Worship, March 29, 2020: Genesis 42: God’s Kindness Leads us to Repentance

Good Lord’s Day to you TRC and Friends. Below you will find our sermon and response of worship, notes below that video AND another video from Brittany for our kids.

Take time this morning to grab some coffee, juice, breakfasty kind of something, and gather with your family or small group and worship the Lord Jesus together.

Don’t forget to give right here GIVE TO TRC We are continuing to drive forward with the work of the kingdom globally and locally. Restoration Rome is still a location where feeding is taking place through Rome City Schools, and our own Jennifer Jolly is leading that charge for the YMCA at Restoration Rome, so we need to keep giving to keep service flowing through Restoration Rome. Jeff and Mary Margaret are working hard to be good citizens and balance all that is necessary to keep the mission moving forward for Rome/Floyd County.

NOTE: Due to school closure and the mandate to shelter in place, we will not be able to meet together until after April 26. We simply do not know when we will be allowed back in school and thus into our shared space with UCS. So, keep praying, keep working, keep advancing the cause.

We love you TRC, and we miss our corporate time of worship together. Can you imagine what our first time of gathered worship will be like? Man, Jesus be praised!

Genesis 42: God’s Kindness leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4)

 

The Big Idea: It is God’s gracious kindness that leads us to repentance. 

Moses now shifts the story from Joseph to how, through Joseph, God saves his people. 

Moses shows us a part of the nature of God in his power to save sinners. 

As I mentioned last week, I’d give you something from the end of chapter 41. I won’t comment on them now, but you can read them in the notes.

NOTE: As promised, a gospel tributary from chapter 41: 

  • Joseph bears witness to the truth from his humbled place.
    • (John 18:37 – Jesus said he came to bear witness to the truth, humbled himself as a servant not counting his equality with God something to be grasped…), 
  • Joseph is exalted to second in command and he receives a bride. 
    • (Jesus is exalted through resurrection and Jesus saves, through his resurrection and ascension, a people for himself called the Bride of Christ) 
  • Joseph is given sons from his suffering and exaltation in Egypt.
    • (Jesus’ saves a people and adopts them as sons and daughters of God) 
  • Joseph’s work succeeds because it was the plan of Yhwh for Joseph to save his people.
    • (Jesus’ ministry succeeds because it was the plan of God from the beginning ,and told in Genesis 3:15, that Jesus the Son of God would come, bear witness, die, rise, ascend and save his people from all nations).

 

STOP AND READ GENESIS 42

 

In our time of being scattered, we want to take full advantage of helping you to not only continue growing in Christ, but prepare you to make disciples in studying Scripture together. 

The three basic questions I’m asking to help guide our study are:

  1. What does the passage say? Learn the story well enough to summarize or restate it. 
  2. What does this passage teach us about God/man?
  3. How do we apply this passage to us?

WHAT DOES GENESIS 42 SAY? Work on trying to know the passage well enough to be able to restate it. 

  • Work on learning the passage throughout the week. As you gather via zoom or some other virtual tool, recount the story to one another and looking for gospel tributaries, as well as truths about God and man.

Famine has now struck the land.

People are coming from all over the earth to Egypt for help because Joseph was successful under Yhwh’s power to harness the years. 

Jacob and the family are struggling in their homeland (evidenced by Jacob’s statement to his sons, “Why do you look at one another?”).

Jacob has heard that food is available in Egypt, so he sends his sons down there for food…except he won’t send Benjamin because he fears something may happen to him. 

Joseph’s brothers come to Egypt, and guess who they are greeted by and who do they bow to? Joseph!

Joseph has been “Egyptianized”. He is clean shaven, wearing their clothes, has a priestess for a wife…they don’t recognize him, but he recognized them. 

Joseph acts like he doesn’t know them, and he speaks harshly to them. 

Joseph remembers the dream. God has been faithful!

Joseph accuses them of being spies, and they deny it. 

The brothers tell a small part of their story…12 brothers…one is at home with our father…one is no more…Can you imagine how Joseph is feeling?

So, Joseph “tests” them. 

  • “By this you shall be tested” 42:15

Joseph gives them the test. 

  • send one, bring back the brother that is left behind, while the rest remain in custody.
  • Then he jails them for 3 days to think it over. 

Joseph brings them out on the third day…(hmmm?). 

Joseph has a new plan, and his reasoning? He fears God!

The brothers haven’t mentioned God to this point. 

  • But Joseph, who has been “Egyptianized” is the one who brings up God…Because Joseph is the one who fears God. 

Joseph’s plan: leave one behind, the rest carry food for home, get the youngest brother, bring him back and prove they are who they say they are. 

Something miraculous happens: 

  • The confronting of their situation brings the brothers to a place of confession: “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother…we did not listen to him in his distress, and now this distress has come on us.” 42:21

Reuben recognizes that they have sown evil and now they are reaping evil…a reckoning for Joseph’s blood. 

Joseph is getting all of this.

Joseph is so moved that he weeps. 

Joseph takes Simeon, binds him, and gives orders to his men: 

  • Fill their bags with grain and provisions for the journey AND replace their money. 
  • What kindness AND a shock to them this is going to be. 

They leave, and on the way they stop to feed the animals, and one opens his sack and bam! 

They are afraid now. 

NOW, God is on their radar. They start talking about God: 

  • “What is this that God has done to us?” 42:28
  • Living in their sin has so messed up their view of God that all they know or think of is God bringing their sin home to roost. 
    • This is not untrue, but that seems to be the only thing they speak of and know about God…and there is so much more. 

The brothers start to see that their sin is being called to account. 

  • God is not going to let their sin reign and rule the day. 

The brothers get home and relay the story to Jacob and how they have to go back and take Benjamin. 

  • They all open their sacks, and bam! 
  • The money they were supposed to pay with is in their sacks.
  • This is a great kindness done to them by Joseph but it is also testing their hearts because they don’t know who he is.  

Jacob is devastated. “You have bereaved me of my children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin.” 42:36

Reuben takes the lead and offers his two sons as a pledge if he does not bring Benjamin back, and Jacob refuses. 

Wow! What is God doing here? 

God is exercising great kindness to draw these sons of Jacob to repentance and they can’t see it because they are blinded by their sin and cover up. 

WHAT DOES GENESIS 42 TEACH US ABOUT GOD AND MAN?

  • Gospel Tributary: The brothers don’t get what they deserve. 
    • In fact, they get provision, blessing, and have their sin revealed so that they may be rescued and eventually reconciled to Joseph. 
    • Joseph paid the price of their sin, and dispensed grace and kindness to those who sinned against him. 
  • Man’s sin blinds them to the kindness of God in Jesus’ work on our behalf.
    • Joseph’s brothers only saw condemnation at the gracious testing of Joseph. 
      • Joseph’s testing revealed the guilt that was present over their sin. 
    • 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 (ESV) Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
  • God used awareness of guilt and fear to produce a godly grief in order to show these brothers they need saving. 
    • 42:21 “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother.” 
    • 2 Corinthians 7:10 (ESV) For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.
  • God, being good and mighty, harnesses guilt and fear and grief as gospel instruments to bring us to a place of saving. 
    • God’s ability to harness things that are products of sin show us:
      • God’s mastery over sin.
      • God defeats the curse with the curse. 
        • He takes the curse’s weapons and kills the curse with its own weapons. 
        • He tramples over death by death!
  • God harnesses guilt and fear with kindness. Romans 2:4
    • Joseph, God’s instrument of grace, tests his brothers with kindness. 
      • He fears God, so he sends provision and food for free, and swallows vengeance. 

WHAT ARE WE TO BELIEVE, KNOW AND DO?

  • We need to believe that God WANTS to save from sin’s death. 
    • God delights in saving the most despicable and the least despicable among us. 
    • God will make sure he gets his word by all means to people in order to show who he is, save and even call back home. 
  • Know that right now, the Lord has us scattered on purpose and on mission to spread this aroma of the kindness of Jesus to those who need to know this and experience his grace. 
    • As the Lord sent Joseph to save his family, we have been sent and our work is being sent. 
  • Receive the kindness of God in Jesus Christ by turning from sin and believing in Jesus. 
    • This is an invitation for those awakened by the gospel to turn to Jesus. 
    • ***This kind of kindness is also for those who already follow Jesus. 
    • Colossians 2:6-7 (ESV) Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
      • Live in faith that right now Jesus is being kind to us. 
      • Sink your roots into Jesus deeper by trusting that he is continuing to save us. 
      • Our salvation is not a one and done. It is an ongoing reality of done and being made more done every day.
        • Romans 8:30 (ESV) And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
      • Be ok with Jesus continuing to establish our faith through this light testing. 
  • Let’s rest in this gospel truth we learn about God from Genesis 42,  and pray for Jesus to advance it as we sit “sheltered in place.” 
    • John Stott: “We work for God, but we seldom wait on God.” 
    • Ray Ortland, Jr.: “Maybe that’s a big part of what this enforced isolation is really all about. God is preparing us for His greater power in the near future, realigning us with His way of making progress. So be it.”
    • Mitchell Jolly: God is, perhaps, making us Sabbath now to show us that we are his beloved children who work with him and are not replacements for him. 
  • Worship!

 

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