Summary: Joseph’s life demonstrates a person who was a great leader because he learned from his mistakes and was teachable.
Thesis: Joseph’s life demonstrates a person who was a great leader because he learned from his mistakes and was teachable. He was also adaptable and persevering. His most noted leadership quality was he was forgiving.
Key Text: Genesis 37:1-36
Introduction: Background on series on Joseph
Joseph was the great grandson of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac. Isaac was the father of Jacob, who was also known as Israel – which by the way is how Israel got its name today. Joseph was the son of Jacob and Rachel. Jacob had four wives and 12 sons and Joseph was the 11th son. He had one full brother named Benjamin and during his birth his mother died.
In the fifty chapters of Genesis Joseph’s life story takes up one-fourth of the chapters. His life can be divided up into three sections says Chuck Swindoll:
· Birth to Seventeen Years (Genesis 30:24-37:2)
o During this time Joseph’s family was is transition-everyone was unsettled, on the move. A low-level antagonism was brewing as his family clashed and argued in jealousy and hatred.
· Seventeen to Thirty years (Genesis 37:2-41:46)
o This second segment occurs as Joseph reaches young manhood. It seems as though his life becomes out of control. Enslavement, unfair accusation, and imprisonment assault him.
· Thirty Years to Death (Genesis 41:46-50:26)
o Joseph’s last eighty years of prosperity and reward under God’s blessing. He had the classic opportunity to get even with his brothers, to ruin them forever, but he refused. Instead he blessed, protected, and forgave.
§ (pg. 4)
I have grouped his three time periods in to a series called “A Man named Joe!” The series is three parts. The first we will look at today is called “YO JOE! – Covers his early years. The second part is called “LOW JOE!”- covering his late teens and 20’s.
The third part is called “GO JOE!”- covering his last 80 years.
· History is always a great teacher to those who want to learn it’s lessons. Abraham Lincoln knew this and one author had this to say about him.
o He was not a born king of men…but a child of the common people, who made himself a great persuader, therefore a leader, by dint of firm resolve, patient effort, and dogged perseverance. He slowly won his way to eminence and fame by doing the work that lay next to him-doing it with all his growing might-doing it as well as he could, and learning by his failure, when failure was encountered, how to do better….He was open to all impressions and influences (including from history and other sources), and gladly profited by the teaching of events and circumstances, no matter how adverse or unwelcome. There was probably no year of his life when he was not a wiser, cooler, and better man than he had been the year preceding (Phillips, 170,171).
o Abraham Lincoln knew that success in life and leadership came by learning from others, from history and from life’s circumstances. Phillips states, “Time after time Lincoln used this method of gathering the evidence he needed to take appropriate action”(21).
o In essence Phillips who studied Lincoln said the man “…actually grew into the job of the presidency”(172).
o We can observe the same about Joseph he actually grew into what God wanted him to become and that was the Prime Minister of Egypt.
T.S.- Lets now begin exploring how Joseph grew into a Man of God and the Prime Minister of Egypt. Lets gather information about him in his early years and see what we learn.
I. Yo Joe you’re special- Here is a coat of honor and oh by the way you’re my favorite (Genesis 37:1-4).
This is the account of Jacob. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan.
tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.
a. Joe was in a family where his dad lifted him up as more honorable than the rest of the kids. Jacob blatantly showed favoritism to Joseph and the rest of the family took notice.
i. Joseph was in the middle of the disease called favoritism.
1. At a young age Joseph was engulfed into a plague that brought painful sores to his life.
a. The first sore he received from this plague created by his father was rejection from the rest of his brothers.