Sunday, June 23, 2013

Faith’s Journey

Temple Baptist Church - 6-23-2013
Hebrews 11:22; Genesis 50:14-26
A. I want to continue preaching through Hebrews 11 this morning as I continue to marvel at the unwavering faith of God’s people.
1. The bible is full of stories of great faith and each is so different because of the circumstances that necessitated such faith to withstand and, having done all, to stand.
2. One such marvel is that of the life of Joseph, which I will not try to preach a series on this great man, as God—in His wisdom—allowed him to suffer long and without understanding as to why.
3. Joseph was a young boy when his testing began (Genesis 37:2 says he was 17) and a grown man before he was elevated to power (Genesis 41:46 says he was 30). We find, that in the end of his life, Joseph understood much more fully the purpose for which he endured.
B. Joseph’s life is probably the most impeccable of all bible characters and is a beautiful type of Christ. Yet his life was marked by problems on every hand until he rose to the zenith of power, second only to Pharaoh. Isaiah’s description of Christ likewise was one of rejection and sorrow:He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” Joseph’s life was:
1. One of great sorrow. Life is not just one big, wonderful experience. Job said it all: “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” Weeping endureth for a night and those nights get more frequent as we get older.
2. One of great disappointments. Disappointment begets discouragement which can result in defeat. Every time Joseph got a glimpse of light, he was let down once and again. Joseph rose above life’s disappointments.
3. And possibly one of great consternation. We see Joseph through the eyes of the Bible but, during his life of sorrow and disappointment, we do not see into his personal feelings. Humanly speaking, I know that he suffered greatly and did not understand the why of his problems.
Genesis 40:14 But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: (Joseph, like you and me, was seeking any and all help that he could get!)
In Genesis
C. Let’s look at his life for a few minutes before we deal with our text verse. Joseph’s life:
1. Was one of Privilege. He was the son of Jacob’s old age and born to Jacob ‘s favorite wife. (He was the son of Jacob’s favorite wife and a child of Jacob’s old age. Joseph was given a coat of many colors; he did not keep the flocks along with his brothers.)
2. Was one of Purpose. God revealed, through dreams, what he purposed for Joseph in his later years.
3. Was one of Persecution. His brethren were jealous of Joseph’s special position. Through no fault of his own, he was hated!
4. Was one of Problems. Joseph’s life from his teenage years to manhood was enough to bring down the strong hearted!
a) He was sold into slavery by his brethren. Genesis 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it. Genesis 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
b) He was bought by Potiphar and elevated. Genesis 39:2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
c) He was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and imprisoned. Genesis 39:20 And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
d) He was elevated in prison and interpreted dreams for the baker and butler. Genesis 39:22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
e) He was forgotten for two years long years. Genesis 40:23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him. Genesis 41:1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
f) Through it all, the heavens were silent!
g) Finally, he was elevated to second in power to the Pharaoh. Genesis 41:41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
D. In Genesis 50, we find the wonder of Joseph’s faith as is expressed in Hebrews 11.
1. Joseph’s Faith remembered God’s Promise. Genesis 42:7-9 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye? And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food. (8) And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him. (9) And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come. (The Lord is not slack concerning His promises as some men count slackness! We often envision God’s promises within the realm of our expectancy: our time, not His time and our way, not His way. Job said, “BUT He knoweth the way that I take.)
2 Peter 3:9a The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness;
2. Joseph’s Faith relied upon God’s Providence. Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. (I read a poem once titled “It’s In The Valleys We Grow.” God’s providence gets us to the right place at the right time. You can be in the right place at the wrong time or the wrong place at the right time and be wrong either way you go. It was Ruth’s “hap” that she gleaned in the field of Boaz: God’s providence. The archer that killed Ahab drew his bow at “venture” and hit God’s mark: God’s providence! God has a will and has given to each of us a race to be run.)
Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
3. Joseph’s Faith resulted in God’s Place. Genesis 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? (Because of Joseph’s sufferings, God was able to use him to save the nation of Israel during the famine. Someone once said, “God can take a crooked stick and draw a straight line.” God certainly “meant it for good” during the life of Joseph.)
Genesis 24:27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren.
4. Joseph’s Faith rested in God’s Promise. Genesis 50:24-26 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. (25) And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. (26) So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old: and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt. (Joseph knew that one day God would allow him to go home. He gave commandment concerning his bones before he died. The word coffin comes from a root word meaning to gather or to pluck. His coffin was a “hope chest” because he knew that God would remember His purpose concerning Joseph and complete the cycle. One day, God will take you and I home. My faith rests in that promise. Paul said it all when he said)
1 Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
Conclusion : Hebrews 10:35-37 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. (36) For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. (37) For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

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