Joseph would have had plenty of reasons to say that God's way was not working very well.  However, he continued to live a life of obedience and faith in that face of hardship and God ultimately revealed his plan to save Joseph's family and many others through his suffering.  God wants us enough to allow suffering to bring us into deeper relationship with him.  Although Joseph was obedient and God used him significantly, it was Judah, Joseph's brother with the sordid past, that God chose to be the ancestor of Jesus.  Our shame is real but God's plans are not thwarted.  

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Do you want God's will no matter the consequences?  God wants us and suffering is often the best way to get our attention.  We want blessing but the blessing often comes through a forest of suffering.  Joseph modeled this and Jesus was the ultimate example: the suffering servant described in Isaiah 53.

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Jacob was a deceiver but he valued God's blessing, likely from wrong motives.  God was able to use that more than Esau's disinterest.  God intervened in Jacob's life to try to change his heart but it took a crisis before he was ready to wrestle with God to bring about the transformation of his character that resulted in his name being changed to Israel.  God calls us to be Israel as well - to be people who wrestle with God to bring about his desired change in our lives.

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Abraham lived out great faith and God promised to bless him and his descendents and the world through them.  That covenant was dependent on God's faithfulness, not the faithfulness of Abrahams descendents.  God's promises are sure.  His word is true and can be trusted.

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Abraham lived out great faith and God promised to bless him and his descendents and the world through them.  That covenant was dependent on God's faithfulness, not the faithfulness of Abrahams descendents.  God's promises are sure.  His word is true and can be trusted.

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From the life of Abraham we see that faith is like a muscle or a skill; it grows through use and testing.  Faith is acting  on what God has said even when it seems foolish.  God does not ask us to do anything by faith that he has not already  experienced.

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After Noah, man continued to do evil.  In building the Tower of Babel, mankind united to defy God's command to spread throughout the earth.  God in his mercy would not allow man to continue in his destructive rebellion.  God's commands are always loving and in our best interest but usually require us to walk by faith in order to see it.

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In the days of Noah, God condemned the world because "every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" - so thoughts matter as much as actions.  Noah and his family were spared because of his righteousness.  Hebrews says, he "became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith" so his righteousness was inherited by faith, not earned by keeping a set of rules.  That faith is the antithesis of the evil intentions of the heart of Noah's contemporaries and it is faith, not righteousness, that God celebrates.  In fact, righteousness only comes by faith.

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Wake talks through Genesis 4 and contrasts the differences between Cain and Abel.

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In Genesis 3, we meet the antagonist in the biblical account: Satan.  He is a heavenly being who tried to exalt himself above God.  He was cast out of heaven but continues to oppose God in every way possible.  He led the humans to question God's goodness and to play God themselves.  Their rebellion ruptured their relationship with God and disrupted His very good creation, setting up the problem that is the focus of the rest of the Bible.  Yet even in God's cursing of the serpent, there is an allusion to his ultimate plan for restoration.

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