Sundays sermon notes

Owing to the sermon on Sunday failing to record properly, we have decided to post Mus’s sermon notes in full. Sorry for the inconveinience. 

Genesis 45  This is a link to the PDF file for you to download to your PC or mobile device

Genesis 45
T: God works through human sin to bring salvation
A: Come near to the gracious Son for salvation
– Don’t be distressed or angry with yourselves (but see
sin in context)
– Don’t quarrel along the way
V: tender, warm, affectionate
Sylv and me went for a walk in a national park,
when we were having lunch i over heard some children
playing a game,
a little girl said to her mum “you can be my revenge
serpent. ”
now i’m not sure what game they were playing, or where
the little girl had heard this,

but is makes a point – the nature of the world and our old
sinful nature wants to pay back those who wrong us.
In contrast today, In this bit of the Joseph story
We see a gracious character in Joseph. Joseph doesn’t
take revenge, because he has learned something about
God and the way he works.

If we learn this and let this truth sink in, with prayer
We’ll be find greater freedom to not hold things against
people for the wrongs they’ve done to us.
We’ll have greater trust in God’s sovereignty, his rule over
all things
And we’ll experience greater peace in our relationships.
It’s a truth that defines the whole meaning of our existence
and that reaches to the heart of the gospel/the good news
of Jesus.
Let’s get our bearings in the Joseph story.
Last week we ended on the big reveal.
Joseph reveals who he is to his brothers
Josephs older brother Judah as spokesperson for the
brothers gives a speech that shows they have changed.

Whereas in the past they had been jealous of joseph, their
dad’s favourite, and wanted to kill him,
nor caring at all about what it would do to their Dad,
they sell him off out of their lives, to some midianite
traders, Joseph ends up as a slave in Egypt.
But this was all part of God’s plan.
A famine strikes the known world, Josephs family in
Canaan and all of Egypt are affected.
But Joseph interpreted a dream pharaoh had that warned
about the famine years in advance, so he put Joseph in
charge of storing up all the food to prepare for the famine.
Joseph through this dream and his God given wisdom
rose to be the most important person in Egypt, bar
Long story short, the brothers come to Egypt coz they
heard there was food and meet Joseph the boss of the
Joseph pretends not to know his brothers but tests them
by engineering a situation where they have the
opportunity to get rid of their dad’s favourite son.
dad’s new favourite benjamin has been framed

and is now guilty of stealing from Joseph and so will be
Judah pleads with the man (not yet known to him as
joseph) for him to take him instead of benjamin.
Judah’s speech shows that the brothers have been
humbled, they are sorry for what they did to joseph and in
their actions are showing repentance – a changing of
This is the major turning point of the whole joseph story
and it teaches us a very big truth about God and human
So let’s pick up the story in verse 1
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his
attendants, and he cried out, ‘Make everyone leave my
presence!’ So there was no one with Joseph when he
made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so
loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s
household heard about it.

Joseph loses control of his emotions. They are strong and
You can imagine, this is the culmination of over 30 years
since being sold by his brothers.
And here they are, bowing down to him as God had said,
humbled, sorry.
What thoughts and feelings are rushing through joseph’s
He can’t keep it all in,
His, cool egyptian-wiseman cover is cracking
He sends everyone out except his brothers,
Now he can talk privately and intimately with his family
Verse 3
3 Joseph said to his brothers, ‘I am Joseph! Is my father
still living?’ But his brothers were not able to answer him,
because they were terrified at his presence.

And now here the brothers are bowed down before one of
the most powerful men in the world, feeling guilty for what
they have done to him, their lives are in his hands.
…and they’re terrified.
But Joseph doesn’t summon a revenge serpent.
All the time he’s been pretending not to recognise them,
Moses the writer of Genesis gives us glimpses into
Josephs tenderness
Joseph’s not angry with them, he’s not taking revenge,
Now what’s in Josephs heart towards his brothers comes
out his mouth:
Verse 4
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, ‘Come close to me.’
When they had done so, he said, ‘I am your brother
Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! 5 And now, do not be
distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling
me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me
ahead of you.
Joseph the hated favourite son
The son as good as dead
is now exalted, alive, the lord of the earth.
This exalted son… is tender towards his humbled brothers.
Come close to me
He wants them to be near him, Come close to me
When he says – The one you sold into egypt!
He proving it’s really him
And He’s real about what they’ve done to him, but he’s not
trying to make them feel bad,
actually he’s trying to relieve their guilty emotions
Do not be distressed
Do not be angry with yourselves.
What beautiful, gracious character.
Joseph understands what they are going through, he
knows how they might be feeling.

And he wants them to be at peace.
He isn’t bitter, he’s not angry with them, he doesn’t want
them to suffer under guilt anymore.
No, he’s tender and gentle with those who trafficked him
away from his family home.
How can he be so kind?
How can we have this attitude?
This is it, this is where we learn the big truth, the secret of
Joseph’s graciousness:
Verse 5
And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with
yourselves for selling me here, because
it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

Joseph see’s God’s bigger purpose in what his brothers
did to him.
He sees what the brothers did to him – sell him into slavery
– but he sees that against the backdrop of God’s greater
plan to save all their lives, and the lives of the surrounding
it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.
He says it twice more verse 6
6 For two years now there has been famine in the land,
and for the next five years there will be no ploughing and
reaping. 7 But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for
you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great
8 ‘So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.
And this is the big truth we learn at this turning point in the
Joseph story:

God works through human sin to bring salvation.
God works through human sin to bring salvation.
Joseph understood this, that’s why he could say about the
same event:
(v4)You sold me into egypt and
(v8)It was not you who sent me here but God.
You sold me
God sent me
You sold me into Egypt – the human sin
God sent me ahead of you – God’s working
And this was to bring salvation
To save lives v6
To save lives by a great deliverance v7

Because Joseph understands how God works behind the
even scenes where he is sinned against,
he is able to be forgiving towards his brothers and say
Don’t be distressed and don’t be angry with yourselves for
what you’ve done.
Joseph shows his wisdom here.
He knows what people are like.
When Christians sin, all being well we will feel guilty and a
right guilt is designed to lead us to God.
But because we are so focused on ourselves, those right
feelings of guilt can turn into sinful self hatred.
I’ve struggled with self hatred to the point of hitting myself
in the face.
its the kind of attitude that makes you want to beat
yourself up.
You realise your guilt and are angry with yourself and
sometimes that bitterness spills over and you’re angry with
other people

If you have been humbled like the brothers,
You’ve seen and owned your guilt
you are actually sorry
God doesn’t want you to be angry with yourself.
God doesn’t want his humbled people to be angry with
themselves or distressed because of their sin.
He want’s you to take your eyes off of yourself and see the
bigger picture
Your sin is part of God’s salvation tapestry
Your sin is just a strand in the tapestry- if you zoom out,
you will see God’s Son Jesus, saving you from your sin,
by dying in your place and rising from the dead.
That’s the context in which Christians should see there
hear Jesus say to you, like Jospeh to his brothers:
“Come near to me.”
Our guilt is meant to lead us to God.

Come near to Jesus, knowing what you’ve done, sorry for
what you’ve done,
Then fixing your eyes on Jesus face full of sympathy,
forgiveness, love.
Looking at him full of grace and truth,
If we are angry with ourselves, we become embittered
toward others too.
If we are not at peace in our own consciences, because
we aren’t enjoying peace with God then
it makes it harder to be at peace with others too.
We need to see the bigger picture
God works through human sin to bring salvation.
Embracing this truth will liberate us from self hatred and
Christian – When you lie awake at night on your bed and
the skeletons of your past, the things you are ashamed of
come creeping into your mind, instead of beating yourself
up….  Step back, see the bigger picture

Remember that God is working through human sin to bring
God’s sovereign hand is working through those events to
bring about a gracious end, though you have sinned, God
has treated you better than you deserve, and your ultimate
end will be better than you deserve.
When you encounter your husband or wife’s sin, the thing
they seem to keep doing, the thing that really gets to you,
instead of getting angry and feeling sorry for yourself
see the bigger picture
You can step back and think…this is all part of God’s plan
to save.
God is saving.
You can not hold it against the person who sinned against
you if you see God’s bigger purpose. Like Joseph you can
say – it was not you. I know you did actually do it, but God
has a bigger purpose that your sin is apart of, so i can go
easy on you.
He has allowed sin to exist and he is working to bring us
finally into heaven through this sin saving us from it.

We can say that God is in absolute control over all things
even through human sin.
We must be crystal clear. God allows sin to happen. But
he hates it.
He is perfectly righteous and holy and good, there is no
sin in God.
Humans sin. We are responsible to God for our sin.
But God uses sin as part of his plan to save the world.
his plan was always to save people from their sin,
The ultimate example of this
Jesus, God’s son died in the place of guilty sinners to pay
for their sins, and rise from death to give them everlasting
God has allowed your sin to happen so he can send his
son to die in your place, rise and forgive you – so you will
see what he is like – see his grace and praise him.
How Joseph acts here towards his brothers is a glimmer of
the character of Jesus, full of grace and truth.

Isaiah 42:3 3
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.
Jesus is tender towards the broken hearted, humbled and
repentant sinner
He says come close to me, don’t be angry with yourself
Then he lifts the bowed down sinner up and provides them
with eternal life.
If you’re not a Christian
you will have experienced self hatred too
either for something you felt bad about doing
or if you have fail in something in life that is really
important to you, a relationship, a job or sport that defines
If you know yourself to be a failure in life, this sense of
failure and even guilt was designed to bring you to God.

If you fail in your job or in a realtionship and it feels like the
world has ended, its because that person or work has
become your identity, and is functionally your God.
But think about it, can another person like you, really fulfill
the weight of all your hopes and dreams?
Or do people with great success in life and work find
lasting peace and happiness?
What’s more important than achievement and human
Is living in right relationship with the God who made you
and loves you.
if you know that you have messed up in anything, know
that you’ve definitely messed
when it comes to doing what pleases God,
God’s judgement for this is death
It’s a serious thing to sin against the almighty God
If you are not a christian and this is news to you, and you
are sorry for your sin against God
Here Jesus speak his words of life and grace to you:
Come near to me.
Come near to Jesus
When Jesus was sold by his own people, handed over to
death,  he paid the price of your sin – death.

And when he rose from death in power he sent his people
to tell the good news that he is lord of all the earth and can
provide everlasting life for all who believe in him.
Come near to Jesus, trust him, he will deliver you and
bring you into his kingdom to live with him forever.

Now God’s plan to save is coming to fruition, Joseph
sends his brothers to bring his Dad Jacob and the whole
family into Egypt where they will be saved from the famine
8 ‘So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He
made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household
and ruler of all Egypt. 9 Now hurry back to my father and
say to him, “This is what your son Joseph says: God has
made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay.
10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me
– you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and
herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there,
because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise
you and your household and all who belong to you will
become destitute.”
This passage highlights Josephs deep affection and
emotion towards his brothers
His loud crying. Here he weeps, his brothers weep, they
embrace each other, kiss, and then talk. It doesn’t say
what they talked about, the point is that they are talking
again. There relationship is good. These are the tokens of
reconciliation and right relationship. I know we are british
and restrained. The egyoptian palace culture was also
cool and restrained. But in a family all over the world
talking, hugging, kissing, weeping are can be genuine
signs of healthy relationships. A good application from
this is: give someone a hug, or in a way that is appropriate
show affection to someone, a hug can be very disarming.
Enjoy talking with someone.

Please note keep it pure younger men especially.
14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin
and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And
he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterwards
his brothers talked with him.
The last thing we’ll note is the lovely moment where
Joseph is peacemaker in his family
24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were
leaving he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!”
He knows what they are like and wants them to be at
peace with eachother.
God wants his family to be at peace with eachother.
The big truth we’ve learned:
God works through human sin to bring salvation

Will empower us to be at peace with eachother.
When we are tempted to take issue with a brother or
sister, even beacause of their sin, we do it with the heart
of Jesus the peacemaker.
We can be mindful that God is saving our brother or
sisters who has sinned and seek peace with them, either
through loving rebuke, or overlooking, whatever is best for
them, whatever makes for genuine peace.
God works through human sin to bring salvation
Come near to the gracious Son for salvation
– Don’t be distressed or angry with yourselves (but see
sin in context)
– Don’t quarrel along the way
– Be at peace with each other