Sermons

Summary: What old-wounds… What broken-relationships does God want to heal in you?

  Study Tools
  Study Tools

God in the Ebb & Flow of Life:

Healing Old Wounds

Scripture Text: Genesis 45.1-15

INTRODUCTION

Last week we were left with loose-ends. The brothers sat at the table, …feasting and drinking with Joseph ~ …although they had no-idea who he really-was, …and they didn’t understand why this-stranger was treating them this-way.

They were afraid that he was gonna trick them: …that he was-going-to steal their donkeys, …and make them his slaves.

There’s other loose-ends… Is Joseph toying with his brothers? Why doesn’t he tell them who he is? Why the charade of accusing them of being spies?

Although I’m convinced that Joseph had-forgiven them for the hurt-and-pain that they had caused-him… I’m sure that he forgave-them, at-some-point, earlier-in-his-life: …whether it-was while he was being-transported in the slave-gang-caravan (just hours after he was betrayed and sold into slavery), …or whether it was while he sat in prison (when he lots-of-time to reflect on his life), …or certainly by-the-time he was released from-prison, … and when his first-born-son came-along; …at whatever-point, Joseph had-forgiven them, …Still, …we’re left wondering whether he’s taken-it-back because the-way that he treats his brothers (on their two-visits) …it’s perplexing!...

He hides his identity! He speaks harshly to them He accuses them of being spies. (On-the-first-visit) He put the whole-lot-of-them in prison for 3 days… …and-then, he kept one-brother (Simeon) and-sent the rest back-to-Canaan. Then, after-they-returned for a second-visit, (and Joseph hosted them for a feast in his-own-house) …then he pulled a big-bad swithcheroo: …putting all-their-money back in the food-sacks, …along with his own-personal silver-cup!

Of course, …the brothers didn’t know about this, …and they were just-glad to get-outta-Dodge with-their-lives and-the-food that they so-desperately needed. But-then, …Joseph sent a posse after-them to collect his mug. The brothers denied stealing anything… but-alas!

There it was! In Benjamin’s sack! The posse took the dejected-brothers back-to-face their doom, …back to face their terrible-master!

When they come before Joseph (for the third-time, now), …Joseph accuses them of deception and stealing and ingratitude. Chapter-44 is a heart-rending-exchange as Joseph accuses, …and Judah passionately-pleads for his youngest-brother’s-life!

As you read through the story, your heart-breaks, …and you have so-many questions because there are so-many loose-ends: “What is he waiting for? “Why doesn’t he tell them who he is? “How long will the charade go on? “Is he going to forgive them - (now-that they are face-to-face), “…or, will he unleash on-them a torrent-of-vengeance?”…

So-many unanswered-questions!

TRANSITION

I went-back and re-read the story-again, in its entirety… And I think that I’ve realized what was not the reason for Joseph’s charade: First, he was waiting for the brothers to acknowledge their guilt (in-terms-of the way they had treated him and betrayed him and sold him into slavery) ~ …ya see, on-their-first-trip, …the brothers make the following statement:

“Surely we are being punished because of our brother…Now we must give an accounting for his blood!” (Gen 42.21-22).

So, Joseph didn’t go-through-the-charade of hiding his identity, …waiting for his brothers to acknowledge their own-guilt; …they had-already-done-that during their first-meeting!

And, he wasn’t-waiting for the dream to-be-fulfilled… You-remember, …the dream about his brothers bowing-down before-him? Because during their two-visits to Egypt, …his brothers had already-bowed down to Joseph four times! So, Joseph didn’t go-through-the-charade of hiding-his-identity, …waiting for his brothers to bow-down to him (thus, fulfilling the dream); …they had-already-done-that numerous-times ~ …and-still, he continued to hide who-he-was!

And, I don’t-think that he was waiting to see what-was in-their-hearts. In their various speeches and conversations, …it’s clear that they know-they’re-guilty for treating-him-badly, all-those-years-ago; …and it’s clear that they are deeply-concerned for the grief that their father lived-under; …and it’s clear that at-least Judah-and-Rueben are gravely-concerned about Benjamin’s safety; …and they believe-that God was punishing-them for their sins against-Joseph. So, Joseph wasn’t waiting to-reveal his-identity until they revealed-their-hearts…. …they had done this numerous-times, …in-different-ways.

We’re just-left with loose-ends: “What is he waiting for? “How long will this go on? “Will he forgive them, again - (now-that they are face-to-face), “…or, will he-instead unleash on-them a tidal-wave of vengeance?”… That’s where Joseph’s heart is at. Wrestling. Coming-to-terms with old-wounds …now-re-opened. Forgiveness, …once-offered in the absence of the offenders; …but-now, …staring-them-down, …face-to-face. What will Joseph choose to do!?!

Let’s read the next segment-of-Joseph’s-story. Genesis 45.

READ Genesis 45.1-15

BODY

I. Whose Actions Really Matter?

Whose actions really matter? ~ …Joseph’s? …his brothers? …or God’s?

In-some-way, …everyone’s actions-and-choices matter! But, (with-that-said) we’re-always-tempted to focus-on-ourselves. And-so, we have to-know that it’s-not-all-about-us!

Sure, …we have a part-to-play, …but in-and-through our actions and choices, …sometimes despite our decisions, …God is working to redeem and restore and heal. We see this played-out in the story of Joseph and his brothers…

II. Forgiveness Offered

Joseph forgives these-rascals. This isn’t the first-time ~ …but it is the first-time he’s forgiven them face-to-face!

Old-wounds, …old-grudges, …old-temptations to hold-onto old-feelings ~ …these-things have no-grip on Joseph’s heart. He will not bury them, …or suppress-them, …or vainly sweep-them under-the-rug. Once-more ~ now, in-the-presence of those-who-hurt-him so deeply ~ …once-more, …Joseph turns them-over, …let’s them go, …releases them into the sovereign hands of God.

Download Sermon With PRO View On One Page With PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media


Alive In Christ
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Banner Over Me
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Change Life
SermonCentral
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion