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December 1, 2020 3:00 am
The we've often heard believe that honesty is the best policy, but sometimes telling the truth can get complicated today on Truth for Life. Alistair Begg explains how Joseph handled the difficult task of delivering devastating news. We begin today in Genesis 40, continuing a message titled lessons from the dungeon. What about the second lesson from the dungeon first one is fairly clear living life in a God centered focus. Second one is learning to tell the truth when it is good news or bad news without ambiguity.
Tremendous authority in Joseph's tone when the first dream is told him he responds endorsed 12 back in Genesis 49 responds in verse 12 and he says this is what it means. The three branches are three days now.
That is the absolute zenith of foolishness unless he was able to speak with conviction and certainty on the authority of God himself. And obviously he was for Joseph to say the three branches means three days was to put himself on the line in the same way that another whom he prefigured wants to put himself on the line when he said destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it again. So we have a three day window in which to find out whether Joseph tells the truth and whether Jesus explaining the reality of his resurrection tells the truth.
Also, and of course in both cases, God is vindicated in all that follows. Now having given this good news to the one the Baker he comes hoping for a similar explanation" in verse 16 when the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation. He said to Joseph. I also had a dream I too had a dream that is interesting is it not the that the verb there is the verb to see another verb to hear you would've thought that it would have read when the chief baker hair that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation.
How would you see a favorable interpretation.
We can only assume that since the two of them were in the same predicament and they were both despondent and their faces were cast down that by their very tenor of life that revealed their dejection. The first one I imagine perhaps disengaged himself from his Saudi companion said I want to go to Joseph. I want to tell them what happened to me and see what he says Zaragoza Joseph, and Joseph says in three days you're going to be back on the Joe comes out and closes the door comes back and will and the Baker Saul from the very change in the countenance of the cupbearer. Hey, you got some good news and there's an answer on the basis that he must've said hey good work. He said I'm going to go now see how it goes from me you can imagine them going in the least I can. Joseph was a nice a nice thing. He said there to cupbearer like that has really nice Joseph three days and then back on the job well II had a dream as well and I was wondering you know if you have any more interpretations along that kind of lying that you and I would be just super not know about you but I think this Baker will bit was certainly was an optimist because this dream even when I read it doesn't strike me as real, positive, and maybe it's good I know the conclusion of this idea the birds picking on your head and everything.
It doesn't just have the same ring to let you know but he's hoping for the best that we lesson within a lesson here are two men whose circumstances are very similar. One gets really good news and a Canada surge in the world. And so the other guy who is in the same spot assumes that the same will happen for him because we naturally wish to be as happy as our neighbors.
We assume that when one of our neighbors prospers, and they were in the similar circumstances to ourselves that we presumably will prosper just as they have done. There's no reason. After all, why they were blessed. We shouldn't be blessed is actually another lesson within a lesson insofar as godliness with contentment is great gain and constantly comparing ourselves to our neighbors and our friends is a dreadful snare and we have to learn to rejoice in the way in which our neighbors are prospered without only being able to rejoice in how they are prospered. If it carries with it the anticipation that we will enjoy the same prosperity for this individual was to receive a very different explanation. The Scottish commentator Lawson says. But let us remember that divine providence is under no obligation to be equally kind to us all, and that prosperity and adversity. Life and death are distributed to men by one who has a right to do what he will with his own. In other words, God is God and nobody likes he's got. And because he bless your brother, and he lives in a nicer spot. You don't have to live there and we may not because something happened to this individual and they were lifted up and encouraged in the received well-being and health. We assume that the same will be true for us. The fact of the matter is that there is no guarantee whatsoever in relationship to that and this Baker made a flawed approach to things when he assumed that it would be so he went in the hope that the word when it came to him would be that same kind of word and people come to church on the same basis.
They don't all come to listen to the word of God because they want to receive instruction from it and receive the truth become because they want to receive the enjoyment that it might bring them and then when they find out that the message is painful rather than enjoyable. So I'm going to get away out here. I don't understand this and therefore it falls to the person who has the responsibility of opening the Scriptures if they're going to display integrity in their lives, not to simply tell people what meets their expectations, not what is simply palatable to people but to actually to be the servant of what the book says I like to see what Joseph had to do the first case, it was my dream. He said you're going to be okay. The second guy.
What's it, you're in deep trouble there. Big big big churches all across America that are built on the guy in Mr. nice guy up on the spot. Everybody who comes is wonderful. I want to tell you this morning how wonderful you all are.
I want you to know that no matter what all will be well. I want you to know that God is a personal interest in you becoming tremendously successful. So on and people are setting up all this takes six weeks.
The lesson from the dungeon is this. If you are going to be the servant of God. If you are going to be the explainer of the human predicament. If you are going to speak to the questions of humanity.
My why do I exist and is there a purpose in my life. You have to be able to tell the truth, the good the bad and the ugly. No matter what I do have to be able to live with the furnace that comes right up your tail if you can never do it. And Joseph did says Calvin all love to be flattered. Hence the majority of teachers and desiring to yield to the corrupt wishes of the world adulterate.
The word of God adulterate.
The word of God. They are like contemporary politicians.
They do not walk out in front and lead the people they Raiders check the way to wins going and then they go in that direction. Joseph no wonder he became the Prime Minister. Some people looked at him and must've said all he became the Prime Minister overnight. No, he didn't. God was fashioning Joseph in his tiny years and in his teenage years and in all of the journeys and he was teaching them. One thing amongst others. Joseph tell the truth do right because it's always right to do right because it's right stood out in the midst of the malaise all around him to say and think of all the Timothy is a young man in his swansong to Timothy for a system of the when you grade acted there you will be surrounded by by a group of people who want to gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
He says don't allow your head to be spun by you continued to preach the word to correct attribute with careful instruction in the awareness of the fight that one day you will send an answer for Jim a God centered focus of your life do you do your studies every week and the awareness of God to do close business deals this week in the awareness of God you respond to temptation this week that I in the awareness of who God is and are we prepared to tell the truth no matter what, even it is bad news for one and good news for another. Would we play with the minds of men and women in the prospect of their death.
That's actually the third lesson. Let me just introduce it and will return to it. We we don't have time to do justice to it by the third lesson is what I refer to learning how to prepare for our death.
Now, not immediately striking in terms of people's interest is a very good leave that one to next week or maybe next year we could spend on a little higher. Note, no, no, we can't because the words of Joseph to this Baker must've really stung. And I'm not trying to play with your mind in describing the situation, but I did take some place somehow the two guys are in the same predicament. The two fellas have dreams in the morning. The guy says what's up with you. Fred says Mennonite agreements and the cancer you did so that I was yours, like wives, the and the one goal usually comes back terrific.
The other guy goes.
Now he's totally bomb, why because he was told you three days to live three days to let in fact, if the baker had known what the interpretation of his dream was going to be, he presumably wouldn't have winter going for the interpretation he would rather live than his ignorance and his great wisdom and that is the not Jesus says in the end of Matthew six. Every day is not enough trouble of its own. Why would you start in all tomorrow's trouble in next week's trouble in the week after that into today. Today's enough enough to deal with today Lawson says of the baker he died three days before his time. The thoughts of the fecal moment and of the birds feeding on his carcass took possession of his soul sleeping or waking his heart was dead within and in it all again the integrity of Joseph. He had promised to give the meaning getting knowledge that God could reveal it and as painful as it was in this case he displays in his response, a genuine interest in the life of the baker, and a genuine concern for God's glory. He was later to be given a new name which was the revealer of secrets, but even then he wanted everyone to know that God is the foundation of all knowledge.
And so he says to the baker Baker you asked for the truth. Here's the truth within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and hang you on a tree and the birds will eat away your flesh is able.
Fortunately, we don't have to say that to anybody nowadays. No. Specifically, we have no reason to say that but what have we to say we have to say that it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this comes judgment, we have to say that Jesus spoke more about the issue of hell than he ever spoke about the presence of heaven. We have to encourage people to understand when they say to you know I like what the Bible has to say about heaven, but I don't like what it has to say about help. I believe that heaven stuff but I don't believe the housetop to see loved ones. It is intellectually implausible that I heaven know how on the strength of what Jesus said and in the saying of that we bring clarity to the minds of people in relationship to the ultimate event at the end of their days. Here's the question didn't Baker use the opportunity to make preparation for the final event of his life did he sees the chance to go back to Joseph and say hey Joseph I been awake all night again. I didn't dream this time, but all I can think off is this thing about the carcass and the birds. I'm scared to death. Joseph I don't know what it is about you, but you seem to know God and you interpreted the dream Joseph, can you help me.
Can you help me deal with this or did he just simply steel himself against the thought of his death did he go gently into the darkness of the night. Did he rage and scream against it. We know this, that if he failed to make use of the opportunity that fell to them with a dense sentence that was given him it was his own fault. See this guy got a deal he told you three days. You and I don't know. We have three minutes to say that to scare anybody and send that to myself. My mother died in a chair in the middle of a very normal evening on a very normal kind of house with a very normal family is a very normal 46-year-old woman and one woman.
She said, would you please put the cat along and then she died and so may you. So, may I so I have a responsibility in light of those striking statistics that one out of one diabetes to prepare you for that event, I coming behind the doctor and I come behind the undertaker when they have done their business and sign the death warrant and prepare the open grave. They stand back and they say ladies and gentlemen, Rev. back will now do the service so Rev. bag steps forward to do the service one night doing their and there is the servant of this book, which says you don't know who you are until you know God and you don't know how to live until you've settled the question of how to die and it is a strange thing that people can be in the proximity of death as Hamlet says, as if her issues persist in Italy and I haven't played as he is. He comes upon the gravediggers and he says what is it with these men that they can make such sport of gray big I can court examiner for my room and says it is custom made of it a matter of unimportance to.
Are you prepared to die if you die before this day is over, we'll go to heaven, and if you don't know the answer to that question.
Are you telling me that you prepare just to walk out the door, turn your car stereo on and say hey fleeing his ear. He was trying to scare me.
I'm not telling you the baker got a deal 72 hours to prepare. We have no guarantee of 72 hours. That is why the Bible says now is the accepted time withhold today is the day of salvation. And then they circumstance of Calvary with the two thieves on the cross around Jesus. Remember that when they were both in immediate proximity to Christ. They were both aware of the injustice that was being done to Jesus. They were both aware of the justice of what was being meted out on then they were both knowing that they were never going to come back. They were nailed on that cross. They couldn't even look back over their shoulders. There was only one way they were going and that was to the grave and one guy curses Jesus and says a you saved others running it down from there and save yourself and save us while you're at your imagine how hard a person can be so close to death, and the other fellow shouts over to them. Hey, are you cut that out. We're up here because we deserve to be. He's up here and he did nothing wrong. Then he says Jesus will you remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Jesus says today you will be with me in paradise. I love to have been at the gates of heaven. When that guy showed up. What if the whatever ranch what I'm on civilized and religious bomb you mean God takes people like that to have absolutely any leaves Pharisees behind these are just some lessons from the dungeon that is pay attention spending eternity with Jesus in paradise and assuring promise for repentant sinners. From today's message on Truth for Life with Alister bag. Alister is back in just a minute to close with prayer so please keep listening. The Bible is filled with absolute promises promises on which we can rely and today were excited to introduce a collection of devotions that reflect on God's promises all written by the great 19th century preacher Charles Spurgeon. The title is checkbook of the bank of faith might find the title a bit unusual, but it comes from the comparison Spurgeon makes between God's promises in the bank check Spurgeon explains that even though God's word is given in advance of its fulfillment. It's 100% guaranteed because God will ultimately make good on all that he has pledged this concise book contains 365 promises God has made to us in Scripture.
Each is accompanied by an encouraging insight from Spurgeon and you'll love the design of the book. It's checkbook sized leather bound.
It's right in your pocket. Would love to send you a copy today and today is a very special day for us here at Truth for Life.
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Now here's Alister to close in prayer for Lord our God. We pray that as we consider these lessons, you will bring us to an awareness of the brevity of our lives of the reality of death and the certainty of judgment and the opportunity of faith, pray for any who are wrestling with these issues. Even as I speak.
Pray that you will make us truth tellers good news and bad news alike that we may be sensitive and gracious, but that we might be men and women of integrity, pray to that you would help us to live with a God centered focus as individuals and as families and as a church family and be that not simply with our lives, but with our life's.
We will live to praise the name of the Lord, for we ask it in Christ's name on from Bob Lapine. Hope you can join us tomorrow as we continue our study titled lessons from the dungeon to find out why of biblical view of death and dying is essential. The Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life learning is prolific