Good morning! Today we are continuing the story of Abraham and his descendants as preached/summarized by Stephen to the high council. Yesterday, we read about Joseph’s brothers betrayal and they decided not to kill him, but sold him off as a slave. We also read that God was with Joseph, He gave Joseph favor and unusual wisdom. Join me as we continue to read Stephen’s sermon to the high council.
Bible Verse – Acts 7:11-16 NLT
“11 “But a famine came upon Egypt and Canaan. There was great misery, and our ancestors ran out of food. 12 Jacob (Joseph’s father) heard that there was still grain in Egypt, so he sent his sons (Joseph’s brothers)—our ancestors—to buy some. 13 The second time they went, Joseph revealed his identity to his brothers,[d] and they were introduced to Pharaoh. 14 Then Joseph sent for his father, Jacob, and all his relatives to come to Egypt, seventy-five persons in all. 15 So Jacob went to Egypt. He died there, as did our ancestors. 16 Their bodies were taken to Shechem and buried in the tomb Abraham had bought for a certain price from Hamor’s sons in Shechem.”
- Yesterday we read in verse 10, “Pharaoh appointed him (Joseph) governor over all of Egypt and put him in charge of the palace.“
- Jacob sent Joseph’s brothers to Egypt to get grain.
- Joseph revealed himself to his brothers and forgave them (Genesis 45:1-8).
- Joseph moved his family to Egypt.
Joseph’s situation was disheartening at times. He struggled with being sold as a slave, being lied on (accused of attempt of rape), being in prisoner for a crime he didn’t commit, and he was forgotten. Then God turned things around for Joseph – he lead the command for Egypt – second to Pharaoh.
Joseph with forgiveness in his heart, saw the greater picture and said to his brothers,“5 But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. 6 This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. 8 So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.” (Genesis 45:5-8).
Sisters and brothers, God is always at work. He is covering, protecting, preparing and working all things out for the good of those who love Him. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. We also know that God did not only preserve Joseph and his family, but he preserved the lives of others through Joseph’s obedience and the favor on Joseph’s life.
Sisters and brothers, are you in a season where things seem to be unfair, unfamiliar, untimely? Consult your concerns, thoughts and fears with God, the One who knows you best? He has a plan and he is working out the details. Trust Him.
What is God preparing you for? How will God use you to fulfill His greater plan?
Father God thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for never leaving us alone. Even when the odds are stacked against us and people act evil toward us, we know you are with us. Father God, thank you for the example of Joseph’s life. Thank you for opening our eyes to see, that what his brothers meant for evil, you turned it around for good – the good of his family and Egypt. Father forgive us for the times that we acted with evil intentions. Strengthen us and guide us to be Christ centered in our hearts, minds, and actions. Direct our paths and lead us in the way that we should go. Heal us all from the times when we were mistreated, abandoned, plotted against, and unfairly treated. Lord, we don’t want unforgiveness to reign in our hearts. We want you to reign in our hearts. Lord use us to make a difference in the lives of others. Use us to step in the gap for those who are in need and are lost. Lord, you gave Joseph dreams, visions, and the gift of interpretation – Lord how I long for those gifts, but Lord, you know what gifts are best for us at this moment. Lord, touch us, build us up, and equip us to use our spiritual gifts for your glory and your purposes. We trust you with our lives and surrender our will to yours. Continue to change hearts, legal systems, and church culture and unite us in love for one another. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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