May 18, 2014
Genesis 42:18-38 On the third day Joseph said to them, "I fear God - do this and you will live. If you are honest, let one of you be confined to the guardhouse, while the rest of you go and take grain to relieve the hunger of your households. Bring your youngest brother to me so that your words can be confirmed; then you won't die." And they consented to this. Then they said to each other, "Obviously, we are being punished for what we did to our brother. We saw his deep distress when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this trouble has come to us." But Reuben replied: "Didn't I tell you not to harm the boy? But you wouldn't listen. Now we must account for his blood! " They did not realize that Joseph understood them, since there was an interpreter between them. He turned away from them and wept. Then he turned back and spoke to them. He took Simeon from them and had him bound before their eyes. Joseph then gave orders to fill their containers with grain, return each man's money to his sack, and give them provisions for their journey. This order was carried out. They loaded the grain on their donkeys and left there. At the place where they lodged for the night, one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his money there at the top of the bag. He said to his brothers, "My money has been returned! It's here in my bag." Their hearts sank. Trembling, they turned to one another and said, "What is this that God has done to us? " When they reached their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them: "The man who is the lord of the country spoke harshly to us and accused us of spying on the country. But we told him: We are honest and not spies. We were 12 brothers, sons of the same father. One is no longer living, and the youngest is now with our father in the land of Canaan. The man who is the lord of the country said to us, 'This is how I will know if you are honest: Leave one brother with me, take food to relieve the hunger of your households, and go. Bring back your youngest brother to me, and I will know that you are not spies but honest men. I will then give your brother back to you, and you can trade in the country.' " As they began emptying their sacks, there in each man's sack was his bag of money! When they and their father saw their bags of money, they were afraid. Their father Jacob said to them, "You have deprived me of my sons. Joseph is gone and Simeon is gone. Now you want to take Benjamin. Everything happens to me! " Then Reuben said to his father, "You can kill my two sons if I don't bring him back to you. Put him in my care, and I will return him to you." But Jacob answered, "My son will not go down with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. If anything happens to him on your journey, you will bring my gray hairs down to Sheol in sorrow."
Big Idea - Our spiritual foundation directs all of our actions and perspectives.
1. Joseph's foundation of godliness enables him to extend grace!
Luke 6:46-49 "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things I say? I will show you what someone is like who comes to Me, hears My words, and acts on them: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn't shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great! "
2. Joseph's family's foundation of selfishness creates more chaos!
What is your foundation?
Does your emotional condition erode your foundation?
James 1:5-8 Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.
Build your foundation through studying the character of God.
Are you weakening our foundation by not fighting for your foundation?
Note: all scripture references are in HCSB