Summary: “God’s problem is not that God is not able to do certain things…. God’s problem is that God loves. Love complicates the life of God, as it complicates every life. part of being created in the image of God… we have the ability to love

In Jesus Holy Name May 15, 2016

Text: Genesis 37:3-5 Series: The Story Redeemer

“Dreams, Jealousy & Betrayal”

What was the greatest gift or card you received on Mother’s Day? Was it a fancy $5 card and a box of chocolates or flowers from your husband? Or was it a folded paper with a heart and barely legible words from your child or grand child that said: “I love you?”

The greatest gift God has given to you and me is the ability to love. You cannot live or love or laugh or cry if God had not given you a heart.

This is part of being created in the image of God… we have the ability to love and be loved in return. Love is wonderful. Often times when I am counseling a couple about to be married I ask them to explain the word love. Most of the time… they simply stop and look at each other and then try to explain. Everyone knows love can be rejected.

God knows what creatures will do with the gift of free will. He already suffered one mass betrayal in the rebellion of the angels. Why would he still give Adam and Eve free will? Why would He still give Cain free will when He knew that Cain was thinking about killing his brother? Good grief why?

The answer is simple. If you want a world were love is real you must allow each person the freedom to choose.

“God’s problem is not that God is not able to do certain things…. God’s problem is that God loves. Love complicates the life of God, as it complicates every life.”

Something has gone wrong with the human race. It doesn’t take a theologian nor a psychologist to tell you that.

The Titanic sank. Rome burns as Nero fiddles. Winter has come to Narnia. Longshanks has enslaved Scotland. Commodus killed his father so he could be the Emperor of Rome. Evil holds sway. The future of the Middle East stands on the edge of a knife.

I John 5:19 “The whole world is under the control of the evil one.” The evil one substituted “life” for “death” with a lie.

But wait. Doesn’t every great story have a hero, one who rescues? William Wallace will rise up and rescue Scotland. Luke Skywalker will rescue the princes and free the people of the universe. Aslan rescues Narnia. A thousand more.

Every great story has a rescue. Yours does!

One day Adam and Eve betrayed their Creator. They ran off and hid in the bushes. God came looking for them. God did not abandon them, nor us. As we read the “story” of Joseph there is painful betrayal. Later, Moses was betrayed by his own brother Aaron at Mt. Sinai. David was betrayed by his sons; Absalom, and his longtime friend and General Joab. Jesus was betrayed by one of his disciples. Many of you are here because in your previous church you were betrayed. Those of you who have experienced divorce experienced betrayal. Deep inside your soul you may feel “abandoned”.

We are introduced to Joseph when he is 17 years old, the son of Jacob, grandson of Isaac and the great grandson of Abraham. Jacob, grew up cheating his brother Esau. Cheated his father in law out of livestock. And then showed extreme favoritism to some of his children, Joseph and Benjamin. It was a dysfunctional family… where jealousy lead to hatred. The famous multi-colored robe was just the final straw….and his brothers hated Joseph and could not speak a kind word to him. Maybe we see some dysfunction in all our families.

When the opportunity came, his brothers through Joseph in a pit. Sold him to some gypsy traders. Sold on a slave block in Egypt to Potiphar.

Abandoned. Betrayed. What is going though his mind in the “pit”… they are plotting to kill me.” Where is God? Where is my protection.” On the slave block in Egypt, do you think these same words crossed his lips?

When the Bible reports the status of Joseph as a slave we find these words slipped in: “The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered.” Joseph rises in status.

Just when things seem to be back on track… you don’t have to watch Desperate Housewives to know what happened next. While Potiphar is away at work, Mrs. Potiphar simply tells her husbands slave: “Come to bed with me.”

Have you ever been tempted to do something you knew was wrong but you also knew you’d never get caught? Here we have Joseph, a young and handsome man placed in an unfavorable situation because of the betrayal of others. Who would have blamed him, since slaves who refused their master’s orders could be and were often severely punished.

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