Summary: After the death of Jacob, the brothers of Joseph expected judgment but received grace instead.
Intro. Again, I am looking at the life of Joseph from a practical side, not merely a type, though the pictures of Christ and God are so strong, that we cannot help but see the truths. Jacob changed, and that change apparently strengthened his son that was about to face the ultimate storm. Joseph’s life was changed forever by the bitterness and actions of his brothers. Now, Joseph’s condition had changed, the brothers’ perspective had changed, their location had changed.
We come to the part of our story where we see that things are changing again! Jacob has judged his sons, and now is prepared to die. He instructs them to bury him with Leah - Jacob was changed, and Leah, the mother of Judah was the accepted bride. Things had changed often. But now, the father died, and things seem drastically changed again.
I. There was a Fear that was Reasonable - vs. 15 - Daddy’s Dead, and now we’re gonna get it! They were not in danger, but there is a good side of this fear!
A. They Recognized the Power of Joseph - he could do to them as he pleased
B. They Recognized the Position of Joseph - he was the authority
C. They Recognized the Potential - He could requite - means to return upon them, recompense them for their deeds - They actually looked at the Power and Position of Joseph and realized what they deserved!
D. They Recognized their Performance - the evil which we did unto him
There is now no way to lie their way out of it. They had no coat with blood, no story to tell the father - they knew they were guilty. This was good. In this we must see that is it a good thing to Fear the Lord!
Ecclesiastes 12:13 "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man."
We should fear the Lord! Too many take God’s grace for granted. We forget He is God. We come to church, and leave and live our own lives. But the problem is not merely in the pew - it is all.
- Received a call that a BAPTIST pastor last Sunday preached
- The first part of Genesis is only a prologue, and sacred MYTHICAL stories
- he went on to say that God cannot be proven or disproved!
- Another pastor decides that culture is more important than truth
The problem, they do not fear God.
But before we stop and think that is the only problem:
- People that call themselves Christians make excuses for carnal lives
- We justify sin or soft Christian lives, lack of commitment, and convince ourselves that God expects nothing of us.
- We take God’s love to be an across the board acceptance, no matter how we live. THE PROBLEM IS WE DO NOT FEAR THE LORD!!! We have forgotten WHO He really is. I love the Grace of God, and it is real.
I love the Truth of my position in Christ
I love the Fellowship with God - ALL IS REAL, BUT
Psalms 111:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever." Until they came to the point of fear, they would not take the next step.
II. There was a Guilt that was Curable - They were guilty
A. It caused them to Devise a Plan - vs. 16 Scheming (one thing to admit it to themselves, a total different thing to admit it to Joseph)
1. They sent Messengers -(no one else can repent for you)
2. They developed a lie - Daddy said not to hurt us! - no record of this. They set another scheme to slither out of their problem, instead of repentance.
B. It caused them to Doubt their Provision - vs. 17 (messenger still talking)
1. They were Guilty - guilt will effect
- Your fellowship with God - Sin will keep you from enjoying the Lord.
Prayer, worship and praise - all hindered.
- Your Faith - a solid faith will not dwell with guilt.
- Your Desire for God’s Word - guilt will rob your Spiritual appetite
- Your Witness - you will not want to witness, or your testimony is hurt
But for them to admit it through a messenger was not enough. They were expressing doubt in what Joseph had already promised.
2. They were Negligent - they disregarded the promise Joseph had made.
- He had already offered forgiveness - the problem was, they had not accepted that forgiveness, and they were miserable and scared.
- Joseph had already provided that forgiveness, but they still lived in the guilt of what they had done. Forgiveness had always been available, but they had been living in the past!