Summary: Last sermon in the GENESIS series. (Audio at www.sermonlist.com/2007.html)
Have you ever heard of people who became successful, even when everything around them pointed to failure? When all the circumstances around them say, “No way,” but they heard God saying, “No, this way!”
There was a young boy in the 2nd grade whose teacher sent a note home with him to his parents. The note said he was having trouble trying to keep up with the class because all he wanted to do was look out the window and daydream.
I wonder how many children in this world do the same, and receive condemnation for it? Some of those children have their dreams pounded out of them early in life because others do not understand. And some of these children grow up to have chapters in the Bible written about them, like a boy named Joseph.
Others look out those windows to view a world that nobody else can see. They actually see a vision that seems to draw them to see a world beyond, and in some cases, they go on to become pastors, like I did.
Today, as we continue our walk through the book of GENESIS, I want to talk to you about a dreamer. His name was Joseph. We will hear his story and look at his faith. We will stare out the window with him and see what God revealed to him.
Now, there were several prominent people named Joseph in the Bible. One was the stepfather of Jesus. Another Joseph loaned his tomb out so Jesus could be buried in it. But the Joseph we are going to talk about today was a young boy. He was a dreamer. And he became one of the biggest successes in the entire Bible. In fact, if his story were written today, it would become a best selling book or a huge box office movie. It would have love, betrayal, mystery, and even some passion in it. It is a story that leads from a hole in the ground to a palace to a prison; from home to exile to greatness; from being the youngest of 12 siblings on a farm to being a leader of the world’s largest nation.
It is a story about a dreamer, and how his circumstances said, “No way,” but how God took those circumstances and said, “No. This way!” And it all stemmed from this young boy having a true faith in God Almighty. What we will see today is that God gives us the dreams as seeds planted in our souls, and the water that grows that seed is faith in the Lord.
Every one of us has dreams. It is our dreams that sometimes hold the fragile pieces of our lives together. What’s your dream? What does God have in store for you? Who are you? Better yet, as Mary Peterson often says, “Whose are you?” Some people will think your dreams are just fantasy, but in reality, your dreams are seeds that God has planted in your soul – and they are waiting to blossom, for His glory.
Years ago, I had a next-door neighbor. I was in my 20’s and he was in his 60s’. We liked each other and often sat in our lawn chairs and talked about life in general. His life had been very difficult, and because of that, his attitude was sometimes sour. He told me that he had no dreams, but he did have many regrets. I told him that a person never gets old until their dreams are replaced with regrets. And most regrets are caused when we do not follow up on our dreams.
Who was Joseph in the line of genealogy? We have spent several weeks talking about Abraham and his son Isaac. When Isaac grew up, he had two sons. They were twins. Their names were Jacob and Esau. When Jacob grew up, he had twelve sons. The youngest of these was Joseph, the young man we are going to talk about today. So, to answer the question of who Joseph is in the line of Abraham, he would have been Abraham’s great-grandson.
Turn with me to GENESIS 37:1-11.
‘Jacob lived in the land where his father Isaac had stayed, the land of Canaan. And 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.
Now, Israel (that was what Jacob’s name was changed to) 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.