Joseph and Grace


Series: Life of Joseph

Title: Joseph and Grace


  • 2023-08-02: GC / Mission Family Worship
  • 2023-08-30: GC / Treasury Worship

  1. Introduction
    1. We’ve all experienced times in our lives that just don’t make sense–we may wonder why God has permitted it.
    2. My first encounter with this question: When a Pathfinder and the wife of one of the leaders suddenly became very sick and there was doubt about whether she’d make it.
    3. Then there was a job I had that I had planned to stay at for a long time. I was able to create large efficiency improvements such that a part of my duties that previously required six hours per day could later be done in one hour. The day before I was to leave for vacation, my boss called me in to HR and told me that they were reducing the headcount and I was being laid off effective immediately. He might not have realized that no one else knew how to do what I was doing.
    4. Maybe you’ve also experienced something that you thought God should have prevented. Maybe you’re experiencing something like that now.
    5. This makes me think of the story of Joseph.
  2. Joseph’s setbacks
    1. Gen. 37:3, 4: Favoritism is an unfortunate reality in too many instances. Joseph, being a child, bore no responsibility for his father’s favoritism, but he suffered the consequences.
    2. vv. 5-7: Joseph’s dreams: Telling his brothers might not have been his wisest idea, but his brothers overreacted by hating him even more. (How often do we overreact to something because of other emotional connections we make?)
    3. vv. 18-28: Joseph sold. He brought none of this upon himself.
    4. As we know, Joseph eventually found himself a slave in the house of Potiphar, the captain of the Pharaoh’s guard. Genesis 39:2-6a. Joseph was remarkably successful, because of God’s blessing.
    5. Yet, when he made the right choice and rejected Potiphar’s wife’s advances, she retaliated: vv. 17-20. Now, he’s unjustly in prison.
    6. You remember the rest of the story:
      1. God prospered him in prison so that he was in charge of all the prisoners.
      2. He interpreted his fellow prisoners’ dreams and asked the chief cupbearer to raise his case before the Pharaoh, but the cupbearer forgot, and Joseph continued to languish for two more years.
      3. Finally, Joseph was able to interpret a dream of the Pharaoh’s: Gen 41:28-36.
      4. Pharaoh’s response: vv. 37:45
    7. You remember the story of how Joseph’s brothers went to Egypt to buy grain during the famine. You remember how Joseph recognized them but concealed his identity. You remember how Joseph put his brothers through multiple tests to find out whether they had changed and if they resented his other full brother Benjamin.
    8. Finally, Joseph reveals his identity, and his brothers are terrified: Genesis 45:4
    9. Notice verses 5-8: Through all the trouble Joseph experienced, God had a plan–a plan of grace. Everything was in preparation to save lives, even though Joseph couldn’t have known why when he was being mistreated.
  3. Application
    1. God’s grace permeates all areas of our lives. Sometimes, it’s easy to see His grace, and sometimes it’s not so easy.
    2. Perhaps there’s someone here who’s in the midst of a trial. I just want to encourage you that God’s grace is able to get you through. Just trust Him
    3. Song: “He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Need”