Re:Verse passage –Genesis 50:15-20(day five) “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”
Did you notice the use the of same word to describe the actions of the brothers and the actions of God? (Meant)
The brothers intended and planned for their actions against Joseph. And from the beginning of time, God intended and planned for their actions to bring Him glory and them good. There was no surprise or reaction from God. This was His planned intention all along. God didn’t react and “use” their actions (if somehow He was caught off guard or surprised). He meant. Now another example…
Read Isaiah 53. The sin and evil of Herod, Pilate, many others was not random. It was proactively intended by them and by God.
“There is no gospel, there is no salvation, if God cannot, in perfect holiness, govern the acts of sinful men.” – John Piper
I’ve always thought of Joseph as one of the most earnest characters in the Bible. He is sincere in his walk with the Lord, and you can count on him to say exactly what he means (with varying degrees of tact). He is serious and purposeful as he goes about the Lord’s business.
His brothers, on the other hand, are manipulative and jealous. They’ll lie and cheat to get what they want. Because of them, Joseph’s life was riddled with bitter trials. But for every trial, God turned that situation around into a blessing for Joseph. Because Joseph remained faithful to God and walked in obedience, he saw the restorative power of God’s hand. When Joseph looked back on his life, he saw the blessings and faithfulness of God, rather than the trials and unfairness of his family.
When the time came, Joseph was able to forgive his family. God had shown him his restorative power his entire life, so how could he not choose restoration now? This kind of grace is only possible when we walk closely with the Lord, the One who promises to restore the years the locusts have eaten.
“And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.”
Joseph’s brothers didn’t merely invoke God, but “the God of your father.” Their hopes hung on the appeal to their father Jacob as the last bulwark against disaster. Jacob had held the family together all these years, but he was gone. Now what? Death is an inflection point for families. How will life go on? Who will protect us from each other? Who will anchor the family? Will we just drift apart? Families will develop a delicate balance – often on the shoulders of one individual – so they can navigate the world with the least amount of agony. But the Bible reveals that families can learn a new way. Sometimes, one person’s risking tenderness, like Joseph did in his reply, will begin to move people from isolation to intimacy.
But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? vs. 19
Joseph’s brothers have a natural reaction in their predicament. Their understanding of forgiveness was not grounded in a relationship with the Lord, so it is understandable that they thought that with their father out of the way, things would turn. I’m this way, and I’m probably in good company. Conditional forgiveness, is not forgiveness. Either we are forgiven or we are not. This is the promise of Jesus. Aren’t you grateful that he doesn’t treat us this way. Always looking over your shoulder waiting for the other shoe to drop. We cannot begin to move forward if we are always looking back. Joseph gave us the first real picture of this.
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Genesis 50:15-20 in our Spring Re:Verse Series: “Unlocking The Old Testament.”
Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” 22:14
God is our provider. He always provides what we need when we need it. Abraham knew that God had promised Issac to carry on his family legacy. Yet, he was patient when it appeared like God was taking that away. If I were in that spot, I do not think I would have had that resolve. I think I would have been questioning God, “Isn’t there another way?!” Not Abraham. He had a firm conviction that God would provide no matter what.
The question is, do you have the patience to wait for God’s promises in your own life? We often get impatient with God when things do not begin to go the way we had planned. We know these two things to be true: God is our provider and God is a good Father. A good father is going to provide good gifts for His children (Matthew 7:7-11). We need to be patient even when it appears that our good gifts might be taken away. Our Good Father will provide.
Hebrews 10:4 4 For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Romans 3:25-26 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he makes sinners right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.
The ram God provided on Mount Moriah did not take away Abraham’s sin, but it was a foreshadowing of the Lamb of God who would.
“for through Isaac your descendants shall be named.” Genesis 21:12
Don’t know about you, but I have honestly wondered if I could have had the faith of Abraham demonstrated in the Re:Verse text this week. As Aaron pointed out, no scripture to refer to. There were no sermons to encourage or exhort him. No community of faith surrounding him.
What was Abraham thinking and why?
I believe he was thinking that Isaac was going to die as a sacrifice, and that God would raise him from the dead ? Hebrews 11). How? Why? Because God had promised Abraham that his descendants would come through Isaac. Let me write that again… God had promised Abraham.
That’s all Abraham had. Ultimately, that’s all he needed- God’s promise. Abraham completely trusted God’s promise. Maybe one of the takeaways for me (us) this week is to recognize and remember the promises of God.So, I am looking at scripture with a renewed sense of determination and expectation to sense and see the promises of God. Practically, I will look for key words (WILL/SHALL) spoken by God and Jesus. I will underline and circle them, asking the Holy Spirit to encourage and strengthen my faith in the promises of the Lord found in the scriptures.Parents, tell the promises of God to your children/grandchildren. Some promises were made specifically to individuals like Abraham. But there are so many made to believers and children of God. Lord, help me find, trust, and act of Your promises.
Can you imagine what was going through Abraham’s mind when God asks this of him? We don’t know all of Abraham’s thoughts here, or how he came to terms with this command from God, but we do know that he came to a place of faithful resolve. Look at the language he uses –
In verse 5, Abraham states in faith that Isaac will return, “Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go over there; and we will worship and return to you.” Again in verse 8, Abraham has faith that God will provide, “Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
Abraham was fully prepared to obey the Lord, and equally full of assurance that God would provide. Abraham had walked with God and knew these things to be true: God is faithful, trustworthy, and good. He had faith that somehow, this command from God would further testify to these truths.
How is God calling you to obey? You can do it in faith knowing that he is faithful, trustworthy, and good.
“God will provide for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
Isaac’s spiritual formation occurred in a family who interacted with heaven regularly. Therefore, whether he was a child, an adolescent, or a young man at the time of these events (the Bible doesn’t specify his age), Isaac understood sacrifice, and he would notice anything amiss. But Abraham’s reply to Isaac’s question was not a diversionary tactic employed to keep Isaac in the dark. Abraham meant what he said. Life with God over the better part of a century had taught Abraham that with God, things were always better than he had imagined. By this time in his life, Abraham knew he could go where he did not know because he had come to know intimately the one calling him to go. That faith experience further formed Isaac that day.