Scripture: Genesis 45:8. “So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”
Preached in Bethel Free Presbyterian Church, Sunday September 2nd, 2018.
Stream or download From Prison Cell to Pharaoh’s Court – the story of Joseph
II. GOD’S UPWARD PATH TO THE THRONE LED DOWNWARD.
1. Before Joseph could occupy the throne he must feel the chains of the prison. Psalm 105:17-21. Joseph was led down into Egypt where he went down into slavery and then down again into a cell. It was when he was made to feel his own emptiness and helplessness that God’s time for him was come. The prodigal son was ready for home only after he realised and acknowledged his own foolishness. The sinner must be brought down to an end of himself.
2. It was to save those who know, feel and brokenly acknowledge themselves to be sinners, that Christ came. “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost,” Luke 19:10. Joseph knew himself to be lost to all human help. Had not even the butler whom he had helped forgotten him? Genesis 40:23. It was then that God began to work.
May God cause you to feel your lost condition today. There is hope only for the sinner who knows and confesses himself to be lost. “ A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise”, Psalm 51:17.
III. GOD’S PURPOSE IN GRACE CANNOT BE HINDERED OR FRUSTRATED.
1. What a host of difficulties lay between Joseph and the throne of Egypt! Yet each difficulty was, in fact, a stepping stone to the throne.
Had you and I been told, when Joseph was but a lad, that God’s purpose was to place him upon the throne of Egypt, what consternation we would have experienced when he was set upon by his brothers and sold as a slave to the Ishmeelites.
Again we would have despaired for the divine purpose when we saw him accused falsely by Potiphar’s wife.
What dismay at the reversal our hopes would have received, when we saw how the butler forgot Joseph.
Yet each of these apparent set-backs was, in fact, an advance in God’s plan.
We preach a God who “worketh all things after the counsel of his own will”, “according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began”, Ephesians 1:11, II Timothy 1:9. You may despair of ever seeing a way out of your difficulties but there is a way through Christ. He is able to lift you no matter how low you have fallen and He will lift you as high as His own throne.