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2009-05-03 "Choosing To Forget"

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C h o o s i n g   T o   F o r g e t

SERMON STARTER

          We have a “lion’s Memory” for pain and injustice. One of the ways we know the process of forgiveness is at work in our lives is when we remember the painful event, but no longer feel the reactive anger in response to the perceived injustice. We don’t forget the injustice; we just lose the pain that’s attached to it. What about you? Have you suffered injustice and are unable to release it? With God’s help it is possible.

          Joseph is a “Christophanies,” that is, a “Christ form” person from the Genesis narratives who foreshadows Jesus. Joseph shows by his incredible example how to endure and overcome injustice, rejection and deprivation. He actually summarizes God’s entire plan of redemption in Genesis 50:20,

"But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.”

          Probably the most amazing thing about Joseph is that he was able to forget injustice in order for God’s redemptive plan to be accomplished. It is extremely difficult to set aside your own sinful reactions to injustice in order for God love and plan to be accomplished. You can do it. Both Jesus and Joseph serve as role models. Follow their example and Choose to Forget.

 

Sheepfold Ministries - May 3, 2009

Pastor Phil Roland

C h o o s i n g   T o   F o r g e t

Genesis 37; 41

“There is a time to remember the past and learn the lessons of history to keep us from repeating it.  There is also a time to forget the pain of the past, that we may press on unencumbered into the future the Lord has for those who follow Him.”                                                                                                                     Pastor Phil Roland

JOSEPH WAS:   1) Born in Haran about 75 years after Abraham’s death, 2) Born 30 years before the death of Isaac, when Isaac was 90, and 8 years before they returned to Canaan, 3) Sold into Egyptian slavery at 17, Spent a total of 13 years, both in Potiphar’s House and Prison, 4) Became ruler of Egypt at 30, 5) and, Died in Egypt at 110. 

 

"Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, 'It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father's household.'  The second son he named Ephraim and said, 'It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering." Genesis 40:51,52

 

MAN-A-SSEH = "Causing Forgetfulness"

EPH-RA-IM = "Doubly Fruitful"

 

I.  JOSEPH CHOSE TO FORGET HIS INJUSTICES

            A. His Brothers/Family

                        1. Sold into slavery by his brothers - Gen. 37:28

                            “Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.”

                        2. Becomes Potiphar's slave - Gen. 37:36

                           “Now the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, an officer

                             of Pharaoh and captain of the guard.”

            B. His Employer / Potiphar

                        1. Unjustly accused of rape - Gen. 39:16-20

                            “So she kept his garment with her until his master came home.

                              Then she spoke to him with words like these, saying, "The

                              Hebrew servant whom you brought to us came in to me to mock

                              me; "so it happened, as I lifted my voice and cried out, that he

                              left his garment with me and fled outside." So it was, when his

                              master heard the words which his wife spoke to him, saying,

                             "Your servant did to me after this manner," that his anger was

                              aroused. Then Joseph's master took him and put him into the

                              prison, a place where the king's prisoners were confined. And he

                              was there in the prison.”

                        2. Cast into prison for crimes he didn't commit

            C. His Fellow-Prisoners -  Gen. 40:23

                 “Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.”

                        1. Joseph correctly prophesies cup-bearer's pardon

                        2. He forgot Joseph's favor

            D. He became better, not bitter - Hebrews 12:15

                “looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root

                  of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become

                 defiled;”

 

II. FOUR THINGS JOSEPH DID REMEMBER -

            A. RIGHTEOUSNESS – Hebrews 12:11

               “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful;

                 nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to

                 those who have been trained by it.”

                        1. Do what is right

                        2. Bowl of Lemons? / Make Lemonade!

            B. FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD

                        1. Gen. 39:21 - The Lord was with him

                            “But the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He                                 gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.”

                        2. Grudge-Bearing inhibits fellowship w/God

                                    a. Looking back with bitterness

                                    b. Holding on to the past

            C. NATURAL SKILLS

                        1. Organization

                        2. Administration

            D. SPIRITUAL SKILLS

                        1. Spiritual Dream Interpretation

                        2. Ability to Discern God's Will

                        3. Ability to Exercise God's Forgiving Love Gen. 45:5-8

                           "But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves  because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to

                            preserve life. "For these two years the famine has been in the

                            land, and there are still five years in which there will be neither

                            plowing nor harvesting. "And God sent me before you to preserve

                            a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great

                           deliverance. "So now it was not you who sent me here, but God;

                           and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house,

                           and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”

                                    a. No need for Revenge

                                    b. Hallmark of Maturity of Character

 

III. JOSEPH'S LIFE AND CHARACTER TEACHES US NOT TO

     FORGET

      “Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!

        Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:”   Psalm 103:1,2

            A. Forgiveness of Your Sins – Psalm 103:3a

                “Who forgives all your iniquities,”

            B. Healer of Your Diseases

                “Who heals all your diseases,”

            C. Your Redeemer from the Pit

                 “Who redeems your life from destruction,”

            D. He Crowns You with Love and Compassion

                 “Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,”

            E. He Satisfies Your Mouth / Desires

                 “Who satisfies your mouth with good things,”

            F. He Renews Your Youth

                “So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.”

 “. . .but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

 

 

Wait

Desperately, helplessly, longingly I cried:

Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.

I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,

And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait."

"Wait, you say, wait,"  my indignant reply.

"Lord, I need answers.  I need to know why!

Is your hand shortened, or have you not heard?

By faith I have asked and am claiming your Word.

My future and all to which I can relate

Hangs in the balance and YOU tell me WAIT?

I'm needing a 'Yes', a go-ahead sign,

Or even a 'No' to which I can resign.

And Lord, you promised that if we believe

We need but to ask and we shall receive.

And Lord, I've been asking and this is my cry:

I'm weary of asking!   I need a reply."

Then quietly, softly I learned of my fate

As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”

So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut

and Grumbled to God, "So I'm waiting, for what?"

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,

And He tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.

I could shake the heavens and darken the sun,

I could raise the dead, cause the mountains to run.

All you seek I could give, and pleased you would be,

You would have what you want, but you wouldn't know Me.

You'd not know the depth of My Love for each saint;

You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;

You'd not learn to see through clouds of despair;

You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;

You'd not know the joy of resting in Me

When darkness and silence were all you could see;

You would never experience that fullness of love

As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;

You would know that I give and save, for a start,

But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart,

The glow of My comfort, late in the night,

The faith that I give when you walk without sight,

The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked

Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

You never would know, should your pain quickly flee

What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee!'

Yes, your dreams for that loved one overnight could come true,

But oh the loss, if I lost what I'm doing in you

So, be silent, My child, and in time you will see

That the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.

And though oft may My answers seem terribly late:

My most precious answer of all is still.  W A I T. "

 

 

Author Unknown