"GOD'S SOVEREIGN PLAN"
Intro. Joseph's brothers hated him so much that they conspired to kill him. They had thrown him in a pit with the intention of leaving him there to starve to death. When they saw merchants heading toward Egypt, they sold Joseph to them for 20 pieces of silver. As far as they knew Joseph was dead. God was with Joseph while he was in Egypt and had ultimately made him the 2nd to the Pharaoh in ruling over Egypt. Because there was a great famine throughout that region Joseph's brothers had come to Egypt to buy grain for their families. When his brothers came, they did not recognize him, it had been 21 years since they had sold him, and he was now 38 years old. Joseph however recognized his brothers but did not reveal himself to them. He accused them of being spies and coming to Egypt for the purpose of spying. They insisted that they were all brothers the sons of one man, that one of their brothers was at home with their father, and the other brother had died. Joseph kept one of them in prison,
and told them that the only way that they could prove that they were speaking the truth was to bring their younger brother the next time they came to Egypt. Jacob their father at first refused to let the youngest brother go with them, but when they got so desperate for food, he finally relented when the older brothers pledged their lives for his. So his brothers came again bringing their youngest brother Benjamin with them.
I. THE PLOT OF JOSEPH.
A. He invited them to his residence for lunch.
1. He had them seated in order to their birth at the table.
2. He was so moved when he saw his full brother Benjamin that he yearned to hug him, but restrained himself.
3. However he had to leave the room because his emotion were so moved that he started to cry.
B. He ordered his servants to load them with grain and put their money in their sacks and put his cup in the sack of the youngest of the boys.
1. After his brothers had left, Joseph sent his servant after them who said, "How is it that after my master treated you so kindly that you would turn around and steal his cup?"
2. All of the boys protested that they did not steal the cup, they could search the luggage and in whoever's luggage the cup was found, let them be put to death.
3. The servant responded that whoever had taken the cup would have to return and be a servant to his master.
4. They searched through all of the sacks from the eldest to the youngest and found the cup in the sack of Benjamin.
5. The brothers were so upset that they all returned back to Joseph.
6. They volunteered to all be his servant, but Joseph declared that they should all go home, that only Benjamin needed to remain.
7. It was here that Judah told Joseph of their fathers condition, that he had really never stopped grieving over the death of his one son, and if they did not return with Benjamin, their father seeing them without him would surely die.
C. Joseph became so overcome by emotion that he ordered all of the Egyptians out of the room and he revealed himself to his brothers.
1. At first they were very worried, because they had been so cruel to Joseph, but he spoke to them words of comfort.
2. Don't be grieved or angry with yourselves for selling me for God was sending me in order to preserve your lives.
a. Note the you sold me, but God sent me.
b. Here we see God's overriding providence.
c. Joseph could see the hand of God in the evil his brothers had intended for him.
d. In one of the choruses we sing the lyrics read: "To see His hand of love in all that comes my way."
e. Sometimes the only way that we can see it is through the eyes of faith. And we know that all things are working together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose.
f. Sometimes our greatest disappointments are God's divine appointments.
g. Three times over Joseph insisted that it was God that had sent him to Egypt in advance to take care of the family.
3. God said to Isaiah the prophet:
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This [is] the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness [is] of me, saith the LORD.
4. One of the truly great things about committing your life to the Lord is that He takes control over every circumstance of your life.
5. He will bring good even from the things that others have done deliberately to harm you, and make them a benefit to you but a curse to them.
a. I think of Haman the Agagite. He was so incensed against Mordecai, the cousin of Queen Esther, that he built a gallows 75 high to hang him on.
b. As it turned out, Haman was hung on the gallows he had built for Mordecai.
c. How many times God takes the intentions of evil that someone has for me and turns it for my good.
6. The Psalmist said, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee."
a. I think that the greatest example of this truth is found in the cross of Jesus Christ.
b. The religious leaders of the Jews were determined to kill Him. They were just looking and waiting for the opportunity to do so.
c. When the opportunity finally came they seized the moment, they had a hasty, illegal mock trial, and had Him on the cross before the people even knew what was happening.
d. They intended it for evil, but God meant it for good. It is through His death that we all have the forgiveness of sins, and the hope of eternal life.
II. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT TODAY SOMEONE HAS IT IN FOR YOU AND HAVE BEEN ATTEMPTING TO HARM YOU. IF YOU HAVE COMMITTED YOUR LIFE TO THE LORD YOU CAN BE CERTAIN NO WEAPON THAT IS FORMED AGAINST YOU WILL PROSPER, THIS IS YOUR HERITAGE AS A CHILD OF GOD.
A. This is why Paul wrote to the church in Rome,
We glory in tribulations: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
B. Jesus said to His disciples:
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
C. In Paul's second letter to the Corinthians he said:
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair;
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding [and] eternal weight of glory;
D. Man may intend it for evil, but God intends it for good and will bring good out of it.