GOD HAS SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR YOU (Joseph)
Genesis 37:1-11 (NKJV)
Joseph Dreams of Greatness
1 Now Jacob dwelt in the land where his father was a stranger, in the land of Canaan.
2 This is the history of Jacob.
Joseph, being seventeen years old, was feeding the flock with his brothers. And the lad was with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to his father.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age. Also he made him a tunic of many colors.
4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peaceably to him.
5 Now Joseph had a dream, and he told it to his brothers; and they hated him even more.
6 So he said to them, “Please hear this dream which I have dreamed:
7 There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Then behold, my sheaf arose and also stood upright; and indeed your sheaves stood all around and bowed down to my sheaf.”
8 And his brothers said to him, “Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.
9 Then he dreamed still another dream and told it to his brothers, and said, “Look, I have dreamed another dream. And this time, the sun, the moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me.”
10 So he told it to his father and his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, “What is this dream that you have dreamed? Shall your mother and I and your brothers indeed come to bow down to the earth before you?”
11 And his brothers envied him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
A certain evangelist’s wife died, and when he had to be away in meetings, he hired a babysitter to take care of his two sons. Whenever he had been away, he would always bring them a gift when he arrived back home.
One day, however, he came home and had forgotten to buy the boys a gift. When they asked for their presents, the father told them that he would take them to the store and that they could have whatever they wanted.
When they arrived, the first thing they saw was the candy counter. They decided they wanted to buy candy. Their father said, “Let’s look around a little more first.”
Then, they went to the toy department and saw some cowboy suits, complete with guns, hats, ropes, etc. They both yelled, “This is what we want!” Their father replied, “Let’s just look around a little first.”
Next, they went into the sporting goods and found basketballs. They began to dribble these about the place and told their father that they wanted to buy the balls. The father said, “let’s look around just a little bit more.”
So they continue to shop and as they did, they spotted 2 brand new ten speed bicycles against the back wall. Their father saw what they were looking at and said, “How would you like to have those bikes?” Those 2 boys left that store with far more than they bargained for because their father refused to let them settle for less that his best.
You see, he had intended to buy the bikes all along! Those 2 boys thought candy would be wonderful, but their father had something far more wonderful in mind.
So it is with the Lord, He has plans for us that we can only begin to imagine. We see things and formulate plans that we think would be wonderful, but God has something far more special for us than we could ever imagine.
A look at the life of Joseph in the Old Testament illustrates this wonderful truth. Joseph’s life demonstrates four facts that you will find true as you travel the path God has cleared for you.
If you can remember these truths, then no matter how dark the clouds, how depressing the circumstances or how diligent the critics, you will always be aware of the fact that God has something special for you.
I. V. 1-4 THERE IS A SPECIAL PERSON INSIDE YOU
A. Joseph was different – If you read the story of his life, it is plain to see that Joseph stood out from his brothers in his commitment, his character and in his clothing and as a result, his brothers hated him!
B. Being different is socially unacceptable – The secret to popularity is conformity. The world tells us that to get along, you must go along. This is the siren cry of the world. Everyone wants to fit in, everyone wants to be accepted.
C. Being different is OK – While the world calls us to conform, the Bible gives us a far different message. The Bible warns us against conformity, Rom. 12:1. This literally means, “Do not let the world press you into its mold.”
D. Be different because you are different – The main reason why you should be different is because you are! God made you an individual.
(Ill. Your unique DNA, and you do not have to conform to the crowd.)
(Ill. There are those who are like whatever crowd they get around. They worship with the saints and they grovel with the sinners. This ought not be so! Think of Daniel, at the age of 17, he took a stand that was the equivalent to social suicide. He chose to be different. As a result, God was able to bless his life and get great glory from Daniel.)
E. All I am saying is that you do not have to fit into anyone’s mold to be accepted. The only person you have to please is the Lord God! If you are living your life in a manner that pleases Him, then you are living the right kind of life. Never sell out to this world or to people who want to make you like them! Make up your mind that you settle for nothing less than the approval of God upon your life.
After all, He made you, He loves you, He died for you, and if you are saved, He saved you. You are going to His Heaven to live with Him for eternity. Realize and recognize that you are an individual and that you are unique among all the people who have ever, or will ever live. God made you special and your duty is to live for Him. Hallelujah!
I. There Is A Special Person Inside You
II. V. 5 THERE IS A SPECIAL PLAN FOR YOU
A. This verse tells us that Joseph dreamed a dream. In this dream, the Lord revealed the future to Joseph. In this dream, God showed Joseph that one day all the resources (sheaves) and all the ruler (stars) of the world would bow down at the feet of Joseph.
B. God had a special plan for the life of Joseph, and He has a special plan for your life as well. Sadly, many people lack the faith or the vision to find out what God’s plan for them is. There is something that God wants you to do! He has something for you to do that no one else can do. He wants to work in you, through you and around you in a very unique and special manner. He has something only you can do and it will not be done unless you do it!
C. You might as well know up-front that there will be those around who will try to stifle your dreams. You might as well know that there will be those who will hate you because you have a dream.
Notice how Joseph’s brothers reacted to Him, v. 19. There will always be those who lack the faith and the vision and will tell you that your dreams are either inconceivable, impractical, or impossible.
(Ill. Alexander Graham Bell’s father-in-law called the telephone “a toy no one will play with.” The famous British physicist, Lord Calvin, said, “Radio has no future.” British Royal astronomer George Bidell Airy, said, “The computer is absolutely worthless.”
In 1899 Charles H. Duell, Director of the United States Patten Office, made this statement: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” He was so convinced of this that he tried to get President McKinley to abolish his job next year.
Well, the very next year (1900) R. A. Fessenden sent the human voice over radio waves for the first time. In 1901 the first Mercedes automobile was constructed. In 1903 the Wright Brothers successfully flew a powered airplane. In 1904 the photoelectric cell was developed. All of this only five years after Mr. Duell said nothing was left to be invented. But, regardless of what the critics say, never let anyone kill your dreams, Prov. 29:18.
D. It was the truth that God had a plan for Joseph that sustained him during the times when he was a slave in Egypt and when he was in prison. May I say that to live life with the knowledge that God had no plan for our lives would be hell on earth! Always remember that you are a special person created for a special purpose! Hallelujah!
E. Often, during the storms and battles of life, our dreams seem to be all we have left!
I. There Is A Special Person Inside You
II. There Is A Special Plan For You
III. V. 18-36 THERE ARE SPECIAL PROBLEMS FOR YOU
A. The life of Joseph is one of great problems and trials. In verse 18, his brothers conspired against him. In v. 21, he was thrown into a pit. In v. 28, he was sold as a slave. In chapter 39, he is falsely accused of rape. In ch. 40 he is thrown into prison. Joseph was forsaken by his family, forgotten by his friends and frustrated by his failures. Please remember that all these things that happened to Joseph were just part of God’s plan for his life.
B. This is a hard pill to swallow, but it is still true: Life is unfair! If the Lord of glory came to this earth and was crucified, then what makes us think that life will treat us fairly? Why did these things happen to a young man who was guilty of nothing more than obeying the will of God? The answer is found in Genesis 50:20. You see, Joseph is the Old Testament illustration to one of the New Testaments greatest promises, Rom. 8:28.
Genesis 50:20 (NKJV) – 20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.
Romans 8:28 (NKJV) – 28 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.
C. Through all the problems that Joseph faced, the Lord is teaching Joseph the difference between growing old and growing up! We need to remember that God is always doing for great things in our lives. Remembering these vital truth will help us when the storm clouds of life begin to gather about us.
1. God is always Guiding you – Psa. 37:23
2. God is always Guarding you – Psa. 121:5-8
3. God is always Gaging you – He is constantly measuring our growth. God is far more concerned about how we react than to what we faced in life – Psa. 105:17-19
4. God is always Growing you – God isn’t as concerned about delivering us out of our mess as He is about us growing out of the mess we are in. He is in the SAINT building business. Hallelujah!
D. Remember, whatever you may face in this world, however deep and dark the valleys you are called to walk through, however heavy the loads you are called upon to bear, God is merely allowing these things in your life to strengthen and to help you become more like Him. The question is: How are you responding to problems that come your way?
I. There Is A Special Person Inside You
II. There Is A Special Plan For You
III. There Are Special Problems For You
IV. 39:2 THERE IS A SPECIAL PERSON WITH YOU
A. Repeatedly, the Bible tells us that God was ever with Joseph – Gen 39:2; 39:3; 39:21; 39:23; Acts 7:9. In everything Joseph faced he had a Helper and a Companion!
B. Three times in Genesis chapter 39 we are told that the Lord was with Joseph. It will be helpful for us to see just how the Lord was with him.
1. Gen 39:1-3 He Was With Him In Servitude – Even though he was a slave, Joseph conducted himself like the ruler God was preparing him to be. Instead of griping, complaining, whining, bellyaching, and fussing about his situation, he just served Potiphar and did the best job he could do. What a lesson! If we ever expect to rule, then we must first learn to serve! You will never be over until you first learn to be under! Joseph was learning about humility.
2. Gen 39:7-19 He Was With Him In Seduction – Potiphar’s wife tried everything in her power to seduce Joseph, but he stood strong in the Lord and fended off her sexual advances. God was teaching Joseph that no price could be placed on a clean conscience. He lost his coat, but he kept his conscience. God was teaching Joseph a lesson in purity and in self-control. Both are essential to those in leadership positions.
3. Gen 39:21-23 He Was With Him In Suffering – Even when Joseph was forced to endure the shame of a false imprisonment, God was with him and blessed him.
C. Well, you know the rest of the story. God turned tragedy, temptation, torment and trouble into a great triumph in Egypt. God brought all Joseph’s dreams to pass teaching Joseph and us this important lesson, 1 Pet. 5:6-7.
D. Joseph never quit on the Lord. He never stopped believing, he never stopped trusting, he never stopped dreaming until the Lord brought to pass everything in his life that God wanted to do. Through it all, Joseph never wavered, he never compromised and he never flinched at what the Lord allowed in his life. As a result, he won the victory and so can you – 1 Cor. 15:58.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NKJV) – 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
I heard a testimony about a fellow who came into town to a Little League Baseball game in the US. He looked at the scoreboard and it said, “21 to 0.” A little boy was sitting on the bench while his team was in the field. The other team was batting, and the fellow said to the little boy on the bench, “Son, it looks pretty bad for your team doesn’t it?” The little boy said, “Ah, no sir, we haven’t even come to bat yet!”
Well dear friends, sometimes it may look like the world and the flesh and the devil is winning. But remember with God on your side, you will always win because He has something special for you.
So, keep dreaming, keep trusting, keep serving because God is preparing a great victory for you to enjoy. He truly has something special for you!