Andy Hollifield 4-10-17
Genesis 45:20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is yours.
Regard———-(1) to look upon or think of with a particular feeling (2) to have or show respect or concern for (3) to think highly of; esteem (4) to take into account; consider
I think I may have preached on this thought way back sometime over the years but that is the good thing about God’s word, it doesn’t spoil or get old. If you want a great blessing, you need to read the entire 45th chapter of Genesis. Actually, the whole account of Joseph’s life beginning in about chapter 37 will be well worth reading. A lot of times we just want to count our chapters and miss a lot of good drama in the word of God. If you go on back a few more chapters, you can read the entire life story of Jacob and believe me, he wasn’t always the Godly patriarch of the family that he is in the later chapters of Genesis. Then again, if you go back far enough in any of our lives, we weren’t always what we are now either. I have got stuff in my past that I am content to leave buried right where it is at. It stunk to high heaven at the time I did it and I am sure it would be just as rotten if it was dug up now. The thing about Jacob is that he was the third heir to the promise of God’s blessing on the nation of Israel and is the namesake of the country. Just to wet your appetite a bit for the word, Jacob got his new name at the end of an all night fight with the angel of the Lord. That was after he had swindled his brother out of his birthright and bought the blessing of the Lord for a bowl of beans. Family harmony was something that Jacob knew nothing about either from his childhood or his own children. I’m telling you, If you like a good Zane Grey or Louis Lamour, the life story of Jacob is for you. It has everything; swindling, romance, true love, hardship, family crisis, murder, assault, sibling rivalry, jealousy, favoritism, theft, crime, deception, and all around mystery. Everybody loves a happy ending, it has one of those too.
Since I may have your interest peaked a little about Jacob’s life, I will tell you that Joseph spent his life as a far more honoable man than his father ever was. This event occurs late in Jacob’s life but holds a valuable faith lesson for us. Let me set the scene for you. Joseph has just revealed himself to his brothers because he had spent his life in slavery in Egypt. Pharoh and all the palace had just realized that these men that had come to Egypt for grain a couple times were really Joseph’s brothers. Joseph, because of his gift of interpreting dreams, had been promoted from slavery and a former prisoner to being the top man over all that pharoh and the nation of Egypt had. No one except pharoh had more power in Egypt. After pharoh realized that these men were Joseph’s brothers, he called Joseph in and gave him instruction as to how he was being ordered to proceed. That in itself is a good story but our verse is one of the details of pharoh’s instructions to Joseph. Pharoh was ordering that an official entourage be sent from Egypt to bring all of Joseph’s family to Egypt where they would be given the land of Goshen to live in. This is how the Israellites came to be in Egypt to begin with when they wound up in bondage under the next pharoh that knew not Joseph and his position in Egypt. Anyway, part of the instructions were that pharoh was going to send everything that would be necessary for the brothers to get back to their father and bring all their families to Goshen. According to Genesis 46:27, there were a total of 70 people in the house of Jacob that came to Egypt to wait out the last five years of famine and be cared for by Joseph and pharoh. To move ahead a little, that 70 became about 1.5 million by the time that Moses led them out of bondage I believe about 470 years later. They came with nothing and left with great riches. That is a whole nother lesson for us right there.
The part I want to focus on is “regard not your stuff.” That would be a great spiritual lesson for us to learn. To put it plain; sometimes we get so wrapped up in our stuff that we forget that this Christian walk is all about God’s stuff and not our stuff. Like I have heard it put, we need to keep the main thing the main thing. It’s not about making a name for myself or my church or my legacy but it is about bringing glory and honor to his name and getting folks to the Lord so they can be saved. If your stuff don’t line up with that stuff, you need to get rid of your stuff. Pharoh was trying to get the point across that all of Joseph’s family would have all their needs met and they didn’t need to regard their stuff. I know that Egypt is a type of sin and carnality in scripture but isn’t that statement by pharoh just a perfect picture of salvation. You don’t need to bring anything to come to Jesus. Jesus isn’t concerned with what you have or what you have been in your past. He don’t want you to even consider “your stuff”. He wants to give you all “new stuff”. He wants you to eat the good of the land of heaven. That is the land set aside for you to reside in when you come to him. According to Phillipians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” See, just like Joseph’s family was going to have all their needs met because of what all Joseph had done, you can have all your needs met because of what Jesus done on Calvary when he died for your sins. You notice that Pharoh never asked the first question about Joseph’s brothers and their past lives. Jesus isn’t worried about your past but he gave his life for your future. Think about that for a minute. You are in great famine in your life and you don’t see how you can possibly survive. You have heard somewhere that there is something worthwhile in this whole thing of being a Christian. You get curious and want to check it out but you are not sure if you could ever be accepted. On your own merits you never would be but because this man named Jesus died for the sins of the entire world, you are given the opportunity to accept this gift of life if you just believe in him. You can gain residence in this place called heaven but in the mean time, all your needs will be met by the ruler of this place, God almighty. The interesting thing is that he don’t need to know anything about your past. He already knows all about you. You don’t need any of your own stuff. Everything you need will be provided because of this man called Jesus. But you have never met him and you would sure like to because this offer sounds way too good to pass up. It is and it may not be offered again. Just think; an opportunity to get rid of that past that you are so ashamed of and be viewed as respectable and accepted just as part of the family all because of this man you don’t even know dying for you. Taking the judgment and the punishment that you deserved and why? Because he loves you. You see, he knows about your stuff but he don’t care. He just knows you are in need and if you don’t get some help, you won’t make it. The famine in your life for anything worthwhile will eventually starve you to death. All you have to do is disregard your stuff and accept his stuff while it is being offered. Your stuff has got you where you are now but his stuff, forgiveness of sin and his gift of salvation, will get you out.
You may be a child of God already but you are still trying your own stuff. You know it won’t work because you have tried it before. Regard not your stuff. Whatever the need of your soul is, Jesus gave his life for you to be born again. Your stuff will destroy you and if you have never accepted him as your savior it will send you to a devil’s hell. Isn’t it a joy to know that you can regard not your stuff and accept his stuff and have life everlasting? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!
Andy Hollifield 4-10-17