Joseph Unrecognized

Genesis 42:1-38


Intro: My wife & I made a decision a few yrs back that we were not going to have a T.V. hooked up in our home.

A)   Our own personal convictions / not for everyone – but right for us

Really didn’t miss it – (Except some sports)


B)   Since my Parents have moved into the area / I am able to Catch a game w/ my Dad – truly enjoy – great memories

1)                 So w/ the Padres in the Playoffs & World Series / I have been watching a little more frequently here.


A)   Now I have to admit – there is a part of entertainment Business that really intrigues me – I am fascinated by the CREATIVITY in this one area.

1)                 That’s commercials – oh for many no creativity at all – same scene – different girl / Bar/ but same old story – THOSE ARE LAME


A)   But there are others - VERY CREATIVE - The ones that I especially like are the ones where you don’t know what is happening until the end




The Ch. We are looking at tonight is sort of like one of those commercials / in that it is not what it appears to be at first glance

A)   As you read through there is the tendency to wonder – what is going on why is Joseph doing that – but when it unfolds – Incredible


B)   QUICK REVIEW – Joseph is now in the Palace / 2nd in command / 7 yrs of plenty have passed – now in the 7yrs of famine

1)                 At least 20 yrs have passed since Joseph was sold into slavery


A)   13yrs divided between – Slavery / Potiphar's house / & Prison / ( not sure how that was Divided –

1)                 but we are told Joseph was 30 when promoted to the Palace

  As we pick up in Ch. 42 / First 7 yrs have passed / in 2nd 7yr.period

Now as we go through this story once again I want to point out some of the ways in which Joseph points to/ is a type or picture of Jesus

A)   Right away - The known world at that time was going through famine / and anyone who desired to be Saved/ find nourishment/ Bread – go to Joseph


B)   So too today we live in a world that is starving Spiritually - / people are famished – they are empty – VOID

1)                 JESUS cries out in Jn. 6: "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.




Read v.1-5

Notice First that in the mist of the Famine – Jacobs Sons are standing around looking at one another – what are we going to do?

A)   This reminds me of what we see the world doing today / breakdown of our society / morals / no longer One nation under God / apart from God


B)   Because of the Famine – people were dying physically / We are in the mist of SPIRITUAL FAMINE – lives are being lost – Hell

1)                 And our world sits around & looks at each other – what are we supposed to do?


A)   Jacobs sends his boys to JOSEPH - / We need to send people to Jesus

1)                 Breakfast today – Coach Silverman – preached it – We need to have Christ – turn back to the Lord!!!



Another thing to note is that this 7yr. FAMINE IS an interesting picture of the 7yr. Trib. That is going to occur –in last days

A)   And what we see unfolding in this story between Joseph & his brothers bears a resemblance to what will happen between Jesus & the Jews


B) 7yr. Trib – time known as Jacob’s trouble – main purpose is to get  

      the Jews to embrace Christ / turn back to God        v.6-8

Notice first of all that Joseph's Brothers don’t recognize him / he is older he looks like an Egyptian – War paint / Head Dress etc.

A)   Their little brother is now head HONCHO in Egypt –




C)    Acts 7: 13 Stephen says something insightful as it relates to Joseph being a type of Christ / talking about how his brothers didn’t recognize him

1) Stephen declares   "And the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers,


D)   TOLD OF JESUS – In His first coming the Jews didn’t recognize Jesus

1)                 Just like Joseph didn’t look like a Jew / In the minds of the Jews in Jesus day – He didn’t look like a MESSIAH


A)    They were looking for a WARRIOR / a GENERAL / ROYALTY

1)                 Jesus looked more like a Commoner / from Naz. /


A)     They didn’t recognize Him in his First coming / but we are told in such places as Zech. 13: 6  "And one will say to him, 'What are these wounds between your arms?' Then he will answer, 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.'


B)    Paul said in 2Cor. 3 that right now the Jews are blinded there is a view over their eyes but their eyes are going to be opened

1)                 When ?  At the 2nd coming !!!! -  When He is revealed a second time .


A)   We see the same thing unfold w/ Joseph & his Bros.








Now  we see in this section is that Joseph puts his brothers to a test for the purpose of seeking to see where their hearts are at .

A)   Joseph is wanting to see if these guys have Changed


B)   NOTE THAT  the Lord does a similar thing w/ our lives as well – where He allows us to go through a test – a trial – not so he can see our hearts

1)                 Because He knows our hearts already /


A)    Jeremiah the Prophet declared in  Jer. 17: 9 

"The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it v.10 The Lord answers  I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings.


B)   So He doesn’t do it so He can see our Hearts but so that we can – REVEALS those areas where we need to grow .

1)                 What happens when – another Brother Promotion ? New house ? Blessed in some way – REJOICE ? / COVET ?


A)   What do I do when another Church – buys property – builds building

1)                 Rejoice for them or complain for us ?


A)   Trials we go through – Reveal the Garbage in our Hearts that still needs to be surrendered – cut away .




When Joseph puts his Brothers to this test / when he confronts them their first response is to put on a FACADE


V. 11 We are honest men - / v.13   And they said, "Your servants are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and in fact, the youngest is with our father today, and one is no more."


Now it is that last phrase that really intrigues me – and one is no more

A)   What if Joseph were to say – what do you mean one is no more – tell me what happened to him?


B)    It amazes me that they bring this up / they keep telling themselves that he is dead – he is no more

1)                 We will see in v.21 that after 20 plus yrs they are still dealing w/ their Guilt .


A)    What is your reaction when confronted ?



One more thing to note before moving on : JOSEPH DOESN’T HAVE A HIT LIST !!!!!

A)   What I mean by that is Joseph isn’t seeking REVENGE


B) Now is my chance to do in my brothers /   BUTLER / POTIPHAR'S WIFE / POTIPHAR


C)Not Given to roots of BITTERNESS – Many become Defiled

1)                           C.A.


D)He seems to live by that Principle Vengeance is mine says the Lord


v. 18  Then Joseph said to them the third day, "Do this and live, for I fear God:    KEY TO JOSEPHS LIFE /  THING THEY LACKED


A) God is Elohim -  very Jewish / Hebrew / which should have alarmed them     








Now this is incredible to me – after 20yrs they are still wrestling w/ their guilt – why ?   UNCONFESSED SIN

A)   They have been keeping this little secret – Dad has never found out


B)   Implanted in their minds is the Anguish on the Face of Joseph as they threw him in that Pit / as they sold him as a SLAVE .


C)   They can’t escape that impression on their minds & in their hearts / that is the way guilt works .


D)   DAVID & HIS UNCONFESSED SIN -  Psa.323  When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long .For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer.


Head of a mental Hospital said once that I could release over half of my patients if I could find a way to rid them of their GUILT .

A)   Someone said once the reason that we feel guilty is because we are guilty


B)   Yet our world tries to cover up those feelings w/ excuses & Reclassifying those feelings -  LOW SELF ESTEEM


C)   SELF- caused most of problems to begin w/ 


D)   Unconfessed Sin – causes Guilt which Cripples the Life /


Note v.22 – RUEBENS ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF OWNERSHIP "Did I not speak to you, saying, 'Do not sin against the boy'; and you would not listen? Therefore behold, his blood is now required of us."




Note Joseph's response v.24  And he turned himself away from them and wept.

A)  That is the Lord’s response to those who live in unconfessed sin


Jer.13: 15  Hear and give ear: Do not be proud, For the LORD has spoken.

16  Give glory to the LORD your God Before He causes darkness, And before your feet stumble On the dark mountains, And while you are looking for light, He turns it into the shadow of death And makes it dense darkness.

17     But if you will not hear it, My soul will weep in secret for your pride; My eyes will weep bitterly And run down with tears, Because the Lord's flock has been taken captive.


Luke 13:34   "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!


B) That is what breaks HIS HEART !!!!  GRIEVES FOR YOU


Now what is also interesting to me is that once they are restored & all reunited that they don’t live in the freedom of that RESTORATION

A)   This is evidenced by the fact that when JACOB finally dies that immediately the brothers assume Joseph will seek vengeance


B)    They were completely forgiven yet for all those yrs they lived like they were not forgiven / imagine them walking on egg shells

1)                 Or perhaps not seeking to really get close to Joseph – because the guilt which now had been forgiven was never RELEASED


A)    How many BELIEVERS  live in that same condition / because they don’t know who they are in CHRIST /

1)                 & THEY DON’T BELIEVE THEY’RE FORGIVEN !!!!!!!!!


A)   As a RESULT  they miss out on the FREEDOM & INTIMACY  that the LORD REALLY DESIRES !!!!/      JESUS WEEPS /  V.25-28

Go to buy grain / but are given a gift

A)   Some Pastors in their attempts to see typology go to far /  see it in too many things / Can’t buy Salvation – ( Breaks down v.6 sold to all)




C)   People come to Jesus seeking to Buy SALVATION - / WORKS ETC




Isa. 55:  "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price.

2  Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.






A)    Their Hearts were Pricked back in Egypt but not enough to Change


B)    Imagine the DISTANCE BETWEEN DAD & SONS – because of unconfessed Sin !!!





Jacobs Reaction : Everything is against me !!!!!!!!

A)   Not true – everything was working out on his side


B)   If He will hang in there for one more Chapter He will see that God is working


C)   Have you been saying Everything is against me ?   WAIT !! Didn’t Paul Declare in Rom. 8 If God is for us who can be against us





I think one thing that this whole story reminds us is that God is at Work

A)   So often we see only the situation & the situation looks bleak – but God is working / WATCHING / MOVING /


B) All things truly do work together for Good .