Summary: Sermon on Joseph’s overcoming his family situation


GENESIS 37:1-11

A census taker knocked on the door of an old cabin in up in the Appalachian mountains. The door was answered by an unkept skinny 13-year old girl.

The census taker asked, "May I speak with your father?"

The girl answered, "He ain’t here; he’s been in jail for two years".

The men said, "Then can I speak with your mother?"

The girl responded, "She ain’t here either, she ran off with the moonshiner".

The censor taker continued, "Is there an older sister that I can speak with?"

"No" she replied, "She married off and lives with her seven kids, down the bottom of the mountain".

The man then asked, "Well, perhaps there’s an older brother I can speak with?"

Once more the girl answered, "He ain’t here either, he at Harvard".

"Harvard?" said the man, "What’s he studying at Harvard?"

"Oh, he ain’t studying nothing, they’re studying him!"

Today we will begin a study on the life of a man named Joseph. As we will see Joseph is a man worthy of not only of study but of using him as an example. Joseph is one of the greatest people mentioned in the Bible. The thing that perhaps sets Joseph apart as one of the greatest men in the Bible is the fact that Scripture reveals to us no major flaw in his character. Unlike, Abraham, Moses, and David, and other great men of the Bible, the Bible reveals no moral failure on the part of Joseph. No less then 14 chapters of Scripture deal with his life, yet no major moral shortcomings are given.

Joseph is one of the most impressive and godly men in Scripture.

Because of this he is worthy of examination and emulation. We should want to learn more about him and be more like him. Now we will look at Joseph as a model of faithfulness to God. Which was perhaps his most important quality. As we shall see throughout all kinds of situations Joseph was faithful to God.

As we look at the live of Joseph we will begin where we all began, that is with the family. While Joseph was faithful it was not because he got all the breaks.

Joseph is one of those person that we cannot say, "well no wonder he was faithful to God, he got all the breaks". As we will see today Joseph did not become such a fine person because he had such a wonderful family life. In fact we can say that opposite is true. Joseph was faithful in spite of his family life.

We will learn that Joseph was faithful in an imperfect family.

Family life has certainly changed over recent decades. It was not all that long ago TV showed families such as the Cleavers, the Waltons, and Little house on the Prairie. These were normal families for those times.

During the seventies we saw on TV families such as the Brady Bunch, the Partridge family, and Eight is Enough. Families were the kids had more freedoms, families with one parent.

Turn on the TV today and what kind of families do we have, Roseanne, the Simpsons, Murphy Brown, Grace Under Fire. Families where you find very little disciple and very little respect.

While families have changed, there is a sense in which they haven’t changed. Joseph family lived some 4000 years ago. While the culture is changed we see some of the same moral failures in that family that you do in some of today’s family.

What we want to look at today is the fact that Joseph family was far from perfect yet Joseph rose above it. We will learn some helps for our own families, and be encouraged to live faithfully for God.

Let us turn to our passage for today. Genesis 37:1-11. READ PASSAGE.

Did you all do your homework? Reading chapters 29-35. Well if you did you could come to the conclusion that Joseph’s family was messed up. Joseph came from a family that we would call dysfunctional. I want to take a few minutes and look at just how messed up his family was.

I going to compress chapters 29-35.

Abraham, the father of God’s Chosen People, had a son, Isaac. Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. Jacob eventually became Joseph’s father.

Jacob’s went looking for wife. He bumped in Racheal at a well. Racheal was actually his cousin. Her father Laban, was the brother of Jacobs mother. It was love at first sight. However Racheal had an older sister named Leah.

Laban asked Jacob what wages he wanted for working for him, and Jacob responded, "I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel." Laban thought Jacob would make a good son-in-law and they struck a deal.

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