TRUSTING IN TROUBLE / The Story of Joseph, Vol. 4

Sermon Series by Rev. Richard Jones

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Tough to Reconcile

                                                      Genesis  Chapters 42-45                                                        (various texts)

 

HUNGER DRIVE

 Genesis 42:1-17 (ESV)
1  When Jacob learned that there was grain for sale in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?”
2  And he said, “Behold, I have heard that there is grain for sale in Egypt. Go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.”
3  So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt.
4  But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with his brothers, for he feared that harm might happen to him.
5  Thus the sons of Israel came to buy among the others who came, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.
6  Now Joseph was governor over the land. He was the one who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground.
7  Joseph saw his brothers and recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke roughly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.”
8  And Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him.
9  And Joseph remembered the dreams that he had dreamed of them. And he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land.”
10  They said to him, “No, my lord, your servants have come to buy food.
11  We are all sons of one man. We are honest men. Your servants have never been spies.”
12  He said to them, “No, it is the nakedness of the land that you have come to see.”
13  And they said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is no more.”
14  But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you. You are spies.
15  By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here.
16  Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. Or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.”
17  And he put them all together in custody for three days.

 

TRUTH EXPOSED

Genesis 42:18-26 (ESV)
18  On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God:
19  if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households,
20  and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so.
21  Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.”
22  And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.”
23  They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them.
24  Then he turned away from them and wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.
25  And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.
26  Then they loaded their donkeys with their grain and departed.

 

LATE START

Genesis 43:1-10 (ESV)
1  Now the famine was severe in the land.
2  And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.”
3  But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’
4  If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food.
5  But if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’”
6  Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?”
7  They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?”
8  And Judah said to Israel his father, “Send the boy with me, and we will arise and go, that we may live and not die, both we and you and also our little ones.
9  I will be a pledge of his safety. From my hand you shall require him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever.
10  If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”

 

UNEXPECTED INVITATION

Genesis 43:15-25 (ESV)
15  So the men took this present, and they took double the money with them, and Benjamin. They arose and went down to Egypt and stood before Joseph.
16  When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the steward of his house, “Bring the men into the house, and slaughter an animal and make ready, for the men are to dine with me at noon.”
17  The man did as Joseph told him and brought the men to Joseph’s house.
18  And the men were afraid because they were brought to Joseph’s house, and they said, “It is because of the money, which was replaced in our sacks the first time, that we are brought in, so that he may assault us and fall upon us to make us servants and seize our donkeys.”
19  So they went up to the steward of Joseph’s house and spoke with him at the door of the house,
20  and said, “Oh, my lord, we came down the first time to buy food.
21  And when we came to the lodging place we opened our sacks, and there was each man’s money in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight. So we have brought it again with us,
22  and we have brought other money down with us to buy food. We do not know who put our money in our sacks.”
23  He replied, “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money.” Then he brought Simeon out to them.
24  And when the man had brought the men into Joseph’s house and given them water, and they had washed their feet, and when he had given their donkeys fodder,
25  they prepared the present for Joseph’s coming at noon, for they heard that they should eat bread there.

 

STRANGE LUNCH

Genesis 43:26-34 (ESV)
26  When Joseph came home, they brought into the house to him the present that they had with them and bowed down to him to the ground.
27  And he inquired about their welfare and said, “Is your father well, the old man of whom you spoke? Is he still alive?”
28  They said, “Your servant our father is well; he is still alive.” And they bowed their heads and prostrated themselves.
29  And he lifted up his eyes and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, “Is this your youngest brother, of whom you spoke to me? God be gracious to you, my son!”
30  Then Joseph hurried out, for his compassion grew warm for his brother, and he sought a place to weep. And he entered his chamber and wept there.
31  Then he washed his face and came out. And controlling himself he said, “Serve the food.”
32  They served him by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.
33  And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth. And the men looked at one another in amazement.
34  Portions were taken to them from Joseph’s table, but Benjamin’s portion was five times as much as any of theirs. And they drank and were merry with him.

 

CHOSEN TEST

Genesis 44:1-13 (ESV)
1  Then he commanded the steward of his house, “Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack,
2  and put my cup, the silver cup, in the mouth of the sack of the youngest, with his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph told him.
3  As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away with their donkeys.
4  They had gone only a short distance from the city. Now Joseph said to his steward, “Up, follow after the men, and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good?
5  Is it not from this that my lord drinks, and by this that he practices divination? You have done evil in doing this.’”
6  When he overtook them, he spoke to them these words.
7  They said to him, “Why does my lord speak such words as these? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing!
8  Behold, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. How then could we steal silver or gold from your lord’s house?
9  Whichever of your servants is found with it shall die, and we also will be my lord’s servants.”
10  He said, “Let it be as you say: he who is found with it shall be my servant, and the rest of you shall be innocent.”
11  Then each man quickly lowered his sack to the ground, and each man opened his sack.
12  And he searched, beginning with the eldest and ending with the youngest. And the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.
13  Then they tore their clothes, and every man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.

 

JUDAH’S PLEA

Genesis 44:30-34 (ESV)
30  “Now therefore, as soon as I come to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us, then, as his life is bound up in the boy’s life,
31  as soon as he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hairs of your servant our father with sorrow to Sheol.
32  For your servant became a pledge of safety for the boy to my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I shall bear the blame before my father all my life.’
33  Now therefore, please let your servant remain instead of the boy as a servant to my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers.
34  For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I fear to see the evil that would find my father.”

 

FAMILY SHOCK

Genesis 45:1-15 (ESV)
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.
9  Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry.
10  You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.
11  There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’
12  And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you.
13  You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.”
14  Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck.
15  And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.

Romans 8:28 (ESV)
28  And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

 

Application:

– There cannot be reconciliation without repentance.

-The reconciliation could only be possible because of  love.

 

 

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (ESV)
18  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
19  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

 

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