Summary: Joseph, after 13 years of trauma, was elevated from the dungeon to Prime Minister. He's a great example on how to "turn the page" from an unpleasant period of life to a positive, fulfilling and fruitful phase. Let's follow his example!
IT’S TIME TO TURN THE PAGE
A. HUMOR: PLAYING CARDS ON A TRAIN
1. Three men got onto a train going to Moscow. One was a Russian orthodox priest, one a protestant preacher, and the other was a Rabbi.
2. These 3 were alone in one compartment and because they were bored, one pulled out a pack of cards and they began playing.
3. After a few minutes, they heard the loud voice of a policeman in the next compartment shouting, "You're playing cards. You know it's forbidden to play cards here. You must pay me a fine right now."
4. They realized the policeman would come into their coach in seconds, so they quickly pushed all the cards onto the floor by their feet. When the policeman came in, the three men looked very calm, serene, and virtuous.
5. The policeman, seeing the cards, said, "I'm surprised to find you three religious men playing cards. You know this is illegal and it's setting a bad example to all here."
6. On hearing this, the priest said, “But sir, we’re not playing cards. We wouldn't do such a thing."
7. "So give me your word of honor that you weren't playing cards," says the policeman. "I promise by the Church in Moscow,” said the priest. “Ok.”
8. The policeman then looked at the Rabbi and said, "And you? You promise me too!” The Rabbi replied, “I promise by the land of Palestine!” “Ok.”
9. The policeman looked at the protestant preacher and said with a wicked grin, "So it must have been YOU playing cards!”
10. "Me? Playing cards?" said the preacher. "With whom would I be playing cards?"
B. CONCEPT OF “TURN THE PAGE”: Definitions:
1. To stop thinking about or dealing with something. (When a patient dies, a doctor just has to turn the page and concentrate on the next patient.) [Free Dictionary] [NEW THOUGHT]
2. To begin to behave in a more positive way after a period of difficulties. [Ibid] [NEW ATTITUDE]
3. To move on to new involvements or activities; to make a fresh start. [definitions.net] [NEW ACTIVITIES]
4. To bring a difficult period to a close and to begin a completely new period, with new vision, hopes, and dreams. [NEW VISION]
Gen. 41:14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. 15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”….33 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt….34to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.” 37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”
41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh [forget] and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim [fruitful] and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
D. THESIS & TITLE
1. Tonight we’re going to look at the CONTRASTS of Joseph’s life, the PROVIDENCE of God in his life, and the REALIGNMENT of his life after the change -- as evidenced by the names of his sons.
2. The title of tonight’s message is “It’s Time to ‘Turn the Page’.”
I. CONTRAST OF 2 PERIODS OF HIS LIFE
A. REVERSAL OF SADNESS
1. Think what it must have been like for Joseph after 13 years of tragedy and betrayal – to be catapulted from a prison cell to the 2nd highest position in the kingdom!
2. One day he was scrubbing floors in the dungeon and the next day he was Prime Minister of Egypt! What a shocking alteration! The mighty Potiphar was now his servant!
3. One period of life he was in deep darkness with no escape. The next period he was in the brilliant light of success riding at the highest places available to humans! I’m sure there were many days he had to pinch himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming it.