Faithlife
Faithlife

The Rocky Road - Job, Joseph and Jesus Easter 2005

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Secular:

Exercise!!

  • Weight gain
  • TV and particularly Radio
  • Weight loss… pills… machines (electric stimulation)
  • Instant… make the choice… enjoy the immediate painless outcome!
  • No  it is about diet and exercise… good choices… hard work and sacrifice
  • Outside of some radical cosmetic surgery… there is no easy way out
  • Jesus ministry… and especially his cruel death, his burial… and of course his glorious resurrection testify to the fact… there is no easy way… if he didn’t tell us there was… and he couldn’t find it… it ain’t there…
  • The Christian faith is a journey down the Rocky Road… a journey we get to take together and with our Saviour… but it is a journey

 

Biblical:

NAU 1 Peter 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory

Personal:

Rocky Road ice cream… is a mix

Hard crunchy… salty almonds

Gooey sticky… marshmallow

Engulfed in creamy… silky smooth chocolate ice cream…

The combination of hard and soft… creamy and crunchy… salty and sweet… make this an extraordinarily tantalizing treat…mmmm

Hard to explain this one… maybe you need a taste

Bridge:

What makes the Rocky Road so delectable… is the recognition of the God we serve… all that is blended into our lives… the hard… the crunchy… the salty… the gooey… are all enveloped in the rich and creamy relationship!

We know how the story ends…

Christ is Risen… how sweet is that

Christ is Ascended… how sweet is that

Christ will Return… how sweet is that

The Rocky Road is far less daunting when we serve the Risen Saviour

Body:

 

JOB:

NAU Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. 2 Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. 3 His possessions also were 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many servants; and that man was the greatest of all the men of the east. 4 His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. 5 When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, "Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually.

What a guy…

·         Blameless, upright, feared God

·         Not unhappy

·         Recognized sinfulness of family

·         Not unhappy

·         Not seeking evil

Job is a man who loves and honours God!

Living the Sweet Life!

But wait…

Goodness, righteousness, holiness… faith… do not prevent us from facing trials!

NAU Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, "From where do you come?" Then Satan answered the LORD and said, "From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it." 8 The LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil." 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, "Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 "Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 "But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face." 12 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the LORD.

  • Took his livelihood… donkeys, oxen
  • Took his food… his help… sheep and servants
  • Raiding party killed camels and servants
  • Wind blew… knocked down the house… killed his family

-          Job… Blameless, upright, feared God… was now facing the Rocky Road

o       Did he lack faith?

o       Did he shun God?

o       Did he turn away?

NAU Job 1:20 Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 He said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." 22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.

Job came to the realization… that God does not dole out favours like a PEZ dispenser

NAU Job 9:3 "If one wished to dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.

NAU Job 9:10 Who does great things, unfathomable, And wondrous works without number.

NAU Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD and said, 2 "I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. 3 'Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?' "Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know." 4 'Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.' 5 "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; 6 Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes."

God ultimately restored Jobs wealth… even increased it…

There is no need to wonder what old Job would have thought if God didn’t restore his wealth, his health… "Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know."

  • Job realized that even when God’s will is beyond our understanding… He is still God… where were you when I formed the heavens and the earth?
  • The Rocky Road… was the Path set before him by God

 

JOSEPH

Joseph was the favoured son of Jacob, Son of Israel….

Genesis 37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a varicolored tunic.

I have heard Joseph  described as obnoxious… I mean… the favoured child… gets the good presents… and shares two dreams…

NAU Genesis 37:5 Then Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. 6 He said to them, "Please listen to this dream which I have had; 7 for behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and lo, my sheaf rose up and also stood erect; and behold, your sheaves gathered around and bowed down to my sheaf." 8 Then his brothers said to him, "Are you actually going to reign over us? Or are you really going to rule over us?" So they hated him even more for his dreams and for his words.

NAU Genesis 37:9 Now he had still another dream, and related it to his brothers, and said, "Lo, I have had still another dream; and behold, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me." 10 He related it to his father and to his brothers; and his father rebuked him and said to him, "What is this dream that you have had? Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come to bow ourselves down before you to the ground?"

11 His brothers were jealous of him!! I Guess so…

It could drive you a little crazy…

  • Fancy jacket
  • Dad’s pet
  • Dreams of grandeur

From Joseph perspective… things are pretty cool…

… then the Rocky Road

Plan A: Kill him!!

NAU Genesis 37:18 When they saw him from a distance and before he came close to them, they plotted against him to put him to death. 19 They said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer! 20 "Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, 'A wild beast devoured him.' Then let us see what will become of his dreams!"

Plan B: Sell him into slavery…

NAU Genesis 37:27 "Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh." And his brothers listened to him.

How bad is that… sold into slavery… by your own family…

Pick up the story…

NAU Genesis 39:1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. 2 The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.

  • Hey wait a minute…
  • Joseph was
    • Plotted against…
    • thrown into a pit…
    • sold into slavery…
    • bought as a slave…
    • and the text says… The LORD was with Joseph
    •  Joseph during this tumultuous period…. continued to be in relationship with God.
    • Despite the ordeal… God was with him…
  • So good looking Joseph goes to work for Potiphar… The LORD was with Joseph… things seemed to be going well…
  • Then… the rocky road starts again…
    • Potiphars wife starts to seek the company of Joseph…
    • She wants to have an affair… sleep with him…
    • Because of his loyalty to God and to Potiphar… Joseph says NO…
    • Eh to go Joe!!
    • Morality and Loyalty should protect you!!
    • Instead Potiphar’s wife trumps up charges… and brings the charges before her husband…

NAU Genesis 39:19 Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, "This is what your slave did to me," his anger burned. 20 So Joseph's master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king's prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail.

  • Obviously, you would think, at this stage… God was now where to be found!!

NAU Genesis 39:21 But the LORD was with Joseph…

  • Jailed
  • Lied about… character impugned

God’s plan isn’t always about an easy life… isn’t always about personal wealth… or status… or being comfortable…

God used the betrayal of Joseph’s brother, his slavery, his jail time… for the glory and purpose of God… (it was God’s desire to save the house of Israel…)

NAU Genesis 47:25 So they said, "You have saved our lives!...”

We are often to quick… often discount God’s sovereignty when things are not comfortable… are not what we hope for…

Joseph sets the record straight…

Genesis 50:20 "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.

Job…

Stricken… impoverished for the purpose of God

Joseph… sold into slavery and jailed… for the purpose of God

Moses faced a hostile people

David ran for his life

Paul was shipwrecked, beaten, scorned…

The life of a follower of God can be a very Rocky Road…

Jesus

Who…

A rich ruler… Sadducee… Herodian… Pharisee…?

Hmmmm…. Nope

Mark 6:3 "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? Are not His sisters here with us?" And they took offense at Him.

Simple carpenter… You gotta meet him was Phillips words… he is from Beverly Hills… fancy cars… expensive clothes… big shiny ministry complex…

Phillip said… he is Jesus from Nazareth… John 1:46 Nathanael said to him, "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?"

Dude lived on the wrong side of the tracks… no flashy past… no family of note… no riches… no influential friends…

Simple blue collar worker…

And yet… John 1:35 Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as He walked, and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"

Son of God…

Wow… with all the Power of the Father in support of the Son’s mission… we should expect chariots… fine clothes… wealth…

The Rocky Road…

John is beheaded

Peter denies Christ

Jesus is Mocked

Jesus is crucified…

Message?

Jesus is the Lord of the oppressed

Jesus is Lord of the lonely and abandoned

Jesus is the Lord of those mocked for their faith

Jesus is Lord of the sick…

Lord of the hurting

Lord of the poor

Lord of all…

 

The Rocky Road serves God’s purpose!

The bumps and bruises… trials and tribulations… make our relationship all the more sweet.

Makes our testimony relevant…

Makes us dependant on God!

 

No matter how Rocky the Road of Christ ministry…

 

The fact that all we suffer… all we need… all we have and all we don’t have… achieve God’s purpose…

 

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

 

Luke 24:26 "Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

Romans 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

The rocky road is part of our salvation story…

The Rocky Road is our testimony…

The rocky road is about hope…

Hope for us all…

That God is in control

That He is God of the

            Hurting

            Sick

            Oppressed

            Lonely

            Families

            Singles

            Rich

            Poor

This Easter Sunday know that God walked the Rocky Road for us…

That Jesus not only lived… but suffered… struggled… and was tempted…

But the journey ends in glory…!!

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