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Pastor Brant Seacrist

DECEMBER 6, 2020


TEXT: GENESIS 41: 37-57

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SUBJ: The providence of God seen in the life of Joseph and his rise to power as another step along the way of delivering His people and as a part of the plan of redemption.

AIM: That we might recognize that in this world we are as Joseph in Egypt regardless of the success we seem to have in the things of this world.

INTR: We witness another providential move in the plan of God in Joseph's rise to power. But we add the caution that a misapplication could easily be made as to what was occurring here.
1. All being in the control of God's timing Joseph is still in prison at the outset of this chapter but is elevated to the second highest authority in the land in a noticeably short period of time.
2. It would be easy to see the success of Joseph as being about him and his faithfulness when it is actually about God placing His servant where He would have him to be for purposes yet to be made evident.
3. Joseph's story could make Joseph the hero in a fairy tale like setting, but our attention is rather directed to the outcome of his being there. We would not, however, fail to notice the example and faithfulness of the man.

THESIS: Therefore, what we witness in the life of Joseph is not the story of Joseph's success as a reward; it is rather the display of God's redemptive work wrought out and typified in Joseph.

I. And the thing was good (v. 37)
1. We begin with the narrative account of Pharaoh's dreams and note
1) The butler remembered after two years.
2) The third set of dreams that Joseph either had or interpreted. The fat cattle consumed by the skinny cattle and the fat sheaves consumed by the wasted ones.
3) The failure of others to interpret those things concerning the operations of God.
4) We think of remembrances of the past and of what Joseph had experienced.
2. The interpretation was of that which was soon to occur and would require immediate action on the part of Pharaoh.
3. The wisdom of Joseph was quickly recognized, and his advice would be followed as to
1) The appointment of one to lead the effort and
2) The way it would be accomplished.

II. The rise to power (vv. 38-50)
1. The immediate reaction to this was the agreement of Pharaoh and his servants that this was a good plan and so the question is raised as to who. So, came the recognition that Joseph was the man.
1) That God had shown him all this and
2) That he showed wisdom and discretion - he was the man for the job.
2. Both authority and prestige were given to Joseph
1) The ring of authority and the fine linen garments and the vestments
2) A comparison to the coat his father had made as an honor to him and to testify of his love. The same which his jealous brothers had stripped from him to show contempt for the dreams as well as his favored position before Jacob.
3) They had cast him onto a pit while Pharaoh had made him to ride in the second chariot. His rule in Egypt was all but absolute.
3. The name change is significant. He is given an Egyptian name - Zaphnathpaaneah. Meaning unknown, but it not a Hebrew name.
1) Abram had been named Abraham because he was to be the father of many nations
2) Jacob became Israel because he was to be a prince with God.
3) This was to claim him as a captive of Egypt as were Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.
4. It is to be remembered in all this Joseph was still a slave!
5. A wife was appointed to him, an Egyptian and we are reminded of the quest of Abraham for Isaac.
6. It is evident that he was not where he belonged nor where he desired to be.
7. All succeeded according to plan and prophecy under the hand of Joseph and to all appearance he was at the height of success.

III. Unto Joseph were born two sons (vv. 50-57)
1. It is in this event that we gain understanding as to Joseph's assessment of his situation.
1) It is significant here that while he had been given an Egyptian name, his children were given Hebrew names.
2) Thus, we are made to see that his longing was still for his identity with the Lord's people.
2. The firstborn was Manasseh which means "causing to forget."
1) The Lord by the gift of this son had made him to forget all that he had been through at hand of the Egyptians and
2) To forget the treachery of his brothers.
3. The second son was named Ephraim which means "double fruit."
1) It was not only that God had caused him to be fruitful,
2) But that it was in the land of His affliction (v. 52)
4. The years of plenty were over and the dearth set in and the stage was being set that was the divine intent.
1) It was not that Egypt and the surrounding countries should be spared from the famine.
2) It was that the family of Joseph and his father might be delivered unto him
3) Spared because that through him the Christ line would be kept intact.
5. Consider Christ and the route that He chose to exaltation.