January 2, 2022

Genesis: Creation and Covenants

Speaker: David Jordan Series: Journey Through the Bible Scripture: Genesis 1:1– 50:1

Download the Genesis Bible Journal Outline

Open your Bibles if you would, to page one, verse one [Genesis 1:1].

Things are often precious because of their relationship. You know, a mother has this special relationship with her children. It's built in. The children are very precious.

Precious therefore, though, in the sight of God, are His saints, those who are called by his name, those who we call his children. Don't think that God has less affection for you and I than you would have for your children, though. A mother's heart yearns over her child, and a father's eyes rejoices over his children. But God's heart yearns over you and I his earring, children, if you would, with great love. His soul rejoices when you and I come back to him. When you and I get off the crooked path, and start on the narrow way. And when we seem to fall off the narrow way, or lie down and take a nap, which never happens on Sundays, of course, but he rejoices when we are his. And when we come back to Him, His love is as vast as the ocean that he created. His knowledge of you as vast as the stars which he hung in place. He has his sight and his gaze set upon you in a way that is comforting, and loving, and revealing, and gently guiding and firm, when we ignore his call.

The Bible is the Word of God. It is given so that you and I might know God. Many know about God. Right? Many know about God. There are many learning about God this morning. And maybe last night with Saturday services. But few know, God. The Bible is a love gift to us. It's his communication directly for us. It's a roadmap of relationship. God has done everything to draw you and I to himself, and to write it all out so that you can know him. And I just want to at the outset right now challenge you that my goal in preaching through every book of the Bible, one sermon at a time, is so that you will know God.

As disciples were, of course commanded to know it, and to teach it. It's not just the pastors and the teachers who are called to teach it right? All last year at the end of the service we said the Great Commission, which includes making disciples, baptizing them, and quote, “teaching them [to observe] all that I have commanded you,” Jesus said [Matthew 28:20]. To teach something, you must know it already. So friends, this is an endeavor, an opportunity, we're going to set the cart in motion here, so that we can understand the full counsel of God, to know him but also to share it with others.

Paul, who wrote 13 books of the New Testament told Timothy, he gave him his marching orders, said “preach the word” [2 Timothy 4:1]. Right? Jesus Christ is called the Word [John 1:1]. We are to preach the truth about Jesus Christ, from the word. That's what expository means it means to expose the text, not to come up with something new, but to expose what is there. We're called to hide God's word, deep in our hearts, not so that we forget it not that kind of hiding, right but so that it will never leave us. So it will energize us to live rightly before God.

Psalm 119:11, which we'll read next week says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” In your fight in your struggle against sin, do you have a storehouse from which to draw from? Do you have a great vast toolset to help you to know how to navigate through life. Right as you're led by the Holy Spirit, as you have the word of God, which is living and active, it's not dormant, do you have this in your life? Friends, these are some of the reasons why we must know and understand the full counsel of God.

As I looked over all the different books that I've preached through, we've hit almost every New Testament book, and at least with one sermon, and as you know, with the way we normally preach here, you can't get through every single verse of every single book in just eight years.

We dove into Philippians, we dove into Ephesians, we dove into John, we went through Acts, the birth of the church, right? First and Second Peter. But the Old Testament, it's the foundation, it's the direction, it's the guide and so I thought it would be very helpful for us to consume at a 30,000 foot view, the Old Testament and the New Testament together. I pray this is a great blessing to you and I pray that your heart is ready.

Verse 10, in Psalm 119, “With my whole heart, I seek you; let me not wonder from your commandments! [Psalm 119:10]. You know, at times when persecution has been great over the earth, and it is great in some places of the earth [today], we have really just small things that irritate us, we have a lot of rocks in the shoes, so to speak. But at times, you would have to memorize all of Psalm 119, to get a copy of Scripture, just to show that you were worthy of such things. And I want us to not just go through this, but to put it deep in our hearts, that we might not wander from God's Word. As we expose the Word, the Word will expose our hearts, to strengthen it, to guide it, to lay it bare. And the Word is not dull or mute. God has spoken and we shall hear all of it. And I pray this is a great encouragement to you.

Turn to Genesis 1:1, if you would. You can see the themes there and your Bible outline and journal in the handouts that we gave you. But I just want to look at verse one. We're not only going to look at verse one, we're going to focus heavily on the first 11 chapters and you'll see why. But “In the beginning God”… in the beginning God [Genesis 1:1]. It has been said that this beginning to the Bible cannot be improved upon, that it is a magnum opus, it is the perfect opening. It is the greatest opening that has ever been written.

Wiersbe notes that, “the profound statement refutes the atheist and the evolutionist who deny God, the agnostic who ignores God, because God is the Creator.” See, everything that is made has been made through him (note John 1:3 as well). Jesus Christ active in creation, nothing has been made, except that which has been made through Him John 1:3 says, and the beginning even in verse two, we have the Holy Spirit there. We have the Spirit of God hovering over the waters, you see, the Trinitarian God, the Triune God, is active from the very beginning. God creates specifically with maturity and purpose.
This refutes the idea that God is the same in every religion, he has named himself. Remember Moses in [Exodus 3:13-18], God reveals his name, I am Yahweh, I am the Lord God. I AM. Right, the eternally existent one. He's not Buddha, he's not Mohammed. Right? He's not Confucius. Right? He's not a pope. He is God Almighty. He is the Creator of all things. That means everything is underneath him. And if you start with that, then you and I get a understanding that lays in order all the other attempts to create God in man’s image.

What has God done? He has created man in His image in the beginning, cannot be improved upon. Genesis, of course, means origin. It is how things came to be. And it all starts with God. And if we get that wrong, then your worldview will be wrong. A worldview being how you interpret and see and understand the world, if we don't start with God, and who he is and his authority and power and his nature than you, and I will have something else, which is not God. And if you worship something else, which is not God, then you and I would be worshiping something heretical.

But Genesis is, it's much more than just a record of the beginning of time. Genesis demonstrates the supreme power of God. It never argues for the existence of God. Whenever you hear a debate and the question, “prove that God exists?” I normally like to say, “Well, why don't you take a breath, and then explain to me how that worked.” See God is vast, and his infinite wisdom, it is assumed because God spoke, therefore he exists, and therefore things came into being because God is the ultimate power and authority and nothing is beyond him.

Before we get too far, though, let me try and summarize all of Genesis for you in just two words. Okay? So if you don't remember anything else today, you go, wow, that was way too much fire hose, I need a little more water fountain. Remember this: Creation and Covenants. Okay? Creation and Covenants. And we're going to follow that outline as we move through Genesis today. The Creation obviously starts in Genesis 1. And all the way through chapter 11. You have the Creation, all the way to Abraham. So you have Creation, Fall, then you have the first covenant with Noah, and then Abraham starts to come on the scene. Okay, so the first 11 chapters are kind of its own section, chapters 12 to 50, are the next section, right? Because the promise to Abraham, a covenant is a promise, it's a promise that God makes to man, and it is fulfilled based on God. Okay, there are other covenants that are fulfilled based on the actions of man and the two parties. But the Abrahamic covenant is fulfilled based on God and God alone. And it's found in Genesis [chapters] 12, 15, and 17. As a succession of reasons why God repeats it three times. But what you need to know is that once the Abrahamic Covenant hits in chapter 12, we have a blessing that's for all people. So we see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and then Joseph, that's the, that's chapters 12 through 50. Okay, chapters one through 11 [cover] the creation, God's perfect creation with Adam and Eve. And then we eventually have to get to the covenants, and you'll see why.

The Bible outline journal that we've given you will hopefully help you follow through some of these themes [and] give you this chapter overview. And if you look at the third section there, if you hear me say a chapter, you can quickly look down there to the chapter events, and you'll be able to reorient yourself and to what chapter we're in and, and where that falls in the whole plan. I would encourage you to take notes, you say I can't pay attention, I'm taking notes, we're going to go over so much, you won't be able to remember a fraction of what we're talking about if you don't at least circle something or write something down. And if you can, please come teach me how to do that. How to listen to all of this without the notes. But I'd encourage you just to take some notes, and then talk about that this week. And as we're going through these books, I'd also encourage you to read ahead. So next week is Exodus. It's packed, like Genesis with these grand themes and stories. So, I would encourage you to come ready.

So, let's talk about creation. Okay? Ask yourself this question. What would we be missing? If we didn't have Genesis? What is unique about Genesis? Why is it there?

Well, there's a few things. One, we wouldn't know how the earth or mankind came into existence. NASA could save billions if they read this book. Without Genesis, we would be confused on the purpose and the significance of mankind. We are created in God's image, to reflect God's image, to live in that light to bring glory to God, because we are living the way God has created us.

That is a loving gesture on God's part that we are created with a specific design, not a random design. Without Genesis, we wouldn't understand that or know that. We would not understand the need for redemption or even where sin came from. You can't simply just start with Jesus; you have to understand sin. The New Testament records, repeats, quotes the Old Testament extensively in order to substantiate what the New Testament brings.

Right, when I talked about the new covenant in my blood? Well, when you're doing a study, you want to look back, where's the first time the word covenant was used? You've got to go back to Genesis to figure out where that all started with. If this is the new covenant, that means what? There was an old covenant, right? So logically, you have to think back and say, okay, what is he talking about here, like we read in First Corinthians 11, this morning.

Consider the power of God and what we learned about the power of God. When a Marine Sergeant speaks, things happen immediately, every single time without fail. Either somebody obeys or somebody gets in trouble, right? So that's just a man with given authority who speaks and something happens, right? And you see that every single time. Words have the power to move people. Some in society as you watch more and more news, get drunk with power. They understand how to leverage the power of the spoken word, to create ideas, to create movements, to have people do things that they wouldn't have done, had they not heard those words.

God is a master of speaking things into existence, not just speaking about things. Consider Creation, where God speaks, over and over again in Genesis one. “And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And God said, ‘Let the earth be filled with swarms of living creatures.’ And God said…” Right?

On day one, he created the light in the darkness, from speaking. Day two, the expanse of the heavens, from speaking. Day three, created the oceans in the dry land and the Earth itself, specifically, not in primordial form, but in full, mature form. He didn't just plant seeds in the ground, right? The Earth sprouted forth vegetation that was seen on that day, not later in the future, but on that day.

He created the stars and the lights, the day and the night, to have seasons. And so you and I could recognize things God is not mysterious or a God of chaos and confusion. He is a God of specificity. You see that on day four. Day five, he creates swarms of living creatures in the oceans, and winged birds in the sky. On the same day, ocean creatures and birds, same day. No chance for evolution.

Then God said on day six, Genesis 1:26-27, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in His own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female…”

And you're starting to wonder, are we just going to get a bunch of random facts and knowledge and stories today are we just going to hear like, so much information? I've got way more pages than I could ever preach this morning. But let me bring it down to what is happening today. If you're aware of what's going on in Canada right now, I've got friends who are pastors in Canada. As of January 8, it will be illegal to preach against homosexuality, illegal. Fines and up to five years. Right? So much for free speech in Canada, ‘eh?’ Right? So much for God's Word in Canada. If you didn't know the friendly neighbor to the north has been crazy liberal for a long time. Not every single person, obviously, but where the darkness is the light shines the brightest. And in a couple of Sundays, we don't need to wait for that Sunday, but [pastors] all over [our] country and in Canada are going to preach out against homosexuality and basically demand that the government either arrest them all or leave them alone.

He created them male and female, is that relevant to today? Marriage, male and female, that's it. “Ah well science disagrees.” Actually, no science does agree according to DNA and skeletal structures. No one disagrees with that. Male and female. Here we learn about appropriate marriage, appropriate marriage behavior. We're not even out of chapter two yet. And we've got this nailed down. Right? The word is so instructive and so directive for us.

Like you and I, there are many who are sinful. They have turned from God. If you are homosexual, you live in sin. In Canada, if you preach those last four sentences that I did about male and female and marriage, you will be put in jail potentially.

If you say they need to repent and turn from their sin, which is what repentance means. You have now defied multiple orders, which all of Parliament in Canada has agreed as a good idea, not one single dissenting vote in all of Parliament. Their Conservative Party, Liberal Party, whatever party, not a single dissenting vote.

I think Genesis is quite appropriate for life, and for living, and for practice. Genesis 1:31, “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.” We hold to a six-day, literal creation here, 24-hour periods.

What's does creation reveal about God? It reveals his wisdom and seeing what he has created as good. It reveals his power, his never ending never diminished, power that he has now distributed to mankind to have dominion over all other things. It displays his glory as he puts things and hangs things in places that you and I will never, ever, ever be able to reach. It demonstrates the Godhead in creating the world and mankind in our image. God is a God who is known as the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.
It demonstrates his care in seeing relationships and marriage. It demonstrates his plan for the natural order of the world, man over beast. There is so much to love and know about God. The scope of the Bible is quite profound. So as we're going through these verses here, you have to understand that it doesn't stay perfect. It doesn't stay on the course that we would want it to. Right? If you say wow, couldn't we just have a perfect world? Couldn't we just make all laws perfect? Well, that happened. That was at the beginning. You had a perfect world, you had two perfect people and [you] only had perfect laws, one law, don't eat from this one. Pretty straightforward. I need us to hear this. Perfect laws don't make perfect people. Only God can change people. Perfect laws don't make perfect people. We already tried that. And if you read and remember Genesis, that won't be the hope of society.

Satan was a created being and he wanted to be like God, yet knowing he could not overcome or corrupt God, he decided to overcome and corrupt creation, and he tempted creation. And as you know, Adam and Eve willingly fell into sin. In fact, they jumped wholeheartedly into it. So we have creation and the beauty and the wonder of it. And then we have what's called the Fall. Right? And then that leads us to this period where God looks down and he says, “Hello guys, where were you? What you've been doing?” And God you can hear the walking of him and the rustling of the trees. I don't know how tall God was, if he was shorter or bigger, or if that was, you know, the pre–Incarnate Christ, most likely was. But yet Adam and Eve have to come forward and say, “Oh, that tree that you told us about, you know that one rule we've already broken it. Right? It's like when you're a parent, like how long does it take a child to break one? Not long, right? They scream for what they want before they can even talk.

But it says Satan was “a murderer from the beginning.” That's John 8:44. He says, Satan was a murderer from the beginning. And he wants to thrust that thread through all of humanity. To mar the image of mankind, right? Adam and Eve then are redeemed by God in a sense where God kills an animal to make for themselves skins, and garments to clothe themselves. Now, their eyes were open to knowing good and evil, and God in his blessing, cast them out of the garden so that they would not stay in that evil state for all of eternity.

God as well then moves us towards the curse. Look in Genesis 3:14-19. As I summarize this, God cursed the Serpent. God cursed Eve. God cursed Adam and even the Earth, right? He cursed the ground. That's the Earth. Farming didn't used to be this difficult. Planting flowers didn't used to be this hard. Trees, when they were in the garden already had fruit. They didn't have to wait a season, they had fruit on it, from the beginning. I liked those kinds of trees. I'm not very good at growing trees and making them bear fruit.

But God clothed them in Genesis 3:21 and made for them garments of skin. This is a type of atonement. And now if you if you think forward from this chapter three and on, we are now moving towards God doing a reset. Okay, the wickedness here is going to accelerate. God is going to regret that he made mankind to put forth one of the tougher verses in the Old Testament. Right? He sees the sin. He doesn't want this rampant sin. He wants this cleanliness, this forgiveness. And so mankind now goes forward.

Turn to Genesis 6:5, “[Yahweh] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” You think it's bad now? It was bad then. We always hope for the good old days, (but well maybe not this day, right?). We think it's always been better. And yes, if you look at how nations and countries are established, there is normally a time of, of a good course that a nation will follow until it self-destructs. So we're towards the end of that time, I think in the United States where we're starting to self-destruct. And so here we have in Genesis 6, we have murder, rampant fornication. We have in Genesis 6:13, “the earth [was] filled with violence.” Right, Adam's firstborn son, Cain, started out murdering his brother. Right? What would the perfect children do? Well, that's what they did.

God brings judgment on sin and hits the reset button. And he looks upon Noah, in Genesis 6:8, and Noah has found favor with God. Noah and his family, eight people total. Eight, you think you're alone in the world, and you're the only one in your neighborhood or at work or something like that. Noah was literally the only father on the planet doing good. His sons and their family would come along with him. So we're all descended from Adam. But we're all also descended from Noah. Right? So, God sends this deluge of water on the earth.

The skies pour down torrents of rain, the earth opens up and a flood of water comes from beneath the earth as well. We know there are oceans of water, right under the crust. There's rivers of water near the surface. God broke these things forward, and they consumed the earth. And God did a reset. What does that tell us about God? Before you paint, you know, Noah's Ark, the greatest catastrophic death toll in human history on your child's walls in their baby room? (If you did that I’m sorry). But that was the greatest reset in history. What does that tell us about the authority of God? Because right now the country is struggling with the authority of God. They're really struggling with the authority of God. Is God just? Does God have the right to do what he's doing? Creation friends is the everyday evidence of his power. That's one reason it's attacked every day, every single day. The image of God is the purest thing he has given to mankind, besides Christ, to show himself to reflect himself, that is attacked every single day. You can't turn on the news. You can't go to a website without hearing some type of attack on the purity of God's creation.

But when you think about the flood, God has the authority to bring justice, pure justice on the whole globe. On everything that has breath, every creature even. Who has that authority but God? No one has that power. We, mankind, thinks that we are powerful, right? There's nothing close to that. And he has the love and the compassion, to set forth this wonderful world before Noah and his family.

Look in Genesis 10:32, after Noah comes off the ark, he tells them to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Right, that God's plan for mankind and gives them and reiterates dominion, looking at Genesis 10:32, “These are the clans of the sons of Noah,” that is the previous section in Genesis 10, “according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.” “And from these the nations spread abroad.” How do we get all over the planet? That's how. They started multiplying and spreading all over the place.

So now you have the Creation, the Fall, and the Flood. And God makes a covenant with Noah. That's Genesis 9:11, if you want to try and remember it. “The 911 Covenant,” that's with Noah, right? He's never going to destroy the Earth with water again. He's never going to do that. So, when you see that rainbow, remember God's judgment and God's provision with Noah. So you have Creation, the Fall, the first covenant ever is with Noah. God's first promise, and that moves us towards chapter 12, the Abrahamic Covenant.

Genesis 12 was really the turning point of the book look in Genesis 12:1-3. Here God makes this covenant with Abraham, that is still in effect today. If affects you. It affects me. It affects every nation on Earth. “Now the LORD said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.’” Now listen to this, Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and Him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

“All the families.” God hasn't yet chosen his specific people. But he has now chosen his specific man. He didn't choose everybody. Abram wasn't the shining example. He actually was into pagan idolatry stuff, if you read about where he comes from. But God took him, God changed his heart, God set him on a new course. And in Genesis 18:19, God's specifically declares his plan for Abram, “For I have chosen him, that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring to Abraham what he has promised him.”

Keeping God's word is about righteousness. It's about justice. The overused word of the day, right? Justice. We want social justice. We want endgame equality. We don't want anyone to have to feel like they're less.

But God here says that he's chosen Abraham to, “command his children and his household after him,” to do what? To keep the way of the Lord. There is a standard. The standard is found in the ways of God now as recorded in Scripture. By doing righteousness and justice, to live rightly and justly among each other, among your families.

He promised to bless Abraham and to give him children, as many as the sand on the sea. Genesis 21:5 tells us when that happened. Abraham was 100 years old, and his wife 90, when she had her first child. Ladies, 90, alright? See you and I want God to speed things up. Do you know how long it was between the promise and the fulfillment of Isaac coming? 25 years! 25 years of waiting. Why would God do that? Why wouldn't it be like next year, right? We just skip ahead to the part where God revisits Abraham and Sarah and he says next year at this time, you're going to have a child. And we forget that's 25 years after the first time he talked to them. Right? Because God cares about the people that he entrusts these favors to. He wants their faith to grow. You and I want to speed things up so fast.

Romans 14:17 reminds us though, “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” You see, God cares about you specifically, his promises will come to pass and his covenants will be fulfilled. And he has already begun to fulfill the Abrahamic Covenant even at this point, right? She now has a son directly. And God is already you know, seeing his plan for the people to be fruitful and multiply. They're all over the Earth at this point. And yet God has not forgotten that he is a God of righteousness and justice.
Fast forward to Genesis 19. God destroys the homosexual cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He literally rains down fire and brimstone, from heaven. Do you think God takes sin seriously? If you're ever in doubt, think of Noah. And think of Genesis 19 with Sodom and Gomorrah?

Well, years go by, Abraham’s son grows up. And then God promises Abram, Abraham again, that he will bless him through his offspring. So is our trust in our offspring or is our trust in God? You see God wanted Abraham to figure that out. Are you trusting me because of what I've given you, Abraham? Or are you trusting me because of who I am?

If you've ever wondered why God made Abraham go off with Isaac and attempt to sacrifice his son, which the fulfillment of that was never the point. God would never have him do that. But he wanted to test Abraham to the very limit. Why? Because God wanted Abraham's faith to be in God, not in what he had blessed him with. People of the richest county in the country, God wants you to trust him, not trust what he has given to us. Abraham, and the situation with Isaac is profound. Abraham in Genesis 22:8 says, “God will provide for himself the lamb.” And he did, didn't he? He provided a ram in the thicket, then. It's a foreshadowing, it's a type of Christ's here, that he would provide the ultimate sacrifice in Jesus Christ. This has always been the case for God to provide our needs not for us to demand and take but to say [to God], “we are willing, available to you, we will do whatever you command because we know that you know what is best.”

Even under the law, it was all about faith. Galatians 3:7-8, says this, “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.” It's not just the family lineage. It's not the sign of the covenant through circumcision fully. It is those who are children of faith. “And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham.” Where's the gospel being preached to Abraham? It is that God will provide the sacrifice to atone for sins. And he promises him, “In you shall all the nations be blessed” [Galatians 3:8]. The greatest blessing that has ever come to the nations has come through Jesus Christ.

Transition to Isaac, the man in Genesis 24. He grows up and marries Rebecca. At what age? 40. Isaac got married at 40. Right? We think we're pushing the limits of when people should be married. Isaac got married a little later. 20 years later, Rebecca had her first son. 20 years later. Genesis 26:4 and God promises to multiply the offspring of Isaac, “as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands.”

So the promise of the covenant for Abraham has now come down to Isaac. Right and it's going to come to Jacob as well. And people will be blessed through Joseph as well. And you say, “I'm on overload. What's this one have to do with us again?” Okay. Anybody ever had complicated family issues? I know you do. This was a complicated family. Okay. Fast forward to Jacob, the man, it continues to be complicated. Jacob is having a son here. Or excuse me, Jacob is going to have a dream. And it says, “behold, the LORD stood above it [in Genesis 28:13-14, sorry] … I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring will be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”
They've got favoritism going on. They've got brothers wanting to kill each other. They've got one father favoring one son and the mom favoring another son and people trying to steal birth rights and all kinds of stuff going on. Your family is not the first complicated family that has ever existed. Okay, it's it happens over and over and over again.

And you're wondering, how are we going to wrap this up, we have so many chapters to go here. Well, at this point, we're still under the Abrahamic Covenant. And I want to fast forward us. Jacob's father Isaac dies at 180 years old. That's Genesis 35. We're still in the Abrahamic Covenant. And Genesis finishes here by following the life of Joseph, who was Rachel son. At age 17, he had a dream, not unlike probably many 17 year old boys that he would rule over his parents, and all of his older brothers. He was the favored child, favoritism never goes well. And eventually his brothers sell him into slavery, into slavery. They tell their father that he's dead. They had a complicated family. I don't know if you've been sold into slavery by your family. But Joseph had.

I don't know if you feel the favor of maybe just one parent and no one else. But that was Joseph. And he was slightly clueless because he went around telling everybody of his favor. Yet this was God's plan. So Joseph, as you know, gets to power in Egypt. He becomes the ruler over all Egypt to lead them through this famine and to provide protection, as we'll see, for the Israelites for 400 years in Egypt. And God promised, Abraham back in Genesis, that he is going to bless him, but your people who are going to come from you and your nations who are going to come from you are going to be oppressed and in slavery for 400 years. God then fulfills that through Joseph. But Joseph was a kind man. If you ever want to know how to treat those who have treated poorly, you can look over Joseph's life.

Look in Genesis 50:19-21. This is Joseph, who could snap his fingers and have them all beheaded. He is in great power, they know who he is, their father has died. So they think Joseph is being kind to them out of respect, for his earthly father. But Joseph was a true man of God, he was being kind to them out of respect for God. Verse 19, but Joseph saying to his brother said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones. Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.”

That too, was part of God's plan. And as we wrap up here in the next few minutes, notice that God didn't mean for Joseph to be blessed. He meant for Joseph's life to bless others. All of those bad things that happened to Joseph were not even for Joseph. They were for God's plan.

As you consider the things that have gone in your life. We somehow think that they're always about us. The Book of Job demonstrates that's not the case, fully. We see that in Joseph. But here's what we also see, when Joseph came to power at age 30, over the most powerful nation in the world, he was truly a man of God.

He could respond to those who tried to murder him, who lied to his father, whom he would then have to provide for; he could respond to them in such graciousness and comfort that he would comfort them. And he was speaking kindly to them. You see as we think through Genesis, and further, we need to know that God is faithful, that God is powerful, that he's directed nations. This nation that we live in is not beyond God. That He even directs the hearts of kings. Any leader we have is not beyond God. That he directs the hearts and minds of his people, and even those who aren't his people at times. The current king of Egypt put a God-fearing man, above and against all the other gods of Egypt, into power.

As we embark upon this journey through Scripture, I want you to remember that God is still a covenant keeping God. God is still a covenant keeping God as we said today, this is the new covenant in my blood. Believers, remember this, that we are part of God's covenant of grace through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, the provision that God has given for all of our sins, and we serve the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is faithful to fulfill what he has promised.

Let's pray.

Lord God, I thank you for your word. I thank you mostly for Jesus Christ. I thank you, Lord, that you're faithful. Thank you Lord God that you pull us back to yourself.

Lord, I pray this morning that you would help us to remember you and your faithfulness and to put our hope and trust in you and you alone. And friends, let's just take a moment to ask God to help us to remember his covenant faithfulness.

Lord, I thank you for your word. I thank you for these precious people, Lord God. May you help us all to know you fully. In your precious Holy Name, Amen.