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Summary: Sermon on Joseph being faithful in adversity

JOSEPH: FAITHFUL IN ADVERSITY

GENESIS 37:12-36

03/14/96

There was once a golfer who was having a perfectly horrible day on the gold course. When he didn’t hook the ball he sliced it, and when he didn’t slice the ball he hooked it. On each hole things got worst and worst.

Finally on the 11th hole after missing his third putt, he failed to hole the ball from eight inches. That was it!

He took all his balls and threw them in the water. he broke three of his best clubs over his knee. There he sat on the edge of the 11th green crying like a baby, a perfect picture of frustration.

I’ve got to give it up! I’ve got to give it up! he muttered over and over again.

"Golf?" his caddie asked. "No, the ministry".

The point of that little story is to show that adversity comes into our lives in many forms. It comes to us at work, at play, at home, wherever we are. Adversity can come in the form of little things in our lives, it can come in the form of major things. But whatever form adversity come to us we must remain faithful to God.

Last week we began to look at the life of Joseph, the son of Jacob. We saw how Joseph was a model of faithfulness even though he came from a very dysfunctional family. Today I want to look at how Joseph remained faithful even when things got worst.

We saw how messed up Joseph family life was, yet Joseph seemed to be doing ok. He kind of rose above his family situation. But at the young age of 17 Joseph’s world changed drastically. His world fell apart.

I want us to look at three things as we consider our passage today. 1. adversities that he faced, 2. the traits he exhibited and 3. The lessons that he learned.

I also would like this sermon to encourage you as you face adversity, encourage you to remain faithful despite adversity. We need to remain faithful whether it is something minor such as a car problem, or maybe a bad test score in school or major such as a death in the family.

Let’s turn to our passage today, Genesis 37:12-36. It is a rather long passage but stick with me.

Then his brothers went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And Israel said to Joseph, "Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them." So he said to him, "Here I am." Then he said to him, "Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me." So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem.

Now a certain man found him, and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, "What are you seeking?" So he said, "I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks. And the man said, "They have departed from here, for I heard them say, ’Let us go to Dothan.’ " So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan.

Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. Then they said to one another, "Look, this dreamer is coming! Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ’Some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!"

But Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, "Let us not kill him." And Reuben said to them, "Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him"; that he might deliver him out of their hands, and bring him back to his father.

So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.

And they sat down to eat a meal. Then they lifted their eyes and looked, and there was a company of Ishmaelites, coming from Gilead with their camels, bearing spices, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry them down to Egypt.

So Judah said to his brothers, "What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? "Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh." And his brothers listened.

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