Summary: Part 3 in Joseph the Dreamchaser. A monologue of Joseph expressing what he learned in jail. An encouragement on perseverance.
Joseph: One Man Makes A difference
Part 3: How To Make Something Out Of Nothing
(Note:This was kind of a first person sermon. I dressed as Joseph, did the monologue and interspersed it with songs we sang. I only mention the songs by title, because the words worked for what I felt we needed to convey. It’s a mix of contemporary and hymns, based on content of the words.At the end is an outline of the main points on our congregation’s note sheet-David )
I am a man of constant sorrows.(attempt to sing this song from the "O Brother Where Art Thou" soundtrack; they’ll remember you-David).
I do the right thing, and still everything goes wrong. What do you do?
You have the blessing of leaning on the word, but I lived and died before it began to be written, and we had to depend on a real relationship. As I tell my story, remember one thing above all–Falling in love with the Almighty will make you significant.
Sing:Love you so much
Jehovah gave me a dream. It started such a simple dream, and yet it led a long strange trip. That dream shattered the relationship with my family, and landed me into slavery. And yet while in slavery, I tried to make the best of it. I was still young, yet my potential was evident=I was soon in charge of the whole household. And then when I did everything I could to maintain my integrity, I get thrown in Jail. I know that the Lord is a holy God, walk in His ways and prosperity would follow. So why am I in jail?
It’s tough to follow a God who doesn’t seem to know what He’s doing. If I had lain with that woman, I would understand. But when we don’t understand, that’s when trust must arise. What’s you’re situation? Your circumstances have gotten pretty bleak, and quite sincerely you’ve done nothing to deserve this. There comes a point where we must lean on what we know God to be–we trust that His heart, despite what we’re seeing, is directing toward our good. I don’t understand, but I know His heart. I don’t see where I’m going, but I know He made a promise to get me there. This is His plan, not mine. I must use this time to explore more of His presence, His ways,; So I enter that jail cell, crying out to Him, and waiting for His plan to work out.
Sing: Hymn--Draw Me Nearer
Things got better. Despite my doubts, when I stopped feeling sorry for myself long enough to count my blessings, I realized I was not doing so bad. Gen 39:21-23But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners who were in the prison; whatever they did there, it was his doing. The keeper of the prison did not look into anything that was under Joseph’s authority, because the LORD was with him; and whatever he did, the LORD made it prosper. If you look hard enough, you can see God blessing you in every circumstance. But God wasn’t through with me yet. An incident taught me that whatever state I am in, I should allow the gifts God has empowered me with to shine through. Two of the pharoah’s servants were thrown in amongst us. Said they had a bad dream. God gifted me in this dream interpretation thing. So I told them. One was going to die soon, the other would be restored. I said to the one who was to be restored, Gen 40:14-15"But remember me when it is well with you, and please show kindness to me; make mention of me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this house.For indeed I was stolen away from the land of the Hebrews; and also I have done nothing here that they should put me into the dungeon."
I was used by God to bless another, even though I seemingly wasn’t being blessed, and all I was so excited–I could see the light at the end ot the tunnel–but that light soon dimmed. The last verse of Gen 40 says he forgot me. I thought God had forgotten me also. Feeling like you’ve been forgotten is one of the worst feelings imaginable. I started to forget about the pharoah’s butler. Nearly two years had gone by, looked like nothing was changing. You’d think I’d learn by now not to get my hopes up. Once again, this long strange trip God had me on was looking like another dead end.
As I said, Gen 40 ends with this guy forgetting me. But what does 41:1 say? Pharoah had a dream two years later. He called all the satanic magicians and soothsayers toegether, nobody could figure it out. That butler who forgot me finally spoke up. I was finally summoned before Pharoah, and the rest is recorded in Chapter 41. God enabled me to interpret the dream, and the dream God had given me so long ago was finally coming to realization! I had that dream when I was 17, and 41:46 says I was 30 when I finally got hooked up with Pharoah. 13 years of waiting wondering, disappointment, not understanding. What did I learn?