Feed on
“When God’s Plan Comes Together” (Genesis 41:1–57)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday PM, October 23, 2016

Genesis 41:1–57 (NIV) 

41 When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. 
5 He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream. 
8 In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him. 
9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.” 
14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. 
15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 
16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” 
17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. 19 After them, seven other cows came up—scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20 The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21 But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up. 
22 “In my dream I saw seven heads of grain, full and good, growing on a single stalk. 23 After them, seven other heads sprouted—withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. 24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.” 
25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27 The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine. 
28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. 
33 “And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.” 
37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” 
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” 
41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, “Make way!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt. 
44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt. 
46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48 Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49 Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure. 
50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.” 
53 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.” 
56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere. 

1. God will accomplish his plan when he wishes and with whom he wishes (1–7).

2. God’s plan doesn’t happen all at once, but progressively unfolds in a multitude of smaller, less significant events (8–13). 

3. As God is accomplishing his plan and you are faithfully using your abilities wherever you are today, take every opportunity to give God the glory (14–24).

4. Whenever God’s providence provides us with opportunities for blessing or for service, we should step out in faith to take advantage of them (25–40). 

5. When God desires to bless his people and his plan comes together, it will surpass all expectation and hope (41–57).

The main idea of this passage is:

As God is bringing his providential plan together in his time and his way, at each stage of the journey let us remain faithful, eager to serve, taking advantage of every opportunity. And when God blesses us abundantly beyond what we deserve, let us be sure to give God all the glory.


“The God of Compassion” (Jonah 3:1–10)

Pastor Cameron Jungels

Eastside Baptist Church

Sunday AM, October 26, 2016

Jonah 3:1–10 (NIV) 

3 Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” 

3 Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. Now Nineveh was a very large city; it took three days to go through it. 4 Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, proclaiming, “Forty more days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5 The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth. 

6 When Jonah’s warning reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his royal robes, covered himself with sackcloth and sat down in the dust. 7 This is the proclamation he issued in Nineveh: 

“By the decree of the king and his nobles: 

Do not let people or animals, herds or flocks, taste anything; do not let them eat or drink. 8 But let people and animals be covered with sackcloth. Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. 9 Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” 

10 When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. 

The three words that sum up the message of Jonah 3 are condemnation, repentance, and compassion.

1. God gives Jonah a message of condemnation. 

2. The people of Nineveh repent. 

3. God showed compassion to the repentant Ninevites. 

Main Idea: God had mercy on us, though we deserved condemnation; may we be his messengers of mercy to others who are in danger of condemnation.


Walking with God through Pain & Suffering

By Tim Keller


Chapter 3: The Challenge to the Secular


        Secular philosophies of suffering do not do a good job of actually helping people in the midst of their suffering.

o   In the real world, many people ignore the counsel of the secular philosophies.

o   Instead, they fall back to the more traditional and spiritual explanations for suffering.


Where Were the Humanists?

        In times of crisis, the humanists are often absent.

        Clear religious and spiritual language is not questioned and is even welcomed in times of tragedy and grief.

        Religion provides more than just “community” in times of grief and suffering.

        Religion gives sufferers larger explanations of life that make sense of suffering and help them find meaning in their pain.

        Secular humanism is incapable of providing true community and is incapable of providing a satisfying theology to help in times of suffering.

        True community is only forged when people unify around something that is more important than their individual self-interests to which all share a higher allegiance.

        “Humanism suffers… from the valorization of the individual” and cannot sustain true community.


Is Atheism a Blessing?

        Atheism claims a superiority in times of suffering because it does not have to wrestle with questions of the goodness of God and the problem of evil.

        Atheism offers consolation to the bereaved by offering “rational truths” such as non-existence and no suffering after death.

        Atheism just moves on and seeks to find a rational and scientific solution to the cause of the suffering.

        Atheism exaggerates the “problem of evil.” It was not a problem before the rise of the “immanent frame” and radical individualism.

        A strong theological foundation is able to wrestle with and handle the presence of evil in a Theocentric world.

        Atheism claims a better response to suffering by advocating for solutions such as “social justice” and “human flourishing.”

        Two problems with Atheism’s claims:

o   Issues of social justice have historically been championed more by religious movements than secular ones.

o   Atheism’s naturalistic foundation offers no clear or rational basis for morality or justice.

§  Science and empirical reason cannot be the basis of morality, since they can tell us how people live but not how they ought to live.

        Is it really a comfort to the bereaved to tell them that death is the end of everything and “there is no suffering in death”?

        This is “too brutal to be honest.”

        It makes little sense to point to a state in which we are stripped of all love and everything that gives meaning in life and tell people that they need not fear it.

        The secular view of “non-existence” pales in comparison to resurrection.

        When real life suffering comes, historical experience shows us that people find more consolation in religion and spirituality than in the secular view.

        This intuition—that we are not just a concatenation of matter and chemicals but also a soul—is one of the most widespread convictions of human beings in the world today and through the ages.


“The Dreamer Interprets Dreams” (Genesis 40:1–23)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday PM, October 16, 2016

Genesis 40:1–23 (NIV) 
40 Some time later, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt offended their master, the king of Egypt. 2 Pharaoh was angry with his two officials, the chief cupbearer and the chief baker, 3 and put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the same prison where Joseph was confined. 4 The captain of the guard assigned them to Joseph, and he attended them. 
After they had been in custody for some time, 5 each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 
6 When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. 7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?” 
8 “We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.” 
Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.” 
9 So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.” 
12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.” 
16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread. 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.” 
18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.” 
20 Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand—22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation. 
23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. 

1. Joseph ministers to two distressed dreamers (1–8).

2. Joseph foretells deliverance for one dreamer (9–15).

3. Joseph foretells death for one dreamer (16–19).

4. Joseph’s two dream interpretations are fulfilled (20–22).

5. Joseph, the dream interpreter, is forgotten (23).

Main Idea: As God’s people, we must rest in the sovereignty of our God, trusting in his timing, and remaining in faith and faithfulness while we wait for God to fulfill his purposes.

“Grace Received, Grace Proclaimed” (Jonah 1:17–2:10)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday AM, October 16, 2016

Jonah 1:17–2:10 (NIV) 
17 Now the Lord provided a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. 
2 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. 2 He said: 
“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. 
From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, 
and you listened to my cry. 
3 You hurled me into the depths, 
into the very heart of the seas, 
and the currents swirled about me; 

all your waves and breakers 

swept over me. 
4 I said, ‘I have been banished 
from your sight; 
yet I will look again 
toward your holy temple.’ 
5 The engulfing waters threatened me, 
the deep surrounded me; 
seaweed was wrapped around my head. 
6 To the roots of the mountains I sank down; 
the earth beneath barred me in forever. 
But you, Lord my God, 
brought my life up from the pit. 
7 “When my life was ebbing away, 
I remembered you, Lord, 
and my prayer rose to you, 
to your holy temple. 
8 “Those who cling to worthless idols 
turn away from God’s love for them. 
9 But I, with shouts of grateful praise, 
will sacrifice to you. 
What I have vowed I will make good. 
I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’” 
10 And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land. 

Main Idea: If we are truly grateful for our salvation and deliverance, then we should be more than willing to share God’s mercy and grace with others. 


Walking with God through Pain and Suffering

by Tim Keller


Chapter 2: “The Victory of Christianity”


Philosophy to “Save One’s Skin

       One of the most important tasks of any philosophy or religion is to teach us how to face death.

       One of our greatest desires is to be loved and not be alone. So, we dread dying and our loved ones dying on us.

       We fear the slow march of time and the irreversibility of things.

       To live life well, capable of joy and love, we must learn how to conquer these fears.

       We must locate a meaning that can’t be touched by death. This can be done only by philosophy or religion.


Salvation through Reason

       The Greek Stoics believed in an impersonal “Logos” or rational orderliness that governed the universe.

       Moral“absolutes” could be rationally deduced from the natural world.

       The task of the human mind and reason was to perceive and align with the orderliness of the world.

       Face Death and Suffering:

o  Live in accord with the universe and accept fate.

o  Reason over emotion.

o  Death is not the end, but a transformation to a new form.


Submitting to Fate, Detaching from the World

       Cicero/Seneca(Stoics) taught that death is not an evil thing and should not be feared.

       Grief is unavoidable, but it should be controlled. Ultimately, sorrow and grief are useless,with no positive function.

       Submit to fate and not protest or struggle against it.

       Stoicism similar to Eastern philosophies that taught the illusory nature of reality.

o  No real evil or suffering

o  No real individuals or material world

o  Everything is actually a part of “the One, the Absolute Spirit”

       Stoicism and Eastern philosophies similar in that they diminish the individuality of the person and speak of an eternal existence, though not individual or personal.

       Their solution is to see everything as impermanent. Don’t get attached to anything. Don’t live in hope. Hope causes suffering.


A Greater Hope

       Christianity differed greatly from both Greek and Eastern philosophies.

       Early Christian teachers argued that Christianity made more sense of suffering.The actual lives of Christians proved it. Christians suffered better than the pagans.

       Augustine made the argument that Christians suffered and died better and that this made Christianity“the supreme philosophy

       The Christian approach to pain and evil was superior because it offered a greater basis for hope.

       It offered the hope of bodily resurrection and a restored world.

       The resurrection meant that we would live in eternity as individual persons, not impersonal aspects of the universe.

       Our personalities will be sustained, beautified, and perfected after death in resurrection, and we will know and be known.

       The“Logos” of the universe is not an impersonal, rational orderliness, but a person—Jesus Christ—who can be loved and known.


A Greater Room for Sorrow

       Christian consolation gave far more scope to expressions of sorrow and grief.

       Christians can truly grieve and sorrow, but bathed in hope.

       Suffering is not dealt with through self-control and detachment but through relationship and hope.

       Christians don’t face adversity by stoically decreasing our love for the people and things of this world so much as by increasing our love and joy in God.

       Only when our greatest love is God, a love that we cannot lose even in death, can we face all things with peace.

       Christianity strongly rejected impersonal fate along with its randomness and chance.

       Christianity believes in a single, personal Creator God who sustains the world in wisdom and love and provides fatherly care for his children.


The Victory of Christianity

       Christianity eventually became the dominant worldview in Western civilization for nearly 1500 years.

       The Christian doctrines of resurrection and future restoration remedied “irreversibility as a kind of death in the midst of life.”

       The Christian’s future hope was real and personal, bodily and eternal. It was a restoration of life.

       Christian teachers and preachers developed a mature and nuanced theology of suffering and counsel for the “cure” of suffering souls.

       Gregory the Great taught that suffers were in the hands of a wise God.

       He rejected the moralistic view of Eastern philosophies (and Job’s friends)that suffering is directly linked to our sins. Suffering in general is because of human sin, but its role is more complex than a simple moralistic explanation.

       Particular forms of suffering may be God’s chastisement for specific sins, but they may not be.

       Suffering may also be intended not to correct or punish past wrongs but to prevent future ones.

       Suffering may have no other purpose than to lead a person to love God more ardently.


Luther’s Reformation of Suffering

       The Medieval church over time developed a moralistic, meritorious view of suffering.

       Accepting suffering with patience can eliminate some of your sin debt and helps you earn favor with God and admission to heaven.

       Martin Luther and the Reformation sought to correct this theological error.

       Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone merited by the finished work of Christ alone.

       Before we can have the joy and love that helps us face suffering, suffering must first empty us of our pride and self-sufficiency leading us to find our true security in Christ.


The Theology of the Cross

       “Theology of the cross” vs. a “theology of glory.”

       The Gospel presents the exact opposite of what human beings expect. God comes in Christ to save not in power and glory but in weakness and humility and suffering.

       Only through weakness and suffering could sin be atoned.

       In Christ, the God-forsaken sinner has a Savior who has taken on himself the full depths of human estrangement from God—and overcome it.

       Christians cannot suffer with Christ before they have embraced the full benefits of Christ’s suffering for them.


The Rise of the “Immanent Frame

       Enlightenment philosophy with its emphasis on the rational and scientific replaced the transcendent with the immanent.

       Humanity’s answers no longer came from outside themselves, from a transcendent God, but from inside themselves by reason.

       This brought increasing confidence in human ability and reason and moral ordering.

       God was altered by Deists and was now an impersonal creator, designer who created the world for our benefit that now operates on its own without his direct involvement.

       Humanity’s purpose became to use reason and free will for human flourishing,pushing God to the edges.


Natural Evil and the Lisbon Earthquake

       With the new immanent view of God, natural evil and suffering became increasingly an argument against the existence of God.

       The secularity of Deism made the problem of evil worse by making us more proud in our ability to reason and by making the world about us instead of about God.


Residual Christianity and the Problem of Evil

       Christianity in Western culture as unwittingly been influenced by Deism and the“immanent frame.”

       We now live in a culture (even in many churches) of “moralistic, therapeutic deism.”

       We are in control of our own destiny, able to discern for ourselves what is right and wrong,and we see God as obligated to arrange things for our benefit, especially if we live a good enough life according to our chosen standards.

       Theism without certainty of salvation or resurrection is far more disillusioning in the midst of pain than is atheism.



“My Salvation and My Desire” (2 Samuel 23:1–5)
Bro. Venlon Bradford
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday PM, October 9, 2016

2 Samuel 23:1–5 (KJV) 

Now these be the last words of David. 
David the son of Jesse said, 
And the man who was raised up on high, 
The anointed of the God of Jacob, 
And the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, 
2 The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, 
And his word was in my tongue. 
3 The God of Israel said, 
The Rock of Israel spake to me, 
He that ruleth over men must be just, 
Ruling in the fear of God. 
4 And he shall be as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, 
Even a morning without clouds; 
As the tender grass springing out of the earth 
By clear shining after rain. 
5 Although my house be not so with God; 
Yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, 
Ordered in all things, and sure: 
For this is all my salvation, and all my desire, 
Although he make it not to grow. 

“Running from People and from God” (Jonah 1:1–16)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday AM, October 9, 2016

Jonah 1:1–16 (NIV) 

1 The word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai: 2 “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me.” 
3 But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. 
4 Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. 5 All the sailors were afraid and each cried out to his own god. And they threw the cargo into the sea to lighten the ship. 
But Jonah had gone below deck, where he lay down and fell into a deep sleep. 6 The captain went to him and said, “How can you sleep? Get up and call on your god! Maybe he will take notice of us so that we will not perish.” 
7 Then the sailors said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots to find out who is responsible for this calamity.” They cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 So they asked him, “Tell us, who is responsible for making all this trouble for us? What kind of work do you do? Where do you come from? What is your country? From what people are you?” 
9 He answered, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” 
10 This terrified them and they asked, “What have you done?” (They knew he was running away from the Lord, because he had already told them so.) 
11 The sea was getting rougher and rougher. So they asked him, “What should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?” 
12 “Pick me up and throw me into the sea,” he replied, “and it will become calm. I know that it is my fault that this great storm has come upon you.” 
13 Instead, the men did their best to row back to land. But they could not, for the sea grew even wilder than before. 14 Then they cried out to the Lord, “Please, Lord, do not let us die for taking this man’s life. Do not hold us accountable for killing an innocent man, for you, Lord, have done as you pleased.” 15 Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm. 16 At this the men greatly feared the Lord, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows to him. 

Main Idea: Running away from people that God wants you to minister to is the same as running away from God.

Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering (by Tim Keller)
Introduction and Chapter 1: The Cultures of Suffering

  • Suffering is everywhere and unavoidable.
  • The purpose of the study is to help us take life seriously and anticipate suffering and understand its purpose and meaning in our lives.
  • In the face of suffering, many deny the existence of God, but just as many find God through grief and pain.
  • Suffering has the power to pull non-Christians to God and to pull Christians into a deeper experience of God's reality, love, and grace.
  • Suffering is one of the main themes of the Bible.
  • The central figure of the Bible is Jesus Christ, a man of sorrows.
  • The great theme of the Bible is how God brings fullness of joy not just despite but through suffering.

Chapter 1: The Cultures of Suffering

Training for Suffering
  • Nothing is more important than to learn how to maintain a life of purpose in the midst of painful adversity.
  • A society/culture can greatly serve its members by helping them face terrible evil and adversity.
  • Modern western culture is more unprepared to face suffering than perhaps any other culture today or in the history of the world.

Edified by Our Miseries
  • Non-western cultures help their people to be “edified by misery.” They perceive the causes of suffering in highly spiritual, communal, and moral terms.
  • Moralistic View
  • Self-transcendent View
  • Fatalistic View
  • Dualistic View

Interrupted by Our Miseries

Western culture is very much different from these other religious and philosophical systems of dealing with suffering.
  • Western culture adopts a naturalistic view of the universe.
  • There is no God, no invisible spiritual forces, no eternal bliss, no moral battle between good and evil.
  • It is a universe of blind physical forces, and people fall victim to bad circumstances by mere chance.
  • Suffering has no purpose. It has no meaning at all.
  • By and large, the goal of Western culture has been personal freedom and happiness. 
  • Pain and suffering are at complete odds with freedom and happiness, so in the secular worldview suffering is to be avoided at all costs.
  • This is why suffering is so traumatic for citizens of Western culture. It has no place, no meaning, no purpose. It is an interruption of our lives, not a part of it.
  • The sufferer is a victim, under attack from natural forces devoid of intentionality.
  • In older cultures suffering has been seen as an expected part of a coherent life story, a crucial way to live life well and to grow as a person and a soul. But in Western culture, if the meaning of life is individual freedom and happiness, then suffering is of no possible use. It is to be avoided, managed, minimized as much as possible.

Victims of Our Miseries
  • Because suffering has no meaning and happens by blind chance, the sufferers are victims.
  • The responsibility for responding to suffering is taken away from the sufferer.
  • Older cultures viewed suffering as an opportunity for the sufferer to do some internal “soul work”—learning patience, wisdom, and faithfulness.
  • Contemporary Western culture does not see suffering as an opportunity or a test.
  • Sufferers are referred to experts to help them cope with the symptoms of their suffering without addressing the underlying issues or life story. These experts include psychologists, doctors, therapists, etc.

Outraged by Our Miseries

Since suffering has no meaning, there are only two responses in the secular worldview:
  • Manage the symptoms (pain, stress, anxiety, etc.)
  • Look for the cause of the pain and eliminate it.
  • Older cultures sought ways to be edified by their sufferings by looking inside, but Western people are often simply outraged by their suffering—and they seek to change things outside so that the suffering never happens again.
  • So, in the secular worldview suffering is an accident. Our response to it is to find a solution or technique to eliminate the material/natural cause of suffering. The goal is a better society in the here and now with no thought of an eternal reality.

Christianity among the Cultures
  • The Christian view of suffering is completely unique from the secular as well as other religious and philosophical views.
  • Unlike the fatalistic view, Christianity does not put emphasis on human honor and glory. Christians cry out to God in prayer, not accepting circumstances as that of blind fate.
  • Unlike Buddhists, Christians believe that suffering is real, not an illusion.
  • Unlike moralistic views like karma, Christians believe that suffering is often unjust and disproportionate. Life is not always fair. Suffering is not always the result of a direct cause/effect relationship with someone’s personal mistakes or transgressions (Job/Jesus Christ).
  • Unlike the dualistic view, Christianity does not see suffering as a means of working off your sinful debts by virtue of the quality of your endurance of pain.
  • The Christian understanding of suffering is dominated by the idea of grace. In Christ we have received forgiveness, love, and adoption into the family of God. These goods are undeserved, and that frees us from the temptation to feel proud of our suffering.
  • Christianity teaches that, contra fatalism, suffering is overwhelming; contra Buddhism, suffering is real; contra karma, suffering is often unfair; but contra secularism, suffering is meaningful. There is a purpose to it, and if faced rightly, it can drive us like a nail deep into the love of God.

“Joseph in Potiphar’s House” (Genesis 39:1–23)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday PM, October 2, 2016

Genesis 39:1–23 (NIV) 

39 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 
2 The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 6 So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. 
Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 
8 But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9 No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. 
11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. 
13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” 
16 She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. 18 But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.” 
19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. 
But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. 

1. In the most discouraging times of life we can have hope in our Sovereign God (37:36; 39:1)

2. In every place, situation, responsibility, and vocation, we can faithfully and diligently work for the good of others, trusting in our Gracious and Generous God (39:2–6a)

3. In every spiritual battle and temptation, we can overcome and escape by fearing our Holy God (39:6b–10).

4. We can face slander, betrayal, and unjust condemnation trusting in our Just and       Righteous God (39:11–20a)

5. When it seems like nothing is going our way and things keep going from bad to worse, we can press on with confidence in our Faithful, Unchanging God (39:20b–23).

“The One Who Bore Our Sins” (1 Peter 2:24–25) 
Communion Message
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday AM, October 2, 2016

24 "He himself bore our sins" in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; "by his wounds you have been healed."  25 For "you were like sheep going astray," but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. 
(1 Pet. 2:24-25, NIV)

1. Communion reminds us of our sin (“our sins”).

2. Communion reminds us that Jesus came to earth in flesh and blood to save us from our sins (“his body” / “his wounds”).

3. Communion reminds us that Jesus, though righteous, gave his life in bloody sacrifice to bear our sins away in atonement (“bore our sins” / “by his wounds you have been healed”).

4. Communion reminds us that Jesus’ atonement guaranteed our salvation, and he came to seek and save his lost sheep (v. 25).

5. Communion reminds us that having been brought into the fold of the good shepherd, we are dead to sins and we are alive unto righteousness (“so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness”).

6. Communion reminds us that we look forward to a coming day when all suffering and sorrow will be no more and we will be perfected in glory (see preceding context of suffering and Christ’s perfect example in suffering on the way to glory).

18 ¶ Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.  19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.  20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.  21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  22 "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth."  23 When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (1 Pet. 2:18-23, NIV)


Wisdom from the Inside Out

The Disciplined Heart and Mind

1. Your Thoughts Govern Your Life.

They Tell What You Really Are Inside.

Proverbs 12:5 NIV

  The plans of the righteous are just, 

              but the advice of the wicked is deceitful. 

Proverbs 23:7 NIV

          for he is the kind of person 

             who is always thinking about the cost. 

             “Eat and drink,” he says to you, 

             but his heart is not with you. 

Proverbs 12:20 NIV

          Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, 

             but those who promote peace have joy. 

Proverbs 27:19 NIV

           As water reflects the face, 

              so one’s life reflects the heart. 

They Determine the Direction and Outcome of Your Life.

Proverbs 4:23 NIV

            Above all else, guard your heart, 

               for everything you do flows from it. 

Proverbs 4:26 NIV

            Give careful thought to the paths for your feet 

                and be steadfast in all your ways. 

Proverbs 21:5 NIV

            The plans of the diligent lead to profit 

                 as surely as haste leads to poverty. 

Proverbs 14:22 NIV

             Do not those who plot evil go astray? 

                 But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. 

2. God Cares About Your Thoughts.

He Knows All of Your Thoughts.

Proverbs 15:11 NIV

             Death and Destruction lie open before the LORD— 

                  how much more do human hearts! 

Proverbs 21:2 NIV

            A person may think their own ways are right, 

                but the LORD weighs the heart. 

Proverbs 20:27 NIV

            The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD 

                that sheds light on one’s inmost being. 

God Hates Evil Thoughts.

Proverbs 6:16 NIV

            There are six things the LORD hates, 

                 seven that are detestable to him: 

Proverbs 6:18 NIV

             a heart that devises wicked schemes, 

                 feet that are quick to rush into evil, 

Proverbs 15:26 NIV

            The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, 

                 but gracious words are pure in his sight. 

Proverbs 28:8–9 NIV

             Whoever increases wealth by taking interest or profit from the poor 

                   amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor. 

                   If anyone turns a deaf ear to my instruction, 

                   even their prayers are detestable. 

God Sovereignly Overrules Thoughts and Plans.

Proverbs 19:21 NIV

             Many are the plans in a person’s heart, 

                   but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. 

Proverbs 16:9 NIV

              In their hearts humans plan their course, 

                   but the LORD establishes their steps. 

Proverbs 21:30 NIV

            There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan 

                 that can succeed against the LORD. 

God Rewards and Fulfills Righteous Thoughts and Plans.

Proverbs 14:22 NIV

             Do not those who plot evil go astray? 

                  But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. 

Proverbs 10:24 NIV

             What the wicked dread will overtake them; 

                   what the righteous desire will be granted. 

3. Submit Your Thoughts to God and His Wisdom.

Put Away Improper Thoughts.

Proverbs 30:32 NIV

             “If you play the fool and exalt yourself, 

                  or if you plan evil, 

                  clap your hand over your mouth! 

Seek to Align Your Thoughts with God's Wisdom.

Proverbs 16:1–3 NIV

            To humans belong the plans of the heart, 

                 but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue. 

                All a person’s ways seem pure to them, 

                but motives are weighed by the LORD. 

                Commit to the LORD whatever you do, 

                and he will establish your plans. 

4. The New Testament on Our Thoughts

Luke 6:43–45 NIV

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 

Philippians 4:8 NIV

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

Romans 12:3 NIV

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 

2 Peter 3:1–2 NIV

Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles. 

Hebrews 4:12–13 NIV

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 

[Outline adapted from Donald Orthner, Wellsprings of Life: Understanding Proverbs, 71-74.]

“Judah’s Family Troubles” (Genesis 38:1–30)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday PM, September 25, 2016

Genesis 38:1–30 (Tanakh) 

38About that time Judah left his brothers and camped near a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. 
2There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua, and he married her and cohabited with her. 3She conceived and bore a son, and he named him Er. 4She conceived again and bore a son, and named him Onan. 5Once again she bore a son, and named him Shelah; he was at Chezib when she bore him. 
6Judah got a wife for Er his first-born; her name was Tamar. 7But Er, Judah’s first-born, was displeasing to the Lord, and the Lord took his life. 8Then Judah said to Onan, “Join with your brother’s wife and do your duty by her as a brother-in-law, and provide offspring for your brother.” 9But Onan, knowing that the seed would not count as his, let it go to waste whenever he joined with his brother’s wife, so as not to provide offspring for his brother. 10What he did was displeasing to the Lord, and He took his life also. 11Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Stay as a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up”—for he thought, “He too might die like his brothers.” So Tamar went to live in her father’s house. 
12A long time afterward, Shua’s daughter, the wife of Judah, died. When his period of mourning was over, Judah went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, together with his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13And Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is coming up to Timnah for the sheepshearing.” 14So she took off her widow’s garb, covered her face with a veil, and, wrapping herself up, sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah; for she saw that Shelah was grown up, yet she had not been given to him as wife. 15When Judah saw her, he took her for a harlot; for she had covered her face. 16So he turned aside to her by the road and said, “Here, let me sleep with you”—for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. “What,” she asked, “will you pay for sleeping with me?” 17He replied, “I will send a kid from my flock.” But she said, “You must leave a pledge until you have sent it.” 18And he said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your seal and cord, and the staff which you carry.” So he gave them to her and slept with her, and she conceived by him. 19Then she went on her way. She took off her veil and again put on her widow’s garb. 
20Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite, to redeem the pledge from the woman; but he could not find her. 21He inquired of the people of that town, “Where is the cult prostitute, the one at Enaim, by the road?” But they said, “There has been no prostitute here.” 22So he returned to Judah and said, “I could not find her; moreover, the townspeople said: There has been no prostitute here.” 23Judah said, “Let her keep them, lest we become a laughingstock. I did send her this kid, but you did not find her.” 
24About three months later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the harlot; in fact, she is with child by harlotry.” “Bring her out,” said Judah, “and let her be burned.” 25As she was being brought out, she sent this message to her father-in-law, “I am with child by the man to whom these belong.” And she added, “Examine these: whose seal and cord and staff are these?” 26Judah recognized them, and said, “She is more in the right than I, inasmuch as I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he was not intimate with her again. 
27When the time came for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb! 28While she was in labor, one of them put out his hand, and the midwife tied a crimson thread on that hand, to signify: This one came out first. 29But just then he drew back his hand, and out came his brother; and she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” So he was named Perez. 30Afterward his brother came out, on whose hand was the crimson thread; he was named Zerah. 

1. Judah’s immoral character and unwise choices laid the foundation for his family troubles.

2. Seeking pleasure without accompanying responsibility and faithfulness leads to God’s judgment.

3. We must honor our commitments, because or unfaithfulness to our word will find us out. 

4. The work that God is doing in his redeemed people is often slow and hard. 

5. God is able to take the messiest and most broken people and make it a part of his plan of redemption. 

11 Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, "We are witnesses. May the LORD make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem.  12 Through the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah."  (Ruth 4:11-12, NIV)

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:  2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,  3 Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram,  4 Ram the father of Amminadab, Amminadab the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon,  5 Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse,  6 and Jesse the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife,  (Matt. 1:1-6, NIV)

Main Idea: God takes immoral, self-serving, deceptive, commitment breaking sinners and includes them in his plan and transforms them by his amazing grace for his glory.

“When Everything Is Made Right” (Psalm 2)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday AM, September 25, 2016

Psalm 2 (NIV) 

1 Why do the nations conspire 
and the peoples plot in vain? 
2 The kings of the earth rise up 
and the rulers band together 
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, 
3 “Let us break their chains 
and throw off their shackles.” 
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs; 
the Lord scoffs at them. 
5 He rebukes them in his anger 
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, 
6 “I have installed my king 
on Zion, my holy mountain.” 
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: 
He said to me, “You are my son; 
today I have become your father. 
8 Ask me, 
and I will make the nations your inheritance, 
the ends of the earth your possession. 
9 You will break them with a rod of iron; 
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” 
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise; 
be warned, you rulers of the earth. 
11 Serve the Lord with fear 
and celebrate his rule with trembling. 
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry 
and your way will lead to your destruction, 
for his wrath can flare up in a moment. 
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. 

I. Rebellion against God is utter futility.

A. But the wicked still plot and scheme how to avoid God’s authority.

B. The wicked do not want to be in bondage to God and his rule.

II. Because God Reigns.

III. Therefore, put your trust in God. 

Main Idea: Ultimate hope comes from trusting in the one who rules all things and is bringing all of history to its intended conclusion.

A. There are consequences for rebelling against God. 

B. There is blessing for those who trust in him. 

Ultimate hope comes from trusting in the one who will make everything right.


Themes in Proverbs: Friends and Friendship

Importance of Friendships

  • Friendship and good relationships with others were very important to the sages.
  • A good friend is as valuable in tough times as a close relative such as a brother (17:17). 
  • 27:9–10 suggests that friends are sometimes more valuable than relatives during hard times, especially if a friend is closer at hand (Tremper Longman III, Proverbs, 555–556). 

Choose Friends Carefully

  • A friend’s character affects your own:

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Prov. 27:17, NIV)

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (Prov. 13:20, NIV)

  • Good friends help you improve:

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. (Prov. 27:9, NIV)

Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. (Prov. 27:5–6, NIV)

  • Harmful friends drag you down:

    • Pleasure-seekers

Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. (Prov. 23:20–21, NIV)

A discerning son heeds instruction, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father. (Prov. 28:7, NIV)

    • Angry and Rebellious People

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered person, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn their ways and get yourself ensnared. (Prov. 22:24–25, NIV)

Fear the LORD and the king, my son, and do not join with rebellious officials, for those two will send sudden destruction on them, and who knows what calamities they can bring? (Prov. 24:21–22, NIV)

    • Thieves and Fools

The accomplices of thieves are their own enemies; they are put under oath and dare not testify. (Prov. 29:24, NIV)

Stay away from a fool, for you will not find knowledge on their lips. (Prov. 14:7, NIV)

    • Immoral and Sinful People

A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father, but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth. (Prov. 29:3, NIV)

Do not envy the wicked, do not desire their company; for their hearts plot violence, and their lips talk about making trouble. (Prov. 24:1–2, NIV)

My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. …my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; (Prov. 1:10, 15, NIV)

Be True to Your Friends

  • Support them in their need:

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. (Prov. 17:17, NIV)

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Prov. 18:24, NIV)

Do not forsake your friend or a friend of your family, and do not go to your relative's house when disaster strikes you-- better a neighbor nearby than a relative far away. (Prov. 27:10)

  • Keep their confidence:

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. (Prov. 17:9, NIV)

A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. (Prov. 16:28, NIV)

  • Show them respect and courtesy:

If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse. (Prov. 27:14, NIV)

Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death is one who deceives their neighbor and says, "I was only joking!" (Prov. 26:18–19, NIV)

Beware of Insincere Friends

Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of one who gives gifts. The poor are shunned by all their relatives-- how much more do their friends avoid them! Though the poor pursue them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found. (Prov. 19:6–7, NIV)

Wealth attracts many friends, but even the closest friend of the poor person deserts them. (Prov. 19:4, NIV)

The poor are shunned even by their neighbors, but the rich have many friends. (Prov. 14:20, NIV)

Don’t Guarantee a Friend’s Debts

One who has no sense shakes hands in pledge and puts up security for a neighbor. (Prov. 17:18, NIV)

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you have been trapped by what you said, ensnared by the words of your mouth. So do this, my son, to free yourself, since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands: Go-- to the point of exhaustion-- and give your neighbor no rest! Allow no sleep to your eyes, no slumber to your eyelids. Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, like a bird from the snare of the fowler. (Prov. 6:1–5)

[Outline adapted from Donald Orthner, Wellsprings of Life: Understanding Proverbs, 130–133]

“Joseph, Despised and Sold” (Genesis 37:12–36)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday PM, September 18, 2016

Genesis 37:12–36 (NIV) 

12 Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 13 and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.” 
“Very well,” he replied. 
14 So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron. 
When Joseph arrived at Shechem, 15 a man found him wandering around in the fields and asked him, “What are you looking for?” 
16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Can you tell me where they are grazing their flocks?” 
17 “They have moved on from here,” the man answered. “I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” 
So Joseph went after his brothers and found them near Dothan. 18 But they saw him in the distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 
19 “Here comes that dreamer!” they said to each other. 20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” 
21 When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said. 22 “Don’t shed any blood. Throw him into this cistern here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” Reuben said this to rescue him from them and take him back to his father. 
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing—24 and they took him and threw him into the cistern. The cistern was empty; there was no water in it. 
25 As they sat down to eat their meal, they looked up and saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were loaded with spices, balm and myrrh, and they were on their way to take them down to Egypt. 
26 Judah said to his brothers, “What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood.” His brothers agreed. 
28 So when the Midianite merchants came by, his brothers pulled Joseph up out of the cistern and sold him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites, who took him to Egypt. 
29 When Reuben returned to the cistern and saw that Joseph was not there, he tore his clothes. 30 He went back to his brothers and said, “The boy isn’t there! Where can I turn now?” 
31 Then they got Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat and dipped the robe in the blood. 32 They took the ornate robe back to their father and said, “We found this. Examine it to see whether it is your son’s robe.” 
33 He recognized it and said, “It is my son’s robe! Some ferocious animal has devoured him. Joseph has surely been torn to pieces.” 
34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. 35 All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted. “No,” he said, “I will continue to mourn until I join my son in the grave.” So his father wept for him. 
36 Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard. 

  • Jacob sends Joseph, his favored son, to spy on/check on his brothers (12-17)
    • The Mission (12-14)
    • The Detour (15-17)

  • Joseph, the despised one, is threatened with violence by his brothers (18-24)
    • The original scheme: murder and cover-up (18-20)
      • The motive: hatred and jealousy
      • The method: kill, throw into a cistern, blame on wild animal
      • The end-game: destroy the dreamer and his dreams
    • The double agent: Reuben tries to alter their plan so he can later rescue him (21-22)
      • The method: don’t kill; throw him into a dry cistern
      • The end-game: rescue and return to his father Jacob
      • The motive: Brotherly compassion? Earn standing and favor with his father because of past misdeeds (35:22)?
    • The revised scheme: throw into a cistern (23-24)
      • The method: strip ornate robe, throw into a dry cistern
      • The end-game: Torment and release? Left to die? Wait and see?

  • Joseph, the despised one, is sold by his brothers as a common slave in exchange for money (25-30).
    • The opportunistic scheme: sell as a slave for money (25-28)
      • The opportunity: Ishmaelite traders on way to Egypt (25)
      • The opportunistic scheme: don’t kill, sell as a slave (26-27)
        • The motive: no profit in killing; profit in selling 
        • The method: sell for 20 shekels of silver to Ishmaelites who were going to Egypt
        • The end-game: get rid of Joseph and make a profit-double bonus
    • The reaction of the double-agent: Reuben is angry and despondent (29-30)

  • Jacob loses Joseph, his favored son, because of the hatred, jealousy, and deception of Joseph’s brothers (31-36).
    • The Ruse (31-32)
      • The method: deceive their father into thinking Joseph was killed by a wild animal
      • The motive: absolve themselves of responsibility for Joseph’s disappearance in the eyes of their father
    • The Response (33-35)
      • Jacob sees the evidence and assumes the worst.
      • Jacob responds with mourning and sorrow.
      • Jacob’s intense sorrow and depression reveals his over-attachment to his son.
    • The Reality (36)
      • Joseph is not dead, but has been sold as a slave to an Egyptian official.
      • The final verse of the scene hints at more to come.

“O God, You Are My God” (Psalm 63)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday AM, September 18, 2016

Psalm 63 (NIV) 

A psalm of David. When he was in the Desert of Judah. 

1 You, God, are my God, 
earnestly I seek you; 
I thirst for you, 
my whole being longs for you, 
in a dry and parched land 
where there is no water. 
2 I have seen you in the sanctuary 
and beheld your power and your glory. 
3 Because your love is better than life, 
my lips will glorify you. 
4 I will praise you as long as I live, 
and in your name I will lift up my hands. 
5 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; 
with singing lips my mouth will praise you. 
6 On my bed I remember you; 
I think of you through the watches of the night. 
7 Because you are my help, 
I sing in the shadow of your wings. 
8 I cling to you; 
your right hand upholds me. 
9 Those who want to kill me will be destroyed; 
they will go down to the depths of the earth. 
10 They will be given over to the sword 
and become food for jackals. 
11 But the king will rejoice in God; 
all who swear by God will glory in him, 
while the mouths of liars will be silenced. 

Main Idea: When the trials of life overwhelm us, we must run to God. 

1. When the trials of life overwhelm us, we must long for God with all of our hearts.

2. When the trials of life come, we must trust God for protection and deliverance.

3. When the trials of life come, we must joyfully anticipate the good that God has intended to accomplish with the trial.


Themes in Proverbs: Planning for the Future

Outline drawn from Tremper Longman III, Proverbs, Baker Commentary on the Old Testament Wisdom and Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006), 557–558.

Having a Goal in Mind

  • Planning requires a goal.
  • A strategy is needed to reach the goal.
  • Planning involves the imagination.
  • To be a successful planner, one must understand what it takes to reach a goal.
  • A good planner must anticipate obstacles on the way and devise alternatives to reach the goal or perhaps even alter the goal.
  • To plan well requires wisdom, a skill of living that knows how to navigate life.

Benefits of Wise Planning

  • A number of proverbs make it clear that the sages knew the value of planning.
  • Wise planning will be successful and lead to great benefits.
  • “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.” (Prov. 21:5, NIV).
  • Wise planning leads to great confidence in the future (ex: noble woman, 31:25).
  • Those who plan wisely receive “covenant love” and “faithfulness.” 

Wise vs. foolish planning

  • Wise planning seeks advice from other wise people.
  • Yet the counsel of others is only helpful if the advice is coming from those who are wise.
  • Examples of Bad counselors: Amnon and Jonadab (2 Samuel 13); Rehoboam and his “young” counselors (1 Kings 12).
  • Wise planning also has a virtuous goal and will only utilize strategies that are fair and honest (12:5a). 

God’s Plans and our Plans

  • The most important aspect of wise planning is awareness that one’s plans are ultimately at the service of God’s superseding purpose. 

To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue. (Prov. 16:1, NIV)

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Prov. 16:3, NIV)

The LORD works out everything to its proper end-- even the wicked for a day of disaster. (Prov. 16:4, NIV)

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. (Prov. 16:9, NIV)

The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD. (Prov. 16:33, NIV)

Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails. (Prov. 19:21, NIV)

A person's steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way? (Prov. 20:24, NIV)

  • People cannot be absolutely certain that they know the way the future will pan out. 
  • In spite of their planning, they must be ready to implement changes if God so wills. 

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. (Prov. 27:1, NIV)

Daniel the Wise Planner

  • A good example of wise planning is Daniel (Ch. 1).
  • Daniel wants to eat differently than the king desires, consuming vegetables and water instead of the rich food and wine of the king. 
  • His plans lead him to request the chief official, Ashpenaz, to substitute the former for the latter, but Ashpenaz refuses out of fear of Nebuchadnezzar. 
  • Daniel does not panic but rather devises an alternate plan. He privately approaches the unnamed servant who actually brings the food to him and his three friends and asks him to make the substitution. 
  • He proposes a ten-day trial period, and if the four Israelites grow weak and tired looking—what Ashpenaz feared—they would go back on the rich-food menu. The underling agrees, and Daniel reaches his desired goal.

Foolish Planning

  • Proverbs does not talk only about wise planning; it also contrasts it with foolish planning. 
  • God condemns foolish plans. 

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him:     …a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, (Prov. 6:16, 18, NIV)

The LORD detests the thoughts of the wicked, but gracious words are pure in his sight. (Prov. 15:26, NIV)

  • They are characterized as fraudulent.

…the advice of the wicked is deceitful. (Prov. 12:5b, NIV)

Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil (Prov. 12:20a, NIV)

  • Those who plan in such a way will not succeed but will wander aimlessly.

Do not those who plot evil go astray? But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness. (Prov. 14:22, NIV)

“Joseph, the Dreamer” (Genesis 37:1–11)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday PM, September 11, 2016

Genesis 37:1–11 (NIV) 

37 Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, the land of Canaan. 
2 This is the account of Jacob’s family line. 
Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. 
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. 4 When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. 
5 Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more. 6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 7 We were binding sheaves of grain out in the field when suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright, while your sheaves gathered around mine and bowed down to it.” 
8 His brothers said to him, “Do you intend to reign over us? Will you actually rule us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dream and what he had said. 
9 Then he had another dream, and he told it to his brothers. “Listen,” he said, “I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 
10 When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, “What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?” 11 His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind. 

1. Favoritism that Fuels a Family Feud (1–4)
a. Jacob was in the right place (1).
b. But Jacob was not leading his family the right way (2–4).
i. Jacob’s unwise choices resulted in ongoing family tension (2).
ii. Jacob’s favoritism of Joseph was foolish, and it fueled an internal family feud that caused Joseph to be hated and alienated by his brothers.

2. Dreams that Disclose Destinies (5–11).
a. Broken but not useless…

b. Divinely given dreams…

c. Despised dreams…

d. Deliberated upon dreams…

Main Idea: In our selfishness and shortsightedness, we act in foolish ways that create tension and hatred and cause people to be despised. But God is not hindered by our foolishness. God is not bound to use only those who come from healthy families or those who are well-liked by everyone. No, in his grace and wisdom God is often pleased to call into his service the castaways, the rejected, and the despised for his purposes. 

“Worship the Almighty, Holy God” (Psalm 95)
Pastor Cameron Jungels
Eastside Baptist Church
Sunday AM, September 11, 2016

Psalm 95 (NIV) 

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; 
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving 
and extol him with music and song. 

3 For the Lord is the great God, 
the great King above all gods. 
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, 
and the mountain peaks belong to him. 
5 The sea is his, for he made it, 
and his hands formed the dry land. 

6 Come, let us bow down in worship, 
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; 
7 for he is our God 
and we are the people of his pasture, 
the flock under his care. 

Today, if only you would hear his voice, 
8 “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,  
as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness, 
9 where your ancestors tested me; 
they tried me, though they had seen what I did. 
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation; 
I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray, 
and they have not known my ways.’ 
11 So I declared on oath in my anger, 
‘They shall never enter my rest.’” 

1. Rejoicing (1–5)

2. Reverence (6–7a)

3. Response (7b–11)

Main Idea: True worship of God demands rejoicing, reverence, and a response of faith and obedience.

Worship is not only the bending of the knee; it is also the bending of the will before our sovereign God.


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