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Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary

Genesis 50

 

 

Verse 20

Genesis 50:20

In this study of the Divine mode of conduct, we shall find (1) a light for the interpretation of the ways of Providence; (2) an example to be followed.

I. God permits evil, but from the evil He unceasingly causes good to proceed. If good were not destined to conquer evil, God would be conquered, or rather God would cease to be. This law appears full of light when we read the history of such men as Joseph, Moses, and David; and it is nowhere more evident than in the life of Jesus Christ. Here evil stands out in its most appalling intensity, and from that very excess comes forth the salvation of mankind.

II. Since the Scriptures call us to be imitators of God, like Him we must endeavour to draw good out of evil. For believing souls there is a Divine alchemy. Its aim is to transform evil into good. Evil, considered as a trial, comes from three different sources: it comes either from God, through the afflictions of life; from men, through their animosity; from ourselves, through our faults. We may learn Divine lessons from sorrow, lessons of wisdom from our enemies; we may even gather instruction from our faults.

E. Bersier, Sermons, 2nd series, p. 380.


References: Genesis 50:20.—J. Van Oosterzee, The Year of Salvation, vol. ii., p. 382; W. M. Taylor, Limitations of Life, p. 249. Genesis 50:22-26—R. S. Candlish, Book of Genesis, vol. ii., p. 335. Genesis 50:24-26.—F. W. Robertson, Sermons, 1st series, p. 304; F. W. Robertson, Notes on Genesis, p. 191; W. Bull, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxi., p. 371.




Verse 25

Genesis 50:25

This is the one act of Joseph's life which the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews selects as the sign that he too lived by faith. It was at once a proof of how entirely he believed God's promise, and of how earnestly he longed for its fulfilment. It was a sign of how little he felt himself at home in Egypt, though to outward appearance he had become completely one of its people. The ancestral spirit was in him true and strong, though he was "separate from his brethren." This incident, with the New Testament commentary on it, leads us to a truth which we often lose sight of.

I. Faith is always the same, though knowledge varies. There is a vast difference between a man's creed and a man's faith. The one may vary—does vary within very wide limits; the other remains the same. What makes a Christian is not theology in the head, but faith and love in the heart. The dry light of the understanding is of no use to anybody. Our creed must be turned into a faith before it has power to bless and save.

II. Faith has its noblest office in detaching from the present. All his life long, from the day of his captivity, Joseph was an Egyptian in outward seeming. He filled his place at Pharaoh's court; but his dying words open a window into his soul, and betray how little he had felt that he belonged to the order of things in which he had been content to live. He too confessed that here he had no continuing city, but sought one to come. Dying, he said, "Carry my bones up from hence." Living, the hope of the inheritance must have burned in his heart as a hidden light, and made him an alien everywhere but upon its blessed soil. Faith will produce just such effects. Does anything but Christian faith engage the heart to love and all the longing wishes to set towards the things that are unseen and eternal? Whatever makes a man live in the past and in the future raises him; but high above all others stand those to whom the past is an apocalypse of God, with Calvary for its centre, and all the future is fellowship with Christ and joy in the heavens.

III. Faith makes men energetic in the duties of the present. Joseph was a true Hebrew all his days; but that did not make him run away from Pharaoh's service. He lived by hope, and that made him the better worker in the passing moment. True Christian faith teaches us that this is the workshop where God makes men, and the next the palace where He shows them. The end makes the means important. This is the secret of doing with our might whatsoever our hand finds to do—to trust Christ, to live with Him and by the hope of the inheritance.

A. Maclaren, Sermons Preached in Manchester, p. 130.


Reference: Genesis 50:26.—G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 370.




 


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Bibliography Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Genesis 50:4". "Sermon Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/genesis-50.html.

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