The Epic Story of God continues as we finally get to a “good” character in Joseph. This favorite son had to endure more hardship than anyone could possibly imagine. Yet through it all God’s purposes and protection were evident. His promises came true, for through Joseph’s redemption would come a significant new hope for the future of God’s people. beginning with his family.
Joseph shows us how to live beyond ourselves, living redemptively.
Message title: Joseph: Living Redemptively
Week 6 of EPIC series (following the Hero of God’s Story)
Scripture: Genesis 37-50
Preacher: Jeff Patterson
Date: 2/16/14 (no worship gathering on 2/9 due to weather)
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Great leaders give up their comforts and control of outcomes for the good of others. As Shakespeare wrote, some are born great, some achieve greatness, and still others have greatness thrust upon them. In Joseph we find a man for which all three forms of greatness are true. What was his secret to greatness?
Growing up the favorite and youngest son of Jacob, Joseph had dreams of greatness, and wasn’t afraid to tell everyone about it. Through rejection, hardship and injustice, God broke and formed Joseph’s character to become the kind of leader who would use power for the good of others. Those dreams were fulfilled in a better way because they were God’s own plan for the saving of many lives. Joseph dealt with past wounds to courageously and generously engage the brokenness of the world and its need.
A story of redemption and reconciliation, integrity and forgiveness, where Joseph shows us the gracious character of Jesus. He is strong enough to forgive, protect and provide for us who deserve none of His kindness.
Scriptures: Genesis 37:1-11; 45:1-8; 50:15-21
37:1 Jacob lived in the land of his father’s sojournings, in the land of Canaan.
2 These are the generations of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. 3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. 4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him.
5 Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, “Hear this dream that I have dreamed: 7 Behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright. And behold, your sheaves gathered around it and bowed down to my sheaf.” 8 His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Or are you indeed to rule over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9 Then he dreamed another dream and told it to his brothers and said, “Behold, I have dreamed another dream. Behold, the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall I and your mother and your brothers indeed come to bow ourselves to the ground before you?” 11 And his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in mind.
45:1 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. 3 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
4 So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here,for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. 8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: 17 ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18 His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? 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. 21 So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.