Knowing God prepared by Rev. E. Anderson

                                               

                                             Rev. E. Anderson

KNOWING GOD

 

This is a further series on Knowing God, the most important and vital knowledge that any person can possess in life. To come to know God and His ways is fundamental to the fulfilment and pleasure of life.

 

The Bible discloses in its history and pages the great truth and fact of people coming to know God in their day and generation. They were different, living at different times and situations, but God broke through into their lives and made all the difference to life, to their view of things and the way they conducted themselves. Knowing God brought a radical shift in their thought, belief and behaviour and so they contributed greatly to the society of their day for good and so made a difference.

 

God came to them differently thus showing that He knows each one personally and that He is not restricted to one way of breaking through into an individual’s life.

 

We shall be taking a bird’s eye view with regard to them and see what we can discover and learn from their personal encounter and experience with God.

 

JOSEPH – THE MAN WHO KNEW GOD THROUGHOUT LIFE

 

Genesis 37 – 50

 

Introduction

 

In review of this man’s life and experience it would appear that he had a conviction and knowledge of God so early and it persisted throughout until its consummation. It is always a good thing when a person comes to enter into a relationship with God either in their childhood and youth and such becomes a growing factor for the remaining years. Joseph is amongst that choice company that believed in and knew God in those formative days and secured for him a faith and conduct that God approved of and blessed. For the rest of his days.

 

Because of the amount of written material concerning him it is possible see that knowledge in manifestation and see how it enabled him to be the man and fulfil a ministry and destiny of immense worth.

 

     1/.  HE EVIDENTLY KNEW WHAT IT WAS TO BE TAUGHT AND GROOMED BY A GODLY FATHER – Genesis 37: 1-4

 

        It is apparent there was quite a healthy bond existent between Jacob and Joseph that was not simply of a natural order. Although he was the son of Rachel that he had dearly loved, this son above the others had true aspirations after spiritual things and eternal realities and he was able to commune with him of the things of a divine quality and found he had a listening ear and responding heart. Joseph wanted to know about Jacob’s life and pilgrimage and how the Lord had become known and real to him. He was like a sponge that was ready to appreciate his life story, especially God’s dealing with him, and so Joseph became switched on and attuned to God in a distinct way.

 

     2/.   HE WAS THE RECIPIENT OF DIVINE DREAMS THAT IMPACTED HIS LIFE THAT HE BELIEVED WERE GOD GIVEN – Genesis 37: 5-11

 

         It was not difficult for the Lord to communicate with him in this way and unveil a destiny that he would come to see fulfilled. Joseph was ready to believe as a teenager that the Lord had a significant role for him to fulfil in life and though he may have been deemed unwise in sharing it with the family, nevertheless, he was sure that he was born for divine purpose. There was a certainty that this was God’s knowledge flowing into his understanding and was prepared to accept it although it would be hotly disputed. What was graciously conveyed was to be an assuring factor through the forthcoming days of testing. Although the dreams seemed to turn into a nightmare yet he would hold on to this divine revelation of promise and prospect. It was to be a sustaining factor within his being that would hold him together. He believed he had everything to live for.

 

     3/.   HE SENSED IN STRANGE CIRUMSTANCES THAT HE MUST ALLOW GOD’S GIFTS TO BE EXPRESSED Genesis 39:1-7.

 

               To be placed in this rich home and with work to perform was no mere chance or coincidence. Instead of commiserating and feeling down and sorry for himself because of these new set of circumstances, he knuckles down and gets on with industry. He felt that the best and wisest thing to do, by the Lord’s help and grace, was to fully engage in whatever was placed before him. If he was to make it to the top then he had to utilize the fresh opportunity before him. He found the favour of the Lord and the awareness that He was with him to bless and give him favour with the master. The Lord’s goodness became a great reality at this time.

 

     4/.  HE KNEW THAT HE MUST NOT FAIL GOD UNDER THE PRESSURE OF TEMPTATION – Genesis 39: 7-20

 

               The knowledge of the Lord and His standard requirements had to be duly taken into consideration under this powerful sexual attraction and appeal. The woman with her words and presentation could have had a dominating impact but he was so God conscious he could and would not allow such a deed to occur. Rather than submit he ran away and kept his purity and integrity and so gained the admiration of heaven.

 

     5/.  HE MUST POSITIVELY RESPOND TO THE PERIOD OF IMPRISONMENT ALTHOUGH IN THE RIGHT – Genesis 39: 20-23; 40

 

               Although prison was a tough time, he managed it well and must have relied on the Lord amidst this inexplicable period. He did not let go of God or his dreams in these awful circumstances but worked his way through them. The psalmist makes the point that it was a trying and testing period, but his faith held to – Psalm 105: 17-19. There was to be no surrendering of his God, dream or destiny. Deeply he knew that something would be worked out on high. In helping the cupbearer and baker with their dreams in interpretation and seeing them fulfilled he must have known God was with him.

 

     6/.   HE MUST GUIDE THE KING AND NATION UNERRINGLY AS HE WAS PLACED WITHIN THE LEADERSHIP ROLE – Genesis 41

 

               His sudden elevation to position did not make him arrogant but through the Lord was able to handle the great responsibility loaded on him. Not only was he able to give true interpretation and explanation of the dream but was conscious of the important answer for the future. Within his new role the knowledge of the Lord over his life and work gave him prudence, courage and the ability to prepare for the difficult days ahead. The Lord confirmed his ministry and so Joseph became recognised as the man who saved a nation.

 

     7/.  HE MUST ACT SPIRITUALLY, IN A GOD APPROVED MANNER WITH HIS BROTHERS WHO HAD SEVERELY WRONGED HIM – Genesis 42- 45

 

               How easily he could have torn his brothers apart and requited them for the evil had done! But Joseph could perceive that it was part of the master plan of heaven and his responsibility was not to disown and discredit, but to forgive and see their future happily resolved. His knowledge of God tempered him and made him a man who had the spirit of grace and love.

 

CONCLUSION

     

In studying the climax of his life, it is obvious that his trust and knowledge of God was intact. He knew his spiritual roots and that his future and that of his real people was in God’s hands – Genesis 50: 22-26. He was aware of God’s promises to Israel and he was determined that his links with Him and the chosen family should remain true.

                                           

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