Genesis 50: Faith believes right about God and man and acts accordingly

Genesis 49:29-50:26


What does our passage say?

What do we learn about God / man / life in God’s kingdom?

God is at work, using evil human intent, to save his people and do good. 50:20

God’s faithful die in faith.

It’s hard to miss that our passage has 2 deaths in it. 

Jacob and Joseph have not yet received the promise, but they give instruction in anticipation of God keeping his word. Death is an opportunity to act in faith!

  • Jacob and Joseph both refuse to stay buried outside of God’s inheritance for them. 
  • Jacob is buried in the cave with his fathers. 
    • This is an act of faith that what God said in Genesis 35:10-15 would come to pass! 

Genesis 35:10-15 (ESV) And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.” 13 Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. 14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. 15 So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.

Hebrews 11:39-40 (ESV) And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Getting even is not God’s way. Forgiveness is God’s way. 50:15-21

  • The brothers seem to concoct a story that is likely untrue because they fear Joseph will get even now that Jacob is out of the way. 

How do we apply God’s word today?

We believe that no evil action done to us has failed to pass through God’s good purposes for us. 

  • Satan does not get to take pot shots at God’s people unhindered (See Job).
  • Jesus is not failing to build his church in spite of how it feels. 
    • That includes us individuals who are part of the whole. 

We believe faith anticipates / hopes in God’s faithfulness and acts accordingly.

  • Jacob and Joseph gave orders to carry them up to their land they did not yet own. 
  • We preach the gospel in hope that it can save those who hear. 
  • We do justice believing that God rewards justice. 
  • We obey righteous laws believing that God rules through government bodies. 
  • We run from sin trusting that the fruit of sin is death. 
  • We gather now in family units or small groups in faith that Jesus is still building his church.
    • Most of the great stories of the faith are written in hind-site when reflecting on how God used a difficult time to advance his kingdom. 
  • Don’t look past this hard time. Lean into it! 
  • We practice our pro-life ethic in a full orbed love of justice and righteousness from womb to tomb. 
    • We believe every human being deserves the fullness of God’s kingdom and opportunity to follow Jesus together with people from every tribe as one family united in Jesus Christ without any manner of discrimination. 
      • Illustration: May are fearful of saying “Black Lives Matter” so they counter  with some other statement. 
      • Perhaps faith our faith is practiced by empathising like this:
    • “If Jennifer comes to me in obvious pain and asks, ‘Do you love me?’ An answer of “I love everyone,” would be truthful but also hurtful and cruel in the moment. If a co-worker comes to me upset and says, ‘My father just died.” A response of, ‘Everyone’s parents die.” would be truthful, but hurtful and cruel in the moment. So, when a friend speaks up in a time of obvious hurt and pain and says, “Black lives matter.” A response of “All lives matter,” is truthful and hurtful in the moment.” – Doug Williford
  • Empathy and understanding and mourning with another who is hurting is faith when we don’t have to justify our empathy with a counter argument. 

We forgive and don’t seek vengeance on those who have hurt us. 

  • Since God works good from evil intent or misinformed intent, we are free to release getting even. Love becomes our ethic!

Matthew 5:38-42 (ESV) 38 “You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

We believe we are transformed to die in faith, full of the Spirit. 

  • For those in Christ, death is our servant to finish our sanctification!
  • 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (ESV) I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

We worship in these faithful beliefs and we express that worship in song!

Psalms 147:1 (ESV) Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.

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