101107 ot vistas 06 joseph, dream weaver


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Lesson 6 of 26 in a series on OT Vistas. This one is on Genesis 37-50, the story of Joseph. It was presented November 7, 2010, at Palm Desert Church of Christ, by Dale Wells.

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  • Lesson 6 in series of OT Vistas

    Creation of man & woman
    The Fall – God is judge & redeemer
    The Flood – God is judge & redeemer
    Abraham – God’s covenant & beginning of plan of redemption

    Today, in story of Joseph, we see God as the Dream Weaver:

    Joseph’s Dreams
    Joseph’s Nightmares
    How God used the Dreams & Nightmares of Two Prisoners & a King to Let Joseph Live His Dream

  • God made a covenantal promise to Abraham
    Abraham would become a great nation
    This would happen through his own son, by Sarah
    Genesis 21-36 is the story of God being faithful to that covenant

    Isaac was born 25 years later
    Isaac married Rebekah (God’s sovereignty — control over human events)

    They had twin boys, Esau and Jacob

    Story of redemption focuses on Jacob
    Jacob married Leah and Rachel, and was renamed “Israel”

    With Leah, Rachel, and a couple of common-law wives, Bilhah & Zilpah had 12 sons (tribes) — story of redemption focuses on one son, Joseph
  • Story of Joseph in Genesis 37-50

    Too long to retell in detail — summarize main points


    God’s faithfulness to his covenantal promises — God is main character

    God’s omnipotence — all-powerful
    “Sovereignty”: all-powerful king over all creation in control

    God’s omniscience — all-knowing — future

    God is so powerful and wise, He is so faithful to his covenantal promises, that He will keep those promises even if it means working in the midst of — even through — human sin.
  • Joseph was his father’s favorite

    Don’t look to the patriarchs for models of parenting. Isaac’s favorite was Esau; Rebekah’s was Jacob. Jacob had his favorite; so did Joseph.

    “Richly ornamented robe” (NIV). Hebrew is ambiguous.

    “Coat of many colors” comes from LXX, not Hebrew. Hence Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat”.

    Because he was the favorite, his brothers hated him.

    It didn’t help that he ratted them out to their father. About what? Don’t know, but (1) Reuben slept with stepmother; (2) Simeon & Levi slaughtered the male population of Shechem because one man violated their sister; (3) Judah committed incest with his DIL (ancestry of Jesus)

    It didn’t help that he shared dreams that would have them bowing down to him.
    Dreams – sheaves & sun, moon & stars
  • Hebron to Shechem to Dothan.

    No small feat – 50 miles North in mountains, on foot, in region known today as West Bank. In the news constantly. Palestinian state, under Israeli occupation since 1967. Jacob went from Hebron to region around Shechem (modern Nablus). All currently under control of Palestinian Authority.

    Summer pasture for sheep at elevations about 3,000 feet.

    Sold by his brothers as a slave (they planned to kill him, but Reuben – eldest – prevented it)

    Can you imagine a worse nightmare than at age 17 being sold as a slave and taken 250 miles to a land utterly foreign to you?

    Joseph won’t see or hear from his family for over 20 years. First question: “Is my father still alive?”

    In the midst of his brothers’ sin, God is still sovereign, accomplishing his purposes, keeping his promises
  • Was bought by an Egyptian officer named Potiphar

    Gen 39:2-6 NLT The LORD was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master. Potiphar noticed this and realized that the LORD was with Joseph, giving him success in everything he did. This pleased Potiphar, so he soon made Joseph his personal attendant. He put him in charge of his entire household and everything he owned. From the day Joseph was put in charge of his master's household and property, the LORD began to bless Potiphar's household for Joseph's sake. All his household affairs ran smoothly, and his crops and livestock flourished. So Potiphar gave Joseph complete administrative responsibility over everything he owned. With Joseph there, he didn't worry about a thing—except what kind of food to eat!

    Tendency to think when injustice/hurt/pain – that God has forgotten us.
    God is still in control – He is still bringing great blessing in the midst of sin.
    God is still sovereign — his plans cannot be thwarted by human sin.
  • Joseph refuses the advances of Potiphar’s wife
    “How can I sin against God … flees”

    If I were writing this story, I would reward Joseph for his sexual purity
    In response to his purity, she lies about him and has him thrown in jail
    Imagine how Joseph feels
    Isn’t it bad enough to have been sold into slavery by my brothers?
    This is the thanks I get for retaining my purity?

    God’s response? In the midst of the sin of Potiphar’s wife, I am still sovereign, accomplish my purposes, keep my promises.

    Genesis 39:21-23 NLT But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him His faithful love. And the LORD made Joseph a favorite with the prison warden. Before long, the warden put Joseph in charge of all the other prisoners and over everything that happened in the prison. The warden had no more worries, because Joseph took care of everything. The LORD was with him and caused everything he did to succeed.
  • After who knows how many years, Joseph is given a chance to get out
    Two of Pharaoh’s officials are thrown into jail
    Both dream, and Joseph is asked to interpret

    Genesis 40:8 NLT And they replied, "We both had dreams last night, but no one can tell us what they mean." "Interpreting dreams is God's business," Joseph replied. "Go ahead and tell me your dreams."
    From a human standpoint, some may think Joseph has the right to be mad at God — not mad — still wants to give God the credit, the glory
    Joseph’s interpretation comes true
    Baker is executed — Cupbearer returns to service

    One request:
    Gen 40:14-15 NLT And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place. For I was kidnapped from my homeland, the land of the Hebrews, and now I'm here in prison, but I did nothing to deserve it."
    In appreciation, the Cupbearer forgets all about Joseph
  • But two years later (Genesis 41) Pharaoh has two dreams

    Cupbearer remembers Joseph

    Once again Joseph asserts that interpretations belong to God:
    Genesis 41:16 NLT "It is beyond my power to do this," Joseph replied. "But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease."

    Seven years of good harvest; seven of famine

    Genesis 41:32 NLT As for having two similar dreams, it means that these events have been decreed by God, and He will soon make them happen.
  • Joseph is elevated (familiar?) —
    Genesis 41:39-44 NLT Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours." Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt." Then Pharaoh removed his signet ring from his hand and placed it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in fine linen clothing and hung a gold chain around his neck. Then he had Joseph ride in the chariot reserved for his second-in-command. And wherever Joseph went, the command was shouted, "Kneel down!" So Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of all Egypt. And Pharaoh said to him, "I am Pharaoh, but no one will lift a hand or foot in the entire land of Egypt without your approval.“
    Just as in Potiphar’s house and in the jail, God continues to bless Joseph — second in command over all Egypt
    God is sovereign —accomplishes purposes — keeps promises — in midst of, even through, human sin
    Joseph’s interpretations come true – 7 years abundance— 7 years famine
  • Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt to buy grain

    Don’t recognize Joseph, he accuses them of being spies
    They go home, but have to come back a second time
    Joseph frames them as thieves
  • Genesis 45:1-8 NLT Joseph could stand it no longer. There were many people in the room, and he said to his attendants, "Out, all of you!" So he was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. Then he broke down and wept. He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh's palace. "I am Joseph!" he said to his brothers. "Is my father still alive?" But his brothers were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in front of them. "Please, come closer," he said to them. So they came closer. And he said again, "I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in Egypt. But don't be upset, and don't be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And He is the One who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.
    Amazing statement about God’s sovereign control
    What humans mean for evil, God turns for good.
  • Eventually
    All Jacob’s family (70) come to Egypt and settle
    God, through Joseph and the Pharaoh, provides for his covenantal promises
  • On his death bed, Jacob blesses/curses his twelve sons

    Of Joseph:
    Genesis 49:22-24 NLT "Joseph is the foal of a wild donkey, the foal of a wild donkey at a spring—one of the wild donkeys on the ridge. (23) Archers attacked him savagely; they shot at him and harassed him. (24) But his bow remained taut, and his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.

    Like mountain goat, cannot be tripped up. People could do what they might to him – brothers could sell him as a slave; adulterous woman could frame him for a crime he didn’t commit; man he befriended could forget him; but It was God who was in control of his life.

    You cannot see God’s hand in your life except by looking over your shoulder.
  • Dies — brothers become nervous – lie
    Genesis 50:15-21 NLT But now that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers became fearful. "Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him," they said. (16) So they sent this message to Joseph: "Before your father died, he instructed us (17) to say to you: 'Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.' So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin." When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. (18) Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. "Look, we are your slaves!" they said. (19) But Joseph replied, "Don't be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? (20) You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. (21) No, don't be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children." So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.

    Even in the midst of all the injustice/hurt/pain, Joseph still believes that God is sovereign over all, willing and able to keep his promises.
  • What do we learn from the Joseph story?

    1. God is omniscient (all knowing) and omnipotent (all powerful)

    Sovereign — King of Kings, Lord of Lords – King who rules over all
    Psalms 115:3 NLT Our God is in the heavens, and He does as He wishes.
  • 2. God keeps his promises, even in midst of sin
    Elihu, sarcastic to Job, Eliphaz, Bildad & Zophar:
    Job 34:10-12 NLT "Listen to me, you who have understanding. Everyone knows that God doesn't sin! The Almighty can do no wrong. He repays people according to their deeds. He treats people as they deserve. Truly, God will not do wrong. The Almighty will not twist justice.

    Joseph shows that even in bleakest times – when life seems out of control, God is in control
    Romans 8:28-29 NIV And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (29) For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
    Let Bible define “good” – not cessation of pain, banishment of death, name it & claim it. His good is that he makes us look like Jesus
    1 John 3:2 NLT Dear friends, we are already God's children, but He has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is.
  • 3. We are called to faith & faithfulness

    “When life seems out of control, faith says God is in control.”

    Like Joseph, we are called to trust in God, to look beyond the immediate and believe that God is ... will do …
    Rewarder of the righteous and punisher of the wicked.
    We don’t need to be able to understand God’s ways

    God does not call us to understand everything but to trust Him.

    Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the LORD. "And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. (9) For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
  • Story of Joseph is not the greatest injustice in history
    God worked in the midst of human sin when they killed his perfect son.

    If God can work in the midst of that kind of depravity and sin, He can work in the midst of your life, and mine.

    Do you believe that God is sovereign?
    Do you believe that when your life seems out of control, that God is still in control?

    This is the faith that God asks of us, like he asked of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph
    This is the faith that pleases him.

    *** Do you trust God enough to obey him?
  • 101107 ot vistas 06 joseph, dream weaver

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