Summary: Bad things happening to a good people for the purpose of preparing and positioning them both to be blessed and to be a blessing

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GENESIS 50:15-21

INTRODUCTION: How many times have you heard a person say to someone going through a trial, who has suffered a loss, or experienced some great tragedy "I know it’s difficult for you right now, but it’s for the best!" Usually at the time that these words are spoken, they provide little if any comfort. Usually the recipient of such comments is thinking, "It’s easy for you to say! You don’t have any idea what I am going through. You wouldn’t say that if you were in my shoes." While the words provide little comfort at the time, the Bible teaches us that everything that happens in the life of the believer has an ultimately positive purpose. This is no better illustrated than in the life of Joseph where we see bad things happening to a good man for the purpose of preparing and positioning him to be blessed and to be a blessing.

I. Bad Things Happen to Good People.

A. Joseph stands head and shoulders above most men and biblical characters as a dynamic example of what a follower of God ought to be.

1. The New Compact Bible Dictionary says: "He presents a noble ideal of character, remarkable for his gentleness, faithfulness to duty, magnanimity, and forgiving spirit...."

2. He was honest - Genesis 39:1-6 made a steward of the entire estate of Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh’s guard.

3. He had the highest moral character - Genesis 39:7-14 refused to give in to seduction

4. He was loyal to those over him - Genesis 39:22-23 loyal to the keeper of the prison.

5. He was faithful to God in all his circumstances.

B. In spite of all his goodness bad things happened to him.

1. His brothers hated him, threatened to kill him, threw him in a ditch to die, and then sold him into slavery.

2. While in slavery, having rejected the advances of Potiphar’s wife, he was falsely accused and convicted of rape and was thrown into prison

3. In prison, he was forgotten by the butler who promised to help secure his release.

4. He was hated, mistreated, abused, falsely accused and lied about, treated unfairly, and overlooked.

II. Bad Things Happen for a Reason

A. The Master Designer of the Universe is fully aware and in control of His creation. Nothing happens by sheer accident. God overrides in the affairs of men to accomplish His will.

B. "God is never in a panic, nothing can be done that he is not absolute Master of, and no one in earth or heaven can shut a door he has opened, nor open a door he has shut." Oswald Chambers (1874-1917)

C. In everything Joseph did, God was with him. Genesis 39:2 "And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian."

D. God allowed Joseph to go through what he endured in order to put him in a position to be a blessing and to be blessed God.

1. Genesis 50:20 "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."

2. Genesis 45:7-8 "And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt."

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