...another attribute about the name (Elohim), what's He say? "I am God...?", the God of your father.
Now that's interesting. He could have said, "The God of heaven". But He says the God of your father. And it's actually said twice, if you look back at verse one, the narrator, Moses, tells us, "Israel set out with all that he had and he came to Beersheba and offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac". Then the Lord says, "I am God, the God of your father".
What's that doing?
And what we see is, the Lord, as He's dealing with all the other things He is dealing with, saving His people, showing the glory of His providence in allowing a famine to come and having Joseph right in the right place at the right time at the head of Egypt; working on his sons… I mean the brothers who had the murderous intent… bring in their repentance. He's also working on His anointed one, Jacob, to bring him into conformity with His will, and of course with the Lord Jesus Christ.
That's what's happening.
… if you understand three things, then you can trust God even when life hurts, even when terrible things happen… accidents… when you're diagnosed with an incurable disease or someone you love is diagnosed with an incurable disease.
1. You have to know God is absolutely sovereign.
2. You have to know that God is perfectly good or loving.
3. And you have to know He is infinitely wise.
And the Bible teaches all three of those things. And if you know those things and you apply those things, it will change every circumstance because you know He's doing what's best.
Look for the main point of the story. Don't get sidetracked by, I mean, you know, like for instance, we're not supposed to because, you know, we're not supposed to do everything the characters in the story do just because it's in the Bible. They do lots of bad things. Right? You don't copy those bad things.
The story is what God is doing in spite of the bad things that people do. And that's what's happening here. It's, "What is God doing?".
Genesis 42 to 44 really, those three chapters, in some ways, hang together. We looked at chapter 42 twice already. We looked at it, the first eight verses. There's where… where Joseph… where his brothers first come into him, to see him. They don't know it's Joseph, remember. They thought they had sold him into slavery, for all they know he could be dead. Slaves aren't treated well. And so, it's been now twenty-two years since they sold him into slavery…
Well, what's happening here is Joseph's brothers had been running from God. When they first heard God's word through their younger bother Joseph, what did they do... they ran from God. "You're not going to rule over us!" They hated what God had said through his prophet, their brother. And now the Lord knows that what they need more than they need food... that they need to come back to the Lord. They need to repent and believe.
And so what God does is he orchestrates these circumstances so that they are led, little by little, they're kind of chased into a corner where all they can see... the problem is not anything but "me".
Sometimes it's helpful to step back and see it (the stories in Genesis)... almost as a... as you would look at a play. Now I realize we're reading it, right? But it's helpful sometimes, and as I'm studying, I'll note: Where does the scene, as it were, begin and end? Realizing this is a divinely inspired account of what really happened. It's not a "made-up" play, it's what really happened.
But it's told in such a way, that as we're reading it, we see it.
The way Moses writes this, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he's wanting to emphasis very clearly, don't forget where they are. They're in the land of Egypt... they're in the land of Egypt. That's repeated throughout the whole chapter echoing in our mind, this is where Joseph was. He was in the land of Egypt.
What did that mean?
Egypt was a spiritually dark place. And it was a place which the audience, the original audience of this book... the nation of Israel having just come out of where? The land of Egypt. They've just experienced the exodus out of the bondage... and Egypt for them meant slavery, it meant oppression, it meant attempted infanticide (remember how they were supposed to kill the boys)... Egypt was a wicked place.
What happens is, he thinks he's going up but immediately he goes down into the pit. And he spends thirteen years there. Now how much must he have wondered in the days and the nights he spent as a slave, as a prisoner, what has happened to the promises of God? "Did I not hear from God? Did I not hear his voice?"
What's it about? What's this chapter about? Yea, key words that... "dream". Probably the most important word... "What" word here. And there's two dreams, right. That word actually occurs 16 time in the chapter.
What else is important?
Excellent... interpretation. "interpretation" is very important. The word doesn't occur as many times [as dream] but that's what the whole chapter is about... is getting the interpretations for the dreams.
... the number seven... seven cows which brings up one of the key words, "cows" and "ears of grain", right? And you have these two types of cows. You've got the fat and sleek and the ugly and gaunt. The word "ugly" occurs a whole lot in the chapter. These were ugly cows and Pharaoh goes way out... "I've never seen such ugly cows in all of Egypt!" They were ugly, nasty cows that made an impression on him.
To me, I like to look at, in a narrative... it's always good to try to look at the plot flow... the flow of the plot. How does the Lord record the details of what happens? How does it set up as you look at it? Again, thinking about it as a drama playing out before your eyes, what's the scene? What's the plot development? And realize that that's there by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to show us real events that really happened exactly as God tells them but He gives us a particular view of them.
So what does it mean to seek the Lord in trying times?
How do you do that? What does that look like?
Well, Joseph is going to show us what it means to seek the Lord in trying times. We're going to look at two points: Seeking the Lord in tribulation and seeking the Lord in tempation...
52 Minutes / 51 Seconds
CHAPTER 37 TO 50 IS ABOUT THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD
God governs all creatures and all things according to his purpose so that nothing happens in this world which does not result in God's greatest glory and our greatest good.
Daniel 4, verse 35, Nebuchadnezzar, after he's been humbled by the Lord, he says, "All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will, in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, 'What have You done?".
If you understand that verse carefully, you look at that verse, he's saying that God does what he wants to do among all the angelic beings, good angels, fallen angels, that's the host of heaven... So that nothing ever happens that's not in accordance with His purpose.
All right, we are now turning to Genesis 38, a new chapter in the book of Genesis. A really extraordinary chapter because of the content and also the placement. The fact that it's here in the Bible, if you stop and think about it, it's pretty intriguing. This is the story of Judah and Tamar. This is the story of how Judah, one of Jacob's twelve sons, we find out later, is the one who bears the birthright in the sense of the one who will continue... the seed will come through.
We find out later in Genesis, chapter 49, verse 10, that Judah will be the one through whom the one to rule comes, the Messiah will come through Judah.
And what I was trying to share last time was that too often what we do is read a passage... it's natural, we read it through the lens of our own experience and the questions that we would have and we start looking at the passage like this, and we say, "Gee, what a terrible dad Jacob was." Because look at the favoritism he showed.
But that is imposing on the text something that we are eisegeting. We are reading into the passage something the text is not inviting us to look at.
In fact, reading the text carefully, the opposite is the case.
This is in no way an indictment of Jacob in this passage. Now, that is not to say... it's not to say that this is a prescription for how to be a parent either. What it's saying is... it's not talking about that. It's an incidental part of the story. It's not the main point.
The point of the passage is... what we want to learn to do is major on the majors, right? And not get distracted by the minors.
This is what the passage is going to say. The passage is going to say, "Look at the love and the Godliness of Jacob. Even more than that, look at the Godliness of Joseph... God's anointed. And look at the horrible rebellion of these other brothers.
That's the contrast that's being painted in the passage. That's the focus.
The point is, what God is trying to show us is He has set apart Joseph and He has placed Joseph in the unique position because of His own Divine Election.
It's about God's freedom to do as He pleases... and our response to that.
... because this is basically a genealogy of Esau and Esau, he's not God's man. Why are we even talking about him, you know. That's how you look at it initially... and it's going to be a little tedious but stay focused and really listen ...
... because it's interesting in the text you have a lot of place names mentioned. It's helpful to... remember as you observe you look at... what did the author... what did the author under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit record for us? I mean, why did God have him record the details He had him record? And what we see is we have lots of place names.
I want us to look for as... I'm going to read the text... and listen for places and we're going to list the places.
Legitimate desires can turn into idols...
An idol becomes an idol when it goes from being a desire to a demand...
What is that you're holding onto? What is it that you feel you can't live without? These are great diagnostic questions that you can ask yourself... to say, "Is this an idol or not?"
[Questions from the book: "Peacemaker"]
What am I preoccupied with?
What is the first thing on my mind in the morning and the last thing on my mind at night?
How would I answer this question?
If only ______________ , then I would happy, fulfilled and secure.
What do I want to preserve or to avoid at all costs?
Where do I put my trust?
What do I fear?
If I feel myself feeling those things it's because I've got an idol.
...as Jacob nears the end of his life in Egypt, before he blesses his sons... Jacob says to Pharaoh, "... few and unpleasant have been the years of my life". He sums up his life that way. Few and unpleasant... this is the man of God... the blessed of God... this is the one, remember, they keep saying "With Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" you are now the blessed of the Lord.
Remember, Laben couldn't touch him because... Laben wanted to kill him but he couldn't because the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said you don't speak to him either good or evil... Laben knows he's blessed of the Lord.
But if you're blessed of the Lord it doesn't mean you're not going to suffer.
Following his completion of Genesis 34, Pastor Ty digresses into a discussion of canonicity, "How do we know we have the right 66 books in the Bible?
Something happens in Daniel 9 that has a lot to say about "canonicity"... the canon is the rule or the standard... that's what that Greek word meant, be a measuring rod. And the word "canon" has been used theologically in church history to mean the accepted rule concerning God's Word. What are the books that are the Word of God? That's the canon. And we believe there are 66 books in the Bible, and in fact in believing that we have great confidence that we have the 66 books that we should have...
Do we really have the New Testament books that were really the original New Testament books? How do we know what books are the canon? How do we really know?
Chapter 34 is about the rape of Jacobs daughter and the aftermath, and then the circumstances that flow from it. Ask yourself, why is this in the Bible? Why did God record this story in His book. We know it happened, of course, but everything that happened didn't get recorded. Why is this passage here? That's always the question we should have in our minds as we study a passage. It really gets to, "What is the purpose of the passage?".
Well, one of the questions I really like to think about when i'm studying to teach, or read the Bible period, is, why is this passage here? Another way of saying this is, "What is the purpose of the passage?".
When God inspired the author to put this in the Bible, what was the desired impact on the lives of God's people? That's asking an application question...
The Reconciliation of Jacob & Esau
Jacob arranges his household to meet Esau
Jacob and Esau meet
Jacob insists Esau accept his gifts
Esau returns to Seir
Jacob settles in Shechem in the land of Canaan
Jacob Returns to Confront Esau
Pastor Ty Blackburn
Jacob prepares to meet Esau
Jacob wrestles all night with an angel
Jacob's name is changed to Israel
Jacob walks with a limp because of his ordeal with the angel