Summary: Trust in God is a must for caring for people and for being provided for.
Our Scripture of the Week is 1 Timothy 5:8; it is a command from God to Christians: If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
We are to care for people, especially our loved ones!
How do we do it? We can learn today from Joseph in the Old Testament. But before we read from Genesis 47, let us take note of 3 passages to introduce the story.
Open your Bibles to Genesis 45:8-11. It reads…………..
Who sent Joseph to Egypt?? – God!
And how did Joseph, a Hebrew, become Lord of Egypt?
God made Joseph lord of all Egypt!
Where did Joseph tell the Hebrews where to live?
Joseph told them that they would live in Goshen.
Now, does anyone know why Joseph picked Goshen??
It is apparent that Joseph thought about where he would send his relatives to live. Goshen (show map) was a delta, a fertile land, great for grazing sheep! Goshen was also away from the city, therefore, the Hebrews could live without direct influence of Egyptian life. The Egyptians also did not like the type of people who lived there. The area was perfect!
How do you think Joseph became so smart?? – God!
Joseph trusted God where he would send his relatives!
And what did Joseph promise them?
Joseph promised that he would take care of all his relatives!
Joseph was confident in providing for his relatives because he had the resources!
Now look at Genesis 45:16-20……………
Pharaoh made a promise to the Hebrews,
the riches of Egypt!
But look at Genesis 46:31-34……….
Joseph already told his relatives to move to Goshen and the Pharaoh already promised the best of the land to the Hebrews, why did Joseph instructed his relatives to ask for permission from Pharaoh??
There was to be respect for those in authority.
I’ve asked Jeff Povlich to read Genesis 47:1-27for us today. As Jeff comes forward, let us pray our commitment to God’s Word…….
And so Joseph went to Pharaoh with his family. Pharaoh asked the question to Joseph’s brothers, “What is your occupation?” They answered as Joseph told them. But did you note what else they did? Look again at the end of v3….
They asked for permission to live in Goshen.
And what did Jacob do? Jacob the father of all the Hebrews, blessed Pharaoh!
As we noted earlier, Joseph and the Hebrews did not forget to give respect to the one who was in authority (v1-11).
And so we read in v11…………….. as Pharaoh directed!
But look again at v12………….
We don’t read Joseph asking Pharaoh for permission to give food to all his relatives. How could Joseph do that? Again, simply, Joseph was able to give freely what he owned personally!
Now, what can we note from verses 13-26?
Both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. Joseph certainly cared for his immediate family.
Did Joseph care about the Egyptians??
Joseph helped the Egyptians with their needs.
How did Joseph care for the people in the community?
The first thing we need to note is that Joseph gave what was due to Pharaoh. Look again at the end of v14…..
And look at v20…….. and v24…….
We don’t read of any freebies here to the Egyptians do we?
You see, Joseph couldn’t give away for free what he did not own! Joseph was a good steward of what he was responsible for!
Politicians should learn from this story, shouldn’t they? But let us not forget, we in America are the ones responsible for electing our government officials! Next time you elect a government official, think about Joseph! Will those politicians be good stewards of your money and property?
Are we to care for people today? God certainly shared with us to care for people through Joseph in Egypt.
Let’s go back to our Scripture of the Week from 1 Timothy Chapter 5. This letter to Timothy is a letter for Christian leaders. Now, aren’t all Christians called to be leaders in their community? Aren’t Christians “salt and light” to the world? Turn to 1 Timothy 5 with me; let’s read v3-8…
God used widows as an example of people who are in need. Who is supposed to provide for those widows in need?
God tells us that the widow’s relatives should provide for them. And so again, no question, we are to provide for our own family.
But if the widows who are in need do not have immediate family, who is supposed to care for them??
God is speaking to the church of Christ here in 1 Timothy!
Second to immediate family, the church is to care for those in need. But what do we read in God’s instructions? Provision is to be given to those who are really in need. And those in need should be praying to God for help.