Dr. Ed Young - Resentment
Everybody did what was right, but they were wrong. It's the last Verse of the Book of Judges-Judges 25:21 says, "There was no king in the land of Israel, so everybody did what was right in their own eyes". In their own eyes... When everybody, when you and I, we do what's right from our human, horizontal perspective, everything ends up wrong. The expression is, "I want to do my own thing..." and that's where we are. And it leads us to resentment. Envy leads to resentment; it leads to bitterness. Ann Landers said that if you carry resentment around, it's like having someone you despise live free without rent in your head. It's like the story in the Iowa high school. Miss Homecoming Queen got upset at Miss Harvest Queen because she stole her boyfriend.
So Miss Homecoming Queen took a belt and strangled Miss Harvest Queen in resentment. Hhmm... So how do you handle resentment? We're going to look at two ways of handling resentment. One way is you handle it with horizontal living. Horizontal livers handle resentment horizontally. We, we encounter a problem; we look down, and we look around, and that's how we deal with it, in the flesh. We say, "I'm just being practical. I'm just being down to earth with this problem, with this challenge, with this resentment". We're horizontal folks. Those who are vertical folks, resentment comes; they look up and above, and they seek God and His input, and His understanding to give us perspective when resentment enters our lives.
So the bottom line, are you a horizontal person, or a vertical person? And we're going to see how horizontal people handle resentment. Enter, big Jacob, his twelve sons. Remember who big Jake is? He's one of the patriarchs. He's one of the VIP's of the Old Testament. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob-Jacob whose name means cheat, supplanter, con-artist; but his name was changed to Israel, remember? And now, God has blessed big Jake. He lives in Canaan. He has these twelve sons. And now I want you to notice now ten of these sons -let's put Joseph and Benjamin to the side... Let's look how ten of these sons are horizontal livers. They live a horizontal lifestyle, and look what happens when resentment comes into their life. They see Joseph, who is the favorite of their dad.
By the way, Jacob was a terrible father. If you want to read an, an illustration of how not to be a dad, just study Jake. He had it down to a science. He showed favorites. Joseph was his favorite because he was, she, he was the son of his favorite wife, who was Rachel. And therefore, he looked after Joseph; spent time with Joseph. Didn't make Joseph work as the other brothers did. Gave Joseph one of those new Armani jackets that you get down at the mall that was striped and bright... I mean, Joseph was the apple of his daddy's eye, and Jacob made no mistake about it. He was his favorite boy. And on top of that, Joseph didn't handle it very well. Though Joseph lived a vertical life; had a real sensitivity for God as a teenager; yet he kept sharing with his brothers how one day, God was going to put him in a position way above them, and they of course resented that.
And also, he was the son who always told his daddy the truth about his brothers. It's terrible to be brought up in a family where your brothers and sisters always tell the truth about you, isn't it? I mean, that will mess up any home. That was Joseph. He was naïve. He was immature, but he had a sense of God, a sense of God's will about his life. But the other ten brothers hated Joseph. Now, what kind of guys were these brothers? Let me tell you what happened before they sold Joseph into slavery. Ruben was the oldest son, and he committed incest with one of his dad's concubines in order to usurp the power of his father. That was the oldest boy. Simeon and Levi were guilty of genocide in that they wiped out a whole tribe needlessly, a whole tribe of people. Guilty of mass murder, mass slaughter-genocide.
And then Judah slept with his daughter-in-law Tamar, impregnated her as she passed herself off as a Canaanite prostitute. And all the rest of them joined together and conspired to kill Joseph and get him out of the way, and finally they sold him as a slave to be taken off into Egypt. Now remember who this family is. This is God's select elect, blessed, called out family to be His redemptive agent for all the world. If you can find a more messed up, fouled up, low-down, conniving, immoral group of people on this earth, please tell me where they are, than this patriarchal covenant family that God had uniquely blessed and called to be His family through which the Messiah would be born.
Hello! I would know this Bible is true for a lot of reasons, but one reason is, there is nobody here in which God pulls any punches. He tells everything exactly like it is. Have you noticed that? What in the world is going to happen? What happened to these people? The truth is, they forgot that God was real. So they were flat earth folks. The here and now. Get it while you can, and therefore, is it any wonder that these ten brothers with that kind of resume, with that kind of dossier, with that kind of background would say, "Hey, it's no big deal! Just take Joe and, and kill him! Get him out of here! We're tired of his prudish atmosphere, his telling on us and his superiority with God! We're tired of all that. Kill him"! And they sold him finally as a slave.
You see, what happened to these boys and their dad, they forgot the reality of God. They got so prosperous because Jacob was a big shot in Canaan! Oh yeah, he was big in Canaan. So were his boys, and their wives, and their families. It was a prestigious family. They were the Rockefellers of their day. Oh yeah! Now remember something: For every one person that can handle success; there are ten that can handle failure or mediocrity. Success is tough. They didn't handle it very well. They forgot Him, and even when Joseph was sold as a slave and they reported with that coat, you know, that multi-colored Armani jacket that his dad had given him, and it had blood on it, and his father assumed that he'd been killed by an animal; even they reported that, Jacob didn't say a thing about God. God's name is not mentioned in that moment. Can you believe that? How far you can get away?
Now, we see how horizontal living, let's see how vertical living operates. These were horizontal folks. Joseph was a vertical guy. You'll see the difference. First of all, God was real to Joseph in the displacements of life. Here he was, prestigious son, wealthy family, man, top of the ladder. His brothers put him in the pit. He's sold as a slave, taken off into a foreign country, different language, different culture. He's a nobody; he's a nothing. He's a slave, but to Joseph, God was real in the displacements of life. He was still a vertical guy. He still looked up to God.
Now all of us know displacements. We wanted to be here, but we're there. We wanted to live there, but we're living here. We wanted this relationship; we got that relationship. We want this vocation; we got that vocation. But in all of it with Joseph, God was real. That's the genius of those who live vertically, different from those who live horizontally. God was real in the displacements of life. Then God is real in the temptations of life. Joseph was bought by Potiphar, who was the commander in chief of the army of Pharaoh-hey, big shot there! And he had a wife, and you can be sure his wife was Mrs. Egypt. That much money, that much position, I mean he could just attract anybody he wanted to attract.
You can believe, she had chemistry and beauty, and she was something, and Joseph was honored in Potiphar's house because he was a man of integrity. And the Bible says everything Joseph touched became successful. That happens to people, even in a slave posture when God is real. God is real... He became over all of Potiphar's household, and Mrs. Potiphar looked at this young, handsome Jewish guy in the prime of life, and she propositioned him. He, she said, "Come and sleep with me". His answer tells us everything you need to know about Joe. It's a classic! He looked at her. He said, "Let me tell you something: I can't do that because your master trusts me. He's put me over everything in this house-everything in this house, I'm in charge of. I can have everything in this house but you. Your master trusts me". He said "The second reason I can't do it" he says, "because you're his wife".
He reminded himself who he was-trustworthy. He reminded her who she was, the wife of Potiphar. Then he gave the third reason-said, "I can't do it is because God sees me". See, that's our vertical guy, isn't it? Isn't that the dimension that we need? If we're horizontal livers like Jacob and his ten sons-no, Joseph was a vertical, vertical liver. He, he looked up. Therefore, God was real in the temptations of life, and now we see God was real in the injustices of life. Remember what happened? Mrs. Potiphar, though she propositioned him day after day, Mrs. Potiphar finally grabbed his coat and, and tore his coat when he ran away from temptation.
Joseph had a lot of coat problems, didn't he? And said, and told her husband, "He tried to sport with me". King James translation. Potiphar believed his wife, sent Joseph to prison. But in prison, Joseph knew that God was real in the injustices of life. You see, he was treated unjustly. He was convicted for that which he did not do when he was innocent. But still, God was real, and he came to the top of the heap until the head jailer looked at Joseph to run everything in the jail. Man, that's something, isn't it? And then finally, he interpreted the dreams of two of the prisoners. He got both of them accurate... one of them, the cupbearer was restored to the right hand of Pharaoh as his wine taster, and when he left, the cupbearer said, "You've been so wonderful to me, Joseph, as a fellow prisoner, and you predicted that I'd be released; I'm going to remember you to Pharaoh".
Two years went by. Little Verse in there said, "He forgot Joseph". Didn't remember him. But with Joseph, God was real in the injustices of life. But then one day, remember Pharaoh's dream? He dreamed about there's a time of skinny cattle, and fat cattle, and none of the soothsayers could understand what God was saying to Pharaoh, and so the cupbearer said, "You know, there's a guy back in prison-what was his name? Boy, he could read. He could see the mind of God. He would understand what's going on in Egypt. He would interpret your dream". He said, "What's his name"? Said, "Oh yeah, Joe! Joe-it was Joe! That's who it was"!
And so Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and Joseph went-by the way, the Bible-I like it-he shaved. He changed his coat again, you know...heh, heh. You see, the, the Israelites didn't shave. They had beards. The Egyptians were clean shaven. I think it's interesting to know that Joseph tried to adapt where he'd be pleasing to Pharaoh, see? And he went before him. He said, "Pharaoh, I can interpret this dream: There are gonna be 7 years of prosperity, and 7 years of famine. You've got to find somebody who's gonna take care of the goods for 7 years of prosperity so you can eat the 7 years of famine".
Pharaoh said, "That's the dream! That's the interpret. That's God's understanding". And Joe said, "You'd better get somebody who can handle this situation. You better get the wisest man in Egypt". Pharaoh said, "You know, you're the only one who understood this; you must be the wisest man in Egypt..." and he made Joseph-Joe, a Hebrew, right out of prison; he put him right in the middle of the palace!
That's a big promotion, isn't it, from a prison to a palace? That's a quantum leap! Heh, heh! Now I've got a question for you: How in the world is Almighty God gonna bring this wayward family that He had so blessed and selected, back into covenant with Him? How's God gonna do this? How is God going to heal this family? He heals us the same way individually as He heals collectively, as He heals families today.
Take your Bible. Look at it with me in Chapter Number 42 of Genesis. I'm gonna take you on a quick trip. This is the healing. How does God work? You know the story... God works first of all through a hungry stomach. Heh! You know the best preacher in the world is hunger. Best preacher in the world is cancer. Best preacher in the world is heartache. Best preacher in the world is brokenness. We just sort of cool it through the life until whooooom! Then we realize we've been living on the basis of our own fleshly strength and power. We realize we've forgotten the vertical, which is the reality of God. That happens, doesn't it? That's what happened here.
And they were just cooling it there in Canaan til' Chapter 42. Then Jacob saw that there was grain in Egypt, and Jacob said to his sons, "Why are you staring at one another? Behold, I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us from that place so that we may live and not die". So he sent these brothers down there, ten of them. When they went before the area to get grain, there was Joseph on the throne. He recognized his brothers. He called them forward. He said, "Why are you here"? They said, "To buy grain..." He said, "No, you're here to spy out the land".
See, God is using Joseph as a redemptive agent with his brothers. They said, "Oh, no, no, we're..." So he put 'em in jail. There's injustice. What goes around comes around. He puts them in jail three days. And then he lets them out of jail and he said, "Tell me about your family..." They told about Benjamin and their dad, and he said, "I'll tell you what. I think you're here to spy out the land. I'm gonna keep one of you here". He took Simeon, who was the bully of them all. He tied them up, tied him up in his present, "We're gonna keep Simeon here. If you come back for more grain, to prove you've been telling the truth about your family, bring your brother Benjamin with you, or I'm not gonna give you any more grain; I'm not gonna let Simeon go".
And so the brothers got out of there. But notice as they were getting out of there, they recognized what was going on in their life, Look at Chapter Number 42, Verse Number 21: "Truly we are guilty concerning our brother". This is Joseph. This is 20 years before. "Because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us from the pit; yet, we would not listen. Therefore, this distress has come upon us". There is conviction of sin after all these years, all the low-down, rotten, scummy stuff they had done as brutes, as bullies, as murderers, as adulterers, as rapists-all of that. What they remembered was how they treated Joe!
They were convicted of their sin. They didn't know who Joseph was up there before. They had no idea. He was some Egyptian potentate, the Prime Minister; but now as he talked to them, they said, "Oh, ho! It's because of our brother"! Then there's confession of sin. Look at Verse 22. Ruben answered them saying, "Did I not tell you"? I told you so! "Do not sin against the boy", that was Joseph, way back twenty years, "and you would not listen! Now comes a reckoning for his blood".
Ohhh! Uncovering a lot of stuff here, aren't we? Conviction, confession, and now I want you to see how the repentance comes. They go back home. They tell their dad what happened. He said, "Look, I'm not letting you take Benjamin. I've lost Joseph, and now there's Simeon -you've lost Simeon there to this Egyptian guy! I'm not gonna let you take Benjamin down there". But what happened? They ran out of grain. This is 7 year famine, folks. So they had to go back in order to live, so they go back again, and Jacob says, "Well, take Benjamin".
And up stands a fourth brother, Judah-not Ruben the oldest; not Simeon, not Levi, but Judah stands forward and says, "Dad, I will stand for Benjamin. I guarantee you he'll come back, or I'll give my boys, or I'll give my life". Judah stands up as the substitute. Question: What tribe was Jesus born in? Judah. Judah... So they go back. Joseph greets them, takes them into the palace and says, "Take 'em out. I want to give 'em a meal there in my palace, and immediately they're upset. They say, 'Oh my goodness! He's really gonna do something to us.'"
You see, when you've got this great guilt running around in your life, ladies and gentlemen, even when you're blessed; even when you're prosperous; even when things are going bli... you can't shake it if God hadn't dealt with it. Doesn't matter what happens. Oh, it's still there! It still stinks. It's still rotten. It's still painful. It's still debilitating; so everything that happened to them, they go, "Oh man, what's gonna happen next"? And Joseph was just battin' 'em around.
And now, I want you to see what happened. They put the silver cup, remember, in Benjamin's bag when they left? Joseph went out and said, "Hey, he's the one that stole my silver cup off the table after I treated you so royally! He is the one"! And that is when Judah steps up and says, "Oh no! Kill me! I'll be your slave!, uh! Not Benjamin"! See, Joseph saw in the process those sorry, low-down, rotten brothers... They were going through a change. They were convicted of their sin. They confessed their sin, and now we see repentance of their sin as Judah stands forward to say, "No, it'll break my dad's heart; it's break my father's heart. Let Benjamin go back..." See?
Verse 5, Chapter 45, "Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves" says Joseph. "Because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life". Verse 7: "God sent me before you to preserve you for a remnant in the earth". Verse 8: "Now therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God". Verse 9: "Hurry up and go tell my father and say to him, 'Thus says your son, Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt.'" You see the difference in Joseph and his brothers? Do you see it clearly?
Joseph, because God was real, he saw in every situation of life that God was working, God was moving. And the brothers just saw the horizontal stuff. I, me, my, mine, my prestige, my power, my ability... But look how God worked to change those boys. Conviction. Confession. Repentance! Forgiveness that was offered by Joseph. And then they go back and get big Jake and bring him, and now Jacob, if you read the Scripture, begins talking about God. Jacob's come back home, and they go to Egypt. Oh, they're blessed so magnificently there in the land of Goshen. Jacob goes and puts his hand and blesses Pharaoh. They have fourteen years of wonderful worship, and wonderful blessings there in Egypt until big Jake dies.
And then the brothers, 50th Chapter of Genesis. They say, "Boy, now that our daddy is dead-man, he's, he'll get revenge on us now! He, he's gonna remember what we did to him!, he's gonna come and kill us all"! And when they told Joseph this, he wept. He wept... Vertical people whom God is real are a mystery to horizontal people about whom God is dim, or not there. See? They can't understand that. Vertical people have absolutely no room-absolutely no room for envy, revenge, bitterness, or resentment.