Issue No. 19             

Ng Boon Thian, MCS student who will be graduating this year gave the chapel message based on Gen 41:38-43.

 

The title of his message caught our attention instantly – “The Wardrobe of Joseph”.

 

“It sounds like a frivolous topic” he felt compelled to explain. But he proceeded to use this thread of clothing to trace the personal milestones of Joseph’s life. First, it was the multi-coloured coat, the first robe given to Joseph by Jacob. It was a symbol of his father’s affection. But it also became the lightning rod of his brothers’ jealousies, fuelled no doubt by Joseph’s own youthful pride and folly.

 

We learnt to our surprises that Joseph changed his wardrobe several times! Thus, from that ornamented garb of glory, he found himself in the attire of a slave when he was sold to Egypt. Humiliated, he found himself elevated to don the outfit of a steward of the house, a coat of trust given by his master Potiphar but also a coat that brought him into temptation’s way.

 

When Potiphar’s wife “caught him by his garment saying ‘Lie with me!’ he left his garments in her hand and fled.” (Gen 39:13). And Joseph found himself plunged again into the lowly garb of a prisoner. But the Lord was with Joseph (Gen 39:21), and incredibly Joseph soon found himself ascending to a position of power and authority second only to the most powerful man in Egypt, the Pharoah. What was the symbol of Joseph’s power but another change of wardrobe. Pharoah put his signet ring on Joseph’s finger and clothed him in garments of fine linen and put a gold necklace around his neck (Gen 41:42).

 

Boon Thian highlighted that each change of wardrobe marked a stage of the transformation of Joseph. And through it all, the other constant motif besides these fashion changes was God’s faithfulness. In fact, it is God’s faithfulness that undergirded these transitions to bring about good.

 

Expanding the story of Joseph to the broader context of the Bible, where Adam and Eve were first not clothed and the saints in the last days will put on a garment of glory, we were all in laughter when he posed the question “Do we wear clothes in heaven?” We can only make guesses, “though I preferred to be clothed” said Boon Thian.

 

Joseph’s transformation was through good and bad times in the hand of a faithful God. From a precocious youth lacking discipline, self-control and full of pride, God put him through trials to humble him, and he eventually learnt to be a true leader who is compassionate. There is no maturity without trials and perseverance. (James 1:5)

 

Boon Thian ended the sermon with the story behind the song “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” The song was written by Thomas Dorsey in 1932 after he heard the news that his wife Nettie had died while giving birth to a child (who also died shortly thereafter).

The story though tragic gave birth to one of the “greatest gospel song of all time.” For Dorsey as for Joseph, it was through experiences of trials that God matures our faith in Him.

 

Notes & Reflections of Chapel Sermon On 6 May 2008

 

(You can read further about Dorsey and the song through this short article in Christianity Today; <http://www.christianitytoday.com/tc/2003/004/16.16.html)>)

“Do We Wear Clothes in Heaven?”

12-18 May 2008

                                 

Biblical GRADUATE school of theology

BGST This Week

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Text Box: Highlights

Chapel This Week

We have a missionary couple with SIM, Eben & Elizabeth Burger who have been working with the unreached Muslim people of Senegal, West Africa.

Next week, another of our MTh student, Joseph Dakhum of Myanmar will be the speaker.

 

 

 

Let’s Hear From Them...

 

(reflections from participants of Bible Lands Study Tour on their recent trip to Israel & Istanbul, 7 to 18 Apr 2008)

 

h My experience of this tour is the very presence of Dr Quek teaching us as Jesus had done. What a blessing it has been.

 

h There is nothing as moving as to see with one’s own eyes the historic sites & places of the Bible come alive with Dr Quek’s insightful & learned commentaries of the people, events & spiritual lessons. The visit to the Holy Land has authenticated for me, at a deeper level, the historicity of the Bible. It has also added an important dimension to my faith in God & our Lord Jesus Christ & a new perspective of the historicity & the spiritual relevance of His Word to us. The trip is a significant milestone in my journey of faith.

 

h Just to be able to come is a divine opportunity whereby my Bible knowledge has been brought to life & enhanced. It is a joy to notice change in people’s lives during the trip & witness the baptism.

 

h An immensely spiritually rewarding trip. Very insightful & informative where people & places mentioned in the Bible comes to life.

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