In verse 23 Joseph says “…I have bought you and your land your today for Pharaoh…”
To me this stirs up in my mind another financial deal. Jesus bought US, humanity, in order to save us. He purchased us not with cash or a credit card, but with something beyond compare on earth: His own blood spilled on the cross.
Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him [Jesus] we have redemption [buying back] through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
He bought us out of and from death FOR GOD.
In Revelation 5:9 God tells us that the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders rejoiced, for a Lamb that looked as if it had been slain, could open the mysterious scroll with seven seals of God. They say to this Lamb [Jesus Christ], “ ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation’.”
Q: Why did God buy us? BECAUSE WE WERE DYING, STARVING!!!
Truth: Unless people give God their very selves, sin will eventually kill them.
Q: Do you know people who are dying in their sin?
Joseph saw people on the verge of dying. So he did what he could to get God’s provision to them.
And that was no small thing- it saved them from starvation. (Remember: he was raised up to serve!)
Q: And what is the people’s response? “You have saved our lives”! (vs. 25a)
Then the people continue: “…May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.” (vs. 25b)
The proper response to being brought back from sin is to give our bodies to Him for the rest of our lives.
Another way to say that is to be a living sacrifice, as the Bible states.
Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship.”
My brother almost drowned in the Pacific Ocean as a child. He was on a scouting-type trip to the coast with the rest of the troup and the dads. The group did not realize that there was a strong rip current there. So Brian headed out into the water. It wasn't long before he the water was beyond where he could touch the bottom. He began flailing his arms as he fought to breathe, choking on the salty water as he gasped for air. Thankfully a man saw his arms flailing from the shore and saved his life. My brother owes his life to that man. If it wasn't for that man saving him, my brother would not have enjoyed the years since then- all of the joys of birthdays, best friends, vacations, graduations, falling in love and getting married, having children of his own, enjoying a fulfilling career. (Having the coolest brother on the planet!)
In a sense that man could have asked for something in return.
What would you give for having your life back when you were on the brink of death?
Like Pharaoh, we owe everything to the Lord. You could say that GOD OWNS US- everything that we think is ours, body and all.
He owns us for two reasons:
1) He gave us naturallife. He “knitted (us) together in (our) mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13b).
2) He gave us eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
We’re indebted to serve Him for those two reasons.
Instead, many of us either don’t know that or don’t want to admit it!
So God, because He loves us so completely, does so many things to try to get us to give Him a glance, to turn our head in His direction.
Let me ask you, Christian: What did it take to get your attention when you were starving?
Now picture in your mind being at a party at a millionaire’s house.
The millionaire is your friend and so when you arrive he greets you at the door, and with a wave of his hand he says “Anything you see here that you want you just tell me, and it’s yours!”
Oh, but there’s one more piece of information you need to know about this scene: you haven’t eaten in more than a month. You are on the verge of death because your organs are shutting down from lack of nourishment.
So here you are, surrounded by opulence galore!
You see beautiful women- or strikingly handsome guys- that could be yours.
There’s a jet plane with your name on it
A bank vault full of gold and money
There’s a doctor there that can give you the perfect body!
The mansion is filled with super nice, attractive, successful people that just want to be your friend. Who doesn’t want friends!?
Boats, sports cars, limousines, yachts
Fame is yours if you just tell your friend you want it
The list goes on and on…
…but none of that matters! You’re about to die, and there’s no food in the mansion!!!
You pass all of the riches, beauty and “stuff” and run for the kitchen, only to find the refrigerator and cabinets are completely empty! Absolutely nothing.
That reminds me of the TRUESPIRITUALSTATE OF HUMANITY TODAY.
Our enemy, the devil tells us that what will make us happy, what will truly satisfy us, is... fame and fortune and the right companion and perfect looks, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah.
But those things won’t keep us alive! It’s like money or fame…can you EAT them to save your life?!
That’s all surface stuff.
The sad truth is that in real life the enemy has put blinders- or “distractors”!- on that keep us from seeing our real need. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
We don’t know we’re starving! We’re dying slowly and will spend eternity in hell!
Even if we’re not “bad people”, we have all broken God’s righteous standards, His laws (like the Ten Commandments, for starters).
We’ve all done things that are “sin”. Things that must be punished by death.
Romans 3:23, “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We need spiritual food. Food that feeds our soul.
Jesus is FOOD FOR THE SOUL!. He even said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)
How about YOU today?
Will you walk right past that glitz and phoniness andhead for the kitchen!
Ask Jesus to come into your life and save your from dying in your sins.
Ask Him to make you new; a newborn Child of His!. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” (John 1:12)
Lastly, back toGenesis 47, verse 26. It says that Joseph made a new law that 1/5th of the produce of the land belonged to Pharaoh.
The land was Pharaoh’s. So why doesn’t he just give them enough to keep them alive to work HIS land? Joseph was amazingly generous!
Likewise, it’s very generous of God to own us and yet not treat us as the worthless scum that He had to send His Son to earth for! That’s “AMAZING GRACE”!
Yes, we are His servants, and yet He does not treat us as our sins deserve!
Whenever we slip and sin God’s grace is right there, and the blood of Jesus washes away the sins of His Children (Christians), if we are broken and humbly ask.
1. Unbeliever: have you cried out for Jesus to rescue you from spiritual starvation because of your sin? He wants to dive in and pull you to safety. RUN FOR THE KITCHEN.
2. Believer: He loves you and will graciously forgive you if you are truly repentant (1 John 1:9),
Give you the courage and help to DIVE BACK IN and rescue others. [This is our 9/11 moment!Remember: we were born “for such a time as this”, Esther 4:14.]