The Blessings of Family That We Must Enjoy Within Problems (Gen.45:1-9) May 20, 2012
We have been sharing how we are going to enjoy the blessings of family so long as we live. The world we are living in is not that simple. It is full of problems, pain, curses, and spiritual problems. How can we survive if our family is also having hardships? You should be encouraged and strengthened by your family, but what if you only lose strength and feel like you want to kill yourself whenever you are home? We call such family a dysfunctional family. Some people say they would rather die than go home. What if the family of a man of God is like that? What answers must he receive and relay to others?
1. There are answers onto which average Christians hold.
(1) They believe they will go astray if they do not repent for the sins and curses upon their families.
a. This is partially correct. If there are things you must repent for, you must repent and renew. Yet there still are insoluble problems. Some families are just so nice, honest, and self-giving, but problems never cease. What answer would you give to someone or some family like that? Most people just think ‘This is my fate’ and live on.
b. Looking for the source of all problems from sins is called legalism. Legalists believe that everything will be okay if you just have your sins forgiven for everything is a result from you sins. Jesus’ disciples in John 9 run into a blind man and ask amongst one another, “Who sinned?” This is a scary question. Does that make everyone else who is not blind sinless? This is a forbiddingly arrogant question. What does Jesus say in reply? “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
(2) Some believe and hold onto the answer that God desires to use them and their families in a greater way through problems (James 1:2-4). Then how exactly is God trying to use them? There are many people who are having a hard time because they cannot find an answer to that question.
2. What is the reason why God is allowing you and your family who have already been saved problems? A clear fact is that no problem occurs without God’s permission (1Cor.10:13). A problem does not come to someone with no reason, by chance, or because he is just unlucky. Also, a problem is not always the result of your mistake for which you must take responsibility and go astray because of it.
(1) Hold onto the power of the Gospel in this world full of problems.
a. Of course it is right that the source of all problems is sins. Not just the sins you committed but there are also the Original Sin before anything else (Rom.5:12) and the sins of your family line (Ex.20:4-5). Sins are, however, not the only source, but there is the evil spirit behind those sins called Satan. The problem is that men cannot solve these sins and Satan in their background on their own. It says in Rom.3:10, “There is no one righteous, not even one,” which is the reason why God sent His Son Christ to solve the problems of our sins, curses, and Satan.
b. What God wants us to do is quickly enter into Christ (“Ark” from last week’s sermon). He did not just forgive our sins, but He set us free from the authority of sins. You will be attacked all the more if you do not know the fact that you have been liberated. The nature of men’s Original Sin is what makes you do more when told not to and trying not to (Paul in Romans 7). That is the hole through which Satan is trying to penetrate into us to make us fall, and he also uses it to condemn and oppress us (We get afflicted by our own guilty conscience.). Some people get more evil and think “I’m not the only one sinning” to comfort themselves. You were not just forgiven of your sins when liberated. You have come out of the power of sins the authority of Darkness. You can be deceived and fall again living in this corrupt world, but all you have to do is get back up. That is why God gave us the answer of Rom.8:1-2. People who are really free cannot fall into the world and sins. First, it will not be fun for them so they will lose interest. God is also not going to leave them alone. The Holy Spirit within them will somehow make them realize and come out. Do you have a problem in your family or your children that you really cannot solve on your own? Entrust it to God and wait. The way of the Gospel is waiting and seeing God’s work. Did you face some unfair situation? That too He will not leave alone. We can see that from Joseph’s case in today’s passage. His brothers sold him as a slave and he was falsely accused to go to prison, but Immanuel God was with Him the whole time. That is the Gospel.
c. Do you know what we will realize in the end? It is the power of the Gospel and power of Christ. Do you keep on failing? That is this world upon which the authority of sin and Satan of Genesis 3 is working and the original you. That is why God is making you go through these problems to come to the conclusion that it cannot be done by anything but only Jesus. Do you keep facing unfair situations? God is making you come to the conclusion that there is no one else but Jesus whom you must rely on and look upon. Not by your own struggle and effort, but through problems and incidents God is slowly yet gradually turning you into “Only Jesus”. Once you come to that conclusion, you will have nothing else to envy, boast, or fear.
(2) What does God want you to do at the end of the day? He wants you to save others just like you. That is evangelism and missions.
a. What does Joseph tells his brothers kneeling before him in today’s passage? “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here.” Why? “God sent me ahead of you to save lives (verse 5) and preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance (verse 7).”
b. We are not trying to talk about Joseph’s kindheartedness here. He held firmly onto God’s plan. What plan? Being sold as a slave was something that God allowed to take place in order to save his family and the world through him. If he was brought up as a beloved son and a brother, how could he have had come to a great nation Egypt and become a governor? There is nothing God has to do if there are not that many problems in a family. You can come to the conclusion “Only Jesus” only when you have conflicts, and that is how you usually find God’s plan. What if Joseph tried to just live through resentment and rage losing hold of this covenant?
c. Every Remnant in the Bible went through this process. They walked on the path of an evangelist used by God in order to give you the sincere solution of Christ to people like you. They are not simply people who achieved success from impossible environments. Of course there are many people with the traditional success stories (President Obama). But is President Obama an evangelist? The day must come when a remnant who really knows the Gospel and what evangelism is like Joseph rises to Presidency.
d. There are blessings of descendants that evangelists must enjoy and eternal rewards they will receive before God.
(3) Do you have personal problems or problems in your family? Find God’s message given specifically to your family. That will become the specialty of your family. There are things that God wants to do specifically through your family. A barren Hannah went into deep prayer and found the message of the Nasserite. Do not try to come out of your problem, but delve deeper into it and make it your specialty (Anne Sullivan who practically raised Helen Keller).
In the midst of your problem, hold onto God’s plan who is leading you to the conclusion of “Only Jesus”. God wants to use you as an evangelist and disciple. A problem that exists only in your family is the message given only to your family. If you are afflicted in any way, listen to this Word of the Gospel 24 hours a day. I bless and hope that your family may enjoy the blessings God has prepared within your problems.