THE MAJESTY OF GOD Lesson Three of Nine GOD WORKS IN OUR LIVES
We have been learning about the majesty of God's creative power and design in
the world and in the universe all around us, even in our very own body which
houses our life.
Now we will look at three lessons concerning this great God whose majestic work
is also seen in the daily events which constitute the lives of His people.
Consider Joseph - Genesis 30:22-50:26.
HIS BIRTH WAS IN THE CONTEXT OF GOD'S PROVIDENCE - GENESIS 30:22-24.
It says, "Then God remembered Rachel." This baby boy was born as a result of a
particular woman's struggle and prayers, and a God who has a personal interest
in helping people with their problems.
It further says, "She named him 'Joseph.'"
Literally, "may the Lord add."
Joseph's very name was another prayer for more children!
We see God continue to work providently when in Genesis 35 Benjamin is born in
answer to this prayer.
And the Lord, whom Joseph's name was a prayer to, would also continue to be
with this young man throughout his life in a very special way.
HIS LIFE WAS LIVED IN THE CONTEXT OF GOD'S PROVIDENCE - Acts 7:9-14.
Verse 9 opens up: "Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him
as a slave into Egypt."
As privileged as he was, being favored by his father (Genesis 37:3), Joseph grew
up being despised by his older brothers. This sibling rivalry and hatred would
put Joseph's life at risk by those who were the closest to him.
Acts 7:9b-10 goes on to say: "But God was with him and rescued him from all his
troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh
king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his place."
From the pit in Dothan to the place on the Nile, from being "thrown" down and sold
for 8 ounces of silver to being lifted up and enthroned as second-in-command of
earth's greatest empire, these 13 years (see Genesis 37:2; 41:46) clearly demonstrate
the providence of God who loves Joseph and who means to make all things in his life
"turn out" for good.
Acts 7:11 lets us know why God "rescued" Joseph and raised him to royalty in the
Pharaoh's court: "Then a famine struck... bringing great suffering, and our fathers
could not find food."
Verses 12-14 go on to summarize that God had placed Joseph in control of the grain
stores of Egypt in order to preserve his whole family, thus insuring God's overall
promise to bring about the prophecies made to Abraham about his decedents.
Genesis 50:19-21 - Joseph later acknowledges this fact.
It is important to understand this truth about God's providence so that we are not
misled into thinking that God loves some more than others. In His great love for
all men, He works out His overall plan toward all people by working through selected
persons such as Joseph. In this way His loves works for everyone's good.
HIS DEATH WAS ALSO IN THE CONTEXT OF GOD'S PROVIDENCE - Acts 7:15-16; Hebrews 11:22.
Hebrews 11:22 emphasizes that Joseph, knowing that "his end was near" and that
God would continue to keep His promise to His people, Israel, "spoke about the
exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones."
As he approached death, Joseph never doubted that the same God who had worked so
often and so well in his life would still be there centuries later taking care
of his descendants.
Based upon his confidence in God's providence, Joseph prophesies "the exodus"
experience and gives instructions about taking his remains when the Israelites
finally move back to the promised land.
See Exodus 13:19 - God is still at work hundreds of years later!
Joseph's confidence in God, symbolized by his words concerning his bones, is not
disappointed! "Moses took the bones of Joseph with him."
See Joshua 24:32 - Long after Moses and even Joshua were dead and buried, God is
still at work in keeping with Joseph's instructions about his bones. "And Joseph's
bones... were buried at Shechem."
Talk about providential care -- Joseph's final resting place in Canaan is a
Hebrews 11:39-40 - If God worked not only in Joseph's life, but also in all of these
lives, will He not also do the same for you and I?