Sermon – A God-filled Future (Hebrews 11:20 – 11:22) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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Sermon 8 of 12

A God-filled Future

Ben Read, Hebrews 11:20 - 11:22, 13 August 2023

Do we have the Lord in view when we look ahead and imagine the future? Ben takes us through the next in our series in Hebrews - Hall of faith. He preaches from Hebrews 11:1-1. In these verses we learn about the faith of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph as they looked forward to a future filled with hope in the Lord.

Hebrews 11:20 - 11:22

20 By faith Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

Please take a seat. And if you have a Bible, please open it up. We're going to invite Jackie more ready to to do our reading today from Hebrews. So Hebrews right at the Baki Bible.

So page 2089 in my Bible, but that's probably because it's large print and has extra pages. Hebrews 11, starting at verse 1. Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith, we understand that the universe was formed at god's command so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

By faith, Abel brought god a better offering than Kate Caine did. By faith he was commended as righteous when god spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks even though he is dead. By faith, Enoch was taken from this life so that he did not experience death. He could not be found because god had taken him away.

For before he was taken, he was commended as 1 who pleased god. And without faith, it is impossible to please god because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. By faith, Noah, when warned about things not yet seen in holy fear, built in ark to save his family, By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went. Even though he didn't know where he was going.

By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country, He lived in tents as did Isaac and Jacob who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is god. And by faith, even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this 1 man, and he is good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashell. All these people were still living by faith when they died.

They did not receive the things promised. They only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. Admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are living for a country of their own. If they'd been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return.

Instead, they were looking longing for a better country heavenly 1. Therefore god is not ashamed to be called their god for he has prepared a city for them. By faith, Abraham, when test when god tested him offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his 1 and only son, even though god had said to him, it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. Abraham reasoned that god could even raise the dead.

And so in a manner of speaking, he did receive Isaac back from the dead. By faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and e saw in regard to their future. By faith Jacob when he was dying blessed each of Joseph's sons and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. And gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.

Well, you've got me again. Trying to get as much out of me as possible before we we leave. But if you're new, or if you're just joining us today, we're we're going through Hebrews, well Hebrews chapter 11. We're looking at, the kind of faith that god commends in people. It's not just any kind of faith.

Because even the demons believe, it's a faith that gets to work. It's a faith that that trusts It's a faith, that looks forward, with hope. We're gonna see a little bit more of that today. But before we do that, let's pray. Let's ask for the lord to speak to us, and that we would listen.

Father, we thank you so much for your word. We thank you for these, men and women that we read about, here in this chapter. And lord, it's it's not just a list of people to look up to and try and follow their example, The lord, it's it's a list of people who put their trust in you and had faith in you. And we want to be people also who have faith in you. So make us, like these people, we pray.

We know that faith is a gift, and so father we ask that you'd give us the gift of faith. And help us, make us more like Jesus, as we look at, the stories of 3 of these men today. We pray this in Jesus' name. Our men. Our men.

I wonder when you look at the future, when you cast your eyes forwards and think about what's coming up maybe next week or, you know, got busy week next week or busy month or what's gonna happen in the next couple of years. When you think forward and you look at the future, I wonder, is the future god filled for you? When you look forward, do you see god sort of in everything that's gonna happen in the future? Or when you look forward, do you imagine a kind of god forsaken future? What do I mean by that?

A couple of years ago, I was, on holiday in Scotland, and there's a mountain called Ben Lomond, which, I was climbing. Next to Lockloman, a really beautiful part of Scotland, if you've never been. And there was a portion of that mountain where, it was kind of winding up, but it was winding up in sort of large ferns and small trees. And because it was winding through these ferns, you couldn't see where the path was going. You had no idea, and you couldn't really make out that you were making much progress that you were climbing for ages, it seemed, and going, are we getting anywhere at all?

Where is this even going? And when you looked around you, you could see the ground sort of passing underneath you. You could see the ferns going by. So you could kind of make out, but it's when you turned around. And I wonder if you've ever had this experience.

You've been climbing for a while. You then turn, and you're like, whoa. We we've really climbed quite high here. We've made loads of progress. And then you see the, you see the sort of the view drop off underneath you.

And there's like, sort of mountains, in the distance, and great lakes, and you can see the path that you, you know, you were treading on, and it's really far away now. I wonder if you've you've had that kind of experience. I I think that's a little bit like what the Christian life is like sometimes. Because the Christian life, when you turn around and you look back, you see an extraordinary vista of god's provision, don't you? When you look back over your life, you go, wow, yeah, there was mountains of what god was doing for me.

Back then. Look at that mountain of god's provision. Look at that great lake. Of god's just flooding, loving kindness. And then look at those woods that were dark and sort of rocky and he brought us through them and that valley.

Oh yeah, he got us through that as well. But look at that pleasant land that got us through. It's a little bit like that, I think. You look back and you go, wow. But when you're sort of walking forwards and you're looking down, day to day, you can kind of see the movement of sort of god's hand in your life.

You can kind of see where he's taking you, but it's a little less obvious And if you're not looking for it, you can totally miss it. But when we look forward, why is it that we just see sort of like a thick blanket of unknown uncertainty. We we look forward, and we we imagine kind of a godless future in some ways. We worry about stuff. We think, oh my goodness, how on earth are we gonna deal with that?

Who's going to look after my kids when that happens? Or how how on earth are we gonna afford that if that happens? Or where are we gonna live? If this happens, it's a question Carrie and I are wrestling with at the moment. We're moving out this Wednesday and we don't have a place to go to.

So when I look forward, I go, where on earth are we gonna, are we gonna live? It's a genuine question that we have at the moment. It's why it was so important in the old testament, to raise ebenezer, and ebenezer means stone of help And, whenever, god's people in the old testament came through a period of difficulty, they they would raise an ebenezer. They'd make a pile of stones. So Samuel does this after defeating the Philistines, an amazing victory.

God given victory and a and a difficult fight, but a victory And so he he raises a stone and he says, this is my Ebonese. And whenever I look at this, I'm gonna remember thus far, the lord has helped me. And he had these ebenezer in his life, which is why when we look back sometimes, it's good to have ebenezer, isn't it? Go look at that ebenezer. Look what god did there.

Because when we look forward, we we tend to imagine a godless future. We worry about stuff. We're a little bit like the disciples who witnessed the feeding of the 5000. Whoa. Jesus made food out of almost nothing.

He fed so many hungry people. Why isn't that amazing? Yeah. God was amazing. God was so faithful.

And then a little while later, oh, there's 4000 people here. How on earth are we gonna feed these people? We're a little bit like the disciples, aren't we? We imagine a godless future, we think we actually become atheist when we think forward sometimes. God is not in our present in the pictures of our imagination when we when we cast our eyes forward.

We imagine sort of the worst outcomes, and and and god isn't necessarily there as we're imagining how things will be and we worry about things. And we've become sort of atheist in a way when we when we look forward. I think Jesus sees this in us, And he deals with this in Matthew chapter 6. You'll probably recognize this. He says, can any 1 of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

So do not worry saying, what shall we eat? What shall we drink? Or what shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things. The atheist pagans, that's how they think.

They look forward and see a godless future, and so think, what will we wear? What are we gonna drink? What are we gonna eat? For the pagans think that way, the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly father knows that you need them. See, when when we worry about the future, we we tend to be godless, sort of atheists, pagans in our thinking.

Jesus is saying, don't think like that. We have a heavenly father who knows what we need. The future is not godless. It is god filled. The future is god filled.

Now in Hebrews 11, we just read about a load of people who were confident in what they hoped for and had assurance about what they do not see. They were not pagan in thinking about the future. That list of people that we just had read, when they looked at the future, they saw the future as utterly god saturated. God filled. He is in the future.

He is working his purposes out. There's there's no future event that could happen where god is not part of and in and working through. And so by faith, they saw a god filled future And we see that, especially in the 3 people that we're gonna look at today, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Which are verses 20 to 22. Those are the verses that we're gonna be spending some time in.

So let's let's look at them again. Look at them again. So by faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and he saw in regard to their future by faith Jacob when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and he worshiped as he leaned on top of his staff. And by faith, Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones. You see, these men, whenever they looked forward, whenever they were talking or thinking about future generations or future events, They spoke of god and his blessing and his presence as a certainty.

These men looked forward to a god filled future. And, that doesn't mean, by the way, that as they looked forward, they saw a rose tinted future. Because if you know the stories and we'll look a little bit at them, Jacob was conned into 14 years of service by his father-in-law. 7 7 years, really. Joseph was was sold into slavery by his brothers.

They hated him. They sold him. They pretended he was dead to his father. They they almost wanted to kill him. The future was not rose tinted for these men, but it was god filled.

God was in there, in the storm with them, working through the difficulties, a comforting presence in in the struggles, and working out his good purposes in their lives. So they saw a god filled future. Doesn't mean it was rose tinted, but it was filled with god. And, what I want us to look at today 3 points. And as we follow these 3 men and their stories, I want us to to have I want us to to grow in our faith to see a god filled future for our lives.

As we look forward, I mean, I don't know what's coming up for you, what are the worries that you have? What are the things that you're casting your minds forward? I want us to fill those future things with god. I want us to see the lord. In in our own futures.

The future is not god forsaken. It is a god filled future, and therefore, it's a god filled present as well, right now. Godfield moment, godfield present. So here are the 3 points that we're gonna look at. First of all, by faith, we trust for the future.

Second of all, we worship in the present, and thirdly, we speak of the future. Trust for the future, worship in the present, speak of the future. So first of all, trust for the future. This is verse 20, by faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and esau in regard to their future. By faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and esau in regard to their future.

So this is a story from the Old Testament, Isaac, son of Abraham, He's old at this point in the story. His eyes are fading, so he can't really see properly. He's near death. He's in his bed. And he knows he's gonna die soon.

And so he calls his eldest son each saw to him, and he says now is the time for me to give you my blessing. To kind of impart the family lineage, the sort of god's promise for my offspring into into the next generation. That's the that's what's going on. Isaac is near death, he wants to then pass on the bottom of god's promise to his eldest son, esau, And, Esoar is a hunter. He likes going out and wrestling animals and then, cooking delicious meaty stews with them.

And so, Isaac loves e source cooking, and he says, my son, before I die, I wanna have 1 more stew. Please can you go out and cook me? A gamey stew, the ones that that you make so well that I love. And then when I've eaten that with a full stomach and a happy heart, I'll bless you. And so Israel says, yes, father.

I'll go. And so he goes out. Rebecca, who's the mother, Isaac's wife, hears this. And she favors Jacob, the youngest son, and she's also received a word from the lord to say that actually the older will serve the younger. So she knows something of what god's trying to do.

In this story. And she overhears this interaction. She says, I want Jacob to receive the blessing. It's very that Genesis is a catalog of human chaos, by the way. She overhears, and she goes, okay, right.

And she goes to Jacob and says, Jacob, your father has said he's gonna bless Eesaw. But I, you know, I want you to have the blessing. So why don't I cook the stew that he loves? And you can take it into him and give it to him and he'll give you the blessing. And Jacob says, well hang on a minute.

I'm a I'm a I'm a smooth man, and Esoar is absolutely hairy. Yeah? Imagine Tom Sweitman versus Rory Connect. Okay? That's what's going on.

It's like Tom Swuman going, there's no way someone would think I'm Rory can add. I'm way too smooth and soft. I haven't got the beard. I haven't got the hair. I haven't got the the scouts.

And so Rebecca, the mum has got a bright idea and she says, right. I'm gonna go get some goat skin, some goat fur, and put it on your hands. And put it on your neck so that when your father touches you, he'll think you are Rory. No, you are esaw. He is a bit esaw like, isn't he?

Sort and Harry anyway. So he says, right, and we'll do that. And then so Jacob sneaks in to his his dad with the stew that his mom's mate gives it to his dad and says, here I am, who I who I am, father. I've come here to receive your blessing. And Isaac says, oh, it's the voice of of of esau.

Well, come here, my son, come here, and he touches his hands, and he goes, Ah, it is Rory cadet. It is the hairy sun. It is esaw. And then he grabs his neck and he pulls him in and he can feel the goat skin on the neck. But Jacob has also put on E source clothes, and so he smells of him.

And I was thinking of what a man who likes to go out and hunt must smell pretty musty. Although Isaac describes it as like the dew of the morning or something like that. But he gets him. He feels the hair. He smells.

He says, oh, my son. And then Isaac blesses Jacob. He gives him the baton. The blessing comes through, into into Jacob. And just as this is happening, Eesaw walks in with the stew.

It's very dramatic, isn't Genesis is great. And and and Isaac says, what on earth has happened? What's going on? And he he begins to tremble violently. And then in in verse 33 of the chapter, it says this, Isaac trembled violently and said, who was it then?

That hunted game and brought it to me. I ate it just before you came in, and I blessed him. I blessed him. And indeed, he will be blessed. Indeed, he will be blessed.

Is what Isaac says. Now, if the future was unwritten, godless, open to absolutely anything happening, then why would Isaac care about who he'd given the blessing to? He'd say, oh, silly, son. Get out of the way. You are the 1 I want to give the blessing to.

You are the 1, who who needs to receive this. But his blessing to Jacob was, may god give you heaven's due and earth's richness? May god who is in the who is in the future, who is so saturated in the future. May he, the 1, the god of the future, who is there, give you Heaven's due and earth's richness. And so when Isaac realizes he's given the wrong son in his mind, at least, the wrong son, the the blessing, he's trembling, he's angry.

You see, he so believes in the promise of god that his offspring, the who he blesses is gonna be made into a great nation, even though he didn't mean to to bless Jacob Even though he made a mistake and thought, oh, I've I've been conned here. He so believed that god's promise and the future that god will be working out his blessing through his offspring. He so believed in that that he's shaking. And he says, indeed, he will be blessed. There's nothing I can do now?

I can't I'm about to die. And even if I was still alive, god is god. He's the 1 who's working out his promises, he's the 1 who's working out his purposes, and so he's shaking because he trusts god is in the future. If god was not in the future, he'd be like, oh, sorry wrong son. Let me bless you instead, but he doesn't.

He shakes. Indeed, he will be blessed. See? When he looks forward, he sees god filled future, god filled future. It's interesting here in Hebrews, that it says by faith, Isaac blessed Jacob and Eesaw.

Because esau starts crying, well, weeping loudly when he realizes that Jacob, has received his blessing. He says, bless me too father. And, Isaac's blessing to him is is this. It's a it's a blessing. He says your dwelling will be away from earth's richness.

Away from the due of heaven. See, so Jacob said, may god give you heaven's due and earth's richness? But to Eso, he says your dwelling will be away from earth's richness, away from the due hem. It's actually a chiasm. It's a it's a sort of a mirror, but the opposite.

It's not a blessing, really. And and I think what's going on there, well, actually very clearly as you read the rest of scripture, what's going on is you're seeing something, profound about children of the promise versus children of flesh. See, why is it the older serves the younger? Because in god's kingdom. It's not a lineage of of of flesh and blood.

It's a lineage of faith. And you see that always. In fact, later, we'll look we'll look a little bit at Joseph, sorry, Jacob blessing Joseph sons. He does the same thing. He blesses the the younger, not the older.

And what god is showing us is, look, this is not a this is not a a promise of works. This is not a promise of flesh and blood. This is a promise of faith. And so the younger 1 receives the blessing. But anyway, it's not about Jacob and Isaw.

It's about Isaac. This passage is about Isaac. And when Isaac looked ahead, He so saw a god filled future, even though his eyesight hit god, even though he was close to death, he so sore of god saturated future that he trembled violently when he realized he'd given the wrong blessing. Nothing I can do about it. God is in the future.

He's there. He's got plans, he's got purposes, he's gonna work them out. And so when we look ahead at the future, are we like Isaac at all? I think we're we're not that man. I'm not that much like Isaac.

You know, I'm kind of concerned the wheels are gonna fall whenever I think ahead. You know, like, so you might think this, my children can't survive without me. How are my children gonna survive without me? Who's gonna look after so and so when I'm when I'm gone? Or everything's gonna fall apart without this job, without this thing, everything's gonna fall apart.

We often imagine a world without god me when we think forwards. Remember, it doesn't mean plain sailing. God filled future. Doesn't mean rose tinted. Jacob was conned.

Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, but God is mighty and he works through and in every situation, every difficulty. And so the future is god field. God is in your future, by the way. If you didn't know that, God is in your future, whether you like it or not. And so by faith, we wanna be people who trust god with the future.

We have a god filled future. That's the first point. Second point is we worship in the present. We worship in the present. They see that in verse 21, says, by faith, Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff by faith Jacob when he was dying blessed each of Joseph's sons, and he worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

Now, what's that whole staff thing, got to do with the story? Well, back in Genesis 32, we read the story of Jacob It's an incredible story, great drama, and Jacob, as was we just seen, stole his brother's birthright, stole his brother's blessing And after that scene happens, Rebecca warns Jacob and says run away Jacob because Eesaw's mad. The wrath of the canad is coming after you. Yeah? The hairy man wants to hunt you down.

Remember he's a good hunter. He kills things. That's what he does. And he's coming after he wants to kill you. So she tells Jacob to run away.

And then Jacob has this sort of whole life, where he gets He he meets a beautiful woman, he falls in love with. The father-in-law cons him, gives him the wrong daughter. He has to work for 14 years before he's free. In the end, he has 2 wives, and some some servants. And during that time, he he actually becomes really prosperous.

So he's he's sort of he ran away to a different land. He becomes very prosperous there, but the time comes for him to come back. And as he's coming back, he's getting more and more worried because, oh, my brother Eesaw wanted to kill me. Maybe even after all this time, he still hasn't forgiven me. Maybe he's been thinking about more creative ways to deal with me, when he finds me.

And so Jacob, who's very clever, he's a very intelligent individual. He orchestrates this kind of procession of gifts to go to Isaw. So before he comes, he sends like a herd of cattle and some servants. To isor. And then if isor asked, what on earth is this about, the servant would say this is a gift.

This is a gift. Oh my to isor. This is a gift. To try and appease him. And then after the herd of cattle, there were some goats, and some camels, and some sheep, and then all these animals come And then eventually there's his, the servants in his household go, and then right at the back is him.

He's so afraid of his brother. And as all of these sort of processions go forward, Jacob is right at the back, and, we read that he's left alone. Sent his whole family across the river, and he's by himself, and he he spends 1 last night before he meets his brother in a tent. We're told he's alone, and then we're told he wrestles with a man all night. And he wrestles with this man.

And we see, that he's been wrestling with god in some way. I don't understand how, because at the end of the fight, God renames him and says your name will now be Israel, which means 1 who has wrestled with god. But during this fight, during this wrestling, God touches his socket. I mean, it's amazing because there's sort of this drama about who's gonna overpower who, but there's no competition really in the end because god simply touches his socket socket of his hip, and it's wrenched out in this fight. I mean, that must be painful.

A wrenched hip socket but Jacob refuses to let him go. See, Jacob is so he so wants to control his own world that he's just holding on tight to this man, and they're wrestling, and he's got his hip wrenched out. And then eventually, the sun comes up, and Jacob says, I will not let you go unless you bless me. And so in the end, he's blessed. But he limps away because of his hip.

We're told he's limping. Now what's interesting about that fight is that Jacob demands to be blessed. I will not let you go unless you me. God. And god does bless him, and yet he leaves that fight sort of disabled.

It's strange, isn't it? The blessing from god in a way is this hip being wrenched out. Now, is that cruel from god? Is god cruel in disabling him in a sense? Well, there's, there's a, there's a eighteenth century hymn writer called William Calper.

And in 1 of his hymns, he writes these lyrics. He says, behind a frowning providence, a frowning providence, he hides a smiling face. Behind a frowning providence, god hides a smiling face. Now what does he mean by that? Well, all things of providence, god is working out his plans through all things.

Sometimes his providences make a smile. Like you, get a new job, or you get a promotion, or someone in your family has a baby, or, you know, if they make a smile, what a smiling providence from god? Sometimes god's providences make us frown. They are painful. They're difficult.

They hurt. And yet behind them, He has a smiling face, not because he likes to inflict us with pain, but because he's doing something good in us through them, because he's doing something good in us through them. Now, what was the frowning providence for Jacob? What was the good thing that god was doing? Well, the frowning providence for Jacob was this hip wrenched out.

God was working in his life for his good by wrenching his hip out. And actually, he it must have been very painful for him. He never actually recovered from it in his whole life. He had this limp, he had this staff, but it is a providence for him. Why?

What is god doing by wrenching his hip out? Why is god smiling behind this wrenched hip? It's because of this. Jacob was a smart guy. He was a street smart guy.

He always orchestrated his life. He he tried to control every element, just like he conned his dad. He then went and was smart about how to to grow, his her, herds under his father-in-law, and now he's even orchestrated this procession of animals to go to his brother. Do you see how he's trying to control his life? Everything he does, he's trying to he's trying to protect himself, work his his own sort of future out?

God knows this. He knows Jacob is intelligent. Jacob's temptation could be to think that he is responsible for all the things that he does in his life. That he can rely on himself, that he can do all things. But when his need is greatest, When Jacob is the most vulnerable in the whole story that we read in Genesis, when he's alone and is frightened about what's gonna happen to him, God doesn't strengthen him to meet his brother.

He makes him even weaker See if Jacob needed to run away from his brother, he'd need a good hip, but god wrenches his hip out. He's giving Jacob a permanent reminder of his desperate need for god. Jacob, you've lived your whole life intelligently working things out, trying to do things your own way, trying to build your own defenses, trying to build your own hurts, your own life, Here's a reminder that I am the 1 who has provided all these things for you. I am the 1 who has looked after you I am the 1 who gives you strength when you are weak. My grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.

And this reminder is so potent for Jacob his whole life that as he's leaning on his staff as he's dying, He's remembering god's goodness and his faithfulness to him, and he worships. First 21 of Hebrews chapter 11, by faith Jacob when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph's sons and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff. This staff that he's had because of his hip, because of his limping, because of his weakness, is a reminder. God is my strength, God is the 1 who saved me from esau. God is the 1 who delivered me.

God is the 1 who who blessed my hurts and my flocks and gave me children. God is the 1 who the promise comes through. The staff reminds him, and even though he's in pain, even though the world might look at him and say, what? God isn't being very kind to you. He says, no, no, no, no, no, praise the lord.

Praise god for who he is, for what he's done for me. And so, is god cruel by giving him a a wrenched hip? No. Not really. Because he's given Jacob eyes to see god in the present, and he worships him in the present.

So what is your staff that you're leaning on? What is the weakness or the difficulty in your life? See, Jacob could have leant on his staff and said, oh, god, you've given me this wrenched hip, I've suffered my whole life god. I'm in so much pain. I've not been able to do the things I wanted to do.

Well, because of you, I'm not gonna worship you till you fix me. I'm not gonna worship you till you heal me. That's how we can respond. Or we can say, Lord, thank you that you have given me this this painful, difficult, but eye opening reminder that you are my strength, that you are my life, that I can do nothing except in you, and worship the god who protects, provides sustains and gives life. What's your staff?

What is your weakness in life? What are you leaning on? By faith, we need to worship god in the present. And thirdly, We need to speak of the future. Speak of the future, look at verse 22.

By faith, Joseph, when his end was ness, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones. Now this is also right at the end of Genesis. We read this, this is in Genesis 50, says then Joseph said to his brothers, I'm about to die, but God will surely come to your aid and will take you up out of this land to the land he promised an oath to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And Joseph made the Israelites swear and oath and said god will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up from this place. So Joseph died at the age of a hundred and 10, and after they embalmed him, he was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

So here's Joseph, And he's he's kind of a prophet, Joseph, because he's speaking about the exodus before the people are even in slavery. It's like this thing hasn't even happened yet, but he's saying, god is gonna take you up out of this place. There's gonna be an exodus. God is gonna come and save you and deliver you. That's how God filled his future was, remember, and what mercy that is from god, that before they even went into the difficulty, there is promise of the exodus.

There's promise of the exodus by faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites. And gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones. Now we aren't part of this exodus, of Egypt. That was many, many years ago, but The Bible does talk about us being part of another exodus, an exodus from this world to the new creation. In fact, Jesus, you might know the story when he's on the on the mount of transfiguration, and he's transfigured.

Before the disciples' eyes. Moses and Elijah appear with him, and they're talking with him, and what are they talking with him about? They're talking about his exodus. They're talking about his exodus. Now hang on a minute.

What exodus? Well, the exodus from this world taking god's people out of slavery of this world into the promised land. That's the exodus that Jesus is doing. Not just from 1 place in this world to another, but from this world into the new creation. And actually Jesus is is the Greek version of of Joshua.

And Joshua was the 1 who in the Old Testament led the people into the promised land. And so Jesus is our great, sort of Moses, our great Joshua, the 1 who leads us into the new creation. And as Joseph by faith spoke about the sort of earthly exodus, we have to be exodus spiritual exodus speaking people. We need to be like Joseph, I think. We must speak, especially to the generations below us.

I mean, notice it was by faith Joseph when his end was near spoke about the exodus. So he's an old man. And who's he speaking to? The younger generations below him. He's encouraging the younger people below him.

There's gonna be an exodus, young people. There's gonna be an exodus. You're gonna be in slavery. It's gonna be hard for you. But god is gonna come and take you out of it.

And so in the same way, we need to be speaking to each other, but especially to young people, But guys, children, young people, you're in this world. Your slaves and lots of ways to sin into difficulties. This world is is is wicked. It's gonna hate you for following Jesus. There's gonna be trials in this world it's a cursed world.

You and your own body are gonna feel not quite right and broken. There are gonna be illnesses, you're gonna be persecuted, you're in Egypt, young people, but God is gonna come and save you. He's gonna take you out of this wicked world, and he is gonna deliver you into the promised land, the new creation. And so that's what we need to be doing as well. There's great encouragement in this.

We need to have this on our lips whenever people sort of speak about sufferings and difficulties. Let's encourage 1 another. God's gonna come to our aid. We're gonna we won't be here forever. I mean, Paul says this.

He says I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing. So the glory that will be revealed in us. There's gonna be an exodus. Our sufferings are real. They're temporary.

There's gonna be glory. There's gonna be exodus, but we mustn't just speak of the exodus. We must also speak of the resurrection. I love this little detail in, verse 22. Says my faith, Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and he gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.

Now why does Joseph care about where his bones are? Well, he wants them to go into the promised land because he must believe in the resurrection. God has promised Abraham Isaac and Jacob that they will see the promised land, but they all died. And so he thinks hang on a minute. They they died.

They haven't seen the promised land, but yet god said they would. And so god is gonna raise them to life And so that's why I want my bones to be buried there as well. So if if there was no resurrection, it wouldn't matter where our bones were buried, where where where we where where we end up lying. Now, look, the the the resurrection, the promised land is not in this world, so it doesn't matter where your bones are actually buried in this world. But you see the point?

Joseph says, I want to have a front row seat in the promised land when god raises us to life. And having that future hope, that future perspective, those are things. That's how we're gonna live in this world. That's how we're gonna survive. Tell each other, guys, there's gonna be an exodus from this place.

Yeah. Your body is creaking. It's aching. There are difficulties. There's gonna be an exodus.

That's gonna be resurrection. That's a promised land. It's coming. Let's encourage 1 another with these things. Let's be like.

Joseph, and speak of these things to each other. Let's have this on our lips. Let's not just moan and groan. Let's encourage 1 another. Yes.

But there's a exodus coming. There is a resurrection coming by faith Joseph when his end was near spoke about the exodus of the israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones. Just to finish. Just to finish. I wanted to say that.

The moral of this sermon is not try harder. Have faith in these ways. Look as hard as you can, with a god filled future. Because really, we fail at these things all the time. We are like the disciples.

We see the provision of freedom 5000 And then when the feeling of the 4000 comes up, we doubt and we worry, we we're like that. We fall short. Jesus, the son of god, was the man of faith. He is the 1 who saw a god filled future, no question. He is the 1 who in his weaknesses worshiped god and obeyed him even to the point of death when Jesus was in the desert being tempted, he worshiped god in obedience.

When Jesus was in the garden and and crying and sweating, blood because of the fear of what was coming, he worshiped god. And when Jesus was on the cross suffering and dying, He worship god. See, he is the 1 who also spoke about the exodus, and he spoke about the resurrection. Jesus is the man of faith and the gospel is not that we, do those things perfectly, but that Jesus was that man for us. So Jesus is the righteousness that we need.

Jesus is the righteousness that we need to be clothed with. We fail in these ways, but Jesus didn't. And so we need to put our faith and our trust in him. And as we do that, as we say, Jesus, cleanse me, change me. I fail at this.

I confess my sin I so often Jesus, I look at the future, and I'm an atheist. I don't believe Jesus that you're in the future. I confess that I'm sorry, change me as we as we do those things, we are changed more into the image of Christ, and we will be people who see a god filled future. We will be people who worship god as we lean in our weaknesses, and we will be people who speak about the exodus and the resurrection. So let's pray.

Let's ask the lord that he would grow this faith in us. We would put our trust in Christ, the faithful man. And as we put our faith in him and trust him, he changes us to be more like him. And these things that we've seen this morning. Let's pray.

Our father in heaven, we thank you so much for this passage. We praise you for it. We thank you, that we have these men that we can look to a sort of foreshadows of Christ in many ways. We thank you for Isaac who when he looked forward, he saw a god filled future, and I pray that we would please also be given eyes to see you in our future. It all the difficult things coming up, the hard decisions, the worries, help us further to see you there, sustaining us, guiding us, providing for us in the future.

A father, we thank you for Jacob, who worshiped as he lent on his staff. Father, we all have weaknesses, we all have our own staff to lean on. Please keep us from being grumpy about it. But cause us to have eyes to see who you are and worship you as we lead on it. And father, we thank you for Joseph who spoke about the exodus and the resurrection Lord help us to be people who have the exodus and the resurrection on our lips.

Make us quick further to speak about the future in these terms. Help us to encourage 1 another, especially the younger generations who come after us. There is an exodus. Jesus is coming back to take us out of this world. And there is a resurrection.

Father help us with these things, we thank you for Jesus, and we praise you in his name, amen.

Preached by Ben Read
Ben Read photo

Ben is a Trainee Pastor at Cornerstone and lives with his wife Ceri who is a youth leader and helps run the women’s ministry in the church.

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