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Joseph: God's Man, part 5
By Pastor John

Genesis 45:1-9
1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, "Have everyone leave my presence!" So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh's household heard about it. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still living?" But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. 4    Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5    And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. 6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 "So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, 'This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don't delay.

We are skipping a few years in the life of Joseph.

7 years of plenty during which Joseph filled vast storehouses in preparation for the 7 years of famine.

Early in the famine years, Joseph's brothers come to him looking for food.  He recognizes them but they don't recognize him.  He pulls some tricks on them, and bosses them around.

But now, Joseph cannot restrain himself any longer. He must reveal himself to his brothers.

1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, "Have everyone leave my presence!" So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh's household heard about it. 3 Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph! Is my father still living?" But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. 4    Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come close to me." When they had done so, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5    And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

Joseph was happy to be reunited with his brothers, but he had seen them earlier.  This loud weeping was something else.  I believe it was the powerful realization that God had used him as the instrument to save the whole family.

    I had the privilege to see this same thing while on a short-term missions trip to San Jose, Costa Rica. One day we were going door to door telling people about Jesus. Accompaning me were an assistant pastor of the church we were at, my interpreter, and a few other people.  We came to this one house, and the family let us in.  We shared the Gospel with them, and asked if they would like to be forgiven and have a personal relationship with God.  They began weeping and praying, asking Jesus to forgive them.  After a while, the assistant pastor who was with us started weeping and wailing very loudly. It surprised me. I didn't understand why he was overcome with emotion. After we left the house, the assistant pastor explained his outburst.  He had come to Christ about 20 years earlier, the first person in his family to do so.  He began to pray for his parents, and his ten brothers and sisters.  Soon, a brother came to Christ, and eventually became the pastor of the church. His parents followed, giving their hearts to Christ. Other brothers and sisters came to Christ over the years. That day, the Lord used us to lead the last family member, a brother, to Christ. The assistant pastor was overcome with the thought that his whole family were now believers in Jesus Christ.  All his prayers had been answered. All his efforts had been honored. I will never forget that day! I thank my God for allowing me to be there.

6 For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 "So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and say to him, 'This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don't delay.

It had been 22 years since Joseph had been sold by his brothers into slavery.
    13 years of suffering as a slave and in prison.
    7 years storing up food in Egypt
`    2 years of famine.

It took 22 years, but God worked out his plan to save the family.

Joseph was a type or a picture of Christ, who was also sent ahead to be the instrument of salvation for many brothers and sisters.

Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay for your sins. He freely offers forgiveness and salvation to all who would believe in Him. He offers a life of fellowship with the living God, and an eternity in Heaven with Him.  Won't you put your total faith in Jesus, asking Him to forgive you, and to come into your heart as your Savior and Lord?

Revelation 3:14-20
14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm-- neither hot nor cold-- I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.


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