God’s Great Sense of Humor
Every test, every turning point in Joseph’s life has been leading up to this moment.
· For Presidential candidates this is like the swearing in ceremony. After four years of running the race, visiting major cities in every state, fulfilling all the obligations of debates, this one-day represents their victory. Their time to be “officially” put into office
For Joseph, this was more than just a pronouncement by Pharaoh; this was the day that he had reached his destiny. He was now in the position where God wants Him to be. There is nothing like being in the center of God’s Will.
What a feeling of accomplishment!
(College Football: Texas winning the championship!)
Joseph has gone through many obstacles and many tests to get where he is today.
Many opportunities to give up – but he didn’t
Many opportunities to point the finger – but he didn’t
Many opportunities to get mad at God – but he didn’t
Joseph knew this day was coming.
He would have made Galatians 6:9 as his personal scripture: “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time (season) we shall reap if we do not grow weary (lose heart).”
Your day is also coming. But learn from the life of Joseph that the trials you are going through are just stepping-stones to where God wants you to be.
This church has gone through some tough times, not just in 2005, but in years past – they were just stepping stones to get us to 2006, the year that God is going to bless us beyond our imagination.
But only after we have passed the tests!
Joseph is rewarded in many waysn for passing the previous tests:
1. Joseph got a new position (v.41)
He is now over “all the land of Egypt” and there is only one person who is over him and that is Pharaoh.
2. Joseph has new clothes (v.42)
This represents his new life. He is no longer wearing the ragged prison clothes he has fine linen. What he couldn’t afford before, God has blessed him with now.
Joseph got a wife who had two sons:
Manasseh – making to forget
“For God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.”
Ephraim – Fruitfulness
“For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.”
So what did God use to put Joseph in his place of destiny?
Pharaoh had a dream and Joseph was the only who could interpret the dream.
Here’s the dream:
God was telling Pharaoh what He was about to do. He promised him seven good years of abundance over the land of Egypt followed by seven years of famine. The reason Pharaoh had this dream twice was to show that God was about to act quickly. And through the dream, Joseph instructed Pharaoh God’s command for him to look for a man to set over the land.
v.39 – So Pharaoh named Joseph in charge of the land.
God used Joseph’s talent that he had as a young boy to bring about his place of destiny.
· What are your talents?
· What are those things you like to do that you are good at?
Those are the tools God is going to use to bring about your place of destiny and victory.
· Start practicing.
· Get to work on making sure you are good at what you do.
Because God is about to raise you up in this generation.
Notice that Joseph is now 30 years old. All of this that has happened to him has happened in his first 30 years of life.
Things are going great for Joseph.
· He has his new bride
· His two sons who are growing by leaps and bounds
· His land is being blessed with abundance.
· He is storing the access away for he knows what is coming
· He is preparing for the future
· He is doing his job and doing it great
Life couldn’t be better until the famine came.
But Joseph wasn’t surprised; he had been planning for this day for seven years. He was ready. That’s why he was the man for the job.
v.55 – So when all of Egypt was experiencing this great famine, Pharaoh instructed all the people to go to Joseph and “whatever he says, goes”.
God Has a Wonderful Sense of Humor
And sometimes we don’t thing its that funny but our Heavenly Father has a way of making things turn around in our lives for our good.
While the famine had covered all of Egypt, it also reached as far as Joseph’s family, his father Jacob and all of his brothers.
Chapter 42 – The day that Joseph has his toughest test
Jacob (Joseph’s father) sends his others sons to Egypt to purchase grain. Little did they know they would come face to face with their brother?
v.7 – Tells us that Joseph saw his brothers coming and recognized them. But he disguised himself so they would not recognize him.
Joseph puts them to the test. He claims that his brothers are spies and orders them to go back and get their youngest brother before they are able to purchase the grain. He causes them to remember what they did to him in his childhood. They now feel they are being punished for what they did to Joseph.
· The one they made fun of because of his coat of many colors
· The one they called names because of all his dreams he had
· The one they hated because of the love their father had for the baby
· The one they sought out to kill but instead threw him in the pit
· The one they sold many years ago to traders who were coming through that day
· No doubt, the brothers had lived their lives thinking that they had gotten away with something.
· No doubt, they thought they would never have to see this “dreamer” again
· No doubt, at this moment they are feeling the guilt of their actions
On the other hand, Joseph also thought he had all of his past behind him.
· I am in a much better place now
· I have a wonderful family
· I will not have to worry about them again
· No need in having to see them again
· Even though they hurt me bad, I can go on with my life since I am here and they are there
But God has a way of bringing us back to realize that He was in control the entire time.
· People have said things and done things that we don’t understand
· Why God, did this happen to me?
· Why did they say all those things?
· Why did they cause me so much pain?
· Why do I have to look at my brothers again?
· I was making it just fine
· I had my life back in order
· I finally got to the place where it didn’t bother me as much
“Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’ says the Lord.”
The brothers were brought face-to-face with their decision they made a long time ago.
They thought they got away with something that was now standing before them and held their future in his hand.
Joseph was in charge. What he says – goes.
He is now faced with the decision of how he is going to react to his brothers.
I can only imagine what was going through his head at this moment:
· The feeling of knowing your brothers hated you
· The fear he felt while sitting in the pit
· The humiliation of being embarrassed after being sold to the traders who came through
· The sick feeling of knowing he had been betrayed by his own people.
It’s one thing to have trouble with the world, another thing when it’s family that’s causing you the trouble.
· It’s family that’s talking about you
· It’s the church people who continue to pull you down
· It’s your friends that you thought you had
· It’s your confidant that is the one hurting you
Joseph is now faced with his final test:
You may say but wait a minute; he has already reached his destiny in life, why does he have another test?
It’s not just reaching your place in life that is important, it’s being able to stay there that is important.
The Final Test: The Forgiveness Test
· Will he forgive and forget
· Will he provide for his brothers?
· Will he finally let go of all the hate and hurt he has in his life.
I believe that every person who has done someone else wrong will have at least one opportunity to make things right.
I don’t think you can say or do something to someone that was hurtful and God never provide you a chance to ask for his or her forgiveness.
Just as Joseph has a decision to make, so do all of you who have been hurt and done wrong.
God has turn the tables and the fate of his family are in Joseph’s hands. What decision does he make?
Read Genesis 45:1-8
· What you meant for bad – God meant for Good
· What you thought you were doing out of hate, God was doing to provide for you
· You thought you were putting me in the pit but God was putting me on the pinnacle
· You thought you were selling me into slavery but God was hiring me to provide for you
Every test in Joseph’s live was a turning point.
Whatever good happened… Whatever bad happened…
Joseph knew that God was in control and there was a reason for what he was going through.
Joseph passed the Forgiveness test with flying colors, how about you?
· I know you are hurt
· I know you are angry
· I know you are still puzzled at what happened.
But God would not have let it happen to you if there was not a lesson for you to learn.
· Joseph could not get to Potiphar’s House without being sold into slavery to begin with.
· Joseph could not have been sold into slavery if he had not been thrown into a pit.
· Joseph could not have been thrown into the pit without his brothers hating him.
But if you could ask Joseph today, was it worth it?
Joseph would be wearing the biggest smile on his face because he understood that:
“All things work together for the good of them that love the Lord and called according to His purpose.”
1. To those who have unresolved areas in your life. Have you said or done something to someone that you have not asked forgiveness of?
2. Have you been hurt so badly that you don’t know if you will ever be able to forgive?
Joseph made it to his destiny by going through everything he went through.
But his destiny, His place in life, Joseph’s reason for being born was not to rule over Egypt.
His destiny in life was to save the lives of those who hated him to begin with.