Summary: I want to take this passage and preach on the subject Swimming in a Sea of Emotions. Emotions are something we deal with every day of our lives. They are powerful and they can control our lives if we allow them to. Now, emotions, or feelings, are not bad
SWIMMING IN A SEA OF EMOTION
This passage opens with ten of Joseph’s brothers leaving Canaan make a second trip down into Egypt to buy grain. The first time they went, they came face to face with the Prime Minister of the country, but they did not know that he was none other than Joseph, the brother they had sold into slavery twenty years earlier.
They may not have recognized Joseph, but he knew exactly who they were. He used their meeting to try and get them to understand the guilt of their past. Joseph had imprisoned his brother Simeon and had sent the remaining brothers home. He sent them away with orders not to return unless they brought their youngest brother Benjamin with them.
So, they headed back home. Along the way, they discovered that the money they had paid for their grain had been returned to them and was in the sacks of grain. This caused them to be even more afraid. To make a long story short, they were heading back to Egypt to get more grain and their brother out of prison.
Verse 15 tells us that they took Joseph a present; double the original money; and Benjamin. They are ushered into Joseph’s presence and when he sees that Benjamin is with them, he invites them to his house for lunch, vv. 16-17.
These verses describe a scene that is filled with emotions. Fear, relief, gratitude and joy all mingle together in this reunion between Joseph and his brothers.
I want to take this passage and preach on the subject Swimming in a Sea of Emotions. Emotions are something we deal with every day of our lives. They are powerful and they can control our lives if we allow them to. Now, emotions, or feelings, are not bad in and of themselves. But, we must always remember that our emotions arise from our minds, or our souls. Since we are sinful creatures, our emotions have been affected too.
That means that not everything we feel is right or proper. We must learn to check our emotions against the Word of God to ensure that we are not led astray by our feelings. This happens far too often in people’s lives.
Young girls will give up their purity because they are lost in a sea of emotions. Men abandon their families because they get caught up in emotions. Families and churches are ripped apart because people allow emotions like anger, bitterness and resentment to control them.
Of course, God works in our emotions too. He uses the natural responses we have to the events of life to teach us about Him, His will and what He is doing in our lives.
That is what this passage teaches us about today. In this reunion scene between these brothers, we see 12 men who are Swimming in a Sea of Emotion. I want to point out the emotions that are portrayed here and the lessons they have to teach us.
I. THE BROTHERS AND THEIR FEARS (vv. 18-24)
When these men are brought into Joseph’s house, they become “afraid”.
• This word means “to be filled with dread.”
• They are convinced that they have been lead into a trap.
• They are sure that Joseph is going to arrest them and put them into prison, v. 18.
They express their fears to the steward of Joseph’s house, vv. 19-22.
• He comforts them the best he can, even telling them that God was looking out for them in all their troubles, v. 23.
• Then he brings out Simeon to them, v. 23.
• Then, he gives them water to wash their feet, a sign of great respect.
• He also gives them food for their animals, a sign of hospitality, v. 24.
• So, with their hearts pounding in fear, they prepare themselves for the arrival of Joseph for the noon meal.
C. There are two emotions at work in the lives of these men.
• They are afraid and they are being eaten alive with guilt.
• I want to examine both of these emotions today.
D. First, let’s talk about fear.
• Fear is a terrible emotion!
o It is paralyzing in the effect it has on our lives.
o Fear renders us incapable of trusting the Lord and looking to Him for the help we need in life.
• Look at this scene.
o Here are eleven men who have been brought up to know Jehovah, the only true and living God.
o Yet, they are so overcome by the emotion of fear that they are unable to see His hand at work in their lives.
o They have to be reminded of God’s grace, His sovereignty and His purposes by an Egyptian pagan.