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The faith of Joseph – Hebrews 11

Increase our faith - Luke 17:5


Alan Cole leads our continuing walk through the list of saints of old, who have been highlighted in scripture for their exceptional faith.



Hebrews 11:22.  “By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones.”


During this past week we have been involved in electing the leaders of our nation, and many of us are involved in leadership in much smaller ways – leaders in our families, responsible for people who work for us, leading voluntary work, or leaders in the church. We are going to look this morning at the quality of leaders, as revealed in the story of Joseph between Genesis 37-50.

  1. The weak leader – Jacob. He led a dysfunctional family full of favourites and intrigue. The result was infighting, jealousy, hatred and attempted murder. Joseph left the family full of pride and indiscretion and fell – literally and metaphorically.
  2. The strong leader – Potiphar. He was competent and trustworthy as Pharaoh put him in charge of his bodyguard. He recognised in Joseph someone who was good at his job and could be trusted to be put in charge. He recognised the gifts that others had and also recognised that God was with Joseph.
  3. The caring leader – Pharaoh. When Pharaoh learned of the famine that was to strike Egypt, he cared enough to do something about it. He recognised Joseph’s talents and got him to mobilise the entire nation to deal with the consequences of the famine. He also recognised the Spirit of God at work in Joseph.
  4. The wise leader – Joseph. With God’s help he now knew what to do as he faced every situation – quite unlike his attitude as a young man. Although now a leader, he sought to serve Pharaoh and the Egyptians. God had given him organisational and administrative ability, but he had to delegate much to others while retaining overall responsibility, as a good leader should. His aim was to serve as well as he could. Faced with his brothers, he showed compassion and forgiveness towards them, reflecting God’s love for His Church, and the forgiveness of our sins.


At the end of the story, Joseph could look forward to the day when his descendants would leave Egypt for a land of their own, confident that his mortal remains would go there as well.



Service Details

Theme: The faith of Joseph
Reading: Hebrews 11 v 22 & Genesis 50 v 22 – 26
Preacher: Alan Cole
Led by: Bev Sills


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