We’ve been looking in the life of Joseph a little bit, and I’ve just been giving you what the Lord’s been giving me during the day. And that’s what we’ll do again tonight. And we’re going to read a little bit in chapter 45. Genesis, chapter 45. And we spent our first service looking at Joseph as a picture of Christ for a little bit and learned some things about him and about our Lord at the dinner that was designed for discovery. And then last night, we spent a little time with Judah and we watched the journey of Judah and watched him grow up a little bit when he learned the importance of his father. And tonight I want us to read a little bit in chapter we’re going to be in two chapters. We’re going to start in chapter 45, and we’re going to end up in chapter 50. Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to preach everything in between. But what we’ll read in chapter 45 and what we read in chapter 50 are so similar, I feel like we need to deal with both of them. I’ll remind you of this. I was reading a fella and he was saying, and I mentioned this yesterday, that Joseph was trying in the cup with the cup in chapter 44. And I know you’re familiar with the account he was trying to get rid of his brothers and just spend his time with Benjamin. And I believe that’s a lie. I don’t believe that is at all what was going on. And we’ll see that in chapter 45 because Joseph, everything he has done with his brothers has been with the purpose of reconciling themselves unto him everything he’s done. There was nothing about vengeance involved. There was nothing about bitterness involved. It was all wanting to reconcile. And so we’ll see that in chapter 45. Verse number one says then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him. And he cried, caused every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. That’s what he’s wanted to do since the moment he saw them, but they were not prepared. And he wept aloud. And the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph. Does my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him. Now watch this little phrase, for they were troubled at his presence. Then the Bible said and Joseph said unto his brethren, come near to me, I pray you. And they came near, and he said, I am Joseph, your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore, be not grieved nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither. For God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land, and yet there are five years in which there shall neither be earring nor harvest. And god sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God. And he hath made me a father to Pharaoh and Lord of all his house and ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. We’ll stop there and I’m going to pray and then we’ll read a little more scripture in a moment. Father, we love you tonight. We thank you for loving us first. We thank you, Lord, for your grace and your mercy. We thank you, Lord, for the good singing that has blessed our hearts. We thank you, Lord, for the wonderful sermon, the message from God that helped us and encouraged us. And, Lord, I’d like to fill up my measure and I pray you help me to do that. And now, Lord, I pray tonight, in the next few moments that you might be glorified. And Lord, if you get glory, we’ll get helped. So help us. In Jesus name I pray. Amen. Now, we have looked a little bit and we’ve used Joseph to remind us of Christ and then Judah to remind us of ourselves. I want to just more or less take our scripture at face value tonight and I want to preach a little bit about being troubled. And maybe for lack of a better title, I’m just going to title this sermon, are You Troubled? Are you troubled? We’re living in a world filled with trouble and a lot of god’s people are troubled. But really, the truth is it has always been that way. Jesus said to his disciples in the book of John, he said, Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me, in my Father’s house. I won’t go through the whole scripture, but I take that to mean that it has always been this way, that we live in a world of trouble and our hearts get troubled over things. There are burdens. And so Joseph, when we come here to this passage, we see Joseph with his brothers and the Bible tells us about them. It said they were troubled at his presence. So they are in a circumstance and a situation that is troublesome to them. Now, it interests me that Joseph, by my estimation, joseph has been through much more trouble than they have been, and yet Joseph is not troubled over this situation. I always look at that when they brought Joseph up out of the prison and Pharaoh said to him, I have heard of thee that thou canst interpret dreams. Remember this. And do you remember Joseph’s answer? Joseph said, It’s not in me, O King, god shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. That response of Joseph always gets hold of my heart because it looks to me from a natural standpoint that Joseph has never known a moment of peace since he was a young man fighting in the family, fighting with his brothers, sold into slavery. Looks like he’s never known peace. And yet Joseph says this god shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. That’s another message. I better not get started on that. But his brothers are troubled. But Joseph is not troubled. And the reason Joseph is not troubled is because Joseph has his mind set upon God. And Joseph is seeing and has seen the providential hand of God in his life. Now, he says some things to these boys in this portion of Scripture. He says this in verse five. Now therefore be not grieved nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither, for God did send me before you to preserve life. He’ll say it again in verse seven. God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me other, but God. And Yith made me a father to Pharaoh and Lord of all his house and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. I remember years ago when I was just getting started in this thing hadn’t been saved for very long. And there was a man, a missionary from Canada who came to preach at our church. And he made this statement as he was preaching. He said, I hear people talk about the sovereignty of God and the free will of man. The sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. And he said, they talk about them as though they are at odds. He said, but the longer I’m in this thing, he said, I see how the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man dove tale together. And I remember Charles Spurgeon, I’ve always called him. And I’m not a Calvinist, nor the son of a Calvinist, nor do I hold any Calvinistic doctrine. I’m against all five points of the tulip. You could pluck the whole thing as far as I’m concerned, all the pedals off it. But I called Charles Fergie a confused Calvinist. I call him that because he said this one time he said, Lord save the elect and elect some more. Now you hyper Calvinist. You figure that one out. But he did make a statement that I enjoyed. One day someone said, how do you reconcile the sovereignty of God and the free will of man? He said, you don’t have to reconcile friends. I’m glad I have a God who’s on the throne and in control, but it does not relieve me of my responsibility. I still need to do what God would have me to do. So I’m thinking about this. I don’t know how you could read what Joseph has just said to these boys and not understand that they were working evil, but God was working good at the same time. Now, he’s going to reiterate this in chapter number 50. And I want you to go over there because that’s where we’re going to find our points for our preaching. Because in chapter 50 now, Jacob has died. And these boys can’t get over what they’ve done to Joseph. And they feel like now that Daddy’s dead, joseph is going to get his vengeance upon them. People are like that sometimes. They think you will do what they would do. So in verse 15, when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, joseph will peradventure hate us and will certainly require us all the evil which he did unto him. We’re in chapter 15 now, verse 16 and they sent a messenger unto Joseph saying thy father did command before he died, saying, so shall ye say unto Joseph, forgive, I pray thee, now the trespass of thy brethren and their sin, for they did unto thee evil. And now we pray thee, forgive the trespass of thy servants, of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they stake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face, and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. Now watch Joseph’s response. Verse 19 and Joseph said unto them, fear not, for am I in the place of God. But as for you, ye fought evil against me, but God meant it unto good to bring to pass as it is this day to save much people alive. Now therefore, fear ye not, I will nourish you and your little ones. And he comforted them and spoke kindly unto them. I want to say to you tonight I have three simple things I want to say to you. I want to say to you tonight. If you’re troubled if you’re troubled over the circumstance, if you’re troubled over the trial, if you’re troubled, there are some things we ought to consider. I believe that these boys would have considered them. They would not have been troubled. And I believe the reason that Joseph is not troubled is because he has considered these things. First of all, in verse 19, he has considered the place and preeminence of God. And Joseph said unto them, fear not, for am I in the place of God? You know what gets us in trouble sometimes and causes us to have trouble is that we want to be God. We want to look at things and say, this is the way I would have done it. This is the way I thought it ought to go. But the truth of the matter is you and I don’t even know what’s going on. We like to think we do, but we don’t. But God does. I thought of some verses in our Bible where it goes along the same line of thinking. In Genesis 30 and verse two, the Bible tells us that Rachel and Leah have married Jacob, and not in that order. Leah first and then Rachel. Leah’s having children and Rachel has no children. The Bible said when Rachel saw that Leah bear Jacob’s children, she envied her sister. And here’s what she said. She said Give me children, else I died. And the Bible said Jacob’s anger would kindled against Rachel. And he said Am I in God’s stead who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb? He said the same thing basically that jolts have said I’m not God, I can’t fix this, I can’t change this. Only God can do something about this. In two kings, five and verse seven the king talks about another king has come, naming has come. He’s a leper, he wants to be healed. He’s heard that he can be healed in the land of God, amongst the people of God. He doesn’t go to the prophet where he should have went. He went to the king. And it came to pass, when the King of Israel read the letter, that he ran his clothes and said am I God to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send me to recover a man of his leprosy, wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seekoth the quarrel against me. He said I’m not God, I’m not able to straighten this out, I’m not able to fix this. You and I must remember there is a God in heaven. We are not him. We can look at this thing from our viewpoint, but we can’t see it the way that God can see it. We must remember the place and preeminence of God. Now I want you to look at me in the book of Job a moment, and we’ll come back here in just a moment to the book of Genesis, if the Lord will help us. You remember Job and you remember that what happened in Job’s life, the circumstances. And then for 37 chapters in Jobs life in our Bible, he does not hear from God. 37 chapters his friends showed up, they spent seven days quietly and we’re thinking say something. And then they started saying something and we’re thinking be quiet. But they have not heard from God. Job. Hasn’t heard from God. But God’s finally going to speak to Job. And I want you to notice what Job what God says to Job. Chapter 38. Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said now he’s speaking to Job. That’s what the Bible is telling us. He’s not speaking to three friends, he’s speaking to Job. He answered Job and the first thing he says is this who is this? Who are you anyway? Job? Who is this that darkened counsel by words without knowledge? Gert up now by loins like a man, for I will demanded thee and answer thou me. And then he said this where wast thou when I laid the foundation of the earth? He’ll go on. In verse twelve he said hast thou commanded the morning since thy days? He’ll say in verse 16 hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? Or hast thou walked in the search of the depths. He’ll say in verse 18 hast thou perceive the breath of the earth? In verse 21 knowest thou in verse 22 hast thou in verse 31 canst thou in verse 32 canst thou in verse 33 nostal in verse 34 canst thou in verse 35 canst thou in verse 39 wilt thou? And Annie goes in chapter 39 he’ll say it again Noah. Style can style canstile. Has style canstile. He’s saying, Job, you don’t know this. You don’t know what I know. You haven’t been where I’ve been. You weren’t here when I got here. You didn’t do what I’d done. Job, you need to understand I know what I’m doing. I’m God. I know what I’m doing in this circumstance. You know, here is Joseph, what he’s been through, all the things he’s been through, and yet he’s not troubled. And the reason he’s not troubled is because he remembers who God is. There’s a second thing I want you to see. We must consider the place and prominence of God. We must consider the purpose and personality of God. Look what he said in verse 20. But as for you, we’re back in chapter 50 of Genesis. But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good. Everything that God ever does and we’ve already heard this in the sermon everything that God ever does, he meant to do. He didn’t do anything by accident. He didn’t do anything because something got overlooked. God meant it. F pmyer said about this portion of Scripture how significant is this sentence? How significant is it? God meant it. There are meanings in life. Things do not happen by chance and what happens is meant for good. We know the verse. All things work together for good to them. Love God to them according they are called according to his purpose. But it’s hard to reconcile that verse sometimes and yet God meant it. Now notice the wording in the passage. But as for you, ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good. So I’m looking at this and I’m thinking this god not only meant it, but God meant it unto good. And what the writer is saying. What the Holy Ghost is saying is and what Joseph is saying while you were thinking evil toward me. At the same time. And if I can use this word borrow from our brother in the same measure while you were thinking evil. God was thinking good all the time you thought about evil and what you could do against me at the same time God was thinking good and what he could do for me. We look at the things that are against us and we forget there is a God that is for us. Do you remember Jacob said about this circumstance with Joseph? They came back and they said the Lord of that country’s fake roughly unto us. He took us for spies and they said he told us not to come back unless we bring our little brother Benjamin with us. And here’s what Jacob said in response. He said, Joseph is not and Simon is not, and you will take Benjamin away. All these things are against me. But the truth of the matter is, none of those things were against him. All those things were for him. It was hard for him to see that, hard for us to see that. But God meant it. Understood? Good. And second, Samuel David was learning this lesson. He’s had to flee from Jerusalem. Absalom. His own son is seeking his death. And as he flees from Jerusalem, he’s down in the valley. And there’s a man up on the hill named Jimmy. I remember him. He’s cursing David and kicking dirt down on David. You know, bitterness will make you do foolish and crazy things. You know who he’s kicking dirt down on? David and his mighty men. There’s men down there that have killed 800 of the enemy single handed. And this guy is up on the top of the hill kicking dirt down on. I’ll tell you, bitterness will make you do crazy things. And so he’s up there cursing david said, Go down, thy bloody man in Belize. He said, God, have put on thy head, returned on thy head all the blood of the house of Saul. He’s just cursing him. He’s calling him names, all this stuff. And Abashai, one of them fellas down there. Abashi. He was Joe AB’s brother. Abashai says to him, Let me go out and kill this dead dog. He said, I’ll take his head off, baby. Said hold on now. He said, Let him curse for God at the bid him. He said, I think I wrote it down. He said, Behold my son which came forth of my bowels. seeketh my life. How much more now may this benjam might do it. Let him alone. Let him curse for the Lord for bidding him. But now listen to this. It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction and that the Lord will requight me good for his cursing this day. Joseph said, While you were planning all this evil, God was planning good. And David said, While he’s up there cursing me, it just might be that God’s up there preparing a blessing for me. He said God meant it, and he meant it unto good. Can I ask you a question? You believe God is good? We better get that settled in our hearts, haven’t we? O taste of the Lord. Oh, taste of the Lord. And see that he’s good for thou, Lord in Psalm 86 aren’t good. Psalm 100 for the Lord is good. Either it’s good or he’s not. Either he’s good when things are the way we’d like them. He’s still good when things are not the way we want them. He’s still a good God. God meant it. God meant it under good. And then god meant it under good to bring it to pass as it is this day. Can I say this to you? Joseph is saying this now. Things look much different than they did when he’s in the dungeon. He said God meant it unto good to bring it to pass as it is this day. Now, I’m going to tell you about Joseph and the dungeon maybe in a minute. But what I’m thinking here, when Joseph says this to them, he’s saying to them, look where we are and look where we’ve been. And can’t you see that all along this way God’s hand was in it, bringing us to where we are. It may not be till we get to heaven, but there will come a day when we will look back and say god did all this and he knew what he was doing. It may not be till we have a glorified body and a perfect understanding. It may not be till then, but there will come a day came a day in Joseph’s life. He said God meant it unto good to bring to pass as it is this day, to save much people alive. He said, look where we are. God did all this. So first of all we must remember the place and preeminence of God, the purpose and personality of God that God wants to do good to us. And then there is thirdly and finally the privilege of partnership with God. Look in verse 21. Now watch this word. Therefore fear you not I will nourish you and your little ones. And he comforted them and spoke kindly unto them. I won’t you think about what’s going on here. What Joseph is going to do is he sees the work of God in progress. He’s looked back, he’s seen what God did all along the way. He’s looking back, he’s looking at the difficult times, the heartbreaking times, the lonely times. He’s looking at all of them. And now he comes in, he looks back, he sees what God is doing. And here’s what he’s decided. He is in a position now of authority over these boys. He is in a position where he could do whatever he wanted to them. But he’s been looking and seeing what God has been doing. And Joseph does not say now that the situation has changed and the roles have been reversed, joseph does not say, now is my chance to change things. Joseph says in effect, here’s what God’s been doing. I want to get in on what God’s doing. I’m going to continue what God has been. Apparently God is not holding this against these boys. He’s not trying to make them pay, he’s not bringing some judgment upon him. So Joseph said, if that’s what God is doing, I want to get in on what God is doing. I want to carry on what God started. I don’t want to change the plan, I don’t want to change the direction he’s recognizing the privilege of getting in on the work of God. Joseph will confine himself to the will of God. He’ll continue with and in the will of God. And apparently he is confident in the work of God. I remember I was thinking about this a moment ago when I was sitting over there and I was thinking about Brother Billy Kelly. And I used to travel with him some. Some of you knew Brother Kelly and you’ve heard him preach. Brother Joe. Arthur and I traveled with him some. And Sherry? It was after we were married. And brother Kelly was an unusual man. I got involved in some unusual things when I was with him. I remember one day he said, now come over early. I was at the camp. He said, Come over early in the morning. We got a lot of work to do. I said, okay, I go over. About 06:00 a.m., his wife made us a big breakfast. We ate breakfast. We went in the living room and sat in the chair, talked. And he made a couple of phone calls and we talk till lunchtime. We went in the kitchen, and she’d fix this lunch. And we ate lunch. We went back in the living room and we talked and played some instruments and he made some phone calls. And we did that till supper time. And then we ate supper, and then I went home. We never did one thing all day. Now, there were a lot of times we went over there. He worked me like a dog. But that particular day, we didn’t do much. And I tell you something about brother Kelly. When I’d get in a service and God would begin to move brother Kelly always knew what to do. He knew what song ought to be sung. He knew what ought to be said. He knew what preacher ought to preach. And I’ve said this a lot of times and folks think I’m just exaggerating, but really, it’s really true. If I’d have got into service and Brother Kelly had said now God wants you to stand on your head in the corner I’d have done my best to try it. Yes, sir. I’d have gone over there and didn’t I don’t know if I could have, but I tried because I had confidence in him. Here is Joseph. He has learned confidence in the Lord. He wants to be involved in what God is doing. Yes, I want to be involved in what God is doing. Joseph is going to continue with the work. You know, we talked a little bit about Judah last night but Joseph’s attitude has changed also. If you go back to Genesis 40, I want to ask you to turn there. He’s in the prison house, and the butler and the baker are there and they’ve had a dream. Joseph comes in and said, Why, look, he’s so sadly today. They say, we have a dream. There’s no one to interpret joseph said, do not interpretation belong unto God? Tell me the dream thereof. They tell the dream. Joseph interprets the dream. He tells the butler that he’s going to be restored to his butlership. He’s going to go back before the king and when the baker hears that he’s excited, he wants to hear about his too and he’s going to ask Joseph and he’s not going to be happy with what he hears about but when the butler finds out and Joseph gives an interpretation, here’s what Joseph says to the butler. He said, yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head and restore the unto thy place, and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh’s cup into his hand after the former manor when thou wast his butler. But then Joseph said this but think on me when it shall be well with thee and show kindness. I pray the unto me and make mention of thee unto Pharaoh and bring me out of this house for indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon. So Joseph is looking for a way out of the work of God back there in the dungeon but now he’s been through all of this, joseph is not looking for a way out, joseph’s looking for a way in. I want to be involved in the work of God, is what he’s saying. I see what God has begun. I want to get involved in what God does. Why? Because everything that God does whether I can explain it, whether I can understand it, whether I can articulate it everything that God does, he means it for good for his people. And Joseph is saying, I want to be a part of that. I want to be a part of that. I don’t want to spend my life pouting and angry with God. I want to recognize Him for who he is and what he’s done and what he means and I want to be involved in whatever it is he has for me and that’s an easy thing to say but that’s what Joseph is saying he’s going to be confident in the work of God. So if you’re troubled tonight, would you consider the place and preeminence of God? Would you consider the purpose and the personality of God and everything he does? Whether we can understand it or not, he does for our good? And would you consider the privilege of partnering with God? Would you say, I’m going to go on with God and serve him? I’m going to serve the Lord. I want you to bow your heads a moment, if you will. Maybe God has spoken to your heart tonight. He means it for good. He means it for good. All things work together for good to them that love God, to them with call, of course, purpose. He means it for good. You know what? There. Might be somebody here tonight. I tried to get out of preaching this sermon tonight. I tried with the Lord, but there might be somebody here tonight. Something’s happened to you along the way and you decided that God was not good. You decided that God didn’t care about you like you should have. You decided somewhere along the way because your heart was broken and you were troubled. It just wasn’t right what you had to go through and you got out of the will of God. I’m glad Joseph did not do that. I’m glad Joseph stayed by the stuff. I’m glad he finished the course. Maybe you’d want to come tonight and bow the knee and say, lord, I want to finish the course. I don’t understand what went on in my life. I don’t understand the hurt. I don’t understand why I had to go through it. But, Lord, you meant it for good. And I want to finish my course. I want to continue. I want to walk with you. I counted a privilege, Lord, to be involved with you. I want to finish. You know what Joseph did? He finished. Well, let’s finish. Well, Father, would you help us tonight? Would you help your people tonight? Would you help my heart tonight and the hearts of others. Help us to remember, Lord. You’re good, and you mean it for good, even when we can’t see the good in it. I pray you’ll help us to continue like Joseph did till we get to the place where we can see like Joseph saw. Help us tonight, Lord. Help somebody that’s troubled. Help somebody that’s hurting. Help somebody that’s struggling. Help somebody that’s questioning. You’re a good God, Lord, and we’re thankful that you’re ours. Help us. I pray in Jesus name, amen.