Summary: To realise that God remains faithful to us even when we ignore him
God is Faithful - Dreamer for sale
Aim: To realise that God remains faithful to us even when we ignore him
Reading: Genesis 37:1-36
Days of our lives illustration
• Well you might be mistaken if thinking that you have just heard an excerpt of a Soapie when you listen to the story of Joseph.
• I mean look at the story, here you have an important family (usually the case in most soapies), there is the family business (sheep), jealous and vengeful siblings, remorseful siblings (Rueben), a couple of wives the favourite younger son…you name it and the Joseph story has it…we could easily use any of the titles of the soapies for this story…”The Bold and the Beautiful” (later we find out that Joseph was quite a looker), “Days of our lives”, “The Young and the restless”, even “Generations”.
• Never the less, unlike the soapies on TV, we can learn quite a lot from this soapie.
Joseph - the young dreamer
• We meet a young man, a teenager really, perhaps a little like this young guy on the screen (show the slide with the teenage boy)
• Imagine what this boy is like, what sort of attributes might he have. Well this very boy is in fact a spoilt brat and nearly every body in his family hate him…and he’s certainly not close to God at all.
• Can you imagine this boy at the age of 40, what might he be doing? Well God intends using this boy in another country where there will be many refugees. He will be a wise politician and a good manager…this young man on our screen could easily be Joseph.
• Now as we read, Joseph is a bit of a dreamer. He has big dreams, dreams that even get him into trouble. But he is not the first in his family to have these big dreams…in fact his father was the one who dreamed about the stairway to heaven in which he was told the same promise that his forefathers had been told.
• But we have a difference between Joseph and his father. Notice that in the entire story that was read this morning, God does not even feature…not because God is not there but perhaps because God is ignored.
• Now we all have dreams, I’m quite certain they don’t involve sheaves of grain and celestial bodies, but we have hopes and plans for our lives and for our families. So I want us to perhaps look at those dreams that we have today, perhaps compare them to our newly found friend Joseph.
1. Our dreams are often built on what God has gifted us with or blessed us with (God’s plan for us)
God’s faithfulness in His plans
• We can be certain that this story was recorded for us so that we can witness the faithfulness of God to his covenant people. Of which we are now also a part of through the new covenant in Jesus Christ.
• As was with Joseph’s father Jacob (who is also called Israel), the dreams involve the future plans that God has for them as well as for the future of their descendants. But God had chosen them especially to fulfil these plans and gave them the necessary “equipment” (gifts and talents).
• Joseph certainly wasn’t what we would call the perfect candidate for what God had planned. He was conceited, arrogant, spoilt and a boy only his mother (and father) could love…but God eventually used him. And it was for the Glory of God and not for the glory of the person. Sure God did bless them and Joseph certainly became a bit of a celebrity, but everything was for God’s purposes.
• We read in Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Now I don’t want to take this piece of the Psalms out of context but the desires here have nothing to do with our pleasure but they are desire that are deep seated in the will of God. They are desires that, when one is truly doing God’s will, endeavouring to please God, we given things that fall within God’s will.
God’s plan for us
• We spent a bit of time learning about God’s plan for our lives a couple of weeks ago; we can all be in agreement that God has a plan. Now God sparks off these plans by giving us vision, inspiration…dreams (perhaps not actual dreams but maybe even actual dreams).
• These things may seem out of reach but God begins to equip us and open doors for us. Things might seem difficult at times (Remember Joseph was chucked in a pit and sold off to a bunch of foreigners) and we may not even recognise that God is with us, but in all things God is working out his plan.