Joseph was faithful to God as a slave, as a prisoner, and as a ruler. God never abandoned Joseph even though he went through horrible times. In the gut wrenching times of life God is always there with us.

I have a dream speech – Martin Luther King Jr. (August 28, 1963)
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
King promoted nonviolent activism.

We all need to carry the dream – “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.””

All are created in the image of God – all deserve love and respect; even the littles yet to be born.

King wrote while in Jail to his fellow ministers (April 1963) “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

That is true with race and it is true with the murder of the unborn.
Today is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday as we mourn the 1973 US Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
Pray for the women and men to heal from a choice many regret.
Pray that we as a nation will protect all life – Unborn lives matter.

The great emancipator Abraham Lincoln said, “No law can give me the right to do what is wrong.”
As believers we must not do what is wrong. We must stand for what is right.
Let’s stand for right – Let’s stand for God and His word in every aspect of our life.

Today we will see Joseph live out God’s word. Joseph was faithful to God as a slave, as a prisoner, and as a ruler. Joseph forgave his brothers for selling him into slavery as a teen. Joseph also understood that God had his back (Genesis 50:20).

Genesis 50:20
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Joseph begged for his life (Gen 42:21) but his brothers were so jealous that they wanted to kill him but they decided to make some money and sell him to the Ishmaelite’s.

Joseph went from slavery to prominence just like young Frederick Douglas and James Pennington; slaves who escaped and become prominent leaders for freedom.

Joseph had a sweet beginning; he was the favorite of 12 sons because he was the first born of Jacob’s favorite wife, Rachel.

He still had to tend the flocks but that changed. He was a tattle tale – that was just another reason why his brothers hated him. The scripture says that Joseph’s brothers hated him and could not speak a kind word to him (Gen 37:4). Why, because dad loved him most and gave him a special robe. Showing favoritism to a child always causes issues. Maybe you have experienced the short end of your parents love and felt jealous of your sibling. Joseph made the situation worse by bragging to his brothers about the dreams he was having.

Joseph should have read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

Genesis 37:5
Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.

Have you ever hated anyone? So jealous that you would be willing to hurt someone?
We have heard too many sad stories of this on the news.

Matthew 5:21
“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.

Have you been angry with others and not forgiven them? Jesus is saying that is murder. Our anger and jealous is just as bad as Joseph’s brothers and the damage is the same.

Joseph’s brothers not only sold their brother into slavery after considering killing him they lied to their father. Twenty-two years later they understood that they reap what they sow.

Genesis 42:21
They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come upon us.”

We will reap what we sow.

Galatians 6:7
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his flesh, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

So the question is always what do you want to reap? If our desire is Heaven then we have to produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace …. (Gal 5:22)

Did Joseph reap what he sowed?
He may have been a bratty little brother who could get his brother’s in trouble. He may have not been very humble when he received the dreams from God. But was the harvest in proportion to what he sowed?

We can be innocent and be the victim of evil. But even while we are suffering God is with us.
When we suffer we think that God has abandoned us. That is how we feel but that is not the truth.

Joseph at 17 was a slave to Potiphar in Egypt – where was his God, the God of his father and grandfather?
That is what I would be thinking – God where are you – He may have felt that way from time to time also. But the truth is God was with him.

Genesis 39:2
The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.

Joseph prospered in the midst of his trails and suffering. Life was as good as it could be as a slave, until.
Until a promiscuous women told a lie.
The master’s wife threw herself at him – he would have been faltered and maybe even thought he was entitled. He out to have some fun in his misery.
Isn’t that how we think – isn’t that why we jump into sin. We think we have the right, we deserve it.

Joseph was devoted to God.
Genesis 39:8
“With me in charge my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

How can we do such wicked things and sin against God?
Ask yourself that question next time you are tempted to sin. Remind yourself of this the next time you sin. When we see our wickedness we will repent. God knows we are not sinless but He wants us to repent and come back to Him.
So because of someone else’s sin Joseph goes from prominence to prisoner. He went from favored son to slave – he rose to power as a slave and now he is in prison because he was faithful to God.
“That is what I get for serving God.” “I should have sinned and remained in power.”
“God has abandoned me again.”
If that is how Joseph felt it was not true.

Genesis 39:21
“The LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.”

In your trials and suffering God is with you. Of course we would prefer not to suffer. In our suffering we learn to trust God and He prepares us to be used in great ways.

2 Corinthians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

Christ’s suffering brought us salvation; our suffering can bring comfort to others. If we will trust in God in the midst of our suffering God will teach us and use us to help others.

Even in prison God used Joseph and let him interpret others dreams. But he was betrayed again. Pharaoh’s cup bearer forgot him, so Joseph wastes away in prison for another 2 years.
But when no one in the kingdom could interpret Pharaoh’s dream Joseph is called.

Genesis 41:15
Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”

Joseph never quit trusting God – he could have taken credit but he gave all the glory to God. There is so much we can learn from Joseph.

So at 30 Joseph is promoted to second in command in all of Egypt.
Thirteen years spent in slavery and prison – it felt that God had abandoned him but the Lord was always right there make him prosper in the midst of his horrible circumstances.

God is prospering you in the midst of your horrible circumstances too.
Keep trusting Him – know that He is with you.

Joseph’s continual trust in God and experiencing God’s provisions brought him to the point where he could forgive his brothers and understand God was in control the whole time. God’s got your back too.
Have Joseph’s attitude and understanding.

Genesis 50:20
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

Joseph’s brothers were afraid he would take revenge but that was not what a man of God would do. A man of God forgives and loves his brothers, even though they sold him into slavery.
Forgiveness is always the answer – revenge is never the answer.

Because Joseph forgave his brothers he was able to reunite with his father.
The nation God was building was protected and thrived in Egypt.

We have been betrayed by family and close friends, it stings but we can forgive like Joseph.
Really we can forgive because Jesus forgave us.
That is why Jesus died on the cross – Jesus came and died so we would not reap what our sins deserve.
Like Joseph’s brothers we are standing before God knowing we are guilty – God does not condemn us – He loves us and gives us grace.

Will you accept His grace today – come believing, come repenting, come and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.