God is in Control!

2 January 2022 PM – Genesis 41 – Ge2022 – Scott Childs
Introduction: In Genesis 41, Pharaoh, King of Egypt, dreamed. The butler remembered and recommended Joseph. Joseph was called from prison to interpret. Pharaoh promoted Joseph to PM. Joseph preserved life, forgot his troubles and was fruitful. However, if we were to remove God from Genesis 41, the account would be nothing more than an impossible fairy tale. We see God’s sovereign hand at work at every turn. God allowed Joseph to endure 13 years of terrible hardships to prepare him for the ministry that would last the rest of his life.
“The sovereignty of God refers to the fact that God is in complete control of the universe. A belief in God’s sovereignty is distinct from fatalism, which denies human free will. Humans are able to make genuine choices that have real consequences. God does not directly cause everything to happen, yet He does allow all that happens to happen. And, ultimately, God’s will is going to be accomplished.” (Gotquestions.com)
This chapter is a reminder to Christians that our sovereign God is also at work in our lives. Like Joseph, we may not understand what God is doing, but we must be patient, faithful, close to God, bold for God, Spirit-filled, discreet, wise, forgiving, and ready to give God the glory.
Transition: This evening, I want us to see how God was in control of Joseph’s life, and then note how God is also in control of our lives.
1.        God was in control of Joseph’s life
a.         God gave Pharaoh two dreams (v.1-8).
1)         In eternity past, God planned to give Pharaoh those dreams. God planned the timing as well.
2)         They were part of fulfilling the dreams Joseph had as a lad. (Genesis 37)
3)         God withheld the interpretation of the dreams from all the magicians and wise men of Egypt.
b.         God reminded the butler of Joseph (v.9-13).
1)         Why had he forgotten Joseph? It was not God’s time. God allowed him to forget for two years, waiting for the right time.
2)         When God’s right time came for the famine, God reminded the butler.
3)         It was the right time in history, in Egypt, in Joseph’s family, in Joseph’s maturity and preparation. It was just the right time.
4)         The butler told Pharaoh all about Joseph.
c.          God had Pharaoh call for Joseph (v.14-24).
1)         What a ridiculous story, Pharaoh, the king of all Egypt, calling a convict from prison to interpret dreams. Do you see God’s hand in this?
2)         What if Joseph’s brothers had not sold him? What if someone other than potiphar had bought Joseph as their slave? What if Potiphar’s evil wife had not lied about Joseph? What if potiphar had executed Joseph instead of sending him to prison? If Joseph had not lived for God and prospered even in prison, he may never have met the butler. What if he had not correctly interpreted the butler’s dream?
3)         God did cause Pharaoh to call for Joseph. That was another life-changing day for Joseph (v.14).
d.         God revealed to Joseph the interpretation (v.25-36).
1)         What if Joseph had backslidden, becoming angry and bitter with God? God could not have used him.
2)         Joseph needed an immediate answer from God. What if God did not reveal the interpretation?
3)         Though God is sovereign, Joseph had a part to play. God did not make Joseph work diligently as a slave and as a prisoner. God did not force him to flee temptation. God did not force Joseph to keep a good attitude. Joseph made these choices.
e.         God moved Pharaoh to choose Joseph to oversee (v.37-49).
1)         Pharaoh believed Joseph’s interpretation (v.37).
2)         God caused Pharaoh to see that the Spirit of God was in Joseph and that he was discreet and wise (v.38-39).
3)         Pharaoh immediately made Joseph PM of Egypt, even before he had proof that the interpretation was true (v.41-43).
4)         This too is amazing! Why would the king set an ex-con over his kingdom? God’s hand was in all this.
5)         I wonder how Potiphar’s wife felt when she heard that Joseph was not the PM of Egypt?
f.           God enabled Joseph to forget his troubles (v.50-51).
1)         God gave Joseph a son.
2)         God is good!
g.         God caused Joseph to be fruitful (v.52-57).
1)         God gave Joseph another son.
2)         God is gracious.
2.        God is also in control of your life.
a.         Now think about the many events in your life thus far.
1)         Your birth – to parents in a free country
2)         Your childhood – location, moves, home life, good or bad, happy or sad, loving or bitter, disciplined or not, mentored or not
3)         Your abilities, intellect, talents, interests, education
4)         Your friends – good or bad, helpful or harmful, godly or carnal
5)         Your successes, failures, victories, sins, habits, mistakes, happiness, heartache. You had a part, but God was weaving your choices into His overall plan.
6)         Your introduction to the Gospel. Your response. Your walk with God – close or distant. Your church.
7)         If married, your spouse – led to you by God, your needed companion, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health.
8)         Your work, financial status, possessions, debts
9)         Your attitude during the trials you have faced – godly, trusting God, patient, faithful or ungodly, angry, impatient, unfaithful, bitter
b.         Make a note of God’s working in your life
1)         God has been in control of your life. He is sovereign.
2)         Can you see how God was at work in these events?
3)         Can you see how he used events (good and bad) do direct you?
4)         Can you see how God placed you in the right place for the next event (i.e., Gospel, spouse, work)?
a)         Our sovereign God is weaving your life.
b)         He has a plan for your life.
c)         He knows what is next.
5)         (Romans 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Though God is sovereign, your cooperation is critical. The choices you make have a direct bearing on your future. Remember, Israel rebelled, and God sent them on the wilderness route to Canaan. Jonah rebelled, and God sent him on a deep-sea dive before going to Nineveh.
6)         Be like Joseph!
a)         Stay close to God every day.
b)         Keep a good attitude during trials. With God’s help, let your trials make you better, not bitter.
c)         Be patient during periods that do not make sense to you.
d)         Do not make God send you on a detour because of your rebellion.
Conclusion: God is in control of your life, but by your choices you can cooperate or complicate God’s plan. Follow God’s counsel in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Song: His Way with Thee – 367