Summary: God gives each of us a promise for our lives, but life has a way of taking us through pit experiences just as in Joseph’s life, however we must never take our eyes off the promise and the reward of the palace!
THE FACTS OF LIFE
TEXT: Genesis 50:20 And as for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present results to preserve many people alive.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
ILLUSTRATION: (Sayings we hear about life in general)
This too shall pass and sometimes it passes into something worse
Life is hard....and then you die
Flip Wilson - “If I had my whole life to live over again, I don’t think I’d have the strength."
ILLUSTRATION: Handley C. G. Moule
There is no situation so chaotic that God cannot from that situation, create something that is surpassingly good. He did it at the creation. He did it at the cross. He is doing it today.
TRANSITION: First of all, we know that Joseph had a PROMISE
Joseph was 17 years old when the promise began
Genesis 37:5-7 And he said to them, “Please listen to this dream which I have had; for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf.
Genesis 37:9-10 Now he had still another dream and related it to his brothers and said, “Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me. And he related it to his father and to his brothers, and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?”
A. What is Your Promise?
Deliverance from Present Situation
B. Promise is A Long Time Coming
Fades into distant memory
TRANSITION: Joseph had 5 “P”’s in his life. Right on the heels of his PROMISE he almost immediately was plummeted into a harsh dose of reality when he found himself in a PIT.
Genesis 37:23-25 So it came about, when Joseph reached his brothers that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the varicolored tunic that was on him; and they took him and threw him into the pit. Now the pit was empty, without any water in it. Then they sat down to eat a meal. And as they raise their eyes and looked, behold, a caravan of Ismaelites was coming from Gilead with their camels bearing aromatic gum and balm and myrrh on their way to bring them down to Egypt.
A. Pit Experiences Affect Our Pride
ILLUSTRATION: (Quote found on the Internet)
“God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume... it is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”
B. Sometimes Our Deepest Pit Experiences Come From Those Who are the Closest to Us
TRANSITION: Joseph had a PROMISE which brought him nothing but a PIT and if that wasn’t bad enough, next he had to deal with POTIPHAR.
Genesis 39:1-3 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ismaelites, who had taken him down there. And the Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he had to prosper in his hand.
A. Potiphar Tested Joseph’s INTEGRITY
ILLUSTRATION: Once there was a man named Jim who let his dog out to do its business late one night.
He watched some TV and then remembered to let the dog back in. When he opened the door, he was shocked at what he saw! In his dog’s mouth was his neighbor’s cat, dead!
"Bad dog! BAD DOG!" said the panicked man.
He took the cat away and looked at it. He couldn’t bring himself to tell his neighbor what happened, so he decided to clean it up and leave it on the neighbor’s porch.
He took the cat into the bathroom and washed off all the blood and dirt. It took him forever. He had to wash it four times to get it all cleaned. He brushed its beautiful white fur as he blow-dried it and put its collar back on. Since it was so dark, he snuck into the neighbor’s yard and laid the cat down on the porch, in front of the door.