Summary: Joseph had unwavering faith in the midst of some of life's most difficult circumstances.
We have been talking about what it would look like for our faith roots to go deeper.
Now it is time to get really practical.
What does BIG faith look like in real life?
For the next three weeks, we are going to focus on an amazing story of faith.
It is the true story of a guy who lived almost 4,000 years ago.
A little context will help set the stage for his story.
Joseph grew up in a very dysfunctional family.
There were many angry, jealous and deceitful people in his life.
Joseph's life was filled with turmoil.
• He was an abandoned by his brothers.
• He became a slave at a very young age.
• He was accused of rape.
• He was imprisoned, forgotten, and alone.
And yet, Joseph handled all these situations with absolute faith in God.
His faith never wavered.
Joseph remained faithful to God against all odds.
He was a man of great character.
Even though life didn’t always go his way,
his loyalty and faithfulness to God was above reproach.
He never gave up.
• When he was hated, he did not retaliate.
• When he was tempted, he did not yield.
• When life fell apart, he did not give up.
• When he was blessed, he did not strut.
Joseph consistently continued to faithfully trust in God.
Joseph didn’t allow his CIRCUMSTANCES to DISTORT his view of God.
How might it change your life,
if in the valleys, and on the mountain tops,
and in the wilderness, and through the storms,
and everywhere in between,
you decided to trust God COMPLETELY?
Joseph is going to show us how to do it.
We’re going to pick up Joseph’s story in Genesis 37,
when he is the ripe old age of 17.
• Joseph is full of life…
• Full of energy…
• Full of strength.
His being downfall starting out was the unfortunate habit of being a tattle tale!
At the time, Joseph was the baby of the family and he fit the stereotype perfectly.
His parents would have another child later.
So, Joseph will be the second to the youngest in a tribe of 12 boys.
Can you even imagine their grocery bill?
Like their father, Joseph and his brothers were shepherds.
Joseph’s secondary job was to report to his father Jacob all the chatter and comings and goings of his older brothers.
As you can imagine, Joseph’s brothers hated when he did that.
Not only did he often rat out his brothers, he was also daddy’s favorite.
And his father, Jacob, did not even attempt to hide his preference.
In fact, he had a beautiful, expensive and rare coat made just for Joseph.
Some playwriters would later call it a technicolor dream coat.
Joseph was spoiled, and his brothers hated him for it.
And the thing that added just a little more fuel to the fire of their hatred –
Joseph was a dreamer.
He told his brothers about a couple of dreams where he was exalted above his brothers.
They already didn’t like him.
But to hear about these dreams that implied that that Joseph would one day be in a position of authority over his brothers, that made matters even worse.
One day Jacob sent Joseph to check up on his brothers.
As Joseph came over the ridge, his brothers spotted him.
Here comes this dreamer with his coat of many colors blowing in the wind.
They couldn’t stand it any longer.
Why should he be their father’s favorite!
They had had enough of the favorite son
and they decided it was time to silence him once and for all!
“‘Here comes the dreamer!’ they said.
‘Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!’” - Genesis 37:19-20 (NLT2)
Older brother, Reuben, had a plan.
He didn’t like what Joseph did, but he didn’t want to kill his brother.
He knew he couldn’t physically stop his brothers plan,
but he thought he could at least divert them.
“But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. ‘Let’s not kill him,’ he said. ‘Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.’ Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father.”- Genesis 37:21-22 (NLT2)
I guess at least one of Joseph’s brothers care about him…sort of!
Joseph is ready to do a little Spycraft when his brothers turn into a gang and attack him.
They rip off his beautiful coat…
Each of them probably thinking that coat should have been theirs!