Summary: Wisdom during times of blessing - Provision during times of need
God’s Man in Charge
March 6, 2005
Center Point Baptist Church
Present the following illustration on power in Christian living:
A new missionary was assigned a car that would not start without a push. After pondering his problem, he devised a plan. He went to the school near his home, got permission to take some children out of class, and had them push his car off. As he made his rounds, he would either park on a hill or leave the engine running. He used this ingenious procedure for two years.
Ill health forced him to leave, and a new missionary came to that station. When he proudly began to explain his arrangement for getting the car started, the new man began looking under the hood. Before the explanation was complete, the new missionary interrupted, “Why, sir, I believe the only trouble is this loose cable.” He gave the cable a twist, stepped into the car, pushed the switch, and to Jackson’s astonishment, the engine roared to life.
• For two years needless trouble had become routine.
• The power was there all the time.
• Only a loose connection kept Jackson from putting that power to work.
Ephesians 1:18-20 – I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead…
*When we make firm our connection with God, his life and power flow through us.
Whose power is it? – It’s His, not ours!
Who gets to experience this power? – only those who believe!
*Joseph was just such a believer – he had remained faithful to God, even in the worst of times.
• He was a man of great power – power given to him by God.
• God would now use him to influence an entire nation.
1.) Rise to Power
Read Genesis 41:41-45.
How do you think the court rulers felt about Joseph rising to power so quickly?
• There is some evidence to suggest that some were displeased with his rise to power:
Genesis 49:22-23 – Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility.
Proverbs 17:2 – A wise servant will rule over a disgraceful son, and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
*Joseph is here described as a fruitful vine – whose godly influence could not be overcome. Does that describe your life in Christ?
• He wore the Pharaoh’s ring.
• He changed his prison garments for fine clothes.
• He was made to ride in a fine chariot – 2nd only to Pharaoh.
• He was given a wife of noble esteem.
• He was given a new name & title – Zaphenath-Paneah:
Zaphenath: a revealer of secrets & the food of life – the food of the living
Paneah: one who runs from temptation
*Again we see here in the description of his Egyptian names a “type of Christ.”
• Jesus is the revealer of that which was hidden – that is, how we might be saved.
• Jesus is the Bread of Life, which has come down from heaven.
• Jesus experienced victory over the temptations of Satan.
2.) Wisdom During Blessed Times
Read Genesis 41:46-49.
*Look to see how old Joseph was when he entered the king’s service – 30 years old. He had been in slavery since the age of 17.
• During the seven years of plenty, Pharaoh’s dreams were fulfilled – including the wise management of his nation.
*Notice that Joseph was faithful to the interpretation of the dream God had given him – he was unwavering for seven years of plenty.
How many fall away during the years of plenty – not preparing for their future?
3.) Naming His Blessings
Read Genesis 41:50-52.
*There were two sons born to him – each named after a blessing the Lord had bestowed upon him.
Manasseh – God had allowed him to get past “his father’s house,” as well as the hardship of his slavery.
• He remembered his toils in the very utterance of his son’s name.
• He tenderly and intensely remembered his father’s house.
• But he is grateful to God, who builds him a home, with all its soothing joys, even in the land of his exile.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – …give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Ephraim – God had made his life useful, even in the land of his suffering.