From last week’s Station One message
Station One: 24 June 2008
Speaker: Rainier Pagcaliwagan
It hasn’t been a good week for me, folks. I just had to say that. Not all weeks are cut out to be great, I guess. Reviewing Rainier’s message last week on Joseph helps put things in perspective for me. So, I hope this helps you too, whatever kind of week you have been having.
In our last Station One sermon summary, we talked about how God, in His wonderfulawesome grace, always gives us the chance to make faith, patience, compassion, trust—all of the good stuff that we already know—real in our lives by putting us in situations where we have to make use of them… It’s never as easy as it looks on the page or heard from the pulpit, doesn’t it? But still, God is faithful, He will never let us be tempted and tested beyond what we can bear, He always gives us a way out.
Of course, my week has nothing on Joseph’s 13 years of slavery and imprisonment in Egypt, and I’m here thinking how did he do it? Was there ever a time where he just buried himself under a pillow and just wished that he would just wake up from that nightmare that was his life, or at least thumped the ground a bit? But the Bible doesn’t say anything on whether Joseph complained or shook his fist at the heavens, literally or metaphorically, but just that the Lord was with him and he prospered wherever he was placed.
In Genesis 41, the Pharaoh had two dreams. This was two full years after Joseph had told the butler to remember him to the Pharaoh when the butler went back to his master’s service. By all appearances, Joseph seemed to have been forgotten, but everything was in going with God’s perfect timing. See, this was finally it—the fulfillment of Joseph’s dreams back when he was home with his family. Joseph was given great power over all of Egypt and that he was only answerable to the Pharaoh himself. God used the 13 years between the dream and its realization to purify, hammer, and strengthen Joseph’s faith in Him, and add to that the wisdom learned through experience, to prepare Joseph. It took this long for Joseph to get there so he would have integrity, because power corrupts, especially when acquired so easily.
Joseph was already thirty years old when he finally stood in front of the Pharaoh and told him that God’s the One who can give him the answers. He pointed all the glory to God, Joseph knew that he only made it that far because God was with him. From affliction to exultation, Joseph glorified God!
And Pharaoh, who worshiped other gods, recognized the presence of the true God in Joseph’s life. That was why he put Joseph in charge of everything. Joseph got a wife with the promotion (heh) and when he had two sons, he honored God with them. He named his eldest Manasseh, because God had made him forget all his troubles and his father’s entire household— not that he forgot his family, but Joseph did not let his past hinder him from moving forward, he kept his eyes on God. He named his second son Ephraim, because God made him fruitful in his suffering—Joseph recognized God’s hand in everything.
And now, here we are. How’s our Godspotting doing? Do we see God’s hand in our own tough life? Or are we always ready to whine and moan when things aren’t going our way and we don’t know what to do with ourselves? God knows that we are very shortsighted people with bad memories (hence, we’re often called “sheep”) so He has filled the Bible with reminders and stories for us to REMEMBER that He is always faithful and He always pulls through.
Remember the Cross—the permanent evidence of God’s love for us! When we look at life through the world’s lenses, we just take it as it comes, and it’s blurry and unfocused because we can only see it through the perspective of the present. When we view life through God’s lenses, everything is seen clearer in the full view from eternity. Let’s not preoccupy ourselves with the things of this world because we won’t be staying here very long, but seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
This was Joseph’s secret—he saw life through God’s lenses that’s why he stuck with Him no matter what. Joseph knew that God, in all His power, can take even the evil plans of men and use them to bring His purposes to pass. And he only saw that at the end of his story— after everything that he has been through! Most of the time, God reinforces our faith after we trust Him, not before.
So no matter what kind of day we’re having, this is the secret to getting through it, just stay with God. Be transformed by the renewing of our minds and see just how He has worked out our past, our present and even the unknown future, into his perfect masterpiece. He didn’t promise that it would be easy, and even if we don’t see it at times, He did promise that He will be with us. REMEMBER that He is faithful. Because whose name is on you? It’s His. He won’t let His name be put to shame because this is all about Him.
So, stick with God through everything and anything. Do this, and even other people who don’t believe in God won’t be able to help but see His presence in our lives.
I hope you guys learned from the life of Joseph as much as I have. For more on Joseph, just turn your Bibles to Genesis 37-50. This month, we embark on a new series called Elemental, every Tuesday night of July, at 7:30 p.m. at Station One [Basement 2, Union Church Manila, cor. Legaspi and Rada St., Legaspi Village, Makati City].
I’ll see you guys tonight.
Rainier also pointed out that Joseph wholly gave his life over to God that God used him as a foretaste of Jesus’ ministry here on earth. Here are some of his notes on the correspondence between the lives of Joseph and Jesus from Genesis 41, this actually makes for a very interesting study. Look them up!
- Verse 16 – Joseph points to God for the credit and interpretation of the dreams; Jesus points to the glory of God (Matthew 5:16)
- Verse 27 – Joseph prophetically reveals a 7 year famine; Jesus is prophetically revealed in the 7-year famine (Rev 5).
- Verse 38 – Joseph is a man with whom is the Spirit of God; Jesus was given the Spirit of God without limitation (John 3:24).
- Verse 40 – From dungeon to the throne; Jesus went from the tomb to the throne (Rev 5:1).
- Verse 43 – Joseph was given authority over all the land of Egypt; Jesus was granted authority over everything (John 17:2; Matthew 28: 18)
- Verse 45 – Joseph was given a new name when he was raised up; Jesus was given the name above every name. (Philippians 2:6-9; Revelation 3:12)
- Verse 46- Joseph was 30 years old when he started to serve the Pharaoh; Jesus was 30 years old when he started his public ministry. (Luke 3:23)
- Verse 55 – Pharaoh commands the people to go to Joseph for advise on what to do; Mary in the wedding at Cana told the servants to go to Jesus and obey him what they tell them to do. (John 2:5)
- Verse 57 – All the nations came to buy food from Joseph in order to be saved in the physical sense; Jesus is the only way to salvation.