Summary: introductory sermon to a series on the life of Joseph. Most of the sermon content was inspired from Chuck Swindolls "Joseph" book.
Jokingly they said; “I don’t get mad pastor, I just get even.” Sadly enough that little phrase that we used to laugh at has become more of a reality than we want to accept. How else can we explain so many lawsuits, road rage or the explosive reaction by those who feel they have been wronged?
“Getting even” has reached a scary level in society and sadly if we aren’t careful it raises its head in the church. Humans do occasionally err, and God does forgive, but neither seemingly represents a policy that most folk are willing to accept.
This morning I want to introduce you to a fellow who regardless of how he was treated, in spite of unfair and wrongful accusations, even after being rejected abandoned, abused, and forgotten this fellow refused to become resentful, or become bitter or even bear a grudge.
Almost sounds to good to be true don’t it?
Well for the next few weeks we are going to be doing a series on a man of enormous integrity, a man who modeled continual forgiveness…His name is Joseph!
Before we can actually dive into Joseph’s life we have to take just a few moments to see a part of his background and where he comes from, turn with me in your bibles to genesis chapter 30…
22 Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and opened her womb. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, "God has taken away my disgrace." 24 She named him Joseph, and said, "May the LORD add to me another son."
The first person we need to consider before we get into “Joseph” is his father Jacob. His other name is Israel which means God strives – a name which he received after he had wrestled with god and wouldn’t let go until God blessed him.
Jacob was and older am when Joseph was born. Because of his older age he had developed a special love for his son Joseph, his birth sort of gave old Jacob a new lease on life, and it stands to reason that Jacob would be especially fond of Joseph since Rachel his true love was his mother!
You know doubt know the story, Jacob had fallen in love with Rachel and agreed to work for Laban for seven years so that he could have her as his bride, then when the seven years were up, Laban tricks him and he married Leah instead, so Jacob agrees to work seven more years for Rachel, finally after 14 years he has the wife he always wanted from the beginning. You heard the scripture Leah gives him seven children, and Rachel cannot get pregnant. Jacob then figures it is time to go on his own and leave Laban, and the two of them get into trickery again…finally they get gone and Jacobs daughter DINAH IS RAPED, then later on after the birth of Joseph sure enough Rachel get s pregnant again and in the delivery of Benjamin Rachel dies…then there is incest within the family, Rueben has sexual relations with Bilhah, and old dad Jacob doesn’t do anything about it
And one reads all of this and wonders how can a man of integrity come from all of this talk about a dysfunctional family!
And it the midsts of all of this chaos, the older brothers are all noticing that Joseph is the favorite! His mother had been favored over theirs, and now he is daddies little pet child and they have had their gullet full…finally one day the straw that breaks the camels back appears when Jacob presents Joseph with the coat of many colors. This coat they tell me was one that extended to the ankles, more of a covering of nobility than a useful coat for working…look at the passage here in genesis 37…
1 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. 2 This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.
3 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. 4 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.
Boom, blow up in Dodge City…these guys had been putting up with it for years, and now this…their untreated jealousy had turned into resentment and now into pure hatred! But if that isn’t enough or guy Joseph well…he is a dreamer…listen…