Monday, March 28, 2011

Genesis 48-50

To recap our last few blogs:

1. God tells Joseph that he will reign over his family.
2. Brothers decide to kill him but instead sell him into slavery.
3. Joseph is sold a second time as a slave to a high ranking family in Egypt.
4. Joesph is falsely accused and put in prison.
5. Joseph interprets a dream for a fellow inmate.
6. Joseph gets out of prison to interpret Pharaoh's dream
7. Joseph gets put in charge of all of Egypt.
8. Joseph's family comes to Egypt to escape the famine.
9. Joseph helps and forgives his brothers and family.
10. Joseph is restored to his father.

Dreamer to death threat to sold to sold again to slavery to leader to prisoner to dream interpretor to Prime Minister to brother and son again.

yowsa! that's a lot of moves in a lot of time in very little Scripture.

That brings us up to the closing chapters of Genesis.

I want to focus on one part of one verse. We look at Joseph's life and see evil after evil thrown upon him by his family and other people. He's abused and discarded like livestock. He isn't treated like a loved one, he's treated like an enemy. He's plotted against by people who, when it comes right down to it, just plain hate him. They mean him harm and desire his downfall. They actually have meetings in order to plot how they can destroy his life and end his existence.

So how on earth, after all of that, can Joseph say,

"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good...?"

How can this man look at his brothers, who actually tried to kill him and sold him into bondage as a slave, and say to them that he means them no hard and that he forgives them?

Simply, Joseph believed God. He actually took God's Word seriously to heart. When God showed made a promise to him, Joseph took it to heart and counted on it as a fact of life. Joseph, like Job, could look at everything that was done to him and faithful and assuredly say with Job,

"For I know that my Redeemer lives,
and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
yet in my flesh I shall see God," (Job 19:25-26)

People whose faith is surely in the Lord, who have the Rock of Salvation to stand upon, who are firmly rooted in Christ Jesus are simply, and ultimately, unmovable.

They are unmovable.

The devil and his minions and the whole world can throw whatever they wish at them and even though pain and sorrow and suffering come, they will stand until the end.

This is why in Revelation 2:10, our Lord Jesus says,

"Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life."

Christ isn't promising the crown of life to people who might get it if they stand firm. He's saying in effect, those who get the crown are the ones who stood firm, who were faithful until the end, until death.

There's something different about those who stand firm even unto death:

" were sealed for the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30)

If, you have been born again, (you've turned from your sin by placing your faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ) you have been sealed for the day of redemption and you are untouchable when it comes to eternity. The Apostle Paul goes further saying that even though,

"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:36-39)

If you're born into God's family, if you're an adopted child of the Father, nothing can separate you from God and His goodness.

do you believe that? Do you really believe that? I'm convinced if we really believe those words, then, come hell or high water, we will remain unshakable in our faith and in our lives.

And now, may we be a people who stand secure and firm in our faith and know fully and can say, with Joseph, "when the world means us harm and evil, the Lord means us good."

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