Summary: Joseph found himself in a number of unjust situations because his brothers envied the privileges of his multicolored coat. We need the dreams of Jesus to overcome racism and prejudice.
It’s Time To Get Up—Joseph Got Up
How many of you have asked that question, “Lord how many times should I forgive? How many times should I put up with this? How many times is enough”. Those are some of the questions that are being asked in our nation today.
But they are not new questions. They were been asked by the people of God as slaves in Egypt for 400 years in the Bible. God’s chosen people said to God “if you are who you say you are, then why do we continue to be oppressed by other people.”
Not only have nations asked this question, individuals have asked the questions as well. How many of you have asked the same questions when you have looked at circumstances in your own life? One person that dealt with this question was Joseph in our Scripture reading today.
I saw a quote this past week that said, “God is doing a hundred things in your life, but you are probably aware of only three of them.” The reality is, sometimes we have no idea of how where we are right now, are part of a much bigger plan that God has for God’s own purposes.
Can you imagine for a moment that day when Jesus was crucified and was up there on the cross bleeding, sweating, gasping for breath, slowly and painfully dying. I am sure that some people passing by got angry that day. Somebody probably said, “I am sick of tired of another Jew being strung up by the Roman government.” No justice, no peace.”
I am certain they probably wanted to kill the Roman soldiers who were there to make sure no one got to Jesus until he was dead. They may have even thought, one day, “I’m going to get my revenge.” They had no idea that the hand of God was involved in all of this.
Some may have said, this is “why I don’t want anything to do with religion. Where was God when this innocent man was dying?” Yet God was right there in this innocent man who was crying out, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”
Are we willing to believe that Jesus might be right? People might not understand what they are doing when they are hurting others
Let’s look at this guy named Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-50. Joseph was in a family with 11 brothers from four different women, but all the same father, whose name was Jacob. Unfortunately that almost sound like my dad who had nine kids by four different women, but they never all lived together under the same roof at one time with all the women and all the kids.
So there was a lot of family tension in that home. To make matters worse Joseph’s mom had been his father Jacob’s favorite wife and everyone knew it. Her name was Rachel, but Rachel died in childbirth with Joseph’s brother Benjamin.
Maybe it was out of grief over the loss of his wife Rachel, that Jacob went overboard with his affection for Joseph and Benjamin, his two youngest sons. But it was clear that Joseph became the favorite of his father and his other 10 brothers resented him for it.
Benjamin was too young to notice all this, and he and Joseph had a good relationship with each other since they had the same mother and were the only ones whose mother had died while they were young kids.
Jacob’s family is proof that God does not look for perfect people or perfect homes to bring about His work in the world. We would have written them as a pretty messed up family. But the reality is we cannot write off anybody as being a nobody because we don’t know what God is doing.
This messed up family is going to one day have a descendant who is going to transform history for all of humanity. That descendant will be none other than Jesus Christ.
We all like to say, I’d like for God to speak to me, or I’d love for God to give me a vision. We don’t realize that can set us up for envy, jealousy and dislike by others. Joseph’s brothers already did not like him. But when God starts to set Joseph apart from them spiritually, things start to get worse.
God chose Joseph for a certain task in life and gave him some dreams about what was going to happen in the future. Joseph had two dreams, but it was obvious, that in both dreams, one day his brothers would kneel down before him as if he was ruling over them.
In his second dream, not only was his brothers bowing down in front of him, but his father and step mothers were as well. Even his father got a little ticked off on this dream.