The Pitfall of Injustice
Title: Avoiding Life's Pitfalls- The Pitfall of Injustice- Session 3 Scripture: Genesis 39:20-41:28
Central Theme: Responding to Injustice
Objective Statement: We can honor God when we encounter injustice by learning four lessons.
- What is your favorite vacation or trip that you ever experienced?
- My dad and I are very close....
- Always promised a father son “senior trip”
- When it came down to the time to do a senior trip, they were also looking to help me get a car.
- Uncle- we found one for you...
- So my senior trip became a trip to get a car.
- Can’t wait to see this Jeep and drive it home...
- Fly up with Dad...
- Came time to see the jeep and....
- “Wah, wah, wah, waaaahhhhh!”
- We babied it all the way home...
- No big deal...My parents were kind to help me anyway... It’ll be fine.
- 2 years later is my brothers senior year...
- Trip of a life time. Minnesota- some of our best friends in the world.
- For the past 20 years I’ve heard nothing but how incredible this trip was.
- They talk about all the laughter, and food, and fun...
- My answer to Shadrach is always, “I’m so happy for you.”.
- Have you ever heard this expression from your kids, “That’s not fair!”.
- Life’s not fair!
- And as silly as my story is about life not being fair , it can be way worse than that.
o A loved one, spouse, or mother is taken too soon.
o Someone lies about you, and it causes harm to your reputation and career...
o Maybe it’s even more fundamental than that- Maybe you feel that “where you were born and when you were born” isn’t fair.
o We may even begin to think that God isn’t with us, or that He is and that his plan isn’t best.
- How do we respond to unfairness?
- How do we respond to injustice?
- How can we make wise choices and honor God when we experience people being unjust and unfair to us?
We can honor God when we encounter injustice by learning four lessons.
Lesson #1- Learning to wait. (v.21-23)
(20) And Joseph's master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king's prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
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- Here is where we see the injustice and the unfairess.
- Joseph had done right.
o I proclaimed the dreams that God gave to me, and my brothers hated me for it. They through me in a pit and then sold me into slavery.
o I was the best slave you could be, and had gotten to the place where I could be completely trusted by my foreign, military, leader. His wife came on to me, and I resisted for some time until she made a false accusation against me. I ran out of the building trying to do the right thing, and now I’m stuck in this prison.
(21) But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
- Favour! I don’t want favour with the keeper of the prison. I don’t want to know the keeper of the prison.
- Yet God had a plan.
(22) And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph's hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. (23) The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.
• What does that sound like? Genesis 39:3-5
(3) And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
(4) And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand.
(5) And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake; and the blessing of the LORD was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
- Joseph recognized that God was with him.
- He simply waited on God to act on his behalf.
- But notice it was not an inactive, irresponsible waiting.
- No, Joseph just made the best of every place that He ended up.
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- Was Joseph learning to lead as a slave?
- Was Joseph learning to lead as a prisoner?
- He waited actively.
- When injustice happens to you, and you find yourself in a place that you never thought you’d be, wait for God to act, but wait actively.
- Just do the best you can in the situation you find yourself in.
Lesson #2- Learning to minister. (40:1-13, 16-22)
(1) And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt.
(2) And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers.
(3) And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound.
(4) And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward.
- This just happened to take place. (?)
- Joseph just happened to be the guy in charge of them?
(5) And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.
• They just happened to both have dreams.
(6) And Joseph came in unto them in the morning, and looked upon them, and, behold,
they were sad.
(7) And he asked Pharaoh's officers that were with him in the ward of his lord's house, saying, Wherefore look ye so sadly to day?
(8) And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God? tell me them, I pray you.
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Page 5 of 10 (9) And the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said to him, In my dream, behold,
a vine was before me;
(10) And in the vine were three branches: and it was as though it budded, and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes:
(11) And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand: and I took the grapes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and I gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand.
(12) And Joseph said unto him, This is the interpretation of it: The three branches are three days:
(13) Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thine head, and restore thee unto thy place: and thou shalt deliver Pharaoh's cup into his hand, after the former manner when thou wast his butler.
- I’m sure there was some joy from this interpretation.
- You’re getting out of jail, and you’re getting your job back!
(16) When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was good, he said unto Joseph, I also was in my dream, and, behold, I had three white baskets on my head:
(17) And in the uppermost basket there was of all manner of bakemeats for Pharaoh; and the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.
(18) And Joseph answered and said, This is the interpretation thereof: The three baskets are three days:
(19) Yet within three days shall Pharaoh lift up thy head from off thee, and shall hang thee on a tree; and the birds shall eat thy flesh from off thee.
- Not a good interpretation for the baker.
- Not fun at all.
- Why one good and one bad?
o Not just making it up to make everyone happy. o He was accurate.
(20) And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants.
(21) And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup
into Pharaoh's hand:
(22) But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them.
- Now at this point Joseph was being used by God to minister in the way that God had gifted him.
- He was learning to depend on God for the interpretation of the dream.
- He was making impressions with people now that were from the palace.
- God was working, even though it would have been very difficult for Joseph to see.
- He may have been thinking, “Last time I interpreted dreams I was sold into slavery.”
- There have been times in life that I thought things were going to turn out a certain way, and they didn’t.
- The thing I wanted to happen didn’t happen. I was down and depressed.
- But when it didn’t happen, now in hindsight I can see what God did instead.
- I’ve seen God grow me and teach me to minister in ways that prepared me for where I am today, all because my prayers didn’t get answered the way I wanted.
- Maybe the injustice or unfairness you experienced was needful for you to experience for you to be the person that God wants you to be, and to minister how he wants you to minister.
- His injustice led him to ministry that he would not have otherwise had. Lesson #3- Learning to trust. (40:14-15, 23)
(14) But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house:
(15) For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon.
- He asked the butler to remember him.
- I have a valuable skill.
- You know I am a good man. You may even believe that I am an innocent man.
- Please remember me when you are on Pharaoh’s good side!
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(23) Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.
- I imagine those middle miles must have been very difficult for Joseph.
- He was in a prison.
- He was doing the right thing.
- He’s waiting on the butler to get him out, and then nothing.
Genesis 41:(1) And it came to pass at the end of two full years...
- Was that two years in prison total, or since the butler was restored.
- Either way, they were two long years that were just too long.
• Can you imagine getting tired of doing the right thing? Galatians 6:7-10
(7) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
(8) For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
(9) And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
(10) As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Lesson #4- Learning God's plan. (41:1-28)
(1) And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.
(2) And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow.
(3) And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and
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Page 8 of 10 (4) And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat
kine. So Pharaoh awoke.
(5) And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good.
(6) And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them.
(7) And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream.
(8) And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
(9) Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day:
(10) Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker:
(11) And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream.
(12) And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret.
(13) And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.
• Now her remembers!
(14) Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the
dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
(15) And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
(16) And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
• Now remember that Pharaoh fancies himself a god.
(17) And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:
leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river.
(18) And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:
(19) And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:
(20) And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:
(21) And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.
(22) And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:
(23) And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:
(24) And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.
(25) And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do.
(26) The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.
(27) And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.
(28) This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he sheweth unto Pharaoh.
- What a moment!
- God had prepared Joseph by getting him to Egypt through dream interpretation.
- God had prepared Joseph by helping him learn the language and culture of the Egyptians.
- God had prepared Joseph by sending him to prison where he could meet people from the palace.
- God gave them dreams for him to interpret. The interpretations were correct.
- God gave Pharaoh a dream, and put the butler there to remember just at the right time.
- God gave Joseph the interpretation of the dream, and as we will see God gives Joseph the ability to do something about the facts that it suggests.
- God was revealing his plan to Joseph, but he had taken a long time to do it.
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• Joseph had to learn to wait. Joseph had to learn to minister. Joseph had to learn to trust. As he learned all of these lessons, God taught him, through injustice, how to be used greatly for God’s glory.