@ReadingSpurgeon: Genesis 49:23-24 – Joseph Attacked by the Archers (NPSP1S17)
This sermon from C. H. Spurgeon on Genesis 49:23-24 – “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him; but his bow abode in strength, And the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel)” – reflects on Jacob’s recollection about Joseph’s troubles as he blesses him.
There are 4 things that he wants us to notice:
I. The cruel attack
The enemies of God’s people, like Joseph’s enemies were, are archers.
They were archers of envy. Joseph had to endure the envy of his brothers. “None of you can be the people of God without provoking envy and the better you are, the more you will be hated.”
They were archers of temptation. Joseph was tempted hour by hour, day after day, and only God could give him to strength to resist.
They were archers of slander. Joseph was falsely accused. “It is no easy thing to feel your character gone, to think that you are slandered, that things are said of you that are untrue.”
Do you expect to escape these archers?
“Expect it, do not think it is a strange thing, all God’s people must have it. There are no royal roads to heaven – they are paths of trial and trouble the archers will shoot at you as long as you are on this side the flood.”
II. The shielder warrior
Joseph’s bow abides in strength. “The archers sorely grieved Joseph, but his bow was not turned against them, it abode in strength. He turned not his bow on them. He rested while they raged… Do not be in a hurry to set yourselves right. God will take care of you.”
III. The secret strength
The strength which Joseph received was real strength, divine strength, familiar strength, and covenant strength.
“All the power, all the grace, all the blessings, all the mercies, all the comforts, all the things we have, we have through the covenant.”
“Covenant mercies, covenant grace, covenant promises, covenant blessings, covenant help, covenant everything – the Christian must receive if he would enter into heaven.”
Christian, when the archers have shot at you and wounded you, but your bow has abided in strength and the arms of your hands have been made strong by God, know that you are like your Master in this.
IV. The glorious parallel
Jesus Christ was treated in the same way. “The Shepherd of Israel was despised,. Incarnate virtue was hated and abhorred. Therefore, fear not Christians, take courage, for if your Master passed through it, surely you must.”
But as the stone of Israel which the builders cast away, He “shall be the glorious consummation of all things… He shall be exalted. He shall be honoured. His name shall endure as long as the sun and all nations shall be blessed in Him. Yes, all generations shall call Him blessed.”