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Genesis Chapter 50:1-26 - Death of A Saint - Part 2
We now pick it back up in vs. 19 of Genesis.
Vs. 19-21 - “ But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.”
We don’t judge because we are not God Matt. 7:1-5. And Joseph says - “Look, am I in the place of God here?” Ultimately our lives are in the hands of God, and because our lives are in the hands of God we can rest in Him.
There are those times when we suffer because of our own stupidity. There are those times when we suffer simply as a function of our own poor judgment. But then there are those times where we suffer through no fault of our own, we truly are an authentic victim in a particular situation, as Joseph was a victim.
But Joseph understood, “Look man, God rules over all, God is sovereign, and even though I’ve been a real victim here brothers, I know that God is going to deal with this.” By the way, he’s not downplaying or whitewashing their sin, he’s saying - “Yeah, you dudes are evil. And what you did was evil.” But he’s saying that God is capable of using even that.
So I have no doubt at all that much of the anger and the bitterness that so many people wanna carry around is because they don’t have the perspective that Joseph has. Joseph trusted God that even the evil that was brought forth against him God would use - somehow - to his eternal betterment.
Vs. 22-26 - “Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all his father’s family. He lived a hundred and ten years and saw the third generation of Ephraim’schildren. Also the children of Makir son of Manasseh were placed at birth on Joseph’s knees.
Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to your aid and take you up out of this land to the land he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” And Joseph made the Israelites swear an oath and said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place.”
So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. And after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.”
So, a little more gracious than dad, “You don’t have to get me out of here right away guys, just bury me here, but when you leave take my bones with you.”
Now they are going to be in Egypt for 430 years, that’s a long time. The promises made to this family were not realized overnight. And we have to recognize that many of the promises of God are not realized overnight in our own lives as well.
I am going to keep repeating this because I think that, Pastorally, it’s the loving thing to do. This is NOT “Your Best Life Now!” Which is interesting - Joel Olsteen’s book, “Your Best Life Now,” - isn’t that an admission that you're going to hell? Anyway, don’t get me started on that!
So I’ll keep this on repeat - God is doing an ETERNAL work in you, NOT a temporal one. It’s between the giving of the promise and the receiving of the promise where God is really doing His best work in our hearts and in our lives.
Some of the promises of God are instantaneous, right? Salvation being one of them. I believe that the minute that you acknowledge that you are a sinner and that Christ is the answer for your sin problem, in that very hour you’re saved right then and there. There are other promises of God that don’t take decades and decades to come to fruition, but by and large the principle in the word of God is - there is, for the most part, a bit of time between the giving of a promise and the delivery of the promise where God is doing His very best work in our hearts, just dealing with the hardness of our hearts and rooting those things out of us that will be to our eternal benefit. God is doing in us an ETERNAL work!
And we’ll close our study in Genesis with this - In order for you to allow God to come and do this eternally directed work, we have to begin to take our eyes off ourselves and put them upon Jesus. And it is my prayer that Genesis has helped you do just that - to direct your attention squarely to the person and works of Christ.
We have seen this over and over again: from the Gen. 5 genealogy - from ch. 22 where Abraham was sacrificing his only son - to the stunning picture of the Gospel beginning in ch. 37 with the life of Joseph... and everywhere in between!
This entire narrative has been a foreshadowing of, a pointing to, an elevation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it’s ALL about Him! (Heb. 10:7, Ps. 40:7).
Maybe this is where I get to shock a few of you - Guess what? The Bible is NOT about YOU! And the Bible is not about me. The Bible is about the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Listen, and here’s what we’ll close this whole book with, it's so important. The sooner you stop reading or hearing or learning about the Bible through the filter of it being all about YOU, the sooner you will place yourself upon the path of just delighting in God and delighting in Christ and finding real joy in the Gospel. And until you begin to delight in the Gospel, man you are just going to stay on this path of cold, dead, empty religion.
And you’ll look at problem A and B and C in your life and you’ll try to muster up enough willpower and motivation to change those behaviors, and maybe you might even succeed for a week or two, or even a month or two, or maybe even a year or two. Maybe you’ll be “reformed”, but you will NEVER be “Transformed.”
If all you are looking to is yourself - if all your efforts at religion or Bible reading are filtered through the lens of YOU - you’re never going to see Jesus, you’re never going to take in the glory of the Gospel. (John 5:39, Luke 24:44).
When we go to the word of God FIRST looking for ourselves - when you do that you are getting in all sorts of interpretational trouble, ripping things out of context. A Bible teacher might call it “a hermeneutical mess.” But that’s not even the biggest problem. The biggest problem of going to the word of God looking for yourself first is that you're going to miss Christ!
And so you have to ask yourself this question: Is the Bible about me and what I’m supposed to do, OR, is it primarily about Jesus Christ and what He has done? If you make the Bible about you, you are going to miss the glory of the Gospel, you're going to miss the very agent of Christian transformation.
BUT, if you’re able to escape the citadel of self - if you’re able to punch through that wall - if you’re able to recognize the absolute fallacy of making the Bible PRIMARILY about YOU - then you won’t miss Jesus. And then you will grow in your appreciation and your awe of God in flesh, in Christ.
You’re going to get hold of just the immensity of this glorious God who has made Himself small enough for you in the person and work of Jesus Christ, and ALL He has done to pursue you and redeem you and love on you. And when that happens, you’re going to turn and suddenly discover those other issues in your life, A, B, and C, they're really not all that attractive anymore. And transformation has begun. And you just continue to expose yourself to the glory of God, through the Word of God, and you’ll continue to discover your appetites and your tastes and your desires just changing and being revised.
It’s not about begrudging submission, it's simply about delighting in Him. As John Piper says, “Seeing and savoring Him.” It is NOT about making a better you! It’s about better apprehending Him, that LEADS to a better you!
I pray this study in the book of Genesis has helped you understand the Bible and the Old Testament better and you have grown during this study. I love you all, blessings to you.