Picture. Kenya 2011. The Kyle, chris, les, Harrison, Jackson, Eric, and Julius. Tom had to leave early for his father who was dying. The great rift valley, kenya.
Intro. Most objections to the Bible and God are personal rather than intellectual. They are usually over, “how could God let that happen to me” versus “I don’t believe in miracles.” Jospeph hits these personal objections head-on.
The big idea: three marks of a man changed by grace.
1. He avoids Gods chair – leaving justice to God. Vs.19
How do we sit in Gods chair?
A. We are our own moral authority. Genesis 3
B. We let others come to us for their deepest needs. 2 kings 5
C. We have inordinate worry. Matt 6
D. We keep a grudge. The opposite of what Joseph does in this story.
Only God has the right, the knowledg, and the power to judge perfectly. If we do not forgive the evil against us, that evil enters us and changes us.
2. He takes God’s view – seeing God’s hand in man’s malice. Vs.20
Evil is both real and life is ordinarily filled with evil but God is always good and right and sovereign and beautiful in the midst. This is not the either or: either thinking things will get better tomorrow or the pessimist to say that life is hard and will never get better. This is radical both and. Even you can’t put your life on plan B. It is impossible to muck up your life. Nobody can sink me, said Joseph. Ultimate proof is in Christ not being plan B, Acts 2+4.
Find the mp3 files of the Dick Lucas tapes on Joseph and Genesis.
3. He images Gods love – replying with affection and compassion to wrongs. Vs.21
When he said he will provide for them and their children, he is loving them. Because of points one and two above he has BOTH the humility AND the confidence to love them. Joseph knew that he did not deserve God’s love and favor and at the same time was confident that nothing he could do could alter that love for him. He had bold, humble confidence.
But I am not Joseph. How do I do this? You can’t. However, Jesus says you can do better than Joseph. What? In Matthew 11, Jesus said John the baptist was better than Joseph and David and all old testament people before him. Yet Jesus says that the least in the kingdom will be better than even John the baptist.
On the cross, Jesus is the far more and ultimate example than Joseph of God meaning evil for good. Jesus, though he was in Gods chair, forsook that and became human for me. Joseph did not see what we see that God himself would one day have to come and die for our sins. We see that we are so very wicked that it took not just a good man to die in our place but a perfect man who was infect God himself! That is how sinful we are and this should humble us more than Joseph.
On the other hand, If God did not spare his very own son for dying for me, what else will he not freely give me? We have a greater confidence than Joseph had as well. God has already given me that hardest thing, that most valuable thing he could! His son!
Together, this gives us greater humility than Joseph and also greater confidence than Joesph to live greater lives than Joseph. That is what Jesus means in Matthew 11.
God, help me to live radically like I believe this with all my heart! Do we really believe that God is the best one to sit in his chair, that I am unsinkable, and I have better roots for humble-boldness than Joseph and David? God, do this in our heart, please, for our joy and your glory!