Genesis Part 3 Can God Be Trusted? Does He Know What He's Doing?
I. God Has a Plan to Protect and Prosper His People, To Which, We Need to Respond in Faith
26:3 Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee...5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. 12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.13 And the man became great, and continued, and grew until he became very great: 24...I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee...for my servant Abraham's sake.
28:15 I am with thee, and will keep thee where you go...bring again into this land; for I will not leave...do which I have declared to thee. 20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22 And this stone, which I have set [for] a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth to thee.
II. God's Plan Does Not Exclude Pain, To Which, We Need To Respond in Prayer
30:27 And Laban said...I have learned by experience that the LORD has blessed me for thy sake. 31:7 And your father has deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God allowed him not to hurt me. 24 And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said to him, Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad. 42 Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst now sent me away empty. God has seen my affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked [thee] last night.
32:9 And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the LORD who said to me, Return to thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: 10 I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou has shown to thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. 11 Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau: for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, [and] the mother with the children. 12 And thou said, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude. 35:5...and the terror of God was on the cities...they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob.
III. God's Presence Sustains Us in Painful Circumstances, During Which, We Focus on Being Faithful
39:2 And the LORD was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. 3 And his master saw that the LORD [was] with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4 And Joseph found grace in his sight...5...the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was on all that he had in the house, and in the field...21 But the LORD was with Joseph, and showed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 23...the LORD was with him, and [that] which he did, the LORD made [it] to prosper.
40:8...Joseph said to them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you...23 Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him 41:1...at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
41:16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, Can we find such a man as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? 39 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, Forasmuch as God has shown thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
41:51 Joseph called the name of the firstborn : For God, said he, has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.
IV. God Uses Our Pain to Profit Us, & Even Those Who Cause Our Pain, So We Can Be Kind To Them
(Our life and God's blessing aren't just for us; the world doesn't revolve around us)
45:5 be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me here: for God sent me before you to preserve life. 7 And God sent me before you to preserve for you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. 8 So now it was not you that sent me here, but God: and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his house, and ruler of all the land of Egypt.
50:19 And Joseph said to 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 for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive. 21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spoke kindly to them...24 And Joseph said to his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land which he swore 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 here.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. What kinds of circumstances most often lead us to believe that God hasn't a clue about how our lives should occur/operate?
2. What makes it difficult/easier to pray and trust God in difficult or unjust circumstances?
3. What's the challenge/alternative to faithfulness when we encounter rough winds or rocky roads? Why?
4. T or F "Suffering is the vaccine against short-sightedness of the soul" How much of a comfort to you is the Person of God?
5. What would enable us to "bless" those that appear to be causing our troublesome times?