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IT IS ENOUGH
Intro: It’s been a while since we visited with our friend Joseph. Maybe we should take just a moment to bring our minds up to date.
Joseph was the eleventh of Joseph’s twelve sons. He was also his father’s favorite son. His ten older brothers were jealous of Joseph’s relationship with their father. They even grew to hate their brother Joseph. They hated him so much that they sold him as a slave. Joseph’s path as a slave took him into Egypt. He prospered there for a while, but eventually, he was falsely accused of attempted rape and spent several long years in prison.
It looked like God had forgotten all about Joseph, but that was just the way things appeared. In all of his trials, God had been with Joseph, leading him blessing him and developing him for God’s glory. After a time, God delivered Joseph from the prison and brought him to the attention of Pharaoh. Pharaoh took Joseph from the prison and made him the Prime Minister of Egypt.
In that new position, Joseph had great power and wealth. He was used of the Lord to save the nation, and much of the known world in that day, from certain starvation. A famine gripped the whole world, and people from all over came to Egypt to buy food.
Among those who came were the ten older brothers of Joseph. They did not recognize him, but he knew who they were. Through a series of events, Joseph brought his brothers to a place of confession. They admitted what they had done to him years earlier. Eventually, Joseph reveals his identity to his brothers and they are reconciled.
In the passage before us today, Joseph has sent his brothers back to Canaan to get their father and their families. They have all been invited to move to Egypt where they can be fed and protected by Joseph.
In our text today, we see Jacob finding out that his son Joseph is still alive. We see Him leave his home in Canaan to go to Egypt to meet his beloved Joseph. As we watch old Jacob moving down to Egypt, we are allowed to see how God can bring victory out of pain and sorrow. Notice the facts of this story with me as we watch God take a hopeless situation and transform it into a more than enough experience. I want you to see that this is A Tale Of Worries; A Tale Of Wagons; and A Tale Of Worship. Let’s consider all of that as I try to preach on It Is Enough.
I. v. 25-26 A TALE OF WORRIES
(Ill. The life of Jacob has been a life of struggles and a life of heartbreaks. He grew up in a home where there was turmoil between himself and his brother Esau. He had to leave home after he helped his mother deceive his father and after he stole his brother’s birthright. Jacob spent the next twenty-plus years working for his uncle Laban. He and his uncle worked as hard as they could to trick and deceive the other. Finally Jacob leaves Laban’s house to return to the land of his fathers. On the way home, his beloved wife Rachel dies. Later, his favorite son Joseph goes missing and is presumed dead. That is a thumbnail sketch of Jacob’s life, but it sets the stage for the old man he has become. Let’s watch Jacob in action in these verses.
A. Jacob’s Disposition From an early age Jacob had been taught to expect the worse. He has been trained to be a doubter and a worrier. Notice the events that made his this way.
· His Mother Contributed To This She led Jacob to believe that his father loved Esau more than he loved Jacob, Gen. 27:5-30. She convinced Jacob that Esau was out to kill him, and that he should leave the home, Gen. 27:41-45.
· His Uncle Contributed To This He deceived Jacob when he gave Jacob Leah for a wife instead of Rachel, Gen. 29:16-30. He deceived Jacob when he made his work all those years for his wives and flocks, Gen. 30. Laban even threatened to kill Jacob, Gen. 31:17-55.
· His Wife Contributed To This Leah accused Jacob of not loving her, Gen. 29:32. Rachel blames Jacob for her failure to conceive children, Gen. 30:1.
· His Sons Contributed To This They came to him carrying the coat of Joseph. They had killed a goat and smeared its blood on the coat. When Jacob saw the coat, his doubts rose to the occasion and he assumed that Joseph must be dead, Gen. 37:31-35.
· The Events Of Life Contributed To This He was forced to leave his home. He was deceived by his uncle. He lived with four wives and twelve children. His sons, with the exception of Joseph and Benjamin, were evil men. His own home was filled with rank immorality and sin. His wife died. His brother hated him. His sons deceived him. His favorite son was stripped from him.
Jacob had been trained by the events of his life and by the influence of those around him to be a doubter and a worrier. His sons are down in Egypt and I am sure Jacob thinks that he will never see them alive again. He expects the worst possible outcome all the time.
(Note: Some of you have had that same kind of training. You have been taught to expect the worse.
Maybe it was a parent that didn’t love. Maybe it was a trusted adult that violated you. Maybe it was a supposed friend who totally destroyed your confidence and trust in people. Maybe you still hear the voices in your head that say things like, “You are worthless! I wish you have never been born! What a loser you are! You can’t do anything right! You’ll turn out just like you mother/father. Maybe you have walked through some hard places that have left their scars on your mind and on your heart.
These things are part of our world! They shouldn’t be, but they are the product of sin. And when they happen, they can be devastating, and they can mark your mind for a lifetime.
(Note: That is why we must protect our minds from the attacks of the flesh and the enemy, 2 Cor. 10:3-6. We need to preach to our own hearts every now and then. We need to remind ourselves that, in Jesus Christ, things are different, 2 Tim. 1:7.
Your past and your problems should not be allowed to shape the person you are today. You might not just be able to forget what you have heard and seen, but God can help you get past the evils that would shape you, He can help you walk on to victory for His glory, Rom. 8:37; 1 Cor. 15:57.)
B. Jacob’s Doubts His sons return from Egypt and they come with good news! They tell their father that Joseph is alive and well down in Egypt. They tell him that Joseph is the ruler of the entire land. When Jacob hears this, his heart actually skips a few beats. He cant believe what he is hearing. He refuses to believe that it could even be true.
Jacob had held so tightly to his belief that Joseph was dead for so many years, that he could not even grasp the truth that he might be alive. The good news he heard was simply too good to be true!
(Note: That’s the problem with doubt; it has the power to extinguish the flame of faith on our hearts. Doubt is a powerful weapon! Notice how doubt manifested itself in several places in the Bible.
· Doubt looked in the face of the Life and doubted His power to accomplish a resurrection – John 11:39.
· Doubt told Jairus it was too late for his daughter – Mark 5:35.
· Doubt told the Creator that it was the wrong time and place to fish – Luke 5:5.
· Doubt told the Lord God that there were too many people and not enough food, John 6:9.
· Doubt told the prophet Elisha that there was nothing in the house but a small pot of oil.
· Doubt was wrong in every case! Doubt is always wrong! When doubts come your way, remind them of just Who your God is! He is a God of matchless, limitless power, Matt. 28:18; Eph. 3:20. He is the God Who can do anything He pleases to do, anytime He pleases to do it!
He can even take a situation like the one before us in this text and change it all around for His glory. Our God is able to take “is not, Gen. 37:30 and change it into “is, Gen. 45:26! All the while Jacob thought Joseph “was not, Joseph was alive and well down in Egypt. Jacob was at home crying is not, is not, is not! God is Heaven was looking at the same set of facts and He was saying, He is! He is! He is!
Never forget that Heaven can see what you can’t. Here is what you need to remember the next time you face and “Is not situation in your life. Psalm 37:3-5, “3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
II. v. 26-28 A TALE OF WAGONS
(Ill. The sons of Jacob have returned from Egypt with incredible news. Jacob, however, is having a hard time comprehending what he is hearing. His sons have concrete evidence that what they are saying is true. They have a bunch of empty wagons, v. 19 and they have ten donkeys carrying the best of the land of Egypt, v. 23. Let’s watch this meeting between Jacob and his sons as it unfolds.)
A. The Wagons Came With Problems they told him all the words of Joseph.” Let that sink in for a moment. For over twenty-five years these men have allowed their father to believe that his favorite son had been killed by wild animals. For twenty-five years, they had deceived their father and they had deprived him of the companionship of his son Joseph.
Now, they stand before him and everything comes out. They tell him about all the lies and all the cover-ups. They tell him how Joseph worked with them until they made a full confession. Then they tell him about Joseph and the glory he has down in Egypt, v. 13. Jacob learns that the son he thought was a dead man is really the Governor of all the land of Egypt. It is more than he can grasp.
Surely the old man is more confused than ever as he hears these boys tell their story. He might have been angry as they told how they lied to him and allowed him to suffer the pain of grief all those years. On the other hand, hope is beginning to take root in his heart.
What if they are telling the truth? What if Joseph really is alive? Is it possible?
B. The Wagons Came With Proof As Jacob listened to these boys tell their tale, he really wanted to believe it. But, could he believe anything his sons told him? Did he dare believe anything these deceptive boys said to him?
As these doubts coursed through his mind, perhaps one of his sons sensed the difficulty his father was having with their story. Maybe he said, “Father, if you can’t take our word for it, then just look outside. Look at what Joseph sent to us from Egypt.
The old man goes to the door of the tent and looks out. To his amazement there are the ten donkeys loaded down with food, provisions, and the treasures of Egypt. There are the wagons. Those surely aren’t his wagons! He didn’t own that many. His didn’t look like that. These wagons had the markings of a different country on them. These wagons had the appearance of Egypt about them. Jacob sees the wagons and he believes. He says, “It is enough!”
For the first time in over twenty years a smile begins to form at the corners of Jacob’s mouth. For the first time in as many years tears of joy spill out of the old man’s eyes and course their way down his gnarled face. For the first time in decades, laughter erupts from Jacob’s mouth and he cries “It is enough! I will go and see him before I die! Jacob saw the wagons and he was satisfied!
C. The Wagons Came With A Purpose Verse 19 tells us that the wagons were sent to carry Jacob and his family to their new home in Egypt. The wagons were sent to transport them home.
(Note: Throughout these chapters Joseph is a constant picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. We see Jesus in Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers; in his role as the savior of life; in his sufferings; in his righteousness; and we see the face of Jesus in this account as well.
Just as surely as Joseph sent wagons to carry his father safely into Egypt; our Savior has given us some very precious blessings that help us make it through this world. The wagons Joseph sent were empty; but the promises we have received from Jesus are filled with blessing, life, hope, and plenty. Let me share a few of our “heavenly wagons with you today.
· His Spirit John 16:13; 14:18 The Spirit of God indwells us; fills us; guides us and uses us.
· His Presence Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5 He has promised to walk every step of the journey with us.
· His Provisions Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-34 Our Lord has promised to meet every need in our lives for His glory.
· His Word Psa. 119:105; Job 23:12 God has given us a perfectly inspired and preserved record of Himself in the Bible. It is without error. It feeds the saint and convicts the sinner. It converts the soul and guides the steps.
· His Salvation Eph. 2:8-9; John 3:16; Acts 16:31 The salvation God gives is perfect and complete. It washes away every sin and makes the sinner every whit clean. It is a salvation that endures forever. It is a salvation that can take the vilest sinner and transform them into the holiest saint.
· His Return Acts 1:9-11; John 14:1-3; 1 Thes. 4:16-18 Our Savior died on the cross, rose again three days later and then He ascended back to Heaven. He left us with His promise that He would return again to take us home that we might spent eternity with Him in Heaven.
· Those are but a few of the many blessed wagons of glory that exist to carry us safely into a place called Heaven!
III. 46:1-7 A TALE OF WORSHIP
(Ill. I don’t know if you saw this or not, but in verses 25-27 the brothers returned home and told a broken, doubting man named “Jacob that Joseph was alive. At first he refused to believe them, but when he saw the wagons, the Bible says in verse 28, “And Israel said, it is enough…
You see, “Jacob was this mans fleshly name. It means schemer, trickster, deceiver. Jacob was all those things and more. One night, near a brook name Jabbok, Jacob met the Lord. They wrestled through the night and Jacob got a new name. The Lord changed his name to Israel. This mane means Prince of God, Gen. 32:28. This was his spiritual name.
Do you see it? It was the flesh that doubted the news he heard. When Jacob was in control we see a whining, fearful, faithless man. But, when faith reacted within his heart, Israel, the new man believed God and followed the Lord confidently.
A. v. 1 Jacob’s Fear So, Jacob takes his possessions and heads of with his family to go to Egypt. You will notice that Pharaoh sent word that they would not need their stuff down in Egypt, Gen. 45:20. They were to leave all their things behind, because Pharaoh would give them all they needed when they arrived in Egypt. Jacob takes everything he has. He packs all his stuff and takes it with him. It seems that he is still having a hard time letting go of his past.
Isn’t that just like us? We are so filled with fear that we find it hard to completely trust the Lord. We want to hang to some of our “stuff. If we could just learn to trust the Lord completely, we would see that He could take care of us. Like Jacob, we still have our doubts and our fears.
B. v. 1b-4 Jacob’s Faith The Bible says they came to Beersheba. Now, Beersheba was at the very southern end of Canaan. When a person traveled past Beersheba, he had left the Promised Land behind.
Before Israel leaves Canaan he pauses to worship the Lord. There can be little doubt that Jacob remembered the stories of when his grandfather Abraham left Canaan to go down to Egypt, Gen. 12:10-20. He remembered the trouble that came to the family because of Abraham’s lack of faith. Before he makes the same journey, Jacob wants to know that this is the Lord’s will for his life.
God answers Jacob’s prayers and reassures him that all is well. God promises to go with Jacob. God promises to protect Jacob. God promises Jacob that he will see Joseph and that Joseph will attend to him when he dies. God gives Jacob the green light to go to Joseph.
(Note: Jacob’s example is a good one for us to follow today. Before he took such a large step, he sought the lord’s face in the matter. We must do the same! We only pass through this world one time and we need to be sure that we get it right. There is no time for mistakes, wrong roads and detours. The Lord has a plan and He has a path, it is our duty to find His plan and walk in His path. Be sure you wait before the Lord and discover His will before you make any major decision in your life.)
C. v. 5-7 Jacob’s Future Jacob hears the Word of the Lord and he moves to follow God. Because he does, the family of Israel is preserved through the famine. More importantly, they are in a position to be protected by the armies of Egypt. Over the next few hundred years, they will grow from a struggling family to a nation numbering a few million.
Because Jacob followed God, he put his family in a position to be blessed of the Lord. I want that for my family, and for my life, how about you? When we go with the Lord, we will always find ourselves in places of blessing and growth.
Conc: Where does this text find you today?
· Does it find you living in fear and doubt over various situations in your life? If so, let me assure that our Lord is enough for your situation. Bring it to Him, leave it with Him and look to Him for the peace and help you need. He will convince you that “It is enough.”
· Does it find you needing Heavenly provisions for your journey? Come talk to Him about the need. He might just have a wagon ready for you. He will show you that “It is enough.”
· Does it find you needing direction for some big step in your life? Bring it to Him. You will find that “It is enough!