Wednesday, October 30, 2013

*Joseph and The Gospel of Many Colors*

Certainly Changes and Challenges the way I read the Story of Joseph!

Joseph, born the son of a patriarch.
Dragged away as a young man, sold into slavery by his very brothers. 
Through all the long years that followed, Joseph worshipped The Lord. 
He desired holiness and ran from seduction... even when it seemed that no one would know if he chose to indulge in the offered sin. 
He trusted God even when he was unjustly held in prison on charges of attempted rape. 
He forgave the men who hurt him most deeply, when they expected him to take revenge upon them!
And although from the outside it appeared that Joseph was at the mercy of fickle and sinful humans, he recognized the Sovereignty of God over every one of his moments, whether they were spent in darkness or in light. 

All of those rich themes are there in his story, and they are true, and they are examples of Joseph's sterling character and obedience which we should emulate.
Yet if all you see in his story is personal morality, then you need to know there is more that you haven't yet discovered. 

As Dr. Baucham explains, "This was the first time I delved deeply into the life of Joseph. 
These questions.... led me to realize a truth that became the thesis upon which this book is based: 
the life of Joseph isn't really about Joseph at all!  
Moses was uncovering something far for significant in this section of the Genesis narrative."  

"It didn't take long to realize that the book of Genesis was not just a collection of character studies designed to blaze the paths for seekers of holiness. I couldn't just point to the good characters and say 'Be like him,'  and to the bad characters 'Don't be like him.' They were all flawed and in desperate need of redemption-- just like my children and me, just like my fellow church members and me." 

He continues: "My goal in this book be mindful of the Gospel at every turn. 
The only character worth exalting in Scripture is the character of Christ. Anything we see in the character of another is only praiseworthy to the degree that it reflects the character of Christ. The Bible is not a book of character studies, it is a book of redemption. Joseph is a link in the chain of redemption." 

So while Joseph's story is a human story, and a very beloved story, more than that it is a God story. 
And while there are many lessons we can learn from Joseph's actions and words, they aren't recorded with the primary intention of teaching us how to be better Christians. 

And if we miss those two key factors when we teach about Joseph we'll have people thinking we're 
a bunch of religious moralists trying to find behavioral standards to impose, instead of being people swept up in this immensely grand and intensely personal thing called Redemption.

As I read Joseph and The Gospel of Many Colors, I saw things in Genesis that I had never seen before.

And as Dr. Baucham leads you through Joseph's Genesis, it is overwhelming in a good way. 
There are so many things here that perhaps you've never thought about this way, or maybe never considered at all!

Voddie Baucham Jr.
Voddie Baucham Jr. is the preaching pastor of Grace Family Baptist Church in Spring, Texas. Author of Family Driven Faith and The Ever-Loving Truth, Baucham is also a sought-after preacher and conference speaker. He and his wife, Bridget, live in Texas with their seven children

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