“For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” Ephesians 5:8-9 NLT
We are finishing out our series on the book of Genesis. We began with creation, the fall or first sin of man, Noah and the flood. We moved on to Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the almost sacrifice of Isaac. Jacob and Esau and now we are talking about our buddy Joseph.
He has a coat and dreams that gets on his brother’s nerves. He then gets sold into slavery and has a run in with his new boss’ wife. Later he is promoted to work under Pharaoh and now there is a famine. His brothers come to Egypt in search of food and through some very intense times they end up reconciling.
From here these 12 brothers have lots of kids. They become a very powerful family in Egypt. The old Pharaoh passes and the new king has no idea of the story. He gets intimidated and makes them slaves. Now Moses arrives on the scene and we have the book of Exodus. The book of Exodus is about the exit from Egypt. We are covering chapters 42-50 today but I am just going to highlight a few things.
Let’s go back to the tremendous famine in the land.
Jacob has twelve sons with two wives. Remember he worked 7 years for Rachel and woke up with Leah. So then he had to work another 7 years for Rachel. Joseph and Benjamin are both sons of Rachel. Rachel dies in childbirth with Benjamin. Which makes Benjamin all that is left of Jacob’s first love. (Remember he thinks Joseph is dead). It has been 21 years since Joe has been sold into slavery. He was 17 when his brothers sold him which makes him now 38. Jacob hears there is food in Egypt so he sends his 10 boys to go and buy some, keeping Ben with him. They arrive to purchase from Joseph and don’t recognize him. But they bow before him, the fulfillment of a dream. Joseph accuses them of being spies and sends them home with food and their money but demands they return with the brother. In 43 they return and in 44 Joseph sends them back but sets them up with a cup (some think it was a test). Then in 45 Joseph reveals himself. There is lots of crying and hugs and in 46 they all move to Egypt.
I want to take some time this morning to look at the reconciliation at the relationship between Joe and his bros. There is a powerful story of forgiveness when there was a tremendous wrong done to him. Nobody is denying that, but Joseph never played the victim card. My grandma fuller was the sweetest little old lady you could ever meet. She was a godly woman, filled with the spirit, a little frail spiritual powerhouse. However, she also had 1 brother she hadn’t spoken to in over 20 years. That woman could hold a grudge. If anyone should hold a grudge it would be Joseph. If anyone should harbor resentment, it’s Joseph. If anyone should seek revenge, it’s Joseph. His brothers are foreigners. He is the second most powerful man in Egypt and they don’t recognize him. It’s the perfect set up. They beat you and sold you as a slave. What would you do?
Brothers Gotta Hug
1. Hidden sin causes wrong thinking
a. Punishment – 42:21 (If you think everything bad that happens is punishment from God, that is wrong thinking. God does not punish sin. There are consequences of sin and our actions but God is not punishing you. If I tweaked some numbers on my taxes and then I get audited, that is not punishment from God but a consequence of my actions.)
b. Suspicion – 43:18 (You’re always looking over your shoulder and are always suspicious of motives. Have you ever told an outright lie? You will constantly feel like you are being questioned)
c. Makes excuses – 44:18 (The brothers ramble about their brother. They are constantly making excuses. Parable of the talent)
2. The road to reconciliation ( 3x you see Joseph weeping. Longing for the restoration of relationship. The desire for reconciliation has to be greater than the desire for revenge)
a. See GOD in the bad – 45:5 (What you intended for harm God, used for my good)
b. Took the first step – 45:14 (The power of an embrace. The brothers didn’t try to find him to make it right, they didn’t seek him out. He was the one wronged, isn’t it on the brothers to make this right? Joe was the better man and look where it got him. Some of you have been waiting your whole life for someone to find you and make it right. You were wronged, and you hurt. Where has that gotten you? Be the better man and hug it out. By the way Scripture never tells us if they admitted they were wrong and said sorry.
c. Never mentioned it again – 50:20(Dad dies, now they think Joe is coming after them. I have forgiven you)
3. How do you extend the embrace?
a. Pray for opportunity
b. Self-inventory (Is your heart pure, is it healed? Check your motives)
c. Start a conversation. ( I don’t want this between us anymore)
d. Accept rejection(It may not be received it may denied. You might be accused of over reacting. You don’t need to over react or argue. Leave your forgiveness with them. It is what Jesus does for us.)
e. Pray for blessing (How will you know if you are truly healed? Pray a blessing over them. By the way if they are not worthy of the blessing the blessing comes back to you.)
Pray for those hurt and know they need reconciliation.
Hurting Healing Helping
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