This past Sunday I had the wonderful opportunity to preach in Spanish at Harbor Mid-City. I preached on Genesis 37 – God goes before you.
Joseph dreamt two dreams in Genesis 37. The dreams were an indication of what God was going to do through Joseph to save his people. It shows that God is the hero of the story!
In the midst of the two dreams the story is told of all the dysfunction among Jacob’s sons. They hated Joseph. They wouldn’t even speak to him kindly.
A Family of Dysfunction
This was due in large part to the favoritism that Jacob showed to Joseph. Jacob learned this from his parents, as Isaac favored Esau and Rebekah favored Jacob. The sins of the fathers are passed down to the third and fourth generation.
Then as the story moves along with Joseph and his brothers, they decided to kill him. First they grabbed him and threw him in an empty cistern. The very next verse, verse 25 says, “Then they sat down to eat…” So they threw in a dry cistern and then had lunch as if it were just another day at the office.
Joseph’s Strength of Character
Joseph through all of this proves to be of higher character than his brothers. This is one of the reasons God was able to use him to be the leader that he became in Egypt. He saved his family, the tribe of Israel and the people of Egypt through his foresight and leadership. He was a type of Christ as he was also betrayed, and then they both saved their people.
There is tremendous pain in this story when you consider all the hate and hurt that happened within a family. It reminds me of the Mexican telenovelas, or even our own Soap Operas.
It’s amazing that Joseph was sold into slavery at the age of 17. He was not able to go to Sabbath school, or learn anymore about God from the Egyptians. Everything he learned about God from his parents was already instilled in him at age 17. He was able to stand strong against all odds in Egypt. He was imprisoned unjustly and he still was able to maintain his faith and thrive amidst all of this.
Joseph was truly a prince of a man.
God’s Healing Work
Then after Joseph is reunited with his family. He sees that God has worked in the heart of his brothers, and brought about change. They are reconciled in God’s grace.
When Jacob died, the brothers feared that Joseph might seek revenge. Joseph responded in Genesis 50:20,
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”
Joseph did not deny what his brothers did was evil, but he was able to forgive them and recognize that God used even their evil for his good. That was one of the messages that the Lord gave Joseph in his dreams about the future events. God was saying in a sense, “I go before you, and I prepare the way so that my people saved.”
Then later came Jesus, who died on the cross for our evil deeds. He provides a way for us to be forgiven and saved. Hallelujah!
When you feel down or discouraged remember that God goes before you, and that he prepares a way.
In His Grip, Dave