Summary: you can live godly in an ungodly world if you have the presence of God in your life.
Genesis 39 October 31, 1999
Living in Egypt: How can I live Godly in an ungodly world?
This day on our calendar is designated as Halloween. Some would call this the most evil day of the year because of the fact that in it¡¦s origination, it was a day dedicated to Satan and his forces. And still today, some people use Halloween as a day in which they let loose of their inhibitions and let show what is in their heart all year long. I am not going to use our time here this morning to speak about the evils of Halloween. There are many others who have shared that message. What we tried to do last night with our fall festival was to let Christ¡¦s light shine into a dark holiday and turn Satan¡¦s own weapon against him. What happens on Halloween and every day of the year evidences the fact that we live in an ungodly world.
On Sunday nights, we have been dealing with Noah and the great flood that destroyed the world. One of the things that we have seen is that Noah lived in a society where no one honored the Lord. It says of that society that every thought of man¡¦s heart was only evil all the time. Can you imagine living in a world like that and trying to live for God in the midst of a world where everyone except you and your family has rejected God? Yet Noah found grace from God which enabled him to live godly in a totally ungodly world.
Last week, when we left Joseph, he was still at the bottom of that pit that his brothers had thrown him into. As the brothers thought about what to do with Joseph, they saw a caravan of merchants coming their way. They knew that these merchants also bought and sold slaves, so they figured out a plan. Their original thought had been to kill their brother, Joseph. But they reasoned among themselves that a better plan would be to sell him as a slave to these merchants. That way, they wouldn¡¦t be killing their own brother, they could keep their hands clean, and they could get a little spending money in the process. So they pulled him up out of the well and sold him as a slave.
This merchant caravan then traveled on down to Egypt where the merchants put Joseph on the auctioning block as a slave. According to vs. 1 of Gen 39, Joseph was bought by Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh¡¦s guard. Joseph was now living in Egypt. Egypt was a totally different world than the one that he had been born into. Joseph was used to the life of a nomad, and now he was living in a fast-paced city. Joseph spoke Hebrew or Aramaic, but everyone around him now spoke Egyptian. He couldn¡¦t even communicate with anyone. He was used to worshipping the one true God, but the Egyptians worshipped hundreds of false gods, and no one had even heard of the true God. Joseph felt all alone. It would have been easy for Joseph to abandon everything that he ever knew about God and just live as these Egyptians did. But at some point early on, Joseph made a commitment that he was going to live godly in an ungodly world. Joseph didn¡¦t understand what had happened to him, but he knew one thing ¡V God¡¦s presence was with Him. Since he had God, he could live for God though no one else around him did. That¡¦s what I want us to see this morning. Regardless of the situation that you find yourself in, you can live godly in an ungodly world if you have the presence of God in your life.
1. The presence of God in your life brings success wherever you are - (vs. 2) (Josh 1:8 NIV) Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Psa 1:2-3 NIV) But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.; success not defined by the world¡¦s standards. After all, who in the world would call being a slave or a prisoner a successful way of life? God¡¦s definition of success is living in obedience to Him. But the fact of the matter is that when I live in obedience to God, I will experience a certain amount of worldly success too. (i.e. honest businessman, faithful husband, loving friend) If Joseph could be successful ¡V live in obedience to God ¡V where he was in spite of all the obstacles that tried to prevent it, surely I can too. Your situation does not determine your level of success; your obedience to God determines your level of success.