Worship Service 13 August 2017
Delivered By
Pastor Will Bearden and Laverne Wiginton Accompanist
Delivered On
August 13, 2017 at 10:00 AM
Central Passage
Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28
Joseph Has Two Dreams and Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers

Scripture Readings:

Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28;

Psalm 105:1-6, 16-22;

Romans 10:5-15;

Matthew 14: 22-33

Genesis 37:1-4                                  New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Joseph Has Two Dreams

37 Jacob lived in the land of Canaan. It’s the land where his father had stayed.

Here is the story of the family line of Jacob.

Joseph was a young man. He was 17 years old. He was taking care of the flocks with some of his brothers. They were the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, the wives of his father Jacob. Joseph brought their father a bad report about his brothers.

Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons. That’s because Joseph had been born to him when he was old. Israel made him a beautiful robe. Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them. So they hated Joseph. They couldn’t even speak one kind word to him.

Genesis 37:12-28                               New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Joseph Is Sold by His Brothers

12 Joseph’s brothers had gone to take care of their father’s flocks near Shechem. 13 Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are taking care of the flocks near Shechem. Come. I’m going to send you to them.”

“All right,” Joseph replied.

14 So Israel said to him, “Go to your brothers. See how they are doing. Also see how the flocks are doing. Then come back and tell me.” So he sent him away from the Hebron Valley.

Joseph arrived at Shechem. 15 A man found him wandering around in the fields. He asked Joseph, “What are you looking for?”

16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are taking care of their flocks?”

17 “They’ve moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’ ”

So Joseph went to look for his brothers. He found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him a long way off. Before he reached them, they made plans to kill him.

19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to one another. 20 “Come. Let’s kill him. Let’s throw him into one of these empty wells. Let’s say that a wild animal ate him up. Then we’ll see whether his dreams will come true.”

21 Reuben heard them talking. He tried to save Joseph from them. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t spill any of his blood. Throw him into this empty well here in the desert. But don’t harm him yourselves.” Reuben said that to save Joseph from them. He was hoping he could take him back to his father.

23 When Joseph came to his brothers, he was wearing his beautiful robe. They took it away from him. 24 And they threw him into the well. The well was empty. There wasn’t any water in it.

25 Then they sat down to eat their meal. As they did, they saw some Ishmaelite traders coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, lotion and myrrh. They were on their way to take them down to Egypt.

26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and try to cover up what we’ve done? 27 Come. Let’s sell him to these traders. Let’s not harm him ourselves. After all, he’s our brother. He’s our own flesh and blood.” Judah’s brothers agreed with him.

28 The traders from Midian came by. Joseph’s brothers pulled him up out of the well. They sold him to the Ishmaelite traders for eight ounces of silver. Then the traders took him to Egypt.

Psalm 105:1-6                                     New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Give praise to the Lord and announce who he is.
    Tell the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him.
    Tell about all the wonderful things he has done.
Praise him, because his name is holy.
    Let the hearts of those who trust in the Lord be glad.
Seek the Lord and the strength he gives.
    Always seek him.

Remember the wonderful things he has done.
    Remember his miracles and how he judged our enemies.
Remember what he has done, you children of his servant Abraham.
    Remember it, you people of Jacob, God’s chosen ones.

Psalm 105:16-22                                 New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

16 He made the people in the land go hungry.
    He destroyed all their food supplies.
17 He sent a man ahead of them into Egypt.
    That man was Joseph. He had been sold as a slave.
18 The Egyptians put his feet in chains.
    They put an iron collar around his neck.
19 He was in prison until what he said would happen came true.
    The word of the Lord proved that he was right.
20 The king of Egypt sent for Joseph and let him out of prison.
    The ruler of many nations set him free.
21 He put Joseph in charge of his palace.
    He made him ruler over everything he owned.
22 Joseph was in charge of teaching the princes.
    He taught the elders how to think and live wisely.

Romans 10:5-15                                  New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Moses writes about how the law could help a person do what God requires. He writes, “The person who does these things will live by them.” (Leviticus 18:5But the way to do what God requires must begin by having faith in him. Scripture says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will go up into heaven?’ ” (Deuteronomy 30:12) That means to go up into heaven and bring Christ down. “And do not say, ‘Who will go down into the grave?’ ” (Deuteronomy 30:13) That means to bring Christ up from the dead. But what does it say? “The message is near you. It’s in your mouth and in your heart.” (Deuteronomy 30:14) This means the message about faith that we are preaching. Say with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord.” Believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be saved. 10 With your heart you believe and are made right with God. With your mouth you say what you believe. And so you are saved. 11 Scripture says, “The one who believes in him will never be put to shame.” (Isaiah 28:1612 There is no difference between those who are Jews and those who are not. The same Lord is Lord of all. He richly blesses everyone who calls on him. 13 Scripture says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Joel 2:32)

14 How can they call on him unless they believe in him? How can they believe in him unless they hear about him? How can they hear about him unless someone preaches to them? 15 And how can anyone preach without being sent? It is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Matthew 14:22-33                                New International Reader's Version (NIRV)

Jesus Walks on the Water

22 Right away Jesus made the disciples get into the boat. He had them go on ahead of him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Then he sent the crowd away. 23 After he had sent them away, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone. 24 The boat was already a long way from land. It was being pounded by the waves because the wind was blowing against it.

25 Shortly before dawn, Jesus went out to the disciples. He walked on the lake. 26 They saw him walking on the lake and were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said. And they cried out in fear.

27 Right away Jesus called out to them, “Be brave! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, is it you?” Peter asked. “If it is, tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” Jesus said.

So Peter got out of the boat. He walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. He began to sink. He cried out, “Lord! Save me!”

31 Right away Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “Your faith is so small!” he said. “Why did you doubt me?”

32 When they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped Jesus. They said, “You really are the Son of God!”

Pastor's Summary of Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28

Jacob is the first of his line to call Canaan home. (His father, Isaac, now dead, saw himself as a foreigner living there.) Why do his brothers hate Joseph? (1) he tells tales ("bad report", v. 2) about them; (2) Jacob loves him more than the other sons, even to the extent of making him "a long robe with sleeves" (v. 3) or a many-colored coat-such a robe was worn by royalty; and (3) Joseph has two dreams (vv. 5-11) which are interpreted as showing that his brothers and his parents will bow down to him.

In v. 13, Jacob ("Isreal") sends Joseph to his brothers. When he reaches Shechem, they are nowhere to be seen; he is told that they have moved on to other pastures. When the brothers see him, they plot his death. They say "Here comes this dreamer." (v. 19) In the ancient world, dreams were believed to be divinely inspired, but to be only effective as long as the dreamer lived. Pits or cisterns, dug to store rain-water, were used as prisons; they were usually dry near the end of summer. (Jeremiah spent time in one when the king did not want to heed his advice.) The brothers intend deceit-something fairly common in Genesis. They intend to kill him, but Reuben wants no part of it (v. 21-22).

Vv. 25-27, and v. 28 tell two stories of how Joseph got to Egypt: in the hands of Ishmaelite nomads, and in those of "Midianite traders":two versions of the story were merged in Genesis. In the ancient view "blood" (v. 26) could not be concealed; being sacred to God, he would exact vengeance on those who spilled it. Judah (and Reuben, v. 22) knew this. (When Cain killed Abel, God caused him to quit farming and become nomadic.) This story is part of salvation history, of how God came to exercise his saving grace in the world, working through ordinary people-as may be seen in the psalm 105.