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Today we continue our series entitled, “Faith and Patience Volume IV — The Wonder Twins.” I am using Joseph as an excellent example of our need for patience. We are seeking to learn from the different phases of Joseph’s life. Let’s get into it.
(James 1:2-4 TPT)
2 My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can!
3 For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things.
4 And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.
(Ecc 3:1 ERV)
There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.
(Gen 42:35-38 CEV)
35 When the brothers started emptying their sacks of grain, they found their moneybags in them. They were frightened, and so was their father Jacob,
36 who said, “You have already taken my sons Joseph and Simeon from me. And now you want to take away Benjamin! Everything is against me.”
37 Reuben spoke up, “Father, if I don’t bring Benjamin back, you can kill both of my sons. Trust me with him, and I will bring him back.”
38 But Jacob said, “I won’t let my son Benjamin go down to Egypt with the rest of you. His brother is already dead, and he is the only son I have left. I am an old man, and if anything happens to him on the way, I’ll die from sorrow, and all of you will be to blame.”
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Setting the stage.
9 of the 10 brothers who made the trip to Egypt stood in front of their father (Simeon was back in Egypt). The 9 men went on to explain to their father that the lord of the country wanted to see their youngest brother and that he kept Simeon as a hostage until he did. Jacob said, “You have already taken my sons Joseph and Simeon from me. And now you want to take away Benjamin! Everything is against me.” The old man spoke out of frustration. He had had enough of his sons’ ways. His true feelings came out. It is clear to me that he blamed the 10 sons for what had happened to Joseph 20 years earlier. He never really believed their fabricated story.
The oldest son, Rueben, must have felt guilty. He was the only one who, twenty years earlier, did not want to betray Joseph, and he could have kept the others from carrying out their plan. Being the oldest, he attempted to take responsibility. Rueben said, “I’ll put my two sons in your hands as hostages. If I don’t bring Benjamin back, you can kill them. Trust me with Benjamin; I’ll bring him back.” In other words, he was saying, “Daddy, I know you are upset because you feel you have lost two sons. How about this? Give me Benjamin, your favorite, and I will give you two of my sons. If something happens to Benjamin, then you can kill your grandsons.” How ridiculous does that sound? Talk about a dysfunctional family!
Jacob said, “I won’t let my son Benjamin go down to Egypt with the rest of you. His brother is already dead, and he is the only son I have left.” I understand the fact that Joseph and Benjamin were born of the same mother (Rachel), and I know that Jacob was talking about the fact that Benjamin was the only son left FROM THAT MOTHER, but that is not what he said. How do you think the 9 sons felt when Jacob looked them in the face and said that Benjamin was the only son he had left? How did that make them feel?
2. Jacob was far from perfect.
Jacob had been through a lot in his life. He started off as a trickster and conniver. He and his mother concocted a plan to lie to his father (her husband) in order to steal the birthright from his brother (her other son). He plan worked. He stole the blessing. His brother wanted to kill him, and Jacob left home as a fugitive.
Jacob was then tricked by his father-in-law (he reaped what he had sown) when it came time to marry the woman of his dreams (Joseph’s mother). He worked for his father-in-law for 20 years in less than ideal situations. Laban was getting rich off of Jacob. Jacob switched systems, he started to live by faith, and he made more money in year 21 than he had in the previous 20 years combined.
But he still had issues with his brother, and he finally got those resolved. He fathered the 12 boys who would become the 12 tribes of Israel, but he never really got his family life in order. He favored Joseph over his brothers, and with Joseph gone, he was doing the same with Benjamin.
God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, and the nation promised to his grandfather has his name today. But it is not because he was perfect. It was because God uses imperfect people. If God could use Jacob in a powerful way, and make His name great, He can do the same with and for you!
3. Jacob’s bloodline was not perfect.
Abraham made many mistakes while he was attempting to walk with God. He lied about his wife being his sister. His son Isaac made the same lie. Abraham got tired of waiting on God for the promised child, so after 13 years, he slept with his servant and had a son. This caused a rift between his wife and his servant. He would up kicking the boy and his mother out of the family. That boy, Ishmael, went on to become the father of Islam. The promised child who was born 12 years later, Isaac, went on to extend the bloodline that would lead to the Israelites. But the issue between the mother of Isaac and the mother of Ishmael has never been resolved. The problem between the Jews and the Muslims started with two women in a tent in the desert, and it will not be resolved until Jesus comes back.
Abraham was not perfect. However, when he mentioned in the New Testament, none of his flaws are brought up. This is how it is with God. Just like you brag about your children and you don’t publicly bring up their shortcomings, God does the same with you as his son/daughter. God loves you so much that He looks past your flaws and uses you anyway. He knew all the mistakes you were going to make and He called you to His purpose anyway. That, my friends, is called GRACE!
4. Jesus’ bloodline was not perfect.
The Gospel, according to the Apostle Matthew, opens up with Jesus’ bloodline. I preached a message one time where I went through several of the names listed there, and I pointed out the fact that you will find prostitutes, adulterers, liars, cheaters, and the like, all listed in Jesus’ bloodline. I entitled the message, “Don’t Judge My Future By My Past!” God looks past your past, and He pulls you into your purpose anyway!
God called you from the foundations of the world. He called you by grace and not by merit. You cannot disqualify yourself from your life’s assignment, because you never qualified in the first place! Jesus qualified for you!
5. God is in the business of making holy garments out of flawed material!
God does extraordinary things with ordinary people. God is in the business of making holy garments out of flawed material. Abraham was not perfect. Neither was Isaac or Jacob, but God used them mightily. If God did that with them, then He can do the same with and for you.
Stop making excuses for why you are not worthy of being used by God. Let me help you out. YOU ARE NOT WORTHY! Get over it. Jesus made you worthy!
God is not looking for perfection. He is looking for willingness. If you are willing, then He is able. He can cover your flaws and magnify your strengths. By grace, God can empower you to do what you could never do without Him. Stop fighting the grace of God. Open your heart to God’s best. Greater is coming for you!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, You are in the business of making holy garments out of flawed material. I am not perfect. But You called me anyway. You looked past my faults, flaws, and failures, in advance, and You called me to my purpose! So I embrace it! I am not perfect, but Jesus was perfect for me. I am not worthy, but Jesus was worthy for me. As Jesus is, so am I, in this world! Jesus took my sin, and I accept His righteousness! I am an instrument in Your hands Father, and I ready to be used today and every day for Your glory! GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!