Summary: Examining the life of Joseph, and the reasons God chose him to be born for greatness. For, like Joseph, we've each been born to carry out a great mission from God
Do you believe God predestines people for greatness? As we go through our time this morning, I’d like for you to allow that question to simmer in your mind. Now, I don’t know about you, but when I look into the chronicles of history, I can see some folks that have definitely done great things with their lives -- people such as Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, and Rosa Parks.
I’ve thought about all the marvelous inventions Thomas Edison created. Because of him, we’re able to light our homes and churches with artificial light, listen to music, and watch television. But ya know, I’ve also wondered if Edison realized the impact he made for our world -- especially as he was living his life. He did more in a lifetime than hundreds ever dream of accomplishing in one hundred lifetimes. And for this, it can be difficult for us everyday folks to relate to Edison. But, let me ask you this.
Do you think Edison’s impact was any more special than Rosa Parks? On December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks refused to obey a bus driver’s order to give up her seat to make room for a white passenger. At the time of her action, Rosa Parks served as the secretary of her local NAACP chapter. But even so, she acted as a private citizen. And although she was later honored for her stance, she suffered for it. The local department store where she worked fired her from her seamstress position. Her decision to simply “not take it any more” drastically changed the course of human history.
So… what do you think? Do you think she did all she did on her own accord? Or, could it have been a God thing? Is it possible Rosa Parks was born to start a movement that would alter the course of race relations in America? We may never know… but it’s good to speculate.
Ya know, I think Rosa was just an ordinary lady trying to live her life the best she could -- just like us. And just like Rosa Parks, I believe we’ve all be born for greatness. This morning, I want to show to you why. So, how about we take a trip into the chronicles of history, and read about an ordinary, young man who was born for greatness. Turn please in your Bibles to Genesis 37, and let’s look at the story of Joseph.
JOSEPH -- GROWING UP SPOILED
Joseph was the 11th son born to Jacob. And it’s probably safe to say that Joseph was a spoiled brat -- one who knew he was daddy’s favorite boy. For the Bible says as much. Let’s look. Genesis 37:3-4 says: “Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.”
The story continues with Joseph and his brothers out in the fields with the flocks, when one night he gets this dream. Let’s look at the dream really quickly. Joseph says: “Listen to this dream I had: We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.”
His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?”
Now, apparently Joseph didn’t catch his brother’s drift and hear the resentment, because he had another dream, and he told that vision to his brothers as well.
“Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. “
So here’s Joseph, daddy’s favorite boy wearing a special robe made for just hi; and nobody else gets one; and he has these two dreams that causes resentment. From his brother’s standpoint, it’s kind of like Joseph was saying, “I am the greatest. I was born for greatness, and you all need to know how great I am and bow down to me.”
Now, was the dream prophetic? Absolutely! Should Joseph have told his brothers? Hmmm -- I don’t know. From a human perspective, probably not. From God’s point of view maybe that was the intention all along. Let’s look at more of the story.