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Sermon23 Gen50 Guide

Gen 50:15-21 recitation verse Gen 50:20

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 few weeks, through the story of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, we saw how God fulfills His promise of blessing to Abraham to his descendants. This week, we would like to meditate on more the story of ‘Joseph’ who comforted his brothers who did not trust in him to worry about his revenge after his father Jacob died after and learn together from it.

1) Through the Bible stories during last few weeks, we have seen how 70 of Jacob's descendants got into Egypt. In other words, when a great famine for seven years struck the whole earth, Joseph's brothers went into Egypt to buy grain, and there they met Joseph who was sent by God to Egypt first to save many people in preparation for the famine that would strike the whole earth and who eventually became prime minister and prepared for a great famine and then Jacob's descendants eventually became to live in the land of Goshen in Egypt after overcoming the famine.

2) And 17 years after entering Egypt, Jacob died in Egypt at the age of 147, and according to his will, he was buried in the land of Canaan, and his brothers and family returned to Egypt after burying him.

3) Finally, now it seemed that Joseph, whom God sent to Egypt to save many people in the world and the descendants of Jacob, fulfilled his mission. Thereafter, for his brothers, it seemed to remain only to live in the land of Goshen in Egypt, doing their main job shepherding, with the gratitude for the forgiveness and grace of their younger brother Joseph. And it seemed that the story had to end with living in peace; but at this time, the brothers' faith began to shake.

4) I mean, they became to worry that Joseph would retaliate against them when their father, Jacob, died, because they thought the sins that they tried to kill their younger brother and sold him with 20 shekels to a slave dealer were too great.

5) So they first sent a messenger to Joseph, who loved his father, to lie that Joseph commanded to forgive his brothers (Gen 15:16-17) before he died and then they also came to Joseph to beg Joseph to forgive their sins (v.17).

6) But, when Joseph heard those words, he sobbed deeply because they did not believe him and also he was pitiful of his brothers because they were still obsessed with guilt and fear, since they were unable to believe his true forgiveness.

7) So, in the end, after deep-crying, he came back to his brothers and said, “Do not be afraid, will I take the place of God? You tried to hurt me, but God tried to turn it into good and save the lives of many people as it is today. Do not be afraid! I will raise you and your children.” Joseph comforted them with entrant words. Through his words, we can know his humility not to stand in God’s position as the Judge, and his trial to balance the justice against his brothers’ sins and mercy toward forgiveness of them, as well as his intention to bless his brothers after finding God’s providential care and experiencing God’s grace toward him.

8) We can know that his great grace typifies the Lord who died in the cross for the vicarious atonement for his people to represent the justice and mercy of God. But, still I am wondering how he could possibly forgive his brothers.

9) That was because he realized not only God's providence through which God fulfills His will by using both good and evil of humankinds, but also God’s grace by which God was with him in his deepest pit of his life. And also it was because through grieving process, he could recover his heart, recognizing even his brothers were human beings who were like him, even though their deeds were sins and also who had been suffering with guilty feelings toward their sins for long time, in addition to recognizing he was also a finite and imperfect human being. So when they asked for forgiveness, not only he could forgive them, but also pursued their happiness and goodness.

10) Likewise, not only good things happen to us as a Christian, but also, sometimes we go through trials that we don't understand through bad times so that we can sway or have weak faith in Jesus. However, as Romans 8:28 says, "We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His will," I hope we can believe in God's great providence. Then not only we can stand in the firm faith in Jesus, but also forgive those who have done evil to us. I pray that we may believe God Almighty, the Creator and God of the Providence and live a glorious life that conveys God's grace to the world.

Activity questions and thought behind

Q1 According to today’s text, when his brothers doubt his forgiveness, it says Joseph wept. How do you think Joseph felt? How about you? How did you feel when your best friends or your parent do not believe in your word? After reminding your experience, I hope you may share your thoughts or experiences.

(Through this question, I hope that you will be able to empathize with Joseph's heart and feelings to develop empathy and also this will be a time to empathize your feelings in case. Hye-shin Jeong, a doctor of psychiatry, who wrote a book, “You Are Right,” said in his book, “The thing which is necessary to the person who is in the most desperate situation is the acceptance of their own existence, such as to say 'If you did that, there would have been some reason’ or 'You are right!’ An objective advice or help that skips the acceptance of the existence of saying 'You are right' is unnecessary and pointless, like cooking to someone with poor oxygen supply.” In this sense, the feelings that you felt should not be judged right or wrong, rather it is necessary to empathize with them by saying "You must have been upset because of that!” 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 Based on today’s Bible story, how do you think we can forgive those who make us hard? How can we have this kind of generous mind like Joseph?

(Through this question, I hope you may think about how they can have a generous heart to forgive others. I pray that you may have a generous heart after you understand and become to believe that God provides and governs all things. I pray that all of us will be able to become the children of God who are not shaken and live with a big heart. 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.)

Love you, bless you, and thank 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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