Sermon and Bible Study Database
Author: Kent Berghuis
"Step Out by Faith," or "Dare to Dream Again" (Genesis 46 [with a glance back to 45]) Introduction: We can step out by faith when we have hope in the fulfillment of God's promises. I. We step out by faith when God restores our hope (45:25-28). A. Jacob's hope was all but gone. 1. His son favored son Joseph had "died" long ago. 2. The 2-year famine was starving the family. 3. His son Simeon had been held hostage. 4. Benjamin, his youngest son, was away from home against his will. B. God restores Jacob's hope. 1. His sons all come back. 2. Joseph is alive in Egypt. 3. God will care for the family in Egypt through Joseph. II. When we step out by faith, God confirms his promises (46:1-7). A. Faith and sacrifice go together (1). 1. Leaving for Egypt requires faith from Jacob. 2. Stopping at Beersheba reminds Jacob of God's past goodness. 3. Sacrificing symbolizes Jacob's worship, commitment, and obedience. B. God's promises build on the past and point to the future (2-4). 1. God keeps his promises through the generations ("God of your father"). 2. God's promise dispels fear ("Do not be afraid"). 3. God directs the future ("I will surely bring you back again"). 4. God knows our heart's deepest longings ("Joseph will close your eyes"). C. God's promises naturally call for continued obedience (5-7). III. When we step out by faith, we see God's plan is bigger than our dreams (46:8-30). A. Following God is a family affair (8-26). 1. God's promise to make Israel into a nation is being fulfilled (70 family leaders, like 70 nations of ch. 10). 2. God's promise to bring Israel to Egypt is being fulfilled (15:12-14). 3. Our decisions to follow or not follow God will change the destiny of our descendants. B. Seeing God's promises fulfilled brings peace to the troubled heart (28-30). 1. Judah once again comes to the fore (28). 2. Joseph's long-awaited reunion with his father becomes a reality (29). 3. Jacob's unexpected reunion with his son brings peace to his life (30). 4. God reserves his deepest joys for those who follow him in faith. Conclusion: Is God calling you to step out by faith on his promises? Dare to believe him!