Hubby made it to Sunday School with me today. We enjoyed the continuing study in Revelation then came home as he was out of oxygen and his second battery pack isn’t working. Unfortunately, it appears that church wasn’t able to share the service video today.
A few weeks ago, our substitute Sunday School teacher shared a message on God’s plans and whether we cooperate with them.
Genesis tells the story of how God created man in his image. He walked with Adam and Eve in the garden until they disobeyed and were shut out of the garden. Ten generations later the world was full of sin and God brought destruction through the flood during the life of Noah. Another 10 generations passed, and the people were still being disobedient. But God made a covenant with Abraham to make his descendants into a great nation – to make Israel his chosen people. Genesis 12.
Abraham was the father of Isaac and Isaac was the father of Jacob. Jacob was father to twelve sons who became the twelve tribes of Israel. During the years of Jacob, a fierce famine struck all the surrounding lands. How did God keep the Israelite family alive?
When the sons were younger, Joseph, had dreams that angered his brothers. The brothers resented Joseph as he was their father’s favored son, given a coat of many colors. Genesis 33. The coat represented the family birthright although Joseph was not Jacob’s first-born son. He was the first-born of Rachel, Jacob’s chosen wife. The brothers first plotted to kill Joseph but then, on the suggestion of Judah, sold Joseph to a passing caravan who then sold him into slavery to Potiphar, one of the Pharaoh's officials in Egypt. Genesis 37. Joseph became a favorite and loyal servant of Potiphar but ended up in jail after being falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife. Later, Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams about the coming famine. Pharaoh put Joseph in charge of the grain and food supply. Genesis 41:41.
A few years later Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt to buy food. They did not recognize Joseph, but he recognized them. We see in this story that the brothers had a change of heart as Judah offered to remain a slave to protect Joseph’s younger brother, Benjamin. Genesis 44.
After revealing himself, Joseph and Pharaoh, told the brothers to bring their father and family to Egypt so they would survive the famine. Joseph recognized that ‘what man meant for harm, God used for good.’ Genesis 50:19-21. Joseph was diligent and trusted God even while in prison. He sought God and was obedient to allow God to use him.
God wanted to grow Israel as a nation. He knew they would face enemies, so God placed them in a land where they were safe under the strongest ruler. Of course, two hundred years later, God had to arrange for them to leave Egypt and move on to the promised land.
From Genesis to Revelation, God directs events to restore the authority that man lost in the garden.
God chooses imperfect people to complete His plan.
God gives us the ability to choose to be used by Him.
God looks at the heart. The order of birth doesn't determine destiny. A double portion of blessing was given to Joseph's sons.
God used the humble servant, the one willing to be used.
God seeks to strengthen the hearts of those who are committed to Him. 2 Chronicles 16:9. A committed relationship with God and Jesus allows us to sing joyously of victory even in times of trouble.
God tarries in punishing man as he continues to seek to save each one. We must ask ourselves:
Are we going to cooperate with God and become obedient to His Will?
There is wickedness in the world. Lawlessness seems to be rising around us. But God directs us to “stand firm”, trusting in His Word. James 5:7-9. Christ is our deliverer and will one day take back the authority of power on Earth. That is the message in Revelation that we are studying.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.