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August 11, 2021 12:00 am
Jacob dies, and the brothers start to get squeamish again thinking will now that he's dead. Perhaps Joseph is nothing here Joseph sends a message back to them. They say the whole where your servant Joseph said to them, don't be afraid for him. I am God's place.
And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it but a position to live in what I have you meant it for evil.
This happened for my detriment, but now as I step back. I can see God is my spiritual not always.
Especially when the when the people heard us did it on purpose. That's why today's lesson is so important.
Joseph was deeply hurt by the people he should've been able to trust the most is on brothers. In today's passage from the Bible.
The tables have turned those brothers need Joseph's help. They just know that they need food from Egypt, and Joseph is in charge of that food. This is wisdom for the heart, and Stephen David is calling this message. What an attitude. The story of a young Marine who was 24 years of age. This Marine had already survived two years of cruel POW treatment, but he had remained a model prisoner and the reason for that was the camp commander had told him that he would release him if he cooperated, and so he did. In fact, this young Marine became a leader and can't perform thought groups and he did everything that he was told to do, until finally it dawned on this young man that his captors had lied to him. They had no intention of letting him go with that new knowledge dawning upon him.
He went to his cot and he curled up and refused any encouragement, any food, any offers for help and he simply lay there sucking on his thumb.
Three weeks later that when I read that story I thought of a young 28-year-old who was imprisoned, betrayed and forgotten he was imprisoned because of false accusations.
He had had his own family turned their back on him and if anybody had a right to curl up on a cot to say no to the world and to say, let me die would have been this young man and yet if you've been with us, you know. And of course are familiar anyhow with the story of how this boy was finally let out of prison and is a 30-year-old finally stood before the Pharaoh now second in command of the entire kingdom.
We almost held our breath, didn't we. Because we wondered now that he's in command. What will his first acts will he make Potiphar swing from the gallows, will he take that woman who made a miserable mess of his life and put her up there to. Will he immediately sent for his brothers in Canaan and bring them to Egypt, and in torture them to death. And if he had, we would've said well I got everything coming to them. They deserved yet. You know how it seemed when he came out of prison.
Two years of almost solitary confinement that he had somehow, someway, by the grace of God forgiven and now he stood in the court of Pharaoh, a man committed more to God than ever before. Now we don't know in the text of his paths ever crossed Potiphar or Potiphar's wife or the cupbearer that we would assume that they did. But we do know from the text.
In fact, several chapters are given to the fact that his paths crossed with his brothers, the men who caused it all to happen and I want us to look more closely now with the text and see how he handles his brothers and let me let you know as you already know that he is not out to kill them or to read vengeance on their lives. In fact I think he is trying to see in them, whether or not there is an attitude of repentance, whether or not there is an attitude of acknowledgment of God, and that's I think why he brings about this final test he is given in the test of honor is given in the test of honesty he's given them the test of humility. Now this last test involves silver in the sack and he in fact intends to bring Benjamin to the same place that he was 25 years earlier. Let's look back to chapter 44, verse one.
He tells a steward of the men sex with food as much as they can carry and put each man's money back in the mouth of the sack, but take that silver cup that all of the superstitious rulers had that they somehow believe that Egypt by watching the movements of the water by dipping certain things in it that they could divine the future. Although we know that Joseph did not do this.
It seems that everyone assumed he did this was a very special cup pieces take that job and put it in Benjamin sack and you know he told his steward to follow them and have them search their sacs and he finally catches up with these men and they of course admit their innocence. In verse nine.
They even go so far as to say with whomever of your servants. It is found let him die, and we will also be the Lord slaves now let's stop here for just a moment and let's imagine what they could've done and if they have not changed what they would do is he Joseph is trying to discern whether or not these brothers are really different if somehow it all of the events that have occurred over the last two years if they begun to acknowledge God in their lives. You remember that what needs to happen for prophecy to be fulfilled is the family of Jacob moved back to Egypt is prophecy declared that they would turn from a small tribe into a mighty nation there in the land of Goshen for that to happen. There needs to be reconciliation among all of these brothers for that to happen.
These brothers have to come to a point where they admit guilt before God and so Joseph in all wisdom.
I think being directed by God spirit is providing the arena is setting the stage to discover whether or not they will in fact admit their guilt before God.
Now when you Benjamin's sack is opened, the silver cup is discovered.
If they have not changed.
I think they could've done two things.
First of all he could repeated what they done with Joseph. In other words, we potentially could be slaves of Pharaoh, but were not guilty, let Benjamin take the due penalty of what he probably did, and I'm sure he must've slipped it in his sack, then go back to Egypt, let him be a slave you remember 25 years earlier, they had sent their brother Joseph into Egypt as a slave because they were so jealous now their lives are on the line. Will it make a difference.
They could've repeated their error or they could've rationalized to see before they were sending Joseph into Egypt just to get rid of that pesky dreamer, but now we got hungry families back in Canaan we have the helpless father. We have wives and children who are waiting for our return. We got five good reasons to let Benjamin going to sleep. I think they could've rationalized their way out of it, but alleluia they didn't verse 12 it says after they found the company Benjamin sack that verse 13 they tore their clothes. This was unusual. This was a sign of grief and when each man loaded his donkey, they return to the city.
In other words, they have changed.
Now were brothers were sticking together were part of Jacob's sons. There's family identity were going to bear this together so they had back to Egypt. Now when they get back to Egypt. It's interesting that Judah steps forward as the spokesman you remember the 25 years earlier. It was Judah who would said to his brothers pay I got a great idea. Let's sell this little dreamer. Let's get rid of this beloved son of our father. Let's send him delete it by selling them to the Midianites. It was his idea but now 25 years later, he steps forward as the spokesman note for 60 Judah steps forward and says, what can we say to my Lord there circumstantial evidence. Here, we can't deny what can we speak. How can we justify ourselves. In other words, we are in a sense, but that the next phrase God has found out the inequity of your servants. That's it.
That's exactly what Joseph has been waiting for. They finally reached the point where they admitted guilt, not necessarily to man, but there was a vertical awakening. There was a realization that they had sinned against God's interesting they said were innocent but God has discovered our guilt. What were they referring to in their minds they were plagued by their guilty consciences as we studied in the last week session. Now it's fully open. It's now compared it's admitting itself. I think therein lies part of the cure, Chuck Colson was one of my favorite writers wrote a story about how he served as a Marine lieutenant. He was brand-new to the job and he was filled with the pride of that position and he was leading a platoon of 40 grimy sweating man on a training mission on an island that was a satellite of Puerto Rico. He was leading these men on training and they had been told when they were on this island. Among these impoverished poverty-stricken people that they were not to buy more trade.
They were to leave the people alone, but this command was expected to be ignored, and so on the second day of maneuvers.
They happened across an old man leading a scrawny donkey and on the back of that donkey were to ice filled sacs of cold drinks in all of the men headed toward this old fellow pulling money from their pockets ready to buy and about that time, Colson thought, here's a chance to really show off and he said Sgt. correct that man in the Sgt. had a look at them in disbelief but begin to carry out the order and then Colson trying to further oppress the men said confiscate the contraband so the men applauded as they took the sacs of of ice and cold drinks and they drink them all when they were finished drinking. Colson said release our prisoner. This man ignorantly naïvely figured his life and been spared and he slunk away with a scrawny donkey and although he lost perhaps his life savings in his livelihood for many months with staples like that been spared when Chuck Colson writes of his former life before he found Jesus Christ.
He says the thing that marks my mind is not the spectacular tribes of Watergate. Is there on that island and cruelty taking from that man would we did not deserve. If you line these 10 brothers up, you would see a man involved in an incestuous relationship, you would see a fornicator you would see a man who was guilty of murder.
These brothers were guilty of every penny is trying to you and I are guilty of but yet when they come to acknowledge guilt before God. What are they thinking they are thinking all God is uncovered.
Finally, our guilt when we sold our brother or father's favorites when they give you three obvious developments. The first is admission of guilt. And that is guilt before God.
There is a vertical awakening but there is also a horizontal awareness where he begins to say things that cause Joseph to begin to tremble with excitement and emotion click in verses 18 to 20. Judah approached him and said oh my Lord make your servants speaking word. Verse 19 my Lord asked to serve and say have your father or a brother. And we said to my Lord.
We have an old father and a little child.
Notice how tenderly he refers to Benjamin a little child of his old age. Now his brother is dead, so he alone is left of his mother and his father loves him before it was his father lost Joseph the favorites on how we hate him. And now with compassion. He says all that young lad how his father loves him so. Verse 27 your servant. My father said to us, you know that my wife for me to sons now here for the first time Joseph is going to hear the alibi note he hasn't known for 25 years what his brothers told his father he's never knowing what his father thought happened to him and I'm sure he must've wondered what was going on in Canaan and for the first time he hears verse 28. I said surely he's torn in pieces and I'd not seen them since. Imagine being Joseph there hearing the account of your demise. Knowing that your full life.
I think it's at that point the Joseph begins to tremble with emotion. His emotions are rising to the surface. All this time he's That stony face when he said that we please run out of the room but now it boils to the surface there is respect for their father's feelings. Secondly, thirdly, there is compassion for their younger brother and home. What a difference this is in their lives.
Look at verse 32 for your servant became surety for the lad to my father saying vital bring them back to you to let me bear the blame before my father forever. Now therefore I got a better idea. I'm not going home to bear the blame before my father. This is the plan. Let me take my brothers place.
Let me be a slave to my Lord and let this lad go up with his brothers.
What an awakening on the horizontal level where now 10 is stubborn and selfish brothers are concerned about their father's feelings and she was the mastermind behind Joseph now says let me take Benjamin's place all with as a slave for the rest of my life. This is exactly what Joseph has been hoping to hear and now he can't stand it any longer. He says send everyone away.
Chapter 45 the Egyptians out of the room and then he weeps so loudly that the Egyptians parted, he does breaks down right there in front of these bewildered men. Joseph said to his brothers in chapter 45, verse three, I am Joseph on ego safe. He cries it out audio say finicky bro. These guys probably step backward in this man learn Hebrew and he says he's Joseph Joseph through the tears says on the I happen to believe that these men were so terrified from what the text says that they probably came near the fading.
It says in verse three. They were dismayed or terrified at his presence and I think involved here was skepticism there with her rough beards and their Hebrew clothing they were looking at a clean-shaven Egyptian man with the headdress of an Egyptian Prime Minister. He was decked with jewels and all of the fine Raymond.
He was so often they were rough. This couldn't be our brother.
This can't be Joseph. It's another trick he's found out somehow. I want to suggest to you that something happens here as others have suggested before me.
Verse four Joseph says to his brothers. Please come closer come closer as the Hebrew word nine – which is not just come closer geographically, it refers to come closer its use in the sense of testing. It is used in the sense of intimacy. He says come close and I think it was there that Joseph revealed to his brothers, the sign of the covenant. I think he pulled back his garment and he revealed to his brothers that he was circumcised.
That was the proof. No Egyptian would go through that right.
Only then show this was the symbol that they were sons of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Joseph says come closer. I chose, but at that point, I think now they turn white because they recognize the truth, and Joseph will not go on to relieve their minds.
He will give repeated references to God. Look at verse five and just underline the words as I rapidly read them. Verse five right in the middle. God sent me verse seven the beginning of the verse, God sent me verse eight beginning, but it was not you who sent me here, but God and he has made me verse nine middle part of the verse. God has made me Lord of all Egypt all of the obvious references to the fact that God was involved.
Ladies and gentlemen, Joseph is giving us tremendous practical theology, and it is this believing I am who I am believing I am where I am, gives a tremendous sense of security. He says it wasn't you who sent me here.did God put me in Egypt and although it looked as if you are the ones behind it all. If you took a step back now and look back over all of the events you see the hand of Elohim great security.
I am where I am because of God but inevitably produces great security. Ladies and gentlemen, it produces tremendous humility because Joseph goes on in the next two phrases to say God made me nowhere in the text you get the idea that Joseph stepped back and he says hey guys, let me take how I did. You thought you sold me here is a slave but I'm Prime Minister tell you all of the steps that I took because believing I am one.
How you because of God will not only produce security when things are rough but humility when everything is going well so he gives the news to his brothers. He is in fact Joseph.
He tells them the plan, he says, verse 10. You shall live in the land of Goshen, he shall be near me and your children and your children's children and your flocks and herds all that you have and I will provide for you. There are still five years of famine to come, lest you and your household and all that you have be impoverished to hold your I see in the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my mouth, which is speaking to you now go back until what happens next is beautiful. It's an expression of forgiveness from Joseph versus Tina 15.
He then with his brothers there in that room with the Egyptians with her ears to the wall outside wondering what in the world is going on in their sweet fingers laughing.
He now hears the shuffling of feet as Joseph goes from one brother to the next weeping on them and embracing them. You know Hagen enemy. You will get close to someone you despise. You don't embrace someone you hate and Joseph started with Benjamin and he took them in his arms and they wept on each other's shoulders and seen each other because of my kid brother and they wept and cried and then he moves to Judah.
And he probably says Judah I know that you sold me and it was your idea. But I forgive you and the embraces and any moves to Simeon and he goes on down the line. The Zebulun and Levi and all of the brothers in the weeks and he hugged them and he says you are forgiven.
I can imagine he kisses them.
Verse 15 and afterword, after all of that's over, sit down in his brothers talk with him to sign that they are together again like we got 25 years to catch up. This is all that's happened back in Canaan, and Joseph is intensely concerned about his father, is he still alive in the well. He tells them of all of the things perhaps it's at that time because his wife is here and here. My two sons Ephraim and Manasseh's been good to me. Then, with the news he sends them back in tells them to go get that if you were to ask why Joseph was a great man, was it because he was Prime Minister, was it because the Joseph somehow created an incredible administrative feet. That would save nation from probation. Joseph was great because his attitude revealed to very special thing to be the first. If you're taking this poet application for civil he was very forgiving of those who had deeply hurt in a subfolder under that is forgiveness is an ability directly related to seeing God and work through people. In other words, we live you and I am adopting Joseph attitude we throw that blacklist away and it's always wanting to creep into our lives and we come up with names and we think of that individual.
We imagine their face on the wall and we preached to them. We tell them what we would like them to do and how they robbed us Joseph through the blacklist away my boss who overlooked me his name is erased my spouse who is done me so wrong there name is a race that child who didn't turn out as I wished there name is erased and ability to forgive those is directly related to seeing God at work in and through people. Secondly, Joseph was capable of loving God, regardless of circumstances. This attitude is directly resulting from seeing God at work through events turnover to chapter 50 Jacob dies in the brothers start to get squeamish again thinking will now that he's dead. Perhaps Joseph is not, since we're and they send a messenger to Joseph saying Joseph you remember not.
Dad said don't hurt us. When I die, and Joseph sends a message back to them.
In fact, he weeps before them. He actually heavily speaks to them personally.
Verse 18. They say the whole, we are your servants. And Joseph said to them, don't be afraid for in my in God's place. And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good. What a position to live in what an attitude to have all this happened, you meant it for evil. This happen for my detriment, but now as I step back. I can see God is meeting all of this for my Harold Kushner wrote a book that was an instant bestseller titled when bad things happen to good people. It was on the New York best-selling list for 52 straight weeks.
It's over half a million copies. Hardback before going in the paperback edition.
This man and lost a son death. He was a rabbi in the basic premise of this book is that God is loving but he isn't all-powerful, he's not, but he's not sovereign, and this is a big universe and sometimes things get out of control's solution is that we need to love God. Anyhow, forgive him for his limitation, but don't we live like that at time. God word you go.
How could this have happened if you've been involved in my life are real estate dealings have led me across the path of a man who his lost three children. Did you speak to him and he never refers to God as a believer in anything less term self. I wonder how much like Joseph, we really are able to forgive the who hurt us deeply able to translate in the events of our lives, and through people in our lives. The God is at work.
How much like are you today's message is a challenging reminder, especially when the wrong that we need to forgive is big.
I pray that you and I will reflect Joseph and the model he gives us a forgiveness. Thanks for joining us this is wisdom for the heart. Stephen Davey is the pastor of the shepherd's church in Cary, North Carolina. You can learn more about us. If you visit our website which is wisdom online.org. Once you go there you will be able to access the complete archive of Stephen's Bible teaching ministry. We also post each day's broadcast. So if you ever miss one of these lessons, you can go to our website and here it there and you can keep up with our daily Bible teaching ministry. The archive of Stephen's teaching is available on that site free of charge and you can access it email@example.com in addition to equipping you with these daily Bible messages.
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