Blessed To Bless

Blessed To Bless

Preacher Huijun - 10 July 2021

Blessed To Bless

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<Gen 47>

13 There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”

16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”

 

  • No amount of material possessions can save lives.
  • Human prosperity lies not in human efforts, but in God’s grace.

 

20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.”

25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”

27 Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.

 

God’s special care for His people.

  • Contrast between Egyptians and Israelites.
  • Not simplistic view that Christians have no problems.
  • But God’s ability to take care of His children does not depend on the situation.
  • Need not worry about earthly needs, but seek God’s kingdom <Mt 6:31-34>.

 

God blesses us for us to bless others.

1) Joseph: Mean or Kind?

  • Egyptians said to Joseph, “You have saved our lives” <Gen 47:25>.
  • Our own dilemma: Serving the interests of those above and below us.
  • Helping the poor is not just simplistically giving them free food and money.
  • Some biblical examples:
    • Buy what they have to sell <Lev 25:25>.
    • Give to them through their own labor < Lev 19:9-10>.
  • We can’t solve all the world’s problems, but our situations are for us to manifest God’s kindness, wisdom, love and glory.

 

2) God: Mean or kind?

  • Can we also give thanks that God has saved our lives, despite that we too have to surrender our money, labor, freedom, our very lives to Him?
  • What we can possibly offer is not enough to redeem our lives.
  • Have we also realized that we will also surely die if God does not redeem us?
  • If yes, no reason to complain, but can only give thanks.

 

Believe to the very end, even if we have not seen fulfilment.

<Gen 47>

28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”

“I will do as you say,” he said.

31 “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

 

  • Now no more strength, full reliance and hope in God.
  • A faith which is not dependent on seen outcomes.
  • Strongest kind of faith: One which cannot be extinguished even by death [adapted from John Calvin].
  • Desire to be brought back to promised land: Personal faith and reminder to descendants.
  • Jacob yearned to go back Canaan after death, we should also long for heavenly home after death.
  • We are aliens on earth  live to prepare for heaven.
Preacher Huijun
Preacher Huijun
huijun@lifechurchmissions.com

Huijun joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a preacher in 2012. She is effectively bilingual and preaches occasionally at the Chinese service. She graduated from Singapore Bible College and currently lives in Singapore with her husband, Chengji.

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