Summary: God disciplines Christians when they mess up not to punish them but to reveal the awesome glory of Christ!
God reveals Himself to people in mysterious and powerful ways. And do you know what God’s desire is for people? God’s desire is to bless people, make them holy, and daily walk with Him. Ever since Creation this is God’s desire for people!
God chose the People of Israel, descendants of Abraham, to reveal His Ways. God chose a people to reveal His love! And so, when Israel sinned, God had to discipline them. This is the background of the story of Joseph in Egypt.
As we read Genesis 43, let us be reminded that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God is a Holy God but desires a relationship with people!
Open your Bibles to Genesis 43. I’ve asked Daniel Pryor to read for us today………
God brought Joseph to Egypt to become the king’s right hand man. The Israelites ran out of grain, so they had to go to Egypt. Because God needed to discipline His people, Joseph made sure that all his brothers would come back to Egypt. Last week we noted that Joseph’s brothers were beginning to show signs of repentance. Jacob himself gave an indication of repentance as he lets go of Benjamin. For over 20 years Jacob had been grumbling about their situation but we don’t read anything about him going to God. But God never gives up! Alas, look again at v14…..
Jacob, although still grieving, finally thought about God!
Through Joseph in Egypt and a famine, God called Israel, His Chosen People, to come back to Him.
And we note Judah in v8-10 making a sacrifice. Judah represented his people. Israel was ready to repent.
Now, how powerful was Joseph? Joseph had his own house, own steward, had the ability and the resources to have a feast, and he was in control of his time. God blessed Joseph mightily; from a slave to a king! With God’s help, Joseph became a powerful man! Did Joseph allow all this power to get to his head and forget about God? You know, one way to find out about a person is to ask those who works with that person. Joseph’s steward was likely an Egyptian; but look at what he said in v23……………
How do you think the steward knew all of that??
Joseph was a good testimony for God to people!
A quick application question; what would your coworkers say about you? Can they see the presence of God with you?
Now look again at v30…………..
Why was Joseph deeply moved? It was over 20 years since Joseph has seen Benjamin. 20 years is a long time and Joseph could have easily forgotten Benjamin! But as Joseph saw Benjamin, don’t you think he had a flashback of when he was a kid with his brothers? Benjamin was Joseph’s only full biological brother.
Benjamin was Joseph’s only full biological brother. But don’t you also think that he was amazed with what God did! As Joseph thought about his past, I bet he noted what God did! Joseph was joyful in the Lord!
What biblical principles from this story can we apply to our lives today? First of all, if you are a believer of Jesus Christ, God has chosen you. God through the Apostle Paul said to Christians in Ephesians 1:11-12, In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
If you’re a Christian, you are a chosen one by God who loves you. And you are chosen by God because God desires to reveal Himself through you! Christians are chosen by God for the praise of the glory of Jesus Christ! And because Christians are to be for the praise of Christ’s glory, God will discipline Christians when needed!
What kind of glory is Jesus Christ? The Bible tells us that Jesus created the universe! How glorious is the universe? God disciplines Christians when they mess up not to punish them but to reveal the awesome glory of Christ! Are you being disciplined by God? How do you perceive God’s discipline? Do you see discipline as punishment or do you see love with that discipline?
Jesus said in Revelation 3:19, Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Let me ask you a question: Does the world, does South Milwaukee, need to see the glory of Jesus Christ??
We will reveal the glory of Christ when we repent from our sins! We will be “salt and light” to our world when we repent from our sins! You know, Christians are like flashlights……
Christians have everything they need to shine the light, the glory, of Jesus Christ; Christians have the light (they have Jesus Christ), Christians have power like batteries (they have God the Holy Spirit); but like this flashlight, Christians have a switch. Sins are like rusts that can freeze the switch. When Christians confess and repent from their sins, like an acid wash, God cleanses all the rusts which prevents the turning on of the light! 1 John 1:9 states, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness!