. Now you have to understand that in the text. There is this long argument that is going on between the brothers and Jacob because Jacob says the famine is severe in the land you have to go to get more drain and the brothers are saying we have to take Benjamin but he is saying no you can't take him because Joseph is gone. Simeon is gone and now Benjamin, my favorite son he something will happen to him too and I will not let you do it, but God used famine to stir up there and asked when people are hungry they have to trust God in ways that they never had to trust him as long as they are full, and when there is read to spare and so God just allows this famine to grind on and soon the man in the family becomes very hungry and they say we have to go. What happens now something very special. Judah Judah begins to talk and he takes the lead. Ruben I believe was the oldest but Judah was an immoral man had been immoral and viciously cruel.
Remember when Joseph was thrown into the pit. It was Judah who said let's sell him, but sell them to the Egyptians that was Judah's idea. Now Judah begins to talk and he says to his father look I will become a surety for him.
Verse 93. You may hold me responsible for him.
If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you then let me bear the blame for you for ever. He says I will stand in the stead of Benjamin. If something goes wrong while they were hungry.
The boys were insistent so they decided to go and Benjamin went with them.
Well you know of course that when Joseph saw Benjamin verse 16 he said to the steward of his house. Bring the man into the house like an animal. The men are going to eat with me now can you imagine here they are.
They are the ones who don't know what's going on.
They found money in their sex. Simeon was still there somewhere on the premises in prison. Benjamin was with them and suddenly they are invited to dine with Joseph there asked to come into the inner sanctum into the palace, if you please, and the man they were terrified. Verse 26, when Joseph came home they brought into the house to him the present which was in their hand. You see, Jacob. It's a taken presence and they bowed to the ground before him well there. They are balling this time Benjamin is with them. Verse 28 and they said your servant, our father is well he is still alive and they bowed down in-home edge.
And as he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother son he said, is this your youngest brother whom you spoke to me and he said, may God be gracious to you. My son and he hurried out, for he was deeply stirred over his brother and he sought a place to weep and he found a chamber and wept there that he comes back and he asks his brothers to sit down and he aligns them up according to their birth order, beginning with the oldest all the way to the youngest and they are astounded as to how he might know that and he puts five times more food on Benjamin's plate than the others. What Joseph was saying as he wants to discover whether they are still jealous, can they handle the jealousy of Jacob's favorite son.
That was the thing that started this whole terrible train of events and and so what he does is he. He doesn't to see the reaction of all the other brothers. Well, I think you know the rest of the story, don't you. They fill their sex with grain and Joseph said to his head steward and said look I want you to take my special cop my special cup from my table and I want you to put it in the sack of the youngest, so they do that early in the morning then get up and they go and the money was in the sack to and then Joseph asks his men to overtake them and and to begin to accuse them and say I was so kind to you why did you do that to me.
How could you steal my cop which I used for divination. I don't think we should interpret that to mean that Joseph was in the occult. It was just the kind of cup that people had in those days that was special to the Pharaoh and to his assistant who was as high as he was in the land. While they overtake them and with one voice. The brother say we didn't do it and whoever has the cup in his sack let him die. Well you can imagine, they begin looking through the sacks and there is the cup Benjamin's slack.
Verse nine with whomever other servants it is found let him die, and we will be my Lord's slaves. So he said now let it be. Also, according to your words. He, with whom it is found shall be my slave and the rest of you shall be innocent and now is crunch time.
The question is will Benjamin die or will he not, what wouldn't you know it. Judah came through. Judah came through. You notice beginning in verse 14, all the way to the end of the chapter. Judah stands before Joseph and makes a speech. This was Judah's finest hour. Martin Luther once said that he wishes that he could pray to God as well as Judah interceded on behalf of Benjamin. He rehearses what happens.
He talks about their father back in the land and so forth any ends in verse 32 saying, for your servant became a surety for the lad to my father saying if I do not bring him back to you, then let me bear the blame before my father forever. Now therefore, please let your servant remain in stead of the lad a slave to my Lord and let the lad go up with his brothers for how shall I go up to my father.
If the lad is not with me, lest I see the evil that would overtake my father, Judah is saying I'm willing to become the slave in Benjamin's place. You know it takes time. Some time for God to work, doesn't it 20 years in the case of Judah, but here's a man cruel who finally ends up having his character transformed in such a way that he is now willing to die for his brother to take his place to be the slave in in the place of his brother. And when that happened.
Joseph finally knew that his brothers could be trusted. We talked about the first visit we've spoken about this second visit. And now the third part in our video series is the reconciliation and this is the part that always brings tears to our eyes. It's a difficult passage.
I think for us to read because of that, this is the place with the story suddenly breaks open with emotion as Joseph reveals himself to his brother.
We've all read the story and I think we both cried at this part.
Yes, as a matter of fact I remember reading this is a boy out on the farm in Canada and I remember crying.
Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. They are astounded and incredibly Joseph's dream that he had even as a teenager was fulfilled. Let me ask you a question are you blessed as a result of the ministry of running to win.
Would you consider becoming an endurance partner. Now if you are an endurance partner. We'd like to be able to send you a free monthly resource so that you can continue to connect with us and as I like to put it.
You become a part of the running to win the family and were so glad that during this new year we are expanding this ministry. All because of the fact that there are people like you who invest in the gospel that we are proclaiming here's what you can do to become an endurance partner go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or if you prefer, call us at 1-888-218-9337. This will also give us the opportunity to connect with you regularly, so that you know what is happening in our ministry and you become a part of it. Go to RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or call us at 1-888-218-9337 you can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 story of Joseph in Egypt is one of high drama of former slave judges the brothers sold him years before in the mind of God and ingenious plan was unfolding to save two nations dream was indeed coming to pass. Next time on keep your dream alive. Dr. looks or will relive the moment when Joseph is reconciled with his brothers. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church