Summary: WHAT DO WE TELL OUR TEENAGERS TO DO WHEN THEY FIND THEMSELVES IN DEEP TROUBLE? THE BOOK OF GENESIS GIVES US THE PERFECT ANSWER WITH THE STORY OF JOSEPH.
A TEENAGER IN TROUBLE
TEXT- GENESIS 37-39
This morning I would like to go back to our study in the book of Genesis—“ The Book of The Beginnings of Faith”. We have been away from this study for the last 3 weeks, as we have discussed Mother’s Day, Graduates, and Memorial Day. This morning I want to talk about a teenager and experiencing God when you’re young.
THE TEENAGE YEARS ARE DIFFICULT.
The teenage years are very difficult for teenagers and their parents. Even in a normal family, and I emphasis normal family, parents and teenagers just don’t always understand each other. We can have what we call a communication gap!
A teenage boy comes home late at night and his father is waiting up. The boy says, “I have good news and bad news.” and the father says, “Well, let me have the good news first”. The teenager says, “The airbags work!” Now that’s good news.
Sometimes parents have a hard time figuring out where these teenagers are coming from.
One day a teenage boy was walking with his father in a department store, and they went to the weight lifting section. The boy had decided to build his body into pure muscle by weight lifting. His father is skeptical.
The boy says, “ Please dad, I promise I’ll use them every day.”
Dad replies, “Mike, I don’t know, that’s really a big commitment on your part”.
The boy says, “ Please Dad, I’m totally committed!”
Dad looks at the price and says, “They ain’t cheap either, but I guess so.” He pays for them and turns to walk out of the store and when he gets to the door he hears his son say,
“ You mean I have to carry them to the car Myself?”
It’s not always just the boys either! A teenage girl who had been on the phone for a half-hour, and she hung up just as her father walked by the door.
The father said, “Hey, that was a short call. You usually talk for two hours or more—what happened?”
The girl replied, “Oh, it was just a wrong number!”
Now these things happen in a normal family. So, what about a dys-functional family? In our past study in Genesis we talked about Jacob, now re-named Israel, growing up in a dysfunctional family. In Genesis 37 we find Jacob having problems in his own family. Much of that trouble was caused by Jacob himself; and, it goes back to that old problem—favoritism.
1 “ Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan.”
2 “ These are the records of the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to his father.”
3 “Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic.”
THE CHALLENGE OF YOUTH.
The first thing I want you to notice is how young Joseph is. He is only seventeen years old—still a teenager. Every indication is that Joseph had served God faithfully from his youth.
He reminds us of Paul’s co-worker in the New Testament. His name was Timothy and he had been taught about God and the scriptures by his mother and grandmother from the time he was young. ( 2 Timothy 1:5). That did not make him a perfect teenager or probably keep him from doing a few things that might have disappointed his mother and grandmother.
His being taught did point his life in the best direction, and it prepared his heart to receive the Gospel when Paul preached in Lystra. It provided him the opportunity to join Paul’s ministry shortly after his conversion as a young man. (Acts 16:1-5).
Timothy, like Joseph, reminds us of the preacher’s advice in Eccl. 12:1, “ Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come…”
God will accept all those of any age that desire to serve Him, but there is a great advantage of accepting Christ in their youth. They don’t have to look back in their old age at a misspent life and full of regrets. Their faith when they are young can guide them throughout their life, and they can enjoy God’s presence for many years.
The story of Joseph found in the book of Genesis gives a detailed account of a life under God’s care from its earliest years. He was prepared for the Lord in his youth and used powerfully in a unique role as a deliverer of his people.