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Summary: The Story- Chapter 3. Joseph is an example of a man who did not let his lower story dominate his life because he was focused on God's upper story!

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INTRODUCTION

• SLIDE #1

• Today we are going to look at the life of a man who was loved by his father, almost too much. This love from his father was so strong that his other brothers were terribly jealous and maybe rightfully so.

• Joseph has a lot go wrong in his early life, from a lower story perspective at times it appeared that God had no use for Joseph, but from God’s upper story perspective that was the furthest thing from the truth.

• The upper story is God’s story where God fulfills his purpose and the lower story is the human characters’ story with all the complexities and details of life. God calls us to capture the upper story and its effects on our lives. The story of Joseph is a crystal clear example of the intertwining of the two story lines in the Bible.

• When we can allow our lower story to be dominated and focused on God’s upper story, we will reach our maximum potential in Jesus.

• Let’s follow a narrative approach today as we look at the life of Joseph to see how God’s hand was with him even though from our lower story perspective it did not look that way.

• If you want to get all of the details of the life of Joseph you will find those details in Genesis 37-50.

• SLIDE #2

• On the map in the front inside cover of The Story, draw a triangle with a J inside it to represent Joseph at Jerusalem where his family lived, and draw an arrow over to Egypt where he is enslaved.

• As we begin our journey through the life of Joseph we will begin with a very tragic event in his life, one that could have negatively changed the course of his life.

• SLIDE #3

SERMON

I. Joseph is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers.

• The story of Joseph is one where at times it is hard to feel too sorry for Joseph, but on the other hand he could not control the love his father had for him.

• Many of Joseph’s problem could really be laid at the feet of his father Jacob for the way he showed overt favoritism to Joseph.

Genesis 37:3 gives us some insight to what was happening.

• SLIDE #4

Genesis 37:3–4 (NIV) 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.

• Maybe some of you here today have felt the sting of this, maybe you can relate to how his other brothers felt. Many people today even as older adults suffer from the sting of this very issue.

• Now as we enter the story of Joseph, he is 17 years old, the youngest. He really could not be held at fault for how his father felt about him, but he COULD help what he did just before he received the coat, he ratted out his brothers.

• SLIDE #5

Genesis 37:2 (NIV) Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

• So at age 17, Joseph was the favorite of his father. He probably had dropped the dime on his brothers more than this one time.

• The brothers hated this young man. And it gets worse!

• Joseph starts having dreams and in these dreams he would tell his brothers that one day they would bow down to him!

• In this culture the youngest son did not get much of anything, the oldest would never bow down to the youngest!

• SLIDE #6

Genesis 37:5 (NIV) Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.

• Joseph is on a roll, his brothers hate him even more! But Joseph just does not know when to keep his mouth shut because after this first dream he just had to share another one with the same theme.

• At this even his father told him to knock it off.

• Now let us paint the picture that leads up to the first potential faith destroying event in Joseph’s life.

• Favorite son without a doubt, rats out his brothers and gets them in trouble, has dreams he SHARES about how those older brothers would one day bow down to HIM! OUCH!

• Well one day the brothers are out tending the sheep and Jacob sends Joseph out to “CHECK UP” on them.

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