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Sermon22 Gen37-46 Guide

Gen 39:1-5,21-23 recitation verse Gen 39:2

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth.

During last three weeks, through the story of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we saw how God fulfills His promise of blessing to Abraham to his descendants and also through Jacob’s story, how God blessed him, changing Jacob’s name to 'Israel,' meaning ‘the one who competed with God and overcome,’ from Jacob, meaning ‘deceiver’. This week, we would like to meditate on the story of ‘Joseph’ and ‘Judah’ to learn together.

1) Now God prepared his salvation for His chosen people through the story of Joseph. As we witnessed already, when God saw how great the wickedness of the human beings had become on earth and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time, the LORD decided to start new beginning through Noah and punished the world with a flood. After ten generations passed, He called Abraham from Ur of the Chaldeans to establish him as the father of faith. Then, through his descendants, He wanted to create His people, the Israelites.

2) As God opened the closed womb of Sarah and Abraham and gave a son, Isaac, the son of promise, He also opened the closed womb of Rebekah and gave Esau and Jacob to Isaac and God chose Jacob from the womb to succeed His covenant with Abraham and made him the ancestor of the twelve tribes of Israel.

3) By the way, because of Jacob's favoritism toward Joseph, discord and antagonism among children were created. Eventually, in Gen 37, the sons of Jacob committed the sin of selling their younger brother Joseph to Midian merchants, and they deceived their father that Joseph died in order to cover up their sins.

4) But amazingly, we can see how God has accomplished His work even through the sins of these brothers as well. Even though he was sold to the house of Potiphar, the captain of the guard of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, as a slave, because he was hated by his brothers because of his immaturity and favoritism of his father Jacob after he received God's vision through a dream, but God made him successful in whatever he did while He was always with him. But, since resisting the temptation of Potiphar's wife, he was rather framed and imprisoned, but even in prison, God was with him to blessed him in whatever he did again.

5) In particular, God gave Joseph the wisdom to interpret dreams and Joseph finally interpreted Pharaoh's dream and became the prime minister of Egypt, preparing for the next seven years of abundance and seven years of famine that will come to Egypt and the world.

6) When a severe famine hit the whole world, God saved not only Egyptians but also the people of whole earth. And when Joseph met his brothers who came to buy some food, he made a dramatic reconciliation with his brothers who bow down to the ground to Joseph as Joseph already dreamed. Yes, this story of Joseph's suffering and success was already under the will and plan of Sovereign God. In the near future, His will was to save Jacob’s family and many peoples in the world during the severe famine in the world, but in the far future, through this Jacob family's migration to Egypt, God raised his people of Israel from Egypt whom God brought back again to Canaan after 400 years later as God prophesied.

7) And one thing we have to see is that in this Joseph's story, which occupies a large portion of Genesis, the stories of the birth of two royal families that will lead the southern kingdom of Judah and northern Israel, which will be established 900 years later, are interwoven together.

8) I mean, Judas, the fourth son of Jacob's first wife, Leah, gradually was risen as the progenitor of southern kingdom of Judah, while the firstborn of Jacob, Reuben, due to his weak leadership, and the second and third sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi with their sin due to the affairs of their younger sister Dinah, were gradually disqualified. When his brothers made plans to kill their younger brother, Joseph, Judas persuaded his brothers to sell Joseph to Egypt, and also gradually took the leadership on his brothers, and also took a responsibility to replace Benjamin, when he was in danger so that Judah became not only the progenitor of the southern kingdom of Judah, but also the lineage of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, Joseph showed typology of Jesus and also as the blessings of God, his second son, Ephraim became the progenitor of the northern Israeli royal family. Even through this entangled complicated family history, God accomplished His work of salvation.

9) Through the story of Joseph and Judas, we can see God's sovereignty and providential care through which God leads the history of salvation and the world history. Even though things that happened seems to happen by chance in the eyes of our finite human beings, actually Sovereign God maintains and holds and reigns His world through His predestination and work by infinite God, as our Heavenly Father “work together to do good (Rom 8:28),” as Sovereign God. I pray that we who were elected before the creation of the world and were called to the 'great work of God' and were given the privilege to participate in God's work and to witness, may glorify God in addition to enjoy the blessings of God, after their faith may be cultivated.

Activity questions and thought behind

Q1 In Genesis chapters 42 to 45, Joseph cried out loud three times (Gen 42:24, 43:30, 45:2) because of his brothers to grieve and also even after reconciliation with his brothers he cried again, since his brothers doubted his sincere forgiveness, he wept again (Gen 50:17). How was Joseph's heart who cried so loudly? And I am wondering how you fled and resolve your emotions when there happened something unfair and difficult sometimes? I hope you can share your thoughts and experiences with your team members.

(Through this question, we hope that we will be able to understand and empathize with feelings of Joseph and also it’s the time we can emphasize ourselves too. We are created as emotional beings. So, all emotions are neutral and there are no good or bad emotions so that how to deal with them is very important. Sadness, joy, and anger are just emotions that God created in us to react to the situation. So when such emotions arise, we should try to recognize and understand our emotions and empathize with them so that we can control and deal with them by communicating our emotional states to our 'reason'. When an emotion is felt, if we internalize and push it down, it can become mental illness and if we express them out, it can destroy our relationships. When we treat our emotion well by identifying and empathizing them, I believe we can enjoy a healthy emotional life. As team members share their diverse experiences and thoughts, please listen and empathize with them, occasionally asking why they have such thoughts. I hope it will be a time of active listening and empathetic conversation with team members.)

Q2 We cannot understand all of God's will, plans, and works. However, God always guards and protects His chiildren like eyes. What kind of comfort does knowing that fact give you?

(Through this question, I hope that as His children, in God's sovereignty and providential care, we can trust in Him under any circumstances and live by faith. Although human beings cannot know and understand everything, God's sovereignty and providential care beyond our freedom will surely fulfill His will. I hope that you can meet such a great God and have faith on Him. As team members share their diverse experiences and thoughts, please listen and empathize with them, occasionally asking why they have such thoughts. I hope it will be a time of active listening and empathetic conversation with team members.)

Thank you, love you and bless you.

Prayer Note

Dear ( God’s attribute which you found Today ) God!

Thanks for ( something you received through the sermon or even during the week )

Praise, gratitude and glory be to You, Lord!

Today, I realized my sin (pains) that ( the sin God reminded through the sermon ),

please forgive (or heal) me and help me not to repeat ( the sins you recognized ).

I learned that ( something you learned through the sermon )

Please help me to live in that ( learned way of life )

I pray in ( Jesus’ attribute you find ) Jesus’ name. Amen.


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