We began the study with a "reader's theatre" presentation of the story, from Gen. 37 through 45, abridged. The 20-minute reading highlighted the occurrences of "remember" and "recognize this" in the text.
The sermon was impromptu, but these notes prompted the presentation…
Joseph: Recognize & Remember
The Joseph narrative is threaded with two themes: knowledge and recognition.
We may learn much if we see that Joseph had knowledge that no one else had:
* He was given two dreams, which highlighted his role in God’s purposes. The dreams were fulfilled in his experience: his brothers DID bow to him, even though they did not recognize him.
* He was given the interpretation of the baker’s dream and the cupbearer’s dream. They were both fulfilled within three days: one restored to the palace, the other executed.
* He was given the interpretation of the Pharaoh’s dreams: seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine.
* He knew his brothers in Egypt, even though they did not know him.
* He knew God’s good purposes for him, though his brothers lived in fear because they did not.
I. We can hardly miss the importance of KNOWLEDGE in this story!
1. What you know matters.
2. What you don’t know, God knows; if you trust God, then that gives you rest.
II. The second theme is RECOGNIZE!!
A. Recognize your behavior, Judah!
B. Recognize divine activity, brothers!
C. Recognize God’s purposes in your life, Joseph!
D. Recognize God’s purposes in Jesus’ life, disciples!
Luke 24: On the road to Emmaus…
Luke 24:25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
Luke 24:26 “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?”
Luke 24:27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Jesus talked the two disciples through the stories of Genesis, Exodus and Numbers, explaining how He was the
NEW AND GREATER ADAM, who brought grace, eradicating sin from the world
NEW AND GREATER NOAH, who saves all who within him from deserved destruction.
NEW AND GREATER JACOB, whose spiritual offspring fill the earth
NEW AND GREATER JUDAH, who loves the abandoned
NEW AND GREATER JOSEPH, who will end hunger and suffering
NEW AND GREATER MOSES, whose Word will stand forever1
NEW AND GREATER DAVID, who will rule the earth with love and justice
Luke 24:30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them.
Luke 24:31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.
Luke 24:32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them,
Luke 24:34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.”
Luke 24:35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
E. Recognize God’s activity in MY life!
If recognition of God’s good intentions will free us to live life without fear,
then how do we recognize that?
Even at the times of life when we DON’T KNOW all that we’d like to know or need to know, God FLAGS our CIRCUMSTANCES to ALERT US to His good intentions for us.
If knowledge of Jesus’ present activity for us will free us to live life full of hope,
then how do we KNOW that?
O, LORD, LET ME SEE ENOUGH OF YOUR WORK IN MY LIFE TO RECOGNIZE THAT YOU ARE COMPETENT, YOU ARE IN CHARGE, YOU HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN ME.
LET ME REMEMBER TODAY THAT YOU HAVE BEEN FAITHFUL THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS AND WILL BE TOMORROW.
LET ME TRUST YOU TO BRING JUSTICE TO THE WORLD, RECONCILIATION TO MY CONFLICTS.
We can know that we have trusted God to work for good in our lives
when we are able to forgive those who have done us harm.
Next week: HOW CAN WE FORGIVE AS JOSEPH FORGAVE HIS BROTHERS?
The two are linked: seeing God as ultimately in control of our lives & forgiving those who have done us harm.
If forgiveness releases us to enjoy all the goodness of God and His world,
then how do I forgive??