Pastor Giardino had us turn to Gen.46:1-4. Here is God saying to Jacob (Israel) that he should go to Egypt and that God would be with Jacob in Egypt and that it was His plan and will to do so. Pastor remembered a part in a popular movie he saw when he was much younger; “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”.
Young Charlie somehow managed to be the last of the Golden Ticket winners to remain without something bad happening to while going on tour in the factory. The ticket was also supposed to include winning a lifetime supply of chocolate. So after the tour Willy just said, “Have a good day”, and closed his office door behind him. Grandpa Joe and Charlie didn’t know why they were being treated so cold and; Where was the lifetime supply of chocolate? When they went in and asked about it they were told, “You Lose!…..It is all there in the contract, etc., etc.” Grandpa scolded Willy good for building up a young boys hope and then dashing them to pieces. Now, as they both were leaving, disappointed, Charlie stopped for a second and solemnly walked back to Willy’s desk and set the gift of the GobStopper candy that he was given back to Willy and turned to leave. Willy whispers something like, “A good dead in an evil world.” and turns and calls Charlie, “Charlie, you won!” All this time Willy was testing to find someone to take over the Chocolate Factory. Charlie passed the test.
Consider Abraham and how God lead him to sacrifice his only son and God stopped him after it became obvious Abraham would have honored God over anything, even though it appeared to be against God’s own promise to him that Isaac would be born and through his lineage a great nation would come forth.
Look at Joseph and what he went through:
(1) The Promise
(2) The Pit
(3) The Prison
(4) The Palace
Did you ever think that what your angry at or what your going through is God testing you and it really isn’t even about you?
Pastor wanted to make note of the way God calls twice, as shown in our initial reading of Gen.46:1-4 “Jacob, Jacob”. There always seems to be an earnestness about it. “Wake up”, “Listen”, imploring. Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon” like “Listen up”, “Get this”. Then “Behold”. “Look” Mat.27:46 Jesus calling out in earnest like emotion, “Eli, Eli” meaning “Father, Father”. The humanity’s cry of forsakenness. Consider Mat. 7:21-22 “Not everyone one who says Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven.” Pastor brought up the contrast of how many words those calling “Lord, Lord” say to justify themselves to a place in heaven when all it takes is seven words. “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Lk.18:13
Alas, pastor had much more he wanted to get into. Lord willing next Sunday Morning.