Summary: God equips those who He has called.
February 27, 2005
Center Point Baptist Church
Tell of the Operational Readiness Exercises (ORE) required before a naval squadron can go on operational deployment.
• the training involved beforehand – both aircraft readiness and operational readiness
• the testing involved – that teams come to test the safety/aircraft handling knowledge of the aircrews
• the simulator testing involved – different wartime scenarios to test the quality of our strategy
• the flight testing involved – to test our ability to actually perform these things
*In order to be ready for these things, preparations had to be made – a serious effort toward training.
• In the passage tonight, we learn of God revealing what the future held through the dreams of Pharaoh – once again interpreted by Joseph.
• Once again, through this account, we learn of the divine providence of God.
1.) A Troubling Dream
Read Genesis 41:1-8.
*Note how long it took before anything happened – two years – yet Joseph remained faithful.
• Two years Joseph waited for the fulfillment of his dream – God’s will prophesied.
How many of us would have given up on God long before that?
Describe the dreams again:
• Seven good cows coming up out of the Nile, followed by seven skinny cows – the skinny cows devoured the good cows, without any apparent benefit.
*Generally, if you eat a great deal, people can tell – because your stomach will become distended - like when the pastor hits the "all-you-can-eat" food bar.
• Seven full ears of grain appeared on one stalk, good and healthy – after which sprung up seven thin ears, blasted by the desert wind – and devoured the good ears.
*Notice that Pharaoh woke up – “and behold, it was a dream.”
Have you ever woken up, relieved that it was just a dream?
*Yet this dream troubled Pharaoh.
• He summoned his magicians.
• He summoned his wise men.
*None of these could interpret the troubling dream Pharaoh had.
Some Kind Words about “Magicians” from Isaiah:
Isaiah 19:3 – The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists.
Isaiah 29:14 – Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.
Isaiah 47:12-13 – Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror. All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.
Isaiah 8:19-20 – When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, they have no light of dawn.
Who is the only One that has the power and wisdom to give light to these things?
Genesis 40:8 – Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God?
2.) Remembering Joseph
Read Genesis 41:9-14.
*Notice that the cupbearer – after having forgotten Joseph for two years – finally remembers Joseph.
Lamentations 3:25-26 – The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.
*Notice how Joseph is introduced to Pharaoh:
• Pharaoh’s business released him from imprisonment and servitude.
• It made him a candidate for some of the highest positions in the Land.
• Once again, we see the providence of God at work.
*Notice the haste with which things were done:
1. Joseph was cleaned up.
2. Joseph was clothed.
3. Joseph was put before the Pharaoh.
*How surprising the whole chain of events must have been!
Acts 12:8-9 – Then the angel said to him, "Put on your clothes and sandals." And Peter did so. "Wrap your cloak around you and follow me," the angel told him. Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.
3.) Interpretation of Dreams
Read Genesis 41:15-16
• the troublesome nature of the dream
• Joseph’s honest response:
*I cannot – but God can!
*Many nice people (but not all) tell me “good message today,” but I cannot take credit either!
• We must always realize that in all things we do or say for the Lord, we are His messengers, His willing vessels.