Summary: This is a case study of Joseph and how he could have become bitter but trusted God and save a people and a nation.
Gen 37:18- 27
I. The effects of Bitterness and envy
A. It will hinder your relationship with the Jesus. Heb 12:12-15
-Satan’s biggest tool to try to destroy us is bitterness. He knows he can’t defeat us so he tries to use his tools to make us in effective.
- Joseph’s brothers was driven to murder almost and then to profit in the flesh
-if we as God’s people allow this to fester it will dull our senses to God and those around us.
-That is why Gods word says to put it away from us. Eph 4:31
-This could have been a devastating blow to Joseph, but he was made of different stuff.
-He must have wondered if God had forsaken him. What have I done to deserve this? In those dark days the only thing to sustain him was his faith in God and the dreams god had given. Gen 37:5-11
-At the end of WWII this poem was found in a basement in Germany.
I believe in the sun, even when it is not shining
I believe in love, even when I cannot feel it.
I believe in God, Even when he is silent
To overcome Envy and Bitterness we need to fill ourselves with God and his praises.
Ps 22:3, James 4:8, Heb 13:15
b. Bitterness and envy can affect you physically!
-Ever hear the saying “She was sick with envy”?
II. Why do we become bitter?
a. Trials will they make you bitter or better? 1Peter 4:12
- Back to Joseph. So now he is in Egypt and God has blessed him and is the head of the house of Potipher
- He is still a slave but has much prestige. Go is blessing what he puts his hand to.
- Here Comes the Fiery trial part 2 – Gen 39:11-14, Vs 20
b. People (us) put the blame on God or we blame others.
-Joseph could have become and had a right to get bitter but we do not see that in the scripture.
-How would we react? Now this is a blot on his honor and his integrity and his stand for God has supposedly caused this trouble.
- This I believe was the providence of God. Joseph was going through these trials so that others will be saved.
-Tell story of the Detachment on the White Plains
- We can be moving forward for God though we do not feel like it
-Example The earth is spinning at 1000 miles per hour, going around the sun at 66000 miles per hour.
Clap hands twice and we went 30 miles. Any feel the traveling?
III. How can we avoid becoming bitter?
a. Loving and doing good are the keys.
- We find this later with Joseph and I think it is very insightful -Gen 42:21-24
b "Confess Your Faults One to Another!"--Jam.5:16
c. Be positive and maintain a thankful attitude and know that your God is there with you! Gen: 45:4-5
d. Guard Your Thoughts.
-Joseph had a human right to be vindictive and bitter. But all these years he guarded his heart and remembered his dreams. Now the objects of his lost youth stand before him but his heart shows what he really was.
Closing: All of us have been wronged or we have wronged someone. The key is to keep a heart of forgiveness. After all Jesus taught us this in the pattern he showed us for prayer. Mat 6:9-13. The 2 verses after are very important Mat 6:14-15
Next week Lord willing I want to look at this closely.
***Special acknowledgement to Paul Powel ‘Feet of Clay’.