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Home강의스크립트The  Symphony of Destiny

The  Symphony of Destiny

Have you ever thought of tomorrow, or the end of your life, or beyond this life? Could you have faith that tomorrow would be a better day than today? Do you believe that? Everything is possible with Jesus. And He will do it for us.

So far we have discussed with you that there is no doubt that God exists. and He is looking for the lost souls like us. I told you earlier that God is like the generous owner of the vineyard. Generally we all are lonely and isolated, regardless of who we are, because our being itself is left out into space. Just as we came alone, we have to leave alone and there is no one who will accompany us. No one really knows what is beyond the other side of death. Most people will say, “If I die that’s it.” But, is that really true?

One of my distant relatives, who lived near my hometown, had 4 sons who all studied hard and were accepted into Seoul National University. She farmed small rice patties in the countryside, and still managed to send her children to the famous university. This was not an easy task.

She had to work hard to support them. But she did not mind it at all, because all her children  studied very hard. After her children graduated from the university, all of them were employed in good companies like Samsung and LG. These are great conglomerates that are very difficult to get in. Soon she demolished her old leaky house, because the roof was leaking. She built a brand new red brick house.

All her hard work paid off and now it seemed like only good times were ahead. Unfortunately the next year when she was 65 years old she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. When I visited her I couldn’t recognize her because she had lost so much weight. Since all her children had good jobs, they brought her all kinds of good medications and other goodies for her to take. But it did not help her much. Finally she was admitted to the Wool-San Hospital and whenever her children came to visit her, she insisted that they stay with her.

She said, “You saw me working so hard for you all these years. And you know I am dying very soon. Can’t you stay with me a little longer?” But her children had their own jobs and were very busy, so they couldn’t stay with her very long. When we face death it could be very scary. We seem to know some things about earthly life because we’ve gone through that, or we studied or heard about  it through the news. But about the world beyond death, we know nothing much at all. 

Some say there is Heaven beyond the Jordan River, or a bottomless pit, or a fierce fiery pit, or hell or nothing. Whatever it is, it is a dreadful  destination and it will come to all of us  soon or later. We have to go there all alone. And it comes without notification or announcement.

I watched my relative pass away. In front of death there wasn’t anything to be boasting about. If we do not have assurance about beyond death we have nothing to brag about.

My uncle graduated from Normal School while the Japanese were ruling Korea. With his training he leaned towards the left wing. He was 20 years old when I started to believe in God. But my uncle gave me a very hard time. He told me “Boys are supposed to be strong and able to stand on their own feet and be tough. But look at you now. You have joined a cult and can’t even search your own life. You are depending on what? A faith? What a sissy boy.”

He scolded me a lot. But when he was 63 he was diagnosed with liver cancer, and someone told him that dried bats were good for liver cancer. So even though he was a very choosey  eater he ate dried bats. I think that eating bats made his condition worse. On his death bed he confessed to us that he was afraid.

We all will die someday so we have nothing to boast about on earth. We should prepare for death instead of financial security. The most important matter is to know what happens to

us after death. We need to have assurance about that. We can figure out how to make a living on earth one way or another, and manage our lives. 

When it comes to death which comes for certain,  should we not learn where we will be after death and what we will do throughout eternity? These days when we plan to travel we can buy tour guidebooks and search through them before we travel to certain places. We learn their language, food, customs and conditions ahead of time. But ladies and gentleman, is there any guidebook that will help us with eternal life?

Is there any guidebook that tells us about Heavenly food, Heavenly people, and how they live? Are there any schools that teach us about those things? Could you find any books regarding this matter? No, only the Bible teaches us the way to go to Heaven and what kind of scenery will be there.

Ladies and gentlemen!

I have no idea how much we should charge the public to come and listen to this seminar. If it is $100.00 per lecture, will they come to listen about Heaven? But when the seminar is free, people do not know how valuable it is and they are not interested in it.

Some may question whether they should hear the message or not; if it is free then it is not important, so let’s forget about it. Why is the Heaven message given to us for free? It’s because we cannot buy it with money on earth. Jesus is just telling us to believe in Him. Even though we may sacrifice our life, or gather all the money in the whole world, there is no way we can buy Heaven. God knows we cannot pay for it. God had to pay for it dearly.

God sacrificed His own life for us, and He shed His blood to open the way for us. How could we put a price tag on His sacrifice for us? He has given it to us as a free gift, but we should never despise or devalue His love.

Someday one after another we all will leave this earth. Many people ahead of us have left already, and we will follow after them. Then a new generation of people will take our place here on earth. This is a fact. If we really want to know about it, we should study this book.

This book may not help us get a good job directly, but there are far more important subjects deserving our  close attention to study for the remainder of our lives to prepare for eternity.       I understand that most of you are here to get well from incurable diseases through the New Start program. And of course we wish that you all will be healthy, but please excuse me, we never know what will happen in our future. So I believe we should always be ready for what will come sooner or later. So my wish for you is to believe in God, the everlasting world, the river of life, the beautiful land where flowers and trees never wither or wilt. If you believe it, that will comfort you. Please believe in His kingdom He has promised.

I want to talk today about our fate. Do you believe in that? What is fate? What are we going to eat tomorrow morning, are we going to eat rice or noodles? Is this our fate? No, it isn’t. We can choose whatever we want to eat. Am I going to go to Dae-Koo or Pusan, is this our fate? No, it isn’t. We can buy a ticket and get on the bus or train that will take us there.

Then what is fate?

That is something that once it is set we can’t change or avoid. What could it be? If you were born as a girl then you have no choice but you have to live as a girl for the rest of your life. Is that fate? Yes it is.

If we were born a boy or girl, or certain nationality, those things are considered fate, but these days gender can be changed by surgical procedures. But there is one thing that no one can avoid, and that is death. Everyone will die someday, and you can do nothing about it. It is impossible to change that and that is our fate.

As we read Genesis 37:1-4 we see that by God’s intervention it is possible to change our fate.

“Now Jacob lived in the land where his father had sojourned, in the land of Canaan. These are the records of the generations of Jacob. Joseph, when seventeen years of age, was pasturing the flock with his brothers while he was still a youth, along with the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives. And Joseph brought back a bad report about them to their father. 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. His brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers; and so they hated him and could not speak to him on friendly terms.” Genesis 37:1-4

Three thousand and a few hundred years ago a man named Jacob lived in the land of Canaan. I have only one son but he had twelve sons and one daughter. All these children were born by four different women. Do you think they could have good relationships? No way. I only have two children and they fight constantly. Can you imagine these twelve children fighting among themselves and how they got along with four different mothers?

Especially when Joseph was a special child among the others. He was the son of Jacob borne by his beautiful wife named Rachel, whom he loved the most. Rachel couldn’t have a baby for a long time and finally had two boys, and one of them was Joseph. He was born as the eleventh son among twelve children. It was very natural for Jacob to have loved Joseph more because he was good looking and very smart. One day the other brothers noticed he was wearing a colorful robe. These days we can wear whatever color we choose, but in those days a colorful outfit was very rare and special.

The Koreans have been called “the white clad folk” because we used to wear white colored outfits a lot. Do you think the Korean people liked white clothing that much? It is not because they liked it so much, but because it was not that easy to color cloth in those days. So only the high ranking people could afford to wear colorful robes.

Joseph showed up in front of his brothers wearing that colorful robe. So it was very clear that the brothers were jealous and upset with him. “Oh, isn’t this boy wearing a colorful robe. We will never get one like this.” They were very uncomfortable around him because he reported to his father whenever the brothers made mistakes. Joseph was a thorn in their sides. Let’s read Genesis 37:5-9.

“And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it to his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, ‘Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.’ And his brethren said to him, ‘Shalt thou indeed reign over us? Or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us?’ And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, ‘Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.’”  Genesis 37:5-9

One day Joseph came to his brothers and said that he dreamed of a sheaf that stood up straight and the others that were around it were bent, and bowed down at the straight sheaf.

“Are you telling us we are going to bow down to you?”

“No, I mean, I am just telling you the dream I had.”

And again he said, “I dreamed more….”

“What is it again?”

“I stood in the middle of the skies, and eleven stars, a sun, a moon were around me and bowed down.”

Joseph kept telling his brothers about his dreams and this made his brothers more upset and they hated him. And later on his father also heard from him.

“The eleven stars are your older and younger brothers and the sun is myself and the moon is your mother. Are you telling us that we also will bow down to you?” He couldn’t say no. The young Joseph was so innocent. Jacob’s family was sheepherders. They were nomads going from one pasture to the next. One day Jacob called Joseph because the other sons were not coming back from herding his sheep.

“Why don’t you go and see how your brothers are doing and when you go there take this bread with you. I suppose they have eaten all that they have taken from home by now.” Joseph was an obedient boy and he followed his father’s instructions. Joseph was a good boy, but everyone raised him aloft so he seemed a little spoiled. He walked all day long, but he did not find his brothers. As he went farther away, across the desert, he saw some merchants.

“Have you seen ten young shepherds?” he asked.

“Yes we did, and you must travel a distance one more day.” replied the merchants.

So he walked one more day and soon he could see his brothers. The next story is found in Genesis 37:18-22.

“And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against  him to slay him. And they said one to another, behold, this dreamer cometh. Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams. And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, let us not kill him. And Reuben said unto them, shed no blood, but cast him into this pit that is in the wilderness, and lay no hand upon him; that he might rid him out of their hands, to deliver him to his father again.” Genesis 37:18-22

Joseph was so happy to see his brothers so he called to them. The brothers could tell it was their brother, Joseph, because he was the only one who was wearing the colorful robe. Soon after they saw the robe, it reminded them of their father’s favoritism, and they got upset again.

“Here comes the dreamer! This is our chance. Why don’t we get rid of him now? We have worked so hard, but all this will be his. “Let’s kill him!” Their evil feelings boiled up. But Ruben, the eldest brother, was a little more thoughtful. “We shouldn’t kill our brother, instead, why don’t we put him in this well? If he has good luck he will survive and if not he will die. Let’s not shed his blood on our hands.” Joseph doesn’t know that this conversation was going on and he came closer to meet his brothers.

  “Brothers, I have walked for two days to get here.” But they turned a cold shoulder on him.

 “Is there anything wrong with you, brothers?” There wasn’t any answer, instead they grabbed him and took his clothes off and threw him into a well.

“Remember what you told us? We were going to bow down to you, is that so?” They were eating the bread that he brought to them.

They cursed him as they were eating it. But then Judah, the 4th brother said, “I have a good idea.”

Let’s read Genesis 37:26-27.

“And Judah said unto his brethren, what profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let us not lay our hands upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.” Genesis 37:26-27

“What is it?”

“Let’s bring him up and sell him to be a slave.”

In those days the slaves were treated as animals and once he was sold there would be no chance for him to come back to them. So they thought if they sold him then they would never see him again. And they thought that they did not have to kill him directly, and would make some money. So everyone agreed to it. This is what we call “fate.” It comes all of a sudden without any warning signs. Joseph was an adored son, but all of a sudden he became a servant and a slave. Once he was sold as a slave the merchants treated him like an animal. If he was killed no one would know or care. Yes, this is fate. Fate comes to us, and it will take us somewhere we have never known before, whoever could refuse that?

“Oh, I am sorry. I am not ready yet.” Could you say that? One day you were working fine and all of a sudden you felt kind of tired, so went to see the doctor. After an examination, the doctor says you have cancer. How would you feel then? When you hear that statement it will change your life forever. The whole world looks different to you. I heard someone saying that the whole world looked yellow, his legs were weak and felt crumbling under him. All he could think was his life was about to end.

I met a North Korean escapee and he was boasting about their Self-Reliance philosophy. The North Korean premier Kim, Il Sung came up with that ideology and systemized  it.

He said, “The power to improve your fate comes within yourself and the captain of your fate is you.” So I asked him, “Then are you saying that you chose a fate yourself to wonder around China after you escaped from North Korea?” He couldn’t answer me. I asked him again, “How could the captain of your destiny be yourself?” If that is so, how could Kim Il-Sung, who came up with the Self Reliance ideology, block all the rights of his people and control them? They can’t choose or make their own decisions?

They can’t listen to what they like; they can’t go where they want to. He blocked all the ways for them to choose their own fate. How could one choose his own fate in such conditions? To me America seems to be the best country in which you can practice the Self Reliance ideology.

Isn’t this truth, though, that you are not the captain of your own destiny. You did not choose to go in and out of the hospital because of the cancer. All of a sudden it happened to you. You plan a good life and work hard for it. But anyone could be in a car accident and be paralyzed from the waist down.

There was a young beautiful lady who attended a countryside church. Everyone was hoping to have her as a daughter-in-law or wife. One day a dump truck hit her from behind and she was paralyzed from the waist down at the age of 25.

She never guessed she would have to face such fate. At first she cried a lot. If death were to come and tell you, “Let’s go”, would you be able to say, “Let me sell my business first.”,  “Let me study a little more.”,  “Let me get married first?”.  No, nobody can refuse it or insist what they would like to do. The great musician Beethoven composed the symphony number 5, “Symphony of Destiny.”

It starts with the pounding sound of fate. He tried to describe fate as a hard knocking at the door. What would you do then? This seventeen year old, proud and adored boy named Joseph,

got hit by bad fate and his life was changed suddenly, became a slave. This whole thing was so sudden and unexpected.

“Please, just don’t sell me. I won’t wear this colorful robe anymore and won’t dream any more either. Please don’t sell me away.”

He begged his brothers, but they quickly and coldly sent him off. The brothers may have said, “When you disappear we will relax and sleep better. Is that all? The food will taste better and we will enjoy more without you around. Farewell, favored one!” Perhaps his jacket was half off and his hands and feet were bound. He was put on the back of the camel to be taken to the far away land of Egypt.

He may have cried out to his father until his throat was hoarse. But his father was about two days away from him so he could not hear his call for help. After his brothers sold him, they tore his robe into several pieces. They killed a lamb and put the blood all over his robe. And they took it to show to their father.

“Father we found this robe on the way back, would you check and see if it is the colorful robe that made for Joseph?”

“Ah, I sent him to meet you, and he must have been killed by some big wild animal.”

“We feel bad about what happened to Joseph, but here you still have us. So don’t be so sad, father.” But could they replace Joseph to comfort Jacob, their father? The brothers may have regretted it, but Joseph was  gone and they did not know where he went. Shall we read where he went? Genesis 39:1-6

 “Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelite, who had taken him down there. The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and how the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge. It came about from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian’s house on account of Joseph; thus the LORD’S blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field. So he left everything he owned in Joseph’s charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.” Genesis 39:1-6

Joseph must have had many thoughts that went through his mind during the long journey to Egypt. With his hands and legs bound, he had to make very important decisions. I am all by myself now. Nobody can help me. I must depend on the God of my grandfathers, Abraham and Isaac. He was sold to an Egyptian officer as a slave and the officer had many slaves. Would you say this Joseph would serve his master sincerely? Of course, he was a man of God.

I came from Kyung-Sang Province and you know how blunt we can be. Sometimes my wife will ask me to clean the house. I want to tell my wife that I don’t want to do it. But as you know, I am a Bible teacher. So even though I am not comfortable doing that, I will try my best to do the cleaning to please her. I would clean the easy places, so she couldn’t say that I did not help her.

But think about Joseph. He knew that God was watching him so he must clean every single corner till it is clean and shiny. The officer wondered where he could find a servant like this boy. He seemed to be so trustworthy, adorable, and lovely. So he gave him more responsibilities to oversee his whole house. And Joseph took each task responsibly. Let’s read Proverbs 16:7.

“When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7

If his way pleases God, then his enemy also would recognize his good deeds. Hello everyone, what I am telling you is not to be too  concerned about the kind of attitude others have toward you. If your attitude towards God is straight and right then even your enemy will trust you.

Let’s go back to Genesis chapter 39.

When Joseph placed his destiny in God’s hands, He was responsible to Joseph and made him successful. The position to oversee the possessions of the Egyptian officer of Pharaoh was a great position. That kind of chance does not come by very easily.

Then there was another fate awaiting for him. He was a very good looking young man, so his master’s wife tried to seduce him. What a situation! So Joseph told her,

“Madam, you shouldn’t do this to me. Your husband trusted me and made me overseer of your whole household, except you. How could I do such wickedness and rebel against my master? Perhaps we may cheat and lie down, but the God in Heaven will look upon us. You are his wife so I do not want to do this great wickedness and sin against my God. So please let me go.” But she did not listen to him. And one day…

Let’s read Genesis 39:10-14

“And it came to pass, as she spoke to Joseph day by day, that he hearkened not unto her, to lie by her, or to be with her. And it came to pass about this time,  that Joseph went into the house to do his business; and there was none of the men of the house there within. And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out. And it came to pass, when she saw that he had left his garment in her hand, and was fled forth, That she called unto the men of her house, and spoke unto them, saying, see, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us;  he came in unto me to lie with me, and I cried with a loud voice.” Genesis 39:10-14

One day Joseph went in the house because Potiphar’s wife called him. No one was there. She grabbed his garment and begged for him to lie in bed with her. So he fled from her leaving his outer garment.

Then she shouted out aloud, “Look what this Hebrew slave tried to do to me. This outfit he left proves it.” Potiphar came home and he heard her telling this lie. And her husband raised jealous rage and he had Joseph put in jail where the most rebellious criminals were held. Let me ask you one thing. Do you think her husband believed her? I am not so sure. Since he knew how sincere Joseph was there was a great possibility that he did not believe her. Then why did he have to put Joseph into jail? If he left Joseph alone then it would be a shame to his wife and his family. Even though he couldn’t believe what she said, he had to arrest Joseph. Let’s read Genesis 39:19-23.

“And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spake unto him, saying, After this manner did thy servant to me; that his wrath was kindled. And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. But the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.” Genesis 39:19-23

  After all these happenings, was Joseph disappointed? Did he attempt suicide and complained to God?  “I was really sincere in sight of God and man, why am I having so many difficulties?” He was accused of something he didn’t do and thrown into jail. If I were Joseph, I could have asked God,  “Please, I’d rather die, oh God!”

If  Joseph’s fate ended here and he was expelled from society, what would people think about him? People may have spread rumors about him that he betrayed his master’s trust, and he tried to rape his wife.

“We thought he was a honest and trustworthy man, who could have guessed he had such dirty mind. You never can tell a man’s heart.”

If people start pointing fingers at him, his fate is already sealed and his life is ended.

Did Joseph attempt suicide just to prove his innocence?  Some men do such things, but Joseph  was a very exceptional person.  He was wrongly accused and thrown into jail, but he remained perfectly calm. “Even though it is bitter, if this is something I should bear I will swallow it. God knows who I am and someday the world will come to know who I am.”

In the jail Joseph was constantly looking for something to do, helping other prisoners. The jailer couldn’t believe his eyes because he had never seen anyone like Joseph. He watched and observed Joseph for a while, and later he totally trusted him and gave Joseph the whole bundle of jail keys.

This is something amazing about faith. Faith is trusting God whether things go well or not, easy or difficult, even though the future may look bleak, it shouldn’t matter. We just trust in Him and always have faith. Some church people teach that, “If you believe in Him, your business, your health and everything will be well. But if it doesn’t, that means God is punishing you.” How could this be true?

Joseph was a nice and sincere young man. But he was falsely accused and thrown into jail. Difficult times can come to anybody regardless of faith. But the difference between the non

believers and believers is this. When a desperate and hopeless circumstance come upon , the non believers would lose their hope.

Some may live in tears and get sick. But the believers keep their hopes regardless of circumstances. That is faith. Whatever the circumstances we are in, they trust God always. That is faith.

My father-in-law used to be a pastor in Pusan. There were around seventy young people who gathered in the church. Looking for a job wasn’t very easy for them because of Sabbath

keeping. In my Sabbath school class I was telling these young students not to worry about getting a job. “Instead of being a salary man why don’t you be a marketers along the roadside.” A salary man makes only a certain amount of money every month. Later, instead of depending on the church, they decided to load up vegetables on a wagon and then went out by the roadside to sell them. One after another these young people bought a wagon on their own and started selling vegetables. Since it’s their own business, they were free to attend church on Sabbath. Instead of working on Sabbath, they helped in the church work like, clean up, preparing the program and singing together. They shared their happy moments together. Ten years had gone by and now they all were owners of a big businesses. God looked on them and poured His blessing on them. While Joseph was wasting his precious time in jail, who entered the jail?

  1. Let’s read Genesis 40:1-5.

 “And it came to pass after these things, that the butler of the king of Egypt and his baker had offended their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound. And the captain of the guard charged Joseph with them, and he served them: and they continued a season in ward. And they dreamed a dream both of them, each man his dream in one night, each man according to the interpretation of his dream, the butler and the baker of the king of Egypt, which were bound in the prison.” Genesis 40:1-5

In the jail where Joseph was, two officers of king Pharaoh were brought in. One was the chief butler and the other was the chief baker. They both held very high ranking positions because they were the ones who were the most trusted by the king. In those days if someone wanted to kill the king, they would put poison in the food. We don’t know what had happened to them, but both of them were put in jail. One day Joseph noticed their countenances were down.

Joseph asked them, “What’s troubling you?”

“We both had unusual dreams and it seems they have some special meaning to us. But we don’t know what the dreams mean.” Joseph was the person who might know something about dreams. But he told them, “I am not the one who will interpret the dreams, but God can interpret your dreams.” So the chief butler told his dream to Joseph, and said, “In my dream, there was a vine with three branches and the clusters brought ripe grapes, and Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand.”  Joseph told him, “That is a good dream! Within three days Pharaoh will restore your place in the palace.”

The next day the baker also told Joseph his dream. He said, “I also had a dream, and I had three white baskets on my head with all types of baked goods in them for Pharaoh, but the birds did eat them out of the basket upon my head.”  Joseph shut his mouth and couldn’t answer him. The baker asked that whatever it is he should interpret it for him.  “It was very ominous.”

“What is it anyway?”

Joseph told him, “Within three days Pharaoh will execute you and the birds will eat your flesh off you.”

The baker may have thought, “What bad luck!” And three days later as Joseph had interpreted for him, he was hanged and the birds ate off his flesh. When the chief butler got out of jail Joseph asked him,

“When you have a chance to talk to Pharaoh, please show me your kindness and mention about me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this jail. I have done nothing wrong to deserve being put in a dungeon.”

“Of course I will talk to Pharaoh.” The butler promised.

But he was so happy to meet his friends and family he did not remember Joseph’s request.

Two years passed by. Let’s read Genesis 41:1-5.

“When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk.” Genesis 41:1-5

Two years had gone by, and this time, the emperor had a dream. He was standing by the river and there were seven healthy cows, eating in the green pasture. He enjoyed looking at them. While he was watching them, seven skinny cows came out and ate up the nice fat cows. Does that dream have  significance to it? Yes, it seems to.

So the emperor called all the smartest fortune tellers in his country. And he asked them to interpret his dream. But no one could interpret his dream. When the butler heard of this event he remembered Joseph and thought to himself. “Oh, boy how could I forget about Joseph this long, I am so sorry about that.” So he went to the emperor and said, “Your majesty, I know someone who can interpret your dreams for you.”

“Where is he?”

“He is in the jail, your majesty.”

“In the jail, go and get him out quickly and bring him to me.”

That’s how Joseph got out of the jail. He took a shower, changed his clothes, shaved his face and finally stood in front of the emperor. Let’s read Genesis 41:14-16.

“So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.’ ‘I cannot do it,’ Joseph replied to Pharaoh, ‘but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.’” Genesis 41:14-16

The Emperor noticed that Joseph was a very good looking young man. It had been thirteen years since he was brought into Egypt so he was thirty years old at that time.

“Are you the one who interprets dreams well?”

“Not me your majesty, but God will interpret your dream.”

“I don’t understand what you are talking about. Anyway I had

a dream of such and such happening….”

“Your Majesty, these two dreams are actually the same dream.”

 “What do they mean?”

“In the future Egypt and the surrounding countries will have abundant crops for seven years in a row, but after the seven good years there will be seven years of famine that will ravage over the land,” Joseph said to the Pharaoh.

Pharaoh asked Joseph, “What should we do now?”

“Your majesty, during these seven years of abundance you should gather and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. Not only that, but also buy some grain from other countries when it is cheap and store it to prepare for the famine.”

Does that plan sound good? Yes, it sure sounds good to the Pharaoh’s ear. Let’s see what he does after that. Genesis 41:37-41

“The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. So Pharaoh asked them, ‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?’ Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.’ So Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.’” Genesis 41:37-41

Finally Joseph became the prime minister of Egypt. Joseph’s position was right next to Pharaoh. When he laid his destiny in God’s hands and totally trusted Him, didn’t God glorify his fate? Yes, He certainly did. But we are hesitating to lay our fate on to His hands.

Often people think, “This is my only life, what if I depend on Him and my fate gets ruined?”

Listen to me everyone. When we tried to take control of our own fate, what was left for us to have? We’ve gotten sick and old and at last death. Isn’t this true? It won’t work if we try to manipulate our own fate. It is best to give ourselves to God, the sooner the better. Who made Joseph become the prime minister? God made him so. Who was he thankful for? It is funny to say this, but he should thank Potiphar’s wife. Yes, he should have bought a box of apples and dropped by her place and thanked her.

“If you had not accused me and had me put in jail I may be only the overseer of your household, but because of your accusation I became prime minister of Egypt. What about that? Thank you very much.”

I think he should thank his brothers also. If you had not sold me to the merchants who then brought me to Egypt, I would be an ordinary little man who counts sheep in the country side now, and would be content to be boasting of who I am to all of you. But because you sold me into Egypt, I could go over the border. Thank you, brothers.” Right?

We never know what will happen to us, whether life will turn out to be good or bad. Sometimes things look troublesome and unfavorable, but they turn to be quite opposite. Vice versa, something that looked  good can turn out to be a lemon. Only God knows.

Either good or bad, let us depend on God and be thankful. Just as Joseph mentioned to them, there were seven years of plentiful harvest. The other countries did not know there was a famine ahead of them. So they used all their  abundant supplies. But Egypt was the only country that accumulated and stored all their crops. Finally the famine came and there was hunger in the surrounding countries.

Because of the famine, all the people from the neighboring countries came to Egypt to buy grain. And guess what? Joseph’s brothers were among them, too. Joseph overheard that there were ten young men who had come from the land of the Hebrews. As he listened to that, he thought it sounded like his brothers. So he told his servants to bring them in. Did the brothers have to bow down before the prime minister? Yes, they did. He recognized they were his brothers as they were bowing down to him. And what do you suppose he was thinking of? Yes, the dreams he had many years ago.

How astonishing this is! It is unreal to see his dream become reality like this! He asked these men, “Where are you from?” “We are from the land of Canaan.”

“Are you just ten brothers in the family?”

“Originally we were twelve but….”

“Then what?”

“One brother happened to disappear and the youngest is at home.”

“Is your father doing well?”

“Yes, he is.”

He could not hold his tears any longer so he quickly went into another room and cried for a while. He washed up and came back to see them again.

“Is your youngest brother at home?”

What he really wanted to know was whether his brothers killed him or not. The brother’s mother was the same as his and because he did not see him among them, he asked again.

“Is it true that you have another brother at home?

I can sense that you are here to spy out our land.”

“Oh, no we are not spies, sir.”

“If not, one of you must go home and bring your youngest brother right away or I am going to kill all of you.”

All this time Joseph spoke through an interpreter so they did not know he understood all that they said in Hebrew. So they were whispering to each other in front of Joseph, “See? Didn’t I tell you not to sell the 11th brother? We are getting paid back now because of that incident.”

As Joseph was watching he noticed that these men behaved differently than the brothers he knew before. All of them seemed to be transformed. As time passed by they had changed I suppose. The ten brothers used to argue and fight among themselves. But as they got older and matured they had changed.

Soon after they had gotten the message that someone had to go back and bring the youngest brother, while the others stayed, all volunteered to stay.  At this time Joseph spoke to them in Hebrew, “Why don’t you look at me clearly?” To their amazement the prime minister was their own brother, Joseph! Oh, no, we are all doomed to die now, they thought. However, Joseph  was not a narrow minded man. Let us read Genesis 45:5.

“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” Genesis 45:5

  “Brothers, don’t you worry for what you did to me. That was part of God’s plan” he said. Can you imagine what his brothers’ reaction was like?

 “God wanted to save us from this famine so He sent me here ahead of you.” Is that right? Yes, it is.

Hello everyone. Does your whole family and your relatives know our God? Do they know that God will be coming back soon? If not, I want you to think about this now. Because of your illness He may have sent you here. And who knows, He wanted to save your family through this New Start program. I believe that’s what it is. God wanted to save your family and your relatives. If you did not have cancer or diabetes you wouldn’t be here. So, just like Joseph was sold as a slave, He may have brought you here on purpose.

“Brothers, go and tell my father that I am the prime minister of Egypt, and bring all your families here where I live. There will be five more years of famine.” Joseph said.

So that is how God’s people got into the land of Egypt. But after Joseph passed away and all who knew Joseph were dead, the Egyptians discovered that there was another race among them. So they made the Hebrews their slaves. How many years did they live there?

For 400 years! During that time who was born? Moses was born, and he led them through the Red Sea out of Egypt,  which is known as the Exodus. That story is written in the book of the Exodus. Exodus means, “Coming Out of Egypt”. Today I talked about fate, which we cannot change . Death is fateful and we cannot avoid it. But if we let God lead us in our fate, He can turn it into an eternal life. So I want you to commit your life to God without any reservation and live happily under God’s blessing.


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