quarta-feira, 3 de fevereiro de 2016
Joseph: Bitterness, Betrayal And Blessing: Enslaved in Egypt
Genesis 39: 1-12
Think for a moment how Joseph must be feeling at this time of life. I am sure that the long journey from Dothan to Egypt was full of doubts and uncertainties. Joseph had been away from a father who loved him, betrayed by his brothers who despised him, and probably faced the temptation to believe that God had abandoned him. What about all the promises to succeed his father in the family leadership? What about the visions given by God? He should know that his brothers did not like him, but sell him into slavery?
Now, he finds himself in a slave market in Egypt. He's surrounded by strangers who speak a foreign language. He is brought before buyers as nothing more than an animal to be bought and sold, being with others who face a similar fate. Much to the child of promise.
Clearly things are tough for Joseph. Most agree that he was around 17 years old, with a promising ahead of the future, but now it seems that their hopes and dreams are destroyed while waiting for the highest bidder to take him away. Although things were difficult, and Joseph was betrayed by his brothers, God has not left him. He was surrounded by strangers, but a friend was with him all the time. Let's for a moment consider the circumstances of this part of Joseph's journey as we think about: Enslaved in Egypt.
I. Buying José. V. 1
- "Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there. " (There is no contradiction in Scripture regarding to whom Joseph was sold. The Bible speaks of both Midianites and Ishmaelites. This refers to the same people. Traders were often referred to as Ishmaelites because many Ishmaelites were traders. Joseph was bought and sold by Midianite merchants). We found that Joseph was sold by the Ishmaelites to Potiphar, captain of the guard of Pharaoh. This is quite significant. Joseph could have been bought by anyone else in Egypt, but he was purchased by Potiphar. His job was to oversee the protection of the king of Egypt and also oversee the punishment of those who incurred the displeasure of the king.
Therefore, anyone who worked for Potiphar would be in a location where it would easily become aware of the pros and cons of the Egyptian government. We have the advantage of knowing what happened later in the life of Joseph. He could not understand it then, but at the beginning of their slavery in Egypt, God was preparing Joseph to the position he would take in the future. Things seemed difficult to Joseph, but the sovereign hand of God was always on it and in control.
- Some would say that Joseph was fortunate to have been purchased by Potiphar. Luck was not in the equation, but a sovereign God was. So it is with our lives as well. No doubt we will be forced to face difficult situations. We certainly do not wish to be sold as a slave, but even if it did, we could take comfort knowing God would be in absolute control of our lives. We only see the time we're living, but God sees the whole picture. He can and uses times of adversity to prepare for future projects.
II. The Prosperity of Joseph. V. 2-4
- "The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man ..." V.2a. This statement summarizes this part of Joseph's life. Joseph found favor and grace in Potiphar because he realized that everything Joseph worked or was in command prospered. All their efforts were fruitful and Joseph was promoted to oversee all possessions of Potiphar.
- Can be considered the standard of living of Joseph and ask what was so successful on such an existence. After all, it was not free to live as he chose. Later in the day, regardless of their success or praise, he was still a slave. He was a Hebrew forced to live in Egypt in captivity. However, the Bible states that it was successful. Most determines prosperity by material possessions, status in society, and certainly the religious and social freedom. It is clear that God sees prosperity very differently than we do. God sees the prosperity of the spiritual point of view. Joseph may have been a slave physically, but he was walking with the Lord and enjoying the hand of God in your life.
- Many today would do well to learn this valuable truth. I have known people who enjoy material prosperity, but are miserable spiritually and emotionally. On the other hand, I know a lot of what the world would say that lack genuine prosperity, but they are rich toward God. Being at the center of God's will and serve it offers prosperity and abundance; the world knows nothing. Regardless of my position in this life, I am an heir of God. I was adopted into His family through the sacrifice of His Son. This is the real prosperity! Psalm 91: 1 - "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, in the shadow of the Almighty." Consider how the Lord saw the churches in Revelation. Smyrna thought they were poor, but the Lord had a different point of view. Revelation 2: 9 - "I know your tribulation and your poverty (but thou art rich) ...". Now consider the reflections of Laodicea. Revelation 3:17 - "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and I am rich, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. " Prosperity is positional, not material, social or financial.
III. The promotion of Joseph. V. 5-6
- As Joseph continued to serve Potiphar, he was appointed superintendent of everything Potiphar had. Joseph was in charge of the affairs of Potiphar's house, so much so that Potiphar did not know everything he owned. Joseph was promoted as a trusted servant.
- Much can be learned from the life of Joseph Clearly these were not desirable conditions.. Probably not spent a single day that Joseph did not remember home. Every day he remembered the betrayal and the difficulty he faced, and still not find any record of him complaining. Joseph was not rebellious or resentful. He just tried to make the best of a difficult circumstance and his attitude was noticed and rewarded.
- It remains a challenge for each of us. We are all forced to deal with circumstances that are not what we want. How do we respond? Will we act in anger or look for someone to blame? We were bitter with others because of current issues? We need to have a godly attitude in everything we do. The world is watching our testimony. God's people should be the happiest, the people who work in the world. When life becomes difficult and you are forced to face difficulties, remember as our Savior treated the cruelties of the cross. He did not act in anger or blamed God. He remained faithful, praying to God and trust him completely. Luke 16:10 - "He that is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; It that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. "
IV. Proposition of Joseph. V. 7, 10a, 12a
- Things were going as well as could be expected to Joseph, but before long the opponent to mount an attack. He had been appointed superintendent of everything Potiphar had, except for his wife. She started making advances towards José wanting him to sleep with her, a violation of sin against his master and the God he served.
- We can also expect the enemy to submit to temptation, in an effort to defeat us, when things are going well. He used the same tactic to Joseph, he used with Adam and Eve. They enjoyed everything in the Garden of Eden. The only thing they were forbidden to attend, was the fruit of the tree of good and evil knowledge. He used the forbidden fruit as temptation to sin. So did Joseph. Potiphar's wife was of course forbidden to Joseph, and yet the enemy used to tempt him to sin.
- We must also guard against the enemy's advance. Many have been blessed beyond measure, and even Satan convinced them that life is not complete without eating the forbidden fruit. God knows what is best for our lives and set limits for us. There are certain areas that are off limits. We will never benefited when we disobey God and partake of what is prohibited. It would be wise to understand the tactics of the enemy and walk close to God struggling to overcome temptation. 1 Peter 5: 8 - "Be sober, be vigilant. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour "- Ephesians 6: 10-11 -" Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may stand against the wiles of the Devil. "
V. The purity of Joseph. V. 8-10, 12b
- "And I caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me! But he left his garment in her hand, and fled and ran outside. " Day after day Potiphar's wife tried to seduce Joseph. Although he resisted his advances, one day when they were alone, she pressed him to lie with her. Joseph wisely ran away from home to avoid giving in to temptation.
- What would have been a great temptation for many young people, but Joseph refused to enter into such a sin for a moment of pleasure. He was faithful to his master and he was true to his God. If he had given up, it could take a while for others to know, but eventually it would have cost him dearly. Joseph maintained its purity and fled from the temptation.
- It certainly has application to our lives relating to any temptation. We have to understand the lure of the flesh and the power of temptation. Joseph responded in the only way possible to win; he ran-away. We can not continue in the presence of temptation if we hope to win. We should seek means of escape and flee. 1 Corinthians 10:13 - "There hath no temptation, but human; God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it ".
- We are under the same obligation and share the same responsibility. We were bought with a price. Our lives do not belong to us anymore, to live as we wish. We should seek to honor our Lord and Master of everything we do, avoiding those areas that are prohibited. We must have a desire to please God as well. The Spirit is faithful to reveal areas that are sinful and harmful to our lives. When He convicts are obliged to respond to His conviction and seek a means of escape, in order to please our Father.
Conclusion: I am sure we can all relate to Joseph in life. We do not support physical slavery, but our lives are full of difficulties and trials that test our resolve and our faith. Even in the darkest hours we must remain true to the Lord. He is sovereign and in control of our lives, working all things for good for those who love Him. He can make us thrive even in the valleys of life.
Are there areas in your life that need attention? Are you struggling with a burden and can not do it any longer? If so, come to Jesus and receive strength and guidance you need. Perhaps you are dealing with a special temptation or a recurring sin. If so, I ask you to come before the Lord, confessing your sin and your need. He is faithful to guide you and guide.
You might not enjoy the presence of God in the midst of trials, because you have a personal relationship with Him through Christ. If you are in need of salvation, please answer the call of the Holy Spirit!