The Hero Rises
It started with a simple idea.
A few months ago I decided to study the life of Joseph in the Old Testament. I made that decision knowing that in the summer I would be preaching in five difference Bible conferences. Generally when I preach at different conferences, I pick different topics. This year I decided to do the same series at each place.
That means I preached through the life of Joseph five times in seven weeks—once in Maine, once in Oregon, twice in New York, and once in Michigan.
I wondered how it would go.
I wondered if I would get tired of the story.
I wondered if my messages would be the same.
Joseph is a man for all seasons.
I can answer part of that myself. I never grew tired of telling how Joseph’s brothers betrayed him, and the gripping tale of attempted seduction by a wife with a wandering eye, and the sad saga of false accusation and unjust imprisonment, and the long lonely nights Joseph spent in prison, and the unlikely journey he took from prison to the palace, how he put his brothers to the test, and how in the end it all came out alright because, as he said to the brothers who betrayed him, “You meant it for evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20).
When James Boice published his exposition of this section of Genesis, he called Joseph “a man for all seasons.” It seems like an apt title for a man who went through so many varied experiences.
He was chosen and rejected.
He was loved and hated.
He was favored and abused.
He was betrayed and rescued.
He was promoted and imprisoned.
He was tested and rewarded.
He was slandered and praised.
At no point did he ever take his eyes off the Lord.
Adversity didn’t harden him.
Prosperity didn’t ruin him.
Temptation didn’t destroy him.
Imprisonment didn’t embitter him.
Promotion didn’t change him.
He was a truly great man.
You can read the rest of the sermon online.