SBTS chapel live blog: James Merritt

Communications Staff — October 14, 2009

Preacher: James Merritt

Text/title: Genesis 37, 39-41; Getting What I Don’t Deserve

There are a lot of average Joe’s in the world. I want to preach this morning about the first average Joe: Joseph, the son of Jacob.

Fourteen chapters in Genesis are devoted to this man named Joe. Joe’s family was the first truly dysfunctional family. Joe’s dad is a con artist. Joe’s dad has five wives, etc. To top it all off, Joe is the favorite son of his dad. And his brothers don’t like it. They don’t like it so much that they sell him into slavery.

Joseph is getting what he didn’t deserve. And Joseph is like every single person in this room. Every one of us will get what we don’t deserve. I want to talk about Joseph in the valley of defeat, because it is going to happen to all of us if it hasn’t happened already. The question I want to ask is this: When you get what you don’t deserve how are you going to respond?

1. God is walking beside you.

After his brothers sold him into slavery, Joseph was really an average Joe. He was a servant. But the text says, “The Lord was with Joseph.”

When Potiphar’s wife tempted him, Joseph did not give in because Joseph knew that God was walking beside him. God is with you even where there is no evidence that He is. Even when you are getting what you don’t deserve, we learn that God is walking beside you.

2. God is working for you.

After Joseph has done the right thing in the right way on the right path, he goes from the pit to the prison. Joseph has been a man of integrity. He has done all the right things. And he is in a prison.

Would you rather be on the beach in Hawaii soaking in the sun, without God or in a prison, in a foreign land, falsely accused of rape, with God?

Despite Joseph’s difficult situation, God was working for Him. Eventually, God moved Joseph from the pit to the prison to the palace and Joseph became prime minister of Egypt.

What we see as stumbling blocks are often stepping stones God uses in our lives.

3. God is witnessing through you.

Potiphar noticed something different in Joseph. Even though Joseph was a slave, he trusted in God and stayed committed to him. Potiphar put Joseph in charge over everything in his house.

The chief jailer noticed something different in Joseph. The chief jailer put Joseph over everything in the prison.

Joseph acted the way He did because He believed that God was walking beside him and working for him. Even in difficult situations, Joseph remained faithful to God.

If we do the same thing, people will notice something different about us. They will notice our faith. If you are walking through difficult times, you will either believe that God is absent and you are on your own or God is present and you are in His care.

Are you ready to become a pastor, counselor, or church leader who is Trusted for Truth?

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