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! I.              The Life of Joseph Part 3: /The Persecution of Joseph/
*Introduction: *we all go through different trial and seasons in our lives whether it be financially, physically (being sick), etc. but there is a promise that God gives us that I would like to share with you as study the life of Joseph.
*Paul, writing to Timothy said *"Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me!
Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."
(2 Timothy 3:10-12, NASB95)
*Paul also said to those in Corinth that *"We have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body."
(2 Corinthians 4:7-10, NASB95)
*Jesus Himself said *"Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
(Matthew 5:10, NASB95)
!! A.           The Situation for the Persecution (Genesis 37:12-17).
!!! 1.            “Are not your brothers feeding the flocks in Shechem, I will send you to them…”  (v.13).
!!!! a)            The Vindication of the Pursuit.
!!!!! (1)           Some have questioned, and for good reasons, the wisdom of Jacob sending Joseph to check up on his brothers.
!!!!!! (a)           It was a long trip for young Joseph to make by himself.
!!!!!! (b)           Also, the hatred of the brothers for Joseph was very great; and sending Joseph all alone to see them would seem to give them great opportunity to do him harm.
!!!!!! (c)           But the pursuit of Joseph can still be justified; it was needed for the well-being of the family, the flocks, the father, and the (Joseph).
!!!!! (2)           */The well-being of the family:/* The well-being of Joseph's brothers certainly justified the trip.
They were a messed up bunch of guys and needed to be monitored.
!!!!!! (a)           Therefore, the first reason Jacob gave Joseph for going to Shechem was to "see if it is well with your brothers" (v.
!!!!!! (b)           Jacob was concerned about the brothers, and well he should have been.
Not only did their past motivate Jacob to keep a close watch on them, but their present action of going to Shechem would also prompt checking up on them.
!!!!!! (c)           Jacob had a right to be concerned about how his boys were doing and was justified in sending Joseph to check up on them.
!!!!! (3)           */The well-being of the flocks:/* Jacob's concern included the well-being of his flocks, and so he also told Joseph to see if it was "well with the flocks" (v.
!!!!!! (a)           Jacob had a responsibility to know the condition of his flocks (Prov.27:23).
!!!!!! (b)           In view of that, it is hard to criticize Jacob for wanting to know about his flocks and, therefore, sending Joseph to check up on them.
!!!!! (4)           */The well-being of the Jacob:/* Jacob's age would make it difficult, if not impossible, for him to check up on the family and the flocks himself.
!!!!!! (a)           So he did the logical thing and sent Joseph in his place.
Joseph was physically much more able to travel than Jacob was; therefore, it made sense for Jacob to send Joseph
!!!!! (5)           */The well-being of the Joseph:/* This duty of checking up on the family and the flocks fit the coat Joseph was given by Jacob.
!!!!!! (a)           Joseph had been chosen by his father as the one to oversee the family.
He was the heir apparent to rule the household.
!!!!!! (b)           The coat made the choice official and, of course, made it known to others.
!!!!!! (c)           Sending Joseph to check up on the family and flocks was good training for Joseph for his eventual leadership in the family.
!!!!!! (d)           This trip could give him good experience which would help him in the future when he would take over the family leadership.
\\ !!! 2.            “I will send them to you…  So he said to him, here I am…”  (v.13).
!!!! a)            The Valor of the Pursuit (v.13).
!!!!! (1)           */Joseph was submissive:/* When Jacob called Joseph to pursue his brothers, Joseph's response was a noble "Here am I" (v.
!!!!!! (a)           The answer indicated Joseph's ready submission to the commands of his father.
He was a good servant, for service begins with submission to the master.
!!!!!! (b)           Christian service begins with submission to Christ.
Few serve well because they will not submit well.
Many who complain of not being used in service have only their lack of submission to blame.
*There is a story I read about of a boy who applied for a job*.
When he was asked what he could do, he replied, "I can do what I am told to do.”
The boy was hired because he had one of the most important qualifications of all—submission to the boss.
!!!!!! (c)           You, too, will be employed in God's service when you learn to submit to Him.
!!!!! (2)           */Joseph was sacrificial:/* To do as Jacob told him, Joseph must leave his comfortable home in Hebron and travel sixty miles to Shechem.
!!!!!! (a)           This would require much time, effort, and inconvenience; travel in those days was much more difficult than it is today.
!!!!!! (b)           He would have to give up the comforts and pleasures of his home.
But he was willing to pay the price to perform this service for his father.
!!!!!! (c)           If we are going to do as our heavenly Father orders, we will, like Joseph, have to do some sacrificing, too.
But too often we refuse to serve because we would have to leave the comforts of home.
*The writer of Hebrews says about Moses, *"By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin," (Hebrews 11:24-25, NASB95)
!!!!! (3)           *Joseph was steadfast**/:/* Joseph stuck to his task even though he ran into some problems.
When he arrived at Shechem, his brothers were not there.
But he did not quit and go home.
!!!!!! (a)           He continued looking for them until he found them in Dothan some twenty miles away.
!!!!!! (b)           This steadfast feature of Joseph's character was one important reason why he ended up on top in spite of the many adversities he experienced.
Joseph never gave up.
*Paul said, *"In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy."
(1 Corinthians 4:2, NASB95)
!!!!! (4)           */Joseph was (brave, courageous):/* What courage Joseph would have to have to do as his father asked him to do.
His courage was demonstrated in two ways.
It was demonstrated in where he went and in what he wore.
!!!!!! (a)           The place/ where he went/ was where hatred for him was very intense.
Joseph had to go where his brothers were and they hated him.
A brave heart was certainly required to leave the place /where love for him was very great /and go to the place /where hatred for him was very great/.
!!!!!! (b)           Also, he wore the coat not because of pride but because it was proper.
The coat represented his position.
What a lesson this is for Christians today.
(i)             Christians ought to dress like Christians and look like Christians.
We should dress like  Christians in 2 aspects of our life:
(a)           The first being our conduct, appearance
(b)           The second being our physical dress.
(c)           Unlike Joseph, many professing Christians cant be recognized even when they are right next to us because the appearance of these professing Christians is so worldly.
(ii)            I am sure Joseph's coat helped his brothers to recognize Joseph even though he was some distance away (v.
May that be said of us!
\\ !! B.           The Scheme in the Persecution (37:18-30).
!!! 1.            “When they saw him afar off, they conspired against him to kill him…”  (v.18).
!!!! a)            The contemplation in the scheme (v.18).
!!!!! (1)           /Restraining Presence: /First of all, the ten brothers are far from their fathers restraining presence.
Look at the difference of conduct between the ten brothers and Joseph:
!!!!!! (a)           /The brothers: /Earlier the ten brothers would not harm Joseph mainly because of their father’s presence.
Now that their father’s restraining presence is not there, they will cause harm
!!!!!! (b)           /Joseph:/ In chapter 39 of Genesis, Joseph did not have any restraining presence from anyone to stop him from having sex with his boss’s wife:  
*But, because of his fear and love for the Lord, he said *"There is no one greater in this house than I, nor has he kept back anything from me but you, because you are his wife.
How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9, NKJV)
(i)             Joseph was restrained by his fear and love for God.
*Joseph is an example of Psalm 119 that says *"I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word" (Psalm 119:101)
*Here is a great application for us today, Proverbs 10 says* "In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise" (Proverbs 10:19)
!!!!!! (c)           /Example of unrestraint *(Exodus 32:1-10, 19-25)*./
!!!!! (2)           /Remaining Thoughts:/ Their plotting against Joseph was a result of their murderous attitude towards Joseph which already existed in their thoughts.
!!!!!! (a)           If we are to overcome evil in our own lives, we must start the attack on the evil in our thoughts.
Evil thoughts must be stopped, or they will lead to evil conduct.
*All of this is another strong warning in Scripture about our thoughts, *"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV)
!!!!!! (b)           *Proverbs 4:20-27* – we must guard our heart (mind).
!!!!!! (c)           To Hate Our Brother Is To Murder Him In Our Hearts *(1Jn3:13-15):*
(i)             Though we may not carry out the action, we may wish that the person was dead.
Or, by ignoring another person, we may treat them as if they were dead!
Hatred can be shown passively or actively.
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