Paul Carter is preaching his third and final message at the Muskoka Bible Centre’s Men’s Breakaway retreat. He is speaking on the life of Joseph.
~ 9:51 Paul begins his talk by discussing how the Old Testament applies to Christians. In 1 Cor 10:11, Paul tells the church that the Old Testament is written for them: “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.”
~ 9:55 Genesis 45:1-15 is the main text.
10:03 Israelites lived in Egypt for 400 years, which is longer than Canada existed. This is a huge part of their history. How did they end up in Egypt? Joseph brother’s were jealous? Joseph was arrogant? Jacob was a bad dad? The answer is all the way back in Genesis 15.
Genesis 15:13-14: “Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.”
History may look whimsical. But all history “is governed by the word and will of God.” Genesis 50:20 confirms God’s governance: “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.”
10:06 You are still responsible for you sin, even when God uses it for God. God controls all, but you are responsible. This is an instance of double causality. Consider Acts 2:22-23: ““Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know—this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.”
10:08 We also learn that God marshals heaven and earth for our salvation. Everything, personal and political, works out for our sanctification and salvation.
10:13 We also learn that men are capable of incredible jealousy. Follow Jesus, don’t worry about other people.
10:15 We also learn that men are capable of incredible stupidity. Joseph, the favoured son, became a manager of the family business. His brothers didn’t love this. Joseph then shared his dream that he will rule over his brothers—his brothers who were disgruntled! Joseph was proud, but God taught him humility.
10:17 But men are not seen to completely bad. Men are also capable of nobility. God is at work in the family of Jacob. For example, Judah offers himself as sacrifice for Benjamin.
10:19 We learned of God and men, and so now we need to see how God brings men to himself. In Genesis 3:15, the first place the Gospel is spoken. God tells the Devil that the seed of the woman will defeat the devil at some cost to himself. Isaiah 53 further defines the cost: our saviour is a suffering servant.
How did God save his people through the Joseph story? Answer: a suffering servant. Joseph suffered and was oppressed, but he rose and saved his people: “God sent me before you to preserve life” (Gen 45:5) and “So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones” (Gen 50:21). This is how God saves. He sends a suffering servant so that many can survive, even the little ones. As Peter preaches: “For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:39).