Joseph, the Dreamer (27 of 34) by Jerry Vines

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Joseph, the Dreamer (27 of 34)
Jerry Vines
Genesis 37
9/7/03

We are going to begin our final series of studies in the book of Genesis which revolve around the life of the young man named Joseph. Joseph is one of the most familiar characters in all of the Bible. It is a story which many of you have been hearing all of your life. The story of Joseph, in the book of Genesis, takes up about 14 chapters. The last 14 chapters in this book of Genesis are devoted to the life of this young man Joseph. That's about one fourth of the contents of the entire book of Genesis.
We raise the question, why is it that the Bible spent so much time talking about the life of one individual. I think there are several reasons why this is true. One of the reasons is because if it were not for the life of Joseph you wouldn't understand what is going on in the book of Exodus. When you begin to read the book of Exodus you will find the children of Israel are down in the land of Egypt. You wouldn't have any idea how they got there if you didn't know the story of Joseph.
Then, I think there is a very practical purpose why the Bible spends so much time with Joseph's life. Joseph is a young man who lived a pure life in a very, very difficult situation. We know that Moses is the human author of the book of Genesis. Before Moses committed to written language the stories of Genesis, he must have heard the oral reports of the lives of these great Bible characters. Maybe it is true that when Moses was a little boy his mother told him the story of Joseph and how Joseph lived in the palace of the pharaoh of Egypt and how he lived a clean, moral life in a difficult situation.
That is exactly the atmosphere Moses was brought up in. Moses went into the home of pharaoh's daughter. He was also living in a palace in Egypt and it was a very difficult, hostile environment.
As Joseph faced all of the temptations and problems of a hostile environment, even Moses would face the same thing. The life of Joseph must have greatly encouraged the young man, Moses.
The same thing is true this evening. There are some of you who are living in a difficult situation. Maybe you are going to a school where there is great temptation and great hostility to the things of God. The life of Joseph illustrates to us that it is possible to live for the Lord and be in a very difficult situation.
I think there is another reason why we have so much time taken on the life of Joseph. Joseph is perhaps the most Christ like character in the Old Testament. In fact, there are many parallels between the life of Joseph and the life of Jesus. When we study the Scriptures we know that the Bible says that God's purpose for you and me who are believers is that we might become like the Lord Jesus. In Romans 8, verse 29 the Bible says that God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of God's Son. God wants us to become like the Lord Jesus Christ. So when we study the life of Joseph, we see God's purpose in makin ...


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