Summary: Joseph went thru trials he didn’t understand so God could prepare him for something bigger. Sometimes trials we face are a result of God making us more like Him.
Intro. For the sake of time, I will not read the entire text.
Remember, Joseph has been sold and scandalized. He was in the middle of a storm that was God’s plan for him.
I. The Dedication - vs. 4
There are two imprisoned with Joseph. There may have been a conspiracy to kill Pharaoh, with poison food or drink, and Pharaoh had no way of knowing who was involved - so both were imprisoned. And Joseph was put over them.
A. His Service - He could be trusted, even in the tough times!
B. His Sympathy - vs. 6
Most would have been upset that no one showed them sympathy, but Joseph, in his own prison, showed sympathy to others! That is dedication!
II. The Discernment
A. His Resolve - He had the understanding that Wisdom was from God - vs. 8
A great verse that would describe Joseph is found in Pro 3:7 "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil."
B. His Revelation - The cook would die, the butler would live.
C. His Request - After he had served them, showed compassion, and had interpreted their dreams - we see his humanity come through - vs. 14-15
He believed the butler would be freed, so he made a simple request. Don’t forget me!
III. The Delay - Trusting God through His delays - 2 years longer in prison.
This is where I want to put most of my emphasis today: the heat was turned up on Joseph - He has been sold and scandalized, but faithful - and now he is forgotten! Chap 40:23
JFB - How prone are men to forget and neglect in prosperity, those who have been their companions in adversity. But although reflecting no credit on the butler, it was wisely ordered in the providence of God that he should forget him. The divine purposes required that Joseph should obtain his deliverance in another way, and by other means. Joseph was LEFT IN THE FURNACE! God was still preparing him.
The heat was turned up! Pr 25:4 "Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer."
A. The Prison could have been his Furnace - the furnace is used to Purify
1. The Condition of the Metal
- Without cleansing, it is Useless - dross (castaway, reprobate)
2. The Circumstances that Cause us to be in the Furnace
- Impurities - In speaking to the church of Laodicea
Rev. 3:19 "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent."
- Indifference - (a loss of zeal)
Titus 2:14 "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."
- Intentions of GOD - He is the refiner. FOR HIM! Job 23:10 "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."
B. The Pain of being Forsaken
1. This Increased the Heat - how do you think he felt?
God sometimes allows it for our good -
(US Steel Mill - preparation of the steel - Red hot, before usable)
Just ask JOB - in the first two chapters he lost his
Finances Family Health Friends
2. Intended Result - 1Pe 1:7 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:"
C. The Privilege of waiting on the Father
1. Profitable (Only metals that can be used are refined)
Jere 6: 29 "The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melteth in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away. 30 Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them."
2. Potential - God saw what was inside of Joseph!
3. Patience of the Refiner (time, effort, doesn’t give up)
Thank God, He never gives up on us.
4. Personal Touch of the Refiner
- Breath (Blow on the fire)
- Molding Isa 64:8 "But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand."
- Polishing - the personal care
- Possession of the Refiner -God never refines what is not His!
- THE PRIZE of the Refiner
As the Refiner works on the vessel, before too long he can see himself in His work. God’s sees something in you, you can’t see - He wants to bring it out (the image of JESUS) The Refiner sees his own image!
We are to be reflections of Jesus! WE SHOULD BE MIRROR IMAGES