Text: Gen. 37:12 -36 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
The Fields are white and the laborers are
C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;"
There was a Church where the preacher and the song
leader were not getting along. This began to spill over into the worship
service. One week the preacher preached on commitment, and how we should
dedicate ourselves to service. The song leader then led the song, "I shall Not
The next Sunday, the preacher preached on giving and how we should gladly give to the work of the Lord. The song leader then led the song, "Jesus Paid It All."
The next Sunday, the preacher preached on gossiping and how we should watch our tongues. The song leader then led the song, "I love To Tell The Story."
The preacher became very disgusted over the situation, and the next Sunday he told the congregation he was considering resigning. The song leader then led the song, "Oh, Why Not Tonight."
As it came to pass, the preacher resigned and the next week informed the church that it was Jesus that led him there and it was Jesus that was taking him away. The song leader then led the song, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus."
WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHING, GOD IS UP TO
How many of you have ever run out of gas? How many of you have ever prayed that you would be able to make it to the next gas station?
We all know what it means to be out of gas, to be out of
our own resources and be down to nothing. How many of you have experienced God's
divine provision at just the right time in just the right way?
You got to do your part - in times of trouble it's always a good idea to pray yourself and get other people to pray with you. It's also important to read God's word and have faith that God will intervene. Then it is important to head God's word and do what it says to do!
When your heart is anchored to the heart of God you will withstand all the storms of life, and there will be storms! Because WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN!
Genesis 37:12 And his brethren went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.
Genesis 37:13 And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I.
Genesis 37:14 And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
Genesis 37:15 And a certain man found him, and, behold, he was wandering in the field: and the man asked him, saying, What sleekest thou?
Genesis 37:16 And he said, I seek my brethren: tell me, I pray thee, where they feed their flocks.
Genesis 37:17 And the man said, They are departed hence; for I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brethren, and found them in Dothan.
Genesis 37:18 And when they saw him afar off, even before he came near unto them, they conspired against him to slay him.
Genesis 37:19 And they said one to another, Behold, this dreamer cometh.
Genesis 37:20 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.
Genesis 37:21 And Reuben heard it, and he delivered him out of their hands; and said, Let us not kill him.
Genesis 37:22 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 37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him;
Genesis 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.
Genesis 37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt.
Genesis 37:26 And Judah said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood?
Genesis 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.
Genesis 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt.
Genesis 37:29 And Reuben returned unto the pit; and, behold, Joseph was not in the pit; and he rent his clothes.
Genesis 37:30 And he returned unto his brethren, and said, The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?
Genesis 37:31 And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood;
Genesis 37:32 And they sent the coat of many colours, and they brought it to their father; and said, This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.
Genesis 37:33 And he knew it, and said, It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.
Genesis 37:34 And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
Genesis 37:35 And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.
Genesis 37:36 And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh's, and captain of the guard.
Joseph was down to nothin - He lost his freedom and was sold into slavery - wrongfully accused of rape and thrown into jail. He was at the bottom of the barrel - innocent, yet in jail in a foreign country. If that had happened to us, we would be so mad that we would bubble up like a bad paint job. God was up to somethin in Joshph's life. He blessed Joseph even in prison so that all that whatever he did prospered and soon the warden of the prison put Joseph in charge of the prison. God gave Joseph the gift of dream interpretation and he interpreted the dreams of the Baker and the Cupbearer and when the Pharo needed an interpretation to his troubling dream Joseph delivered and Pharo promoted him to the 2nd highest position in the land to manage Egypt's vast agricultural resources. Joseph stored grain and allocated it in such a way as to prepare for survival during a seven year famine. Meanwhile...
Jacob (Joseph's father) was down to nothin. Jacob's other sons lied to him and told him that Joseph (the son he loved the most) was dead and some eight or so years later along with the grief over Joseph's supposed death came a severe famine that threatened to starve and kill the rest of his family. Jacob was down to nothin, but God was up to somethin. Read Genesis 45:4-7 WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
Job - lost everything - his livestock, his wealth, his children - he lost everything but his wife. He was down to nothing, sitting on a dung heap with oozing sores all over his body. But, God was up to somethin. God faith in Job and Job's faith in God defeated Satan in a classic spiritual battle. The result? God restored double-fold what Job lost. (Read Job 42:10ff to end) WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
Gideon was down to nothin - he had lost his confidence. The Midianite hord had ravished the land like locusts. Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress - hiding from the Midianites. He had reached the bottom of the barrel - he was down to nothin. It was at this point that God met him and directed him to deliver Israel. With only 100 men he defeated the Midianite horde and freed the land of the Midianite pestilence. WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
David was down to nothin - He lost his rights when King Saul branded him an outlaw - he had to flee the country and live among the Philistines. He was a fugitive, at the bottom of the barrel. But God was up to somethin. King Saul was killed in a battle and David was established as king of Israel. WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
Hezekiah King of Judah was down to nothin when he found himself surrounded by the army of Sennacherib, King of Assyria. Sennachherib demanded surrender and reminded King Hezekiah that he had already concord and sacked many cities killing the leaders and dragging everyone else off into slavery.
The gods of these cities couldn't save them, so what
makes you think Yahweh can save Jerusalem? Hezekiah tore his clothes and put on
sackcloth. He was at the bottom of the barrel, but God was up to somethin. The
prophet Isaiah prophesied Sennacherib's doom and sure enough that night the
angel of the Lord went out ant put to death 185,000 of Sennacherib's troops. So
Sennacherib broke camp and hightailed it back to Assyria and stayed there until
two of his sons assassinated him. WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO
In 2 Kings 4 we find a prophet's widow down to nothin. When her husband died he left behind a debt. The woman came to Elisha and told him that her husband's creditor was coming to take her two boys to sell into slavery to satisfy the debt. She was in despair, she was at the bottom of the barrel, she was a mom horrified at the thought of losing her boys. But God was up to somethin. Elisha asked her, "What do you have in your house?" She literally had nothing but a little oil. So Elisha told her to go to her neighbors and collect all the empty containers she could get her hands on and then bring them into her house and begin pouring out the oil into them. She obeyed and from one small vessel of oil she filled all the pots in the house and was able to sell the oil to pay off the debt and have enough money left over to live on. WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego were down to nothin when King Nebuchadnezzar condemned them to death in the fiery furnace because they stood up for truth and what was right and refused to bow before a graven image. But God was up to somethin, because when they were thrown into the furnace they were not harmed! But not only that, in Daniel 3:30 the Bible says that King Nebuchadnezzar promoted them in the province of Babylon. WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
Ezekiel was down to nothin - He was a young priest who lost his country to war and was carried into captivity to Babylonia. The temple in Jerusalem had been trashed and he had no place to practice the priesthood. His professional life was over. He was nothing but somebody's slave now. He was at the bottom of the barrel, but God was up to somethin. In an instant God reformulated Israel's theology. He appeared to Ezekiel in a vision in the fiery cloud with 4 living winged creatures whose appearance was like burning coals riding wheels within wheels as the glory of God descended to the earth there beside the Kebar River in Babylon.
Above the expanse over their heads was a throne of
sapphire and above the throne was the figure of a man glowing with the glory of
the Lord. Read Ezekiel 2:1-5
God was not confined to a temple in Jerusalem, God was not confined to the boarders of Israel, God was not confined to the temple ritual, God was much more - much bigger - much holier - much more awesome than the children of Israel could imagine. God was on the thrown, and His thrown is over all the earth and He can not be confined to a box or a room in a temple. God is sovereign, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. He hasn't abandoned his people in a foreign land, instead, He is present with them and through Ezekiel provided a prophet to lead them in their time of captivity.
WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
Peter was down to nothin after he denied Christ 3 times. He was a miserable failure. He was at the bottom of the barrel. But God was up to somethin. Jesus met Peter on the shoreline of Lake Galilee and restored Peter's confidence, restored Peter's faith and restored Peter's position in the Kingdom. The result, on the Day of Pentecost Peter got up and delivered a powerful sermon then sat down without even giving an altar call. People were convicted on the spot and asked what they must do to be saved. That day 3,000 new believers were baptized in water! WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
Paul and Silas were severely flogged and thrown into prison for casting out a demonic spirit from a girl. They were down to nothin there in that dark, dank prison. About midnight were praying and singing hymns to God and the other prisoners were listening to them. (Christians, people are observing you under pressure - what do they see?) Suddenly, there was a violent earthquake. The prison doors flew open and the chains fell off all the prisoners. The guard was about to take his life when Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!" As a result, the jailer and all his household became believers and were baptized. WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
The Apostle John was down to nothin. He was an old man confined to the prison island of Patmos in Greece. He was a political prisoner, exiled for practicing his faith and leading the Church in Asia Minor. He was effectively stopped from teaching and preaching. This is a difficult spot for a preacher to be in. John was at the bottom of the barrel.
But, God was up to somethin. Jesus Christ appeared
appeared to John on the Lord's day when John was "in the spirit." The result?
The fabulous book of Revelation. The last book in the Bible that has been a
comfort and assurance to all Christians throughout the ages. John's situation
looked hopeless, but he was able to influence the Church for all time even from
exile. WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
Does God still do these kind of miracles for His people?
YES! God is for you 100%!
Here is a modern account of God's miraculous provision:
A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice. The young man
couldn't help but wonder, "Does God still speak to people?" After service he
went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the
message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in
different ways. It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving
home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, "God.. If you still speak
to people, speak to me. I will listen. I will do my best to obey." As he
drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought, stop
and buy a gallon of milk. He shook his head and said out loud, "God is that
you?" He didn't get a reply and continued on toward home.
But again, the thought, buy a gallon of milk. The young man thought about
Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel
ran to Eli. "Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk."
It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the
milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started off toward
home. As he passed Seventh street, he again felt the urge, "Turn down that
street." This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection.
Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street.
At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half
jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will". He drove several blocks,
when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and
looked around. He was in semi-commercial area of town. It wasn't the best
but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either.
businesses were closedand most of the houses looked dark like the people were
already in bed.
Again, he sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the
house across the street." The young man looked at the house. It was dark
and it looked like the people were either gone or they were already asleep.
He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. "Lord,
this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are
going to be mad and I will look stupid."
Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk. Finally, he opened the
door, "Okay God, if this is You, I will go to the door and I will give them
the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be
obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don't answer
right away, I am out of here."
He walked across the street and rang the bell. He could hear some noise
inside. A man's voice yelled out, "Who is it? What do you want?"
Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was
standing there in his jeans and t-shirt. He looked like he just got out of
bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to
have some stranger standing on his doorstep. "What is it?"
The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, "Here, I brought this to you."
The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish.
Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen.
The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying. The man had
tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying,
"We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran
out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and
asking God to show me how to get some milk."
His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I ask him to send an Angel with some..
Are you an Angel?" The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out
all the money he had on him and put it in the man's hand. He turned and
walked back toward his car with tears streaming down his face.
firsthand that God still answers prayers.
WHEN YOU'RE DOWN TO NOTHIN, GOD IS UP TO SOMETHIN
(Have them turn around in seats and form circles of prayer - listen to each other's prayer requests and then pray for each other.)
Attain new job skills
Restored to faith
Healing of Body
Healing of past wrongs to your person
Restore your dreams of achievement