Sermon -- Joseph Takes Charge of Egypt slides


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The Story of Joseph – God Prepares a Leader Joseph’s Dreams – Every Leader Needs a Sense of Destiny Joseph Sold Into Slavery – Facing Hardship Makes a Man (Bitter or Better) Joseph Seduced by Potiphar’s Wife – Facing Sexuality and Staying Pure Joseph Put in Prison – Facing Discouragement and Hopelessness


Joseph Takes Charge of Egypt


When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: he was standing by the Nile,  2  when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds.  3  After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the river-bank.  4  And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. 5  He fell asleep again and had a second dream: seven ears of corn, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk.  6  After them, seven other ears of corn sprouted – thin and scorched by the east wind.  7  The thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven healthy, full ears. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream. 8  In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him. Genesis 41: 1-8


God Begins to Intervene All the hardships that seemed to be defeats now begin to come together like some invisible string making a necklace. Pharaoh has two dreams! No one could interpret them. 4. And the stage was set.


9  Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, ‘Today I am reminded of my shortcomings.  10  Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard.  11  Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.  12  Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream.  13  And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.’ 14  So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. Gen. 41:9-14


God Opens a Door 1. Forgotten promises suddenly remembered! Shut doors – all of a sudden spring open. And through the door walks Joseph – foreigner, slave, prisoner – to stand before the ruler of all Egypt.


GeT 15  Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ 16  ‘I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’ 17  Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18  when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds.  19  After them, seven other cows came up – scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt.  20  The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first.  21  But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up.’ Gen. 41:15-21


GeT 22  ‘In my dream I saw seven ears of corn, full and good, growing on a single stalk.  23  After them, seven other ears sprouted – withered and thin and scorched by the east wind.  24  The thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven good ears. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.’ 25  Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, ‘The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.  26  The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears of corn are seven years; it is one and the same dream.  27  The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterwards are seven years, and so are the seven worthless ears of corn scorched by the east wind: they are seven years of famine. Gen. 41:22-17


GeT 28  ‘It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do.  29  Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt,  30  but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land.  31  The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe.  32  The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. Gen.41:28-32


Ge Joseph Walks Through 1. Note the Irony Note something else: humility and faith And God acts!


33  ‘And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt.  34  Let Pharaoh appoint commis- sioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance.  35  They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food.  36  This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.’ 37  The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials.  38  So Pharaoh asked them, ‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?’ 39  Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.  40  You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.’ Genesis 41:33-39


Ge Wisdom, Knowledge and Discernment Having knowledge is not the same as having wisdom. All the management he learned in slavery and in imprisonment now play out. Joseph proposes a solution What does Pharaoh see in Joseph? God had never stopped being committed to his purposes for Joseph’s life – not once!


Genesis 41:41-45 41  So Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.’  42  Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain round his neck.  43  He made him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, ‘Make way!’ Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. 44  Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.’  45  Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.


GeT 46  Joseph was thirty years old when he entered th-50e service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and travelled throughout Egypt.  47  During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully.  48  Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it.  49  Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure. 50  Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.  Genesis 41:46-50


Genesis 32:22-28 .   51  Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, ‘It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.’  52  The second son he named Ephraim and said, ‘It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.’


Ge The Outcome -- Blessing The following seven years were years of blessing. The bounty was immense! Joseph kept his humility.


53  The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end,  54  and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55  When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, ‘Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.’ 56  When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt.  57  And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere. . Genesis 41: 53-57


The Outcome -- Salvation Was the blessing God’s final purpose? No! God’s final purpose was the saving of a nation. Who could have forseen in this boy who had a dream lay the potential to be a ruler of one of the greatest military and political powers in the known world? Who could? God could!


4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  5  And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, ‘My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,     and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6  because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,     and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.’ The Discipline of the Lord – Hebrews 12


Ge 6  Then the female servants and their children approached and bowed down.  7  Next, Leah and her children came and bowed down. Last of all came Joseph and Rachel, and they too bowed down. 8  Esau asked, ‘What’s the meaning of all these flocks and herds I met?’ ‘To find favour in your eyes, my lord,’ he said. 9  But Esau said, ‘I already have plenty, my brother. Keep what you have for yourself.’ 10  ‘No, please!’ said Jacob. ‘If I have found favour in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favourably.


Understanding the Discipline of God The Difference between discipline and punishment. a. punishment in a consequence for past behaviour. b. discipline is training for future behaviour. 2. The connection between discipline and sonship .


Ge Hardship as Discipline 11  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12  Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  13  ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ [ b ]  so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.


Ge Hardship as Discipline 7  Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?  8  If you are not disciplined – and everyone undergoes discipline – then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.  9  Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!  10  They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.   


Ge Discipline Produces a Harvest 11  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12  Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  13  ‘Make level paths for your feet,’ so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.  


Ge The Tests of Discipline 14  Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  15  See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  16  See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.  17  Afterwards, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.  


Ge The Tests of Discipline The Root of Bitterness Sexual Immorality Godlessness 


Ge Conclusion If you want to be a leader determine to learn from hardships. Guard your heart so that God can produce a harvest of righteousness . You can be a man or woman like Joseph – a true leader – or… Which will you choose!

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