Summary: Joseph was a man who learned that if you stay true to God, no matter what, bad news will turn to good news.
Good News – Bad News
Good News - Bad News Story:
A certain man told his friend that his brother was working to get his pilot’s license. His friend said, “O, that’s great!” “No, it wasn’t great because the engine caught fire.” “Oh, that’s terrible,” said his friend. “No, it wasn’t terrible because he had a parachute.” “Oh, that’s good,” answered his friend. “No, it wasn’t good because the parachute didn’t open.” “Oh, that’s awful,” said his friend. “No, it wasn’t so bad, because he had an emergency chute.” “Oh, that’s good his friend replied. “No, it wasn’t good because that one didn’t open either.” “Oh, that’s too bad,” his friend said. “No, it wasn’t so bad because he landed in a haystack.” “Oh, that’s great,” said the friend. “No, that’s not so great because there was a pitchfork sticking up out of the hay.” “Oh, that’s terrible.” No, not really. He missed the pitchfork.” “Oh, good.” “No, it wasn’t; he missed the haystack.”
The 50th chapter of Genesis is a summary of a “Bad News-Good News” story. Joseph was a man who learned that if you stay true to God, no matter what happens in your life, bad news will turn to good news.
Joseph knew the meaning of Paul’s statement in Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good to those who love God, who have been called according to His purpose.”
Horatio Alger was a great author. In his books he always told about some poor boy who was honest and dedicated and hard-working. Many troubles came to the boy but because of his many fine character traits, he won out and became rich and happy and useful. But the true story in God’s Word about Joseph is far superior to all of Alger’s stories. And the greatest thing about the story of Joseph is that it is not fictional, but pure truth. He went down as low as any man could go but he came back to as high a position as any man could rise.
He went from suffering to success, from rags to riches, from a prison to a palace, from indignity to influence, from slavery to sainthood. All this came about because he was faithful to God; he loved Him with all of his heart. And as is always the case, God rewarded him for it.
Let me share in summary fashion this bad news-good news story in three stages:
1. Joseph’s Disasters
2. Joseph’s Disposition
3. Joseph’s Dreams Fulfilled
I. Joseph’s Disasters
A. Good News: Jacob Loved Joseph (37:3)
o Because he was born to him in his old age.
o Made him a coat of many colors
B. Bad News: Joseph’s Brothers Hated Him (37:4-11)
o Because he was a tattletale (37:2)
o Because he was favored by their father
o Because he told his brothers about his dreams—that he would one day rule over them
C. More Bad News: Sold Into Slavery (37:12-36)
o Brothers wanted to kill him, but Reuben intervened
o Sold him as a slave to Midianite merchants on their way to Egypt. They, in turn, sold him to Potiphar, one of the king’s officials.
D. Good News: God Prospered Him (39:1-6)
o Gave him success in every thing he did
o Potiphar put him in charge of his entire estate. He became the chief steward. In a similar fashion, God has put the Gospel message in our hands. Can He trust us?
E. Good News & Bad News: Joseph Was Handsome and Well Built (39:7).
o Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him
F. Good News: He Refused Her (37:8-10)
2 Tim 2:22: “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
o He felt hit would be a breach of trust
o It would be a sin against God
G. Bad News: She Accused Joseph of Raping her (37:11-18).
H. More Bad News: Potiphar Believed Her (37:19-27)
o Thrown into prison for something he didn’t do
I. Good news: Warden Promoted Him (39:21-23)
J. Bad news: Cupbearer Forgot Him (40”1-23)
K. Good News: He Remembered Him After 2 Years (41:1-13). Illus: “Admitting & Praying, 3/21, Daily Bread, Yellow)
L. More Good News: Joseph Promoted Again (41:14-56)
o Interpreted Pharoah’s Dreams
o Made second in command to the King
II. Joseph’s Disposition
When we experience the hard knocks of life, they will either make us bitter or better. We will either bless God or blame Him. We will cling to Him or condemn Him.
Some people mope through life; some take dope to get through life; some can cope with life because they hope in Christ.
The secret to Joseph’s staying power was found in his godly character. He is a type of Christ.