Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Pastor's Blog

Seeing Jesus in Joseph 2.26.2017

Good Morning, dear friend. May the grace, mercy and peace from God our Father and from His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you now and always, Amen.

It is nice to be back here again after being gone last week for vacation to New Hampshire where we had a wonderful time of fellowship and fun with our family there. It was a privilege for my wife and I to be at our three grandchildrens‚€™ athletic events. There was a lot of snow out there, which made my wife, who absolutely loves snow, very happy!

Last time we considered the early life of Joseph, the great grandson of Abraham. The message was entitled Promise, Presence, and Purpose. We covered the initial part of his life up to the time when he was tempted to sin by his master‚€™s (Potiphar) wife to sin by committing adultery with her. He resisted, was falsely accused by her and was put into prison by Potiphar. He would not and could not sin against Potiphar, against her and, most importantly, against God, saying ‚€œhow then can I do this great wickedness?‚€Ě

As we are embarking on a journey through the Old Testament in 10 months, with the main purpose of ‚€œseeing Jesus‚€Ě in the OT, hence the title of this series, The Red Thread, our study will be an overview of certain events. It is already pretty obvious to me that three words which entitled the last message, Promise, Presence, Purpose are fitting not only for Joseph, but all Christians of all time. Are you and I not finding that how we understand/do not understand the Promise of God has a direct effect upon how we experience His Presence, and therefore has everything to do with our Purpose in life. In this message I hope to expand on how Joseph lived his entire life on the Promise. You might say, what Promise? Well, let‚€™s start out with the verses that are included in our scripture reading for this Sunday‚€™s message:

John 12: 23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. 25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. 26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Jesus is the corn of wheat that fell into the ground and died, and in His death, He brought life to the world. He understood and was entirely committed to sacrificing His life so that out of His death (Seed dying) much fruit would be brought out of that death. He is referring to the new creation bring brought forth (2 Cor 5:17) so that just as in Adam all have died, in Christ all have been made alive. (Romans 5:18)

Joseph most likely did not understand what God was doing in his life until later, but he lived according to the Promise of God as is evidenced by his testimony of faith (Genesis 50:24-25, Hebrews 11:22) which we will address below in our question and answer portion.

Joseph displayed to his brothers the heart of Christ as he forgave that which they had done to him, recognizing that God had orchestrated the circumstances of his life for His purposes: To save much people alive.

Joseph lived with the eyes and heart of Jesus......Below are the verses that highlight this reality in his life. He forgave them for the sake of Jesus (The Promise), he did not selfishly look upon his inconvenience of circumstances, but he saw blessing coming to them through God‚€™s working through his life.

Genesis 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Before we go to the questions that I have formulated for our help, I want to point out that it was brought to my attention through another pastor that Genesis 37-41 is largely about Joseph and chapters 42-50 are more about the brothers of Joseph and their journey from the despising of Joseph to coming to depend upon him. Or we could say that the first part is about Jesus making preparations to save much people alive and the last part 42-50 is about how God/Jesus bring about circumstances and situations in the lives of people in order to bring them to a place of need so that they will seek out help.

I hope that we can grasp the enormity of what was said above, for if we only see this account of Joseph as a cute story of how one man was sent ahead to preserve life and do not see the analogy of Jesus being sent ahead to bring and preserve life, we miss ‚€œseeing Jesus‚€Ě in the OT. May the Holy Spirit pour understanding and knowledge into our hearts through Jesus Christ, the Promise.

How did Joseph demonstrate that he lived by the Promise of God?

Genesis 50:24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
25 And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence.

Hebrews 11:22 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.

On what occasions did he experience God's Presence in his life?

KJV Genesis 39:1 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither.
2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.

Genesis 39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.

3. How did he demonstrate that he lived for others?

19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

‚€œThe Church is the Church only when it exists for others...not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.‚€Ě Dietrich Bonhoeffer

‚€œBeing free means "being free for the other," because the other has bound me to him. Only in relationship with the other am I free‚€Ě D.B.

4. Am I living for self or for the benefit of others? How might I live for others?

Live in the Promise of God through Christ

Thank Him for, Remember how He has been with us, and look for ways that He is Present in our lives

Live our lives according to our present circumstances/life stage by faith, out of which love flows.

May the God by His Spirit enlighten our minds and hearts to see what a privilege it is to serve others in love. I pray that you will use these questions to provoke meditation/discussion/prayer for greater blessing into your life and into the lives of others.

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Next Message: March 5, First Sunday in Lent: Exodus 3 God speaks out of a Bush. Please read the first three chapters of Exodus.

Posted on 26 Feb 2017 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
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Help is on the way Isaiah 40.1.11
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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