Summary: Proper perspective is a very important thing to have. Sometimes if we’re not careful we can lose focus of what’s truly important.

INTRO: What do you see?

-Cone or a hole

-Old man/young man


-Old woman/young woman

-Faces/vase -Pelican/rabbit

The following is a letter that was sent home by a daughter who was away at college:

Dear Mom and Dad: I’m sorry to be so long in writing again, but all my writing paper was lost the night the dormitory was burned down by demonstrators. I’m out of the hospital now, and the doctor says by eyesight should be back to normal sooner or later. The wonderful boy, Bill, who rescued me from the fire kindly offered to share his little apartment with me until the dorm is rebuilt. He comes from a good family, so you won’t be too surprised when I tell you we are going to get married. In fact, you always wanted a grandchild, so you will be glad to know that you will be grandparents next month. Please disregard the above practice in English composition. There was no fire, I haven’t been in the hospital, I’m not blind. I’m not pregnant, and I don’t even have a boyfriend. But I did get a "D" in French and an "F" in chemistry, and I wanted to be sure you received this news in proper perspective. Love, Mary.

Proper perspective is a very important thing to have. Sometimes if we’re not careful we can lose focus of what’s truly important.

TITLE: What Do You See?

TEXT: Genesis 45:1-7

I. Background for those who don’t know the story.

A. Joseph was the favorite. His dad seemed to love him more than the rest of the brothers which caused a lot of tension among them.

1. In fact there was so much jealousy that the brothers saw Joseph coming in the distance and they plotted against him.

2. Upon his arrival in camp his brothers grabbed him and threw him down a well. Rather than kill him, they decided to sell him into slavery to the Midianites.

-Finally they would be done with this little brat.

3. They went back and told Dad some wild animals got him and killed him.

B. Meanwhile Joseph is taken and sold to Potiphar. Joseph exceeds at his new found life, Potiphar puts him in charge of his whole household.

-Until one day Potiphar’s wife tries to have her way with him. Joseph flees, she gets furious and accuses him of rape.

1. Joseph is then thrown into the dungeon for many years until one day the Pharoah has a troubling dream and no one can interpret it.

-His cupbearer remembered that there was this Hebrew that could interpret dreams.

2. Pharoah summons Joseph. Joseph tells Pharoah exactly what is supposed to happen. -There would be 7 years of plentiful crops followed by 7 years of famine.

3. Pharaoh is so impressed that he appoints Joseph to head this all up. He became second in command over all of Egypt.

C. Joseph begins to store all the grain, preparing for the famine that is coming.

1. As the famine hits, the surrounding people begin to starve so they make their way to Egypt to buy food.

-This is how Joseph met up with his brothers, they were coming to buy food. They didn’t recognize him but Joseph recognized them.

2. Joseph accuses them of being spies, so to prove themselves they have to go home and bring back their youngest. Simeon was taken and bound and put in prison to make sure they wouldn’t just run away.

3. Eventually they return with their youngest brother Benjamin. They have a meal together, get the needed grain and set off on their way home only to be stopped by Joseph’s servants and accused of stealing.

-They are led back to Joseph, they plead with Joseph not to take their youngest brother Benjamin. : This is where the text for today picks up.

II. Things we can learn about perception from this story.

A. The 1St thing we can learn from this story about perception: You must choose between blaming and blessing.

1. It appears Joseph had every right to blame his brothers for what they did to him. -After all they wasted a large chunk of his life because of their jealous insecurities.

a. This depends on your perception. You can see in the text Joseph sees the hand of God in this. V. 5, "And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you."

b. In life you can either see the big picture or get trapped in the little picture. -The big picture: God chose Joseph as an instrument to save a nation.

-Or you can see the small picture: Look at all this man had to go through, look what his rotten brothers did to him.

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