Summary: This is a message on the life of Joseph and how we can learn to accept the challenges we face and how God protects us and moves us out of the terrible places we sometimes fall into.
FACING YOUR GIANTS
“Get out of that Pit!”
There is a country song was played on the radio some time ago by a band named Ricochet. The song tells the story of a man who was sitting in church when he noticed a young woman he had grown up with—and she was looking at him! And he liked it. In the song he describes some of her qualities that made her appealing to him...
She’s got her daddy’s money, her momma’s
more laughs than a stack of comic books
a wild imagination, a college education
add it all up it’s a deadly combination.
She’s a good bass fisher. A dynamite kisser,
country as a turnip green.
She’s got her daddy’s money.
Her Momma’s good looks
and look who’s looking at ME!
Cute song. What gets my attention is that the singer was describing a woman most people would consider to be successful. She had a lot of advantages. Plenty of money. Good looks. And apparently good taste because she was looking at him.
There are people in this world who look at this kind of person and they get a little jealous. They begin to think: if only I could have their advantages. If only I had their family, their money, their education. Then I could do great things in life.
An excellent study was done several years ago of 300 highly successful people.
• Winston Churchill
• Franklin Roosevelt
• Helen Keller
• Albert Schweitzer
• Albert Einstein
Among the areas they studied were how these individuals grew up. What was their family life like? What they found was very surprising. (1) They discovered that 75% of these individuals grew up in poverty; were raised in broken homes by parents that basically rejected them. (2) 85 of these individuals had become outstanding writers. Of that 85, 74 came from homes where there was always intense drama. Constant yelling, rage and abuse were common patterns. (3) over 25% suffered from major problems. A number of them were deaf, some of them were blind and many of them were crippled. When I read this my immediate question was this... How did their home life and all they endured, how did all of this affect who they became? How could someone with so many setbacks become so very successful?
In our text this morning we meet someone like this. We read about a man named Joseph. His life is described in the book of Genesis and his story covers 14 chapters. Let that sink in for a moment. God spent only two chapters in Genesis describing how he created the entire universe and then we find 14 chapters where he describes the life of one man. In five words in Genesis he simply says he made the stars also. It is estimated there are over 300 billion stars in the universe; more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand in the entire world. Yet he gives these five words of explanation. Then we come to the life of Joseph and one fourth of the book of Genesis is dedicated to his life. How can that be? It is why I think that our heavenly father has proven to us that he is much more interested
• In our salvation than creation
• in saving souls than he is in shooting stars
• more than making creation, he is interested in molding character.
When we first meet Joseph in chapter 37 we find that Joseph has been sent by his father Jacob to go and check on his brothers as they are tending to the flocks in the pastures and he is told to see if all is okay with them. If we back up for a moment in this chapter we learn some things about him... Follow with me now.
Verse 3. His father loved him; that is Joseph, more than any of his other sons. Joseph was the youngest. He made a robe for him—a coat of many colors.
Verse 4 speaks volumes. “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.”
Verse 5. Joseph had a dream and when he told his brothers, they hated him even more. Probably because in his dream all of his brothers were bowing down to him. The sun, the moon, the stars were also bowing down to him.
So when Joseph arrives in Dothan, he finds his brothers and his brothers make two comments. (1) They said here comes that dreamer! (2) Now let’s kill him and throw him into a well and say that wild animals devoured him. Ever notice that often a description is given of someone and it sounds negative when we first hear it but it actually becomes a compliment to their character? When the Pharisees encountered Jesus they called him a “friend of sinners.” It was meant to be a derogatory term. But aren’t you glad Jesus is a friend to sinners? So here they said, “hey look, here comes that dreamer; making fun of Joseph, yet it was his dream and his faithfulness in following that dream that actually made him successful.