|LESSONS FROM THE LIFE OF JOSEPH - Genesis Part 1|
|Morning Sermon Scripts|
Lessons from Joseph’s Life
[Preached at SOS village on 28th February 2010 by Logan C Nyasulu]
Part 1 Joseph’s Early Life (Preached on 28th February 2010)
Our focus in this message is on his early life where we will see that Joseph is not different from us as young people. His experience is very similar to ours and thus we can learn a lot from him. We can fear God too just like he did because he was just like us.
Let us observe the following issues:
(a). His Age (Genesis 37 verse 2)
Joseph was 17 years old. He was a young man like most of us here. Non of us can therefore say I cannot learn anything from Joseph on account of age. He was our age-mate;
(b). He had eleven brothers (Genesis 37 verse 2)
Joseph was surrounded by eleven brothers. He knew what it was to be in a crowd of brothers. Many of us here are surrounded by many ‘brothers and sisters’. We live in a crowd. Being in a crowd cannot be a reason why we cannot learn from him;
(c). He was a ‘Reporter’ (Genesis 37 verse 2)
We are told that Joseph brought a bad a report to his father about them. This is typical among most of us young people. Perhaps you, like Joseph, like reporting your friends. Or maybe you are the one being reported. Either way, Joseph was just like us;
(d). He was daddy’s favourite son (Genesis 37 verse 3)
Joseph was loved more than all his brothers. He was daddy’s favourite and daddy had a beautiful shirt made for him. Again this is not strange for a lot of us. Some of us are the favourite children. We are loved the most. Or maybe we are among a group of children and we are aware that our ‘brother or sister’ is loved more than us. This was Joseph’s situation also;
(e). He was the subject of his brother’s hatred (Genesis 37 verse 4)
Joseph was hated by his brothers and they always spoke evil of him. Some of you might relate to that. You are hated by your ‘brothers’ or ‘sisters’. Again Joseph was like us in this regard;
(f). His dreams (Genesis 37 verses 5-9)
Joseph had some very interesting dreams. I am sure you also experience dreams. For Joseph, God used these dreams to communicate something about his future. Even today God could use a dream to communicate something to us. In Job 33 verse 14, we are told that God may use a dream to warn us and scare us out of our sins. The point is that Joseph was like us in terms of experiencing dreams;
(g). His obedience to his father (Genesis 37 verse 1, verse 12-13)
It is also clear that Joseph was obedient to his father. First we are told that he often tended his father’s flock. We are also told that when his father asked him to go and check on the welfare of his brothers and to take them some food, he quickly complied. These are the same brothers who hated him and spoke no kind word of him. However, when his father sends him to them, he still obeys. We must emulate Joseph’s obedience;
(h). Joseph’s fear of God
It is very clear from reading several passages that Joseph feared God. There are several aspects of his life that must make it clear to us that he feared God. Let us consider each of them:
(i). Raised by a Godly Father Isreal (Jacob)
When you read Genesis 28 and 32, you note that Joseph’s father Isreal was a godly man and he must have brought up his son in the fear of the LORD.
Before any of you here conclude that Joseph was very lucky, let me tell you that you are also being brought up in the fear of the LORD like Joseph. These men and women here who are making a lot of effort to ensure that you hear God’s word and that you come to Jesus Christ while you are young;
(ii). Reacted to temptation in the fear of God (Genesis 39 verse 6-9, 12)
How did Joseph react to temptation? What did he do when he was confronted by an opportunity to sin? did he look left then right and then commit sin? No! he makes it clear to Potiphar’s wife that he could not engage in the wicked act she required because that would be a sin against God. His avoidance of temptation was motivated by his fear of God. This confirms that he feared God.
What motivates you to avoid sin when tempted? Is it just the fear of being caught or loosing the benefits you are enjoying? A person who fears God is motivated by the fear of offending God. This is what Joseph shows us here;
(iii). Attributed his interpretational gifts to God (Genesis 40:8, 41:16)
When Joseph is asked to interpret dreams, instead of him taking all the honor and glory, he attributes the ability to interpret dreams to God. He knew that they were gifts from God and were to be used for God’s glory. This also proves that he feared God.
When people commend you and say nice things about you, do you point them to God? Do you tell them that the wonderful gifts they are admiring in you were given to you by God? This is what Joseph teaches us here;
(iv). Recognised God’s providence in his circumstances (Genesis 50:19)
Joseph considered all his circumstances as allowed by God for a purpose. He was not an atheist. He was aware of God’s wise activity in his life. This also confirms that he feared God;
Are you, like Joseph, aware that God is involved in your life? Are you aware that God is in control in your life? Joseph teaches us about the need to recognise God in the various activities of our lives;
(v). Unfailing hope in God’s Salvation (Genesis 50:24-25)
Joseph had unfailing hope in God’s salvation and intervention. Inspite of everything that happened to him, he believed that one day God would come and deliver his people. He makes his brothers promise that they carry his bones with them WHEN God comes to their rescue. What great faith and hope in His God!
Is that the kind of trust and hope you have in God? Have you given up on God? Joseph never gave up on God. He died trusting and believing that God would come through for His people.
There is no doubt from the above that Joseph feared God. In today’s language, we would say that Joseph was a Christian. He believed in Jesus Christ and had put his trust in Him. This is what it means to fear the LORD.
The point I want to stress is that Joseph was like all of us in every way. That did not prevent him from becoming a Christian- someone who feared God. All the different circumstances of his life (which are similar to ours) did not stand in his way of becoming a Christian.
All of us here are like Joseph. Therefore there is no reason why we cannot, like Joseph, become Christians. We do not have any excuse why we must not be Christians.
Let us all come to Jesus today. Let us repent of our sins and put our trust in Jesus Christ. Let us become like Joseph in terms of fearing God.