총 게시물 666건, 최근 0 건

God has done it all!

글쓴이 : 관리자 날짜 : 2014-11-18 (화) 20:29 조회 : 1097
Rev._Jang\'s_sermon_on_November_16,_2014.pdf (154.2K), Down : 3, 2014-11-18 20:29:17
설교일 : 2014.11.16.
설교자 : Rev. Jang
본문말씀 : Genesis 45:1~15

November 16, 2014

 

“God has done it all!”

Genesis 45:1-15

 

Rev. Chan Young Jang’s sermon at KUMC of Metro Detroit

 

 

1.

In the great novel by the French writer Victor Hugo, “Les Miserables”, the main character is Jean Valjean who was sent to jail after he had tried to steal some bread for his starving nephews and nieces at home. But because of his many attempted jailbreaks, his term had been extended to 19 years, and now finally he was released from prison into a society which spurned him at every turn. He was hungry with no place to sleep when he stumbled into the home of Monsignor Myriel (priest) who graciously shared his dinner with him and offered a clean bed to him in his own bedroom. After a good night’s sleep, he snuck out in the morning after stealing the silverware, but promptly got caught by police.  The policeman brought Jean Valjean to the priest and asked the question, “Is this yours?” The priest immediately recognized the silverware, and answered, “Yes, it was, but I gave it to him. I also offered him to take the silver candlesticks as well, but he didn’t.”

 

Certainly Jean Valjean stole that silverware, but the priest told the policeman that he had given it to him, so he didn’t tell ‘the fact’. Why didn’t he? He wanted to tell ‘the truth’ rather than ‘the fact’. ‘The fact’ and ‘the truth’ are two different things. ‘The fact’ is about things we can see, while ‘the truth’ is about the things we hope for, so the fact is about the past, and the truth is about the future.

 

It was a fact that Jean Valjean stole the silverware, but the priest was talking about ‘the truth’ in his own heart. “I really want to give him the silverware. Not only that, I want to give him the silver candlesticks as well. I want him to be changed into a new person, and never ending up in jail. I want him to be happy.” This was the truth in the heart of the priest.

 

Every morning for the past 2 weeks, we have shared the story of Joseph in the Genesis with the theme of ‘You, man of God’. Joseph is the model and shadow for Jesus in the New Testament. Therefore, we can meditate on ‘the man of God’ by the example of Joseph, and also learn about Jesus through him. Just like the life of Joseph began with his multi-colored coat, then into the slave costume, then prison uniform, then the official robe of the prime minister, the life of Jesus also took many different turns.

 

Philippians 2:6-11  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Think about Jesus. He came down to earth and met with so many people during his ministry. And surprisingly, all of them got restored and were given life by Jesus. Those people he met were invariably isolated and discarded losers by the standard of that society. But Jesus never condemned them.

 

Even though he knows we have sinned, but he wouldn’t condemn us and requests us to “go and leave the life of sin”. What is this? The reason we are forgiven to receive the salvation is because of Jesus’ truth in his heart. We Christians should regard the truth more than the fact. If we concentrated on the fact, we would begin to judge each other and condemn. We should not be obsessed only with the fact, as we are aware the fact is not all that there is to it.

 

                                                                                      

2.

Today’s passage is about Joseph who is going to reveal himself to his brothers. He was sold as a slave to Egypt at the age of 17, and now 20 years later, here he is the prime minister of Egypt. Who could have imagined it? Now he is telling his brothers who he really is.

 

Genesis 45:1-2  Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.

 

We cannot but cry with Joseph. This was 20 years in the making. What made Joseph to break down? It was the Judah’s desperate plea in behalf of Benjamin.

 

Genesis 44:33-34  “Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come upon my father.”

 

Joseph had not expected this. By listening to Judah, he realized Judah’s intense love for Benjamin, and also his father Jacob’s love for him. At this he was moved beyond measure.

 

Genesis 45:3  Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.

 

They were terrified of Joseph, as they themselves had sold him into slavery. Now please pay careful attention here. First, Joseph tells them ‘the fact’.

 

Genesis 45:4  Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!”

 

‘You sold me twenty years ago, and I am that Joseph. I remember it well!’ It was the fact that his brothers had sold him, and they couldn’t expect to be forgiven of the fact.

 

But then, things change drastically. Joseph said earlier to his brothers that they had sold him, but now he was saying something different. Genesis 45:8  “So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.”

 

How and why the act of his brothers got changed into ‘the act of God’?

 

Here is the incredible truth. “My brothers sold me into Egypt!” is a statement based on the fact. But “God had sent me to Egypt!” is a statement from Joseph’s heart that God provided him. The visible fact was his brothers had sold him to Egypt, but the truth from invisible background was that God had sent him there.

 

While living in this world, we are faced with these two views: Should we live according to what we see, or should we live according to the invisible truth? What you choose will make the whole difference in your life. Those who live according to what they see do not need to think deep. They just say things and judge things instantly. But those who want to live according to the invisible truth have to pause before their actions. They think deep and meditate on what God had in mind, before they open their mouths, just like Joseph did. He confessed that even though his brothers had sold him, in the background God had been the one that had sent him there.

 

Those who live according to what they see have relationships with other people only. But those who live according to the invisible truth see God also within the relationships with other people. They know that in the midst of our lives, and in the center of the world, there is God, so they ask always, “Why did God do it this way?”

 

Joseph could have felt that because his brothers had sold him, now they deserved to be punished. He didn’t punish his brothers for revenge. He saw ‘the invisible truth of God’s providence’, and believed that there was God working in the background of everything in his life.

 

 

3.

It was a great revelation for Joseph to realize that ‘God had done it’. Really he could not have become the prime minister of Egypt without God’s help. He had been a favorite son of a successful sheep herder, and as time went by, he could have become a sheep herder like his father, nothing special. Then in Egypt, he was not an Egyptian, he was just a slave. When he was presented to the Pharaoh, he was a ‘prisoner’. His crime had been attempted rape of his master’s wife. He was framed by the master’s wife and wrongly accused, but nobody cared enough to defend him. How heartbreaking it must have been for Joseph to be imprisoned for many years for a crime he didn’t commit?

 

But now he is the prime minister of Egypt, just below the Pharaoh. How could this happen? If we could rewind the film, before he became the prime minister…. he was a dreamer and his brothers hated him for it. He was sold to Egypt, became a slave in Potiphar’s household and rejected his wife’s seduction, was put in jail, met the cup bearer of Pharaoh, later he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams, and then he became the prime minister.

 

This sequence of events sure looks like a well-written scenario, and Joseph realized that the author was none other than God himself. He thought, ‘Even though it was my brothers who had sold me into Egypt, in the background there was God who had made it happen! Who could stop God’s work? I cannot take my revenge on my brothers’.

 

Joseph didn’t stop here. He went on thinking about the reason why God had sent him to Egypt, and got a clear answer.

 

Genesis 45:5  “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

 

Now Joseph knew the reason why God had sent him there, and it was to save lives. God wanted to save millions of lives during the 7 year famine. This is the depth of his thinking.

 

Genesis 45:6-7  “For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” He saw that he had been sent there ahead to save lives including those of his own family.

 

“Every stop is a step forward”, I saw this slogan some time ago at the Atlanta airport, and it touched my heart as I was struggling with a personal decision at that time.

 

This is a notice I saw at a New York City cafe; “Wi Fi is free, future is free.”

 

We can assume that Joseph had not been as understanding when he was first brought to Egypt as a slave. We are certain he must have been really depressed, hated his brothers, and cursed the world and possibly God. Just as he was getting comfortable in Egypt, he was falsely accused and put into jail, so his soul was again tested severely.

 

But now the old riddle has been solved. The answer to his old questions of “Why does this happen to me, why did God send me into Egypt?” has been found on the day when he was appointed as the prime minister of Egypt. “Now I know God sent me here. It was to save the lives of people from famine, including those of my own family. All these years God tested and trained me for this work.” So, he was thankful to God.

 

My beloved congregation; the riddles in our lives are not solved right away. It takes time. Joseph had to endure for 20 years. Those who look toward the invisible God in the background know how to endure and wait. They live their daily lives enduring until the time when God’s will is apparent and the riddle is solved. This is the way of us Christians.

 

Now we have only 1 week left in our special 3 week early morning services program. I know it isn’t easy to attend these early morning services. Some of you are not used to this schedule. Some have difficulty with their daily work load or children’s school activities. But once you are immersed in this program, the difficulties become your ‘holy responsibility’.

 

The reason for this is because of the mystery of God’s grace. Your faith helps you to come out of your place to the ‘place of God’s grace’. You give up your self-reliance and look toward God for faithful life. All your complaints, blames, deficiency and chaos will turn into thankfulness and sufficiency, joy and understanding. God’s words, the praises and prayers are necessary for your spiritual growth, so you should not neglect to come to the ‘place of God’s grace’ no matter how busy or hard your life is. Without God’s grace, you will not be able to accomplish much in your life.

 

The next Sunday is the Thanksgiving Sunday. It seems like the season always comes so fast, and if we are not ready, we may miss God’s blessings for the season.

 

To be thankful, we have to stop and think about the blessings. Our thankfulness comes from our thinking. When we think deep thoughts and confess them, our lives are more meaningful.

 

During this week, I want you to think about the past year and how God has guided you and protected you with His grace. God’s words, prayers and meditations allow us to let things go and begin to see ourselves, and then God himself. For this week, get ready for thankfulness with all your hearts and minds. Convey your thankfulness to the people you love and most importantly to God.

 

Let us sing this hymn; “God is the one who created you, so He knows you the most”

[이 게시물은 관리자님에 의해 2014-11-19 20:43:37 읽는말씀에서 이동 됨]

   

총 게시물 666건, 최근 0 건
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처음  이전  31  32  33  34  35  36  37  38  39  40  다음  맨끝

제목 : The courage to be disliked by others?
설교일 : 2020.05.31
본문말씀 : 1 Samuel 14:36-46
설교자 : Rev. Eungyong Kim
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