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Summary: Looking at the life of Joseph being sold into slavery, how do we continue to trust God when our hopes, ambitions and dreams are shattered

TRUSTING GOD … WHEN YOUR DREAMS GO DOWN THE DRAIN!

“When Joseph was seventeen years old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of the bad things his brothers were doing. Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him. One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever.

When Joseph’s brothers saw him coming, they recognized him in the distance. As he approached, they made plans to kill him. “Here comes the dreamer!” they said. “Come on, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns. We can tell our father, ‘A wild animal has eaten him.’ Then we’ll see what becomes of his dreams!” But when Reuben heard of their scheme, he came to Joseph’s rescue. “Let’s not kill him,” he said. “Why should we shed any blood? Let’s just throw him into this empty cistern here in the wilderness. Then he’ll die without our laying a hand on him.” Reuben was secretly planning to rescue Joseph and return him to his father. So when Joseph arrived, his brothers ripped off the beautiful robe he was wearing. Then they grabbed him and threw him into the cistern. Now the cistern was empty; there was no water in it. Then, just as they were sitting down to eat, they looked up and saw a caravan of camels in the distance coming toward them. It was a group of Ishmaelite traders taking a load of gum, balm, and aromatic resin from Gilead down to Egypt. Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain by killing our brother? We’d have to cover up the crime. Instead of hurting him, let’s sell him to those Ishmaelite traders. After all, he is our brother—our own flesh and blood!” And his brothers agreed. “So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt.

Meanwhile, the Midianite traders arrived in Egypt, where they sold Joseph to Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. Potiphar was captain of the palace guard.” (Genesis 37:2b-5, 18-28, 36, NLT)

(SLIDE 2)

INTRODUCTION

A woman told her husband as she woke on the morning of her birthday, “I have just dreamed that you gave me a diamond ring for my birthday. What do you think it means?” “Be patient, Honey,” said the man, “You’ll know tonight!”

Excitedly she waited all day for her husband to get home thinking about her dream and his response. When he arrived that evening, she saw he was carrying a package. ”Happy Birthday, Darling” he said, as he gave her the gift. Delighted, she opened it—to find a book entitled, ‘The Meaning of Dreams’.

Have you ever had a dream? Have you ever hoped that things would turn out in a particular way? Have you ever planned for something to happen? Only to find your dreams died, your hopes were dashed and your plans were shattered by circumstances you never thought would happen to you?

Joseph experienced it! He had dreamt of success, of leadership, of influence and of authority but suddenly he found himself tied up on the back of a camel headed for a life of slavery in Egypt. How could he ever trust God again?

Last week, we commenced a series entitled TRUSTING GOD, looking at the life of Joseph and seeking to learn from his experiences what this means.

By way of introduction, looking across Joseph entire life we examined what it means to …TRUST GOD … IN ALL OUR LIVES … We saw that we can when we

REMEMBER THAT GOD …

• WORKS SOVEREIGNLY

• WORKS STRANGELY

• WORKS SLOWLY …

IN ALL THAT HAPPENS IN OUR LIVES

Today as we concentrate on the events leading up to Joseph being a slave in Potipher’s house, we will consider that …

WHEN OUR DREAMS GO DOWN THE DRAIN …

WE CAN TRUST GOD IF WE REMEMBER THAT …

• GOD ENGINEERS THE CIRCUMSTANCES

• GOD ESTABLISHES THE REASON

• GOD ENSURES THE TIMING

(SLIDE 2)

GOD ENGINEERS THE CIRCUMSTANCES

A minister was approaching retirement and to boost his pension he contracted with a small church across the river to preach for them. He was pleased that the times of the services were such that, if he finished on time at his church, greeted a few folk and then walked down to the peer, he would be in time to catch the 10h30 ferry which would get him across the river for a short walk to the other church.

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