Sunday, November 21, 2021

God’s Timeline – Part 51 The Silver Cup

 God’s Timeline – Part 51

The Silver Cup

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith Church | |

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This Document is a Sermon Outline, you may hear the full audio of the actual sermon by following the link Online Audio Files located above for this, and other Full Sermon Audios.  For a complete list of Sermon Outlines, visit or Truth Digest on facebook; for our Official Church website, visit, or find us on Facebook at House of Faith Church


SERMON TIMELINE (2021 A.D. = 5781 Jewish Calendar Year)

 -         Creation Week (Approximately 3700 - 4000 B.C.)

o   Adam, Eve, and the Fall

-         Cain and Abel

o   Evil Fills the World


-         Noah Did All God Commanded Him

o   The Flood (2348 B.C.)

o   God’s Covenant with Noah

o   Noah’s Sons and Ham’s Sin

o   Nations of Noah’s Sons

-         Tower of Babel (Approximately 2200 B.C.)

 -         God calls Abram (1921 B.C. 75 years old)

o   Abram and Lot part ways (1915 B.C.)

o   Rescue of Lot (1914 B.C.)

-         The Lord’s Covenant with Abram for Isaac

o   Hagar and Ishmael Born (1910 B.C.) Abram 86 years old

o   Sarai and Isaac

o   The Three Visitors

o   Abraham Pleads for Sodom

-         Birth of Isaac (1897 B.C. Abraham 99 years old Sarah 90-Hagar and Ishmael sent away)

o   The Lord tests Abraham (1876 B.C.)

o   Sarah Dies 127 years old (1860 B.C. Abraham is 136)

-         Isaac marries Rebekah (1857 B.C. Isaac was 40 when he married Rebekah)

 -         Jacob and Esau are born (1837 B.C. Isaac was 60 Abraham 159)

o   Abraham dies at 175 (1822 B.C. Isaac was 75)

o   Isaac receives the Birthright and his father’s blessing

o   Esau marries two Hittites at 40 (1857 B.C.)

o   Esau marries a daughter of Ishmael

o   Jacob travels to his grandfather’s family to find a wife (1819 B.C.)

o   Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

o   Jacob marries Leah then Rachel

§  Levi is born (1749 B.C.)

§  Joseph is born (1741 B.C.)

§  Benjamin is born (1731 B.C.)

o   Jacob fled Laban and is pursued

o   Jacob Prepares to meet Esau

o   Jacob Wrestles with God & Becomes Israel

o   Jacob Meets with Esau after 20 Years

o   Jacob’s Daughter Raped by Shechem

o   Jacob Returns to Bethel

o   The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac (1716 B.C. Isaac was 180 years old)

-         Joseph’s Dreams (Joseph is seventeen at the time)

o   Joseph Sold by His Brothers (1724 B.C.)

o   Joseph Imprisoned

o   Joseph interprets dreams while in prison

o   Joseph Interprets the Pharaoh’s Dream

o   Joseph enters the service of Pharaoh (1711 B.C. 7 years abundance begins)

o   Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt (Approx. 1704 B.C. begins 7-year famine)

o   Joseph’s Brothers Return Home from Egypt

o   Benjamin’s Silver Cup (Approximately 1702 B.C.)



Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt during the worldwide famine for food. They did not recognize their brother Joseph after 20 years, and an Egyptian ruler make-over, but Joseph recognized them.


He did not see his brother Benjamin, and assumed the worse, probably because of the way his brothers treated him. So, Joseph accused them of being spies, kept one brother, and told the others not to return without Benjamin to prove what they said was true.


After the brothers returned to Jacob, they found all their silver pouches had been returned, hidden within their sacks of grain. Jacob resisted sending Benjamin but eventually agreed when they ran out of food and had no other option.


Upon returning, Joseph saw Benjamin and commanded his servants to prepare a meal.


At the dinner, Joseph sat the brothers at a table in their birth order, and Benjamin was given five times the portions as the others. They feasted and drank freely with Joseph, still not knowing his real identity.


Joseph then sent the brothers on their way with as much food as they could carry, as well as their silver pouches once more in the mouth of their sacks, and Joseph’s silver divining cup into Benjamin’s sack.


Everything Joseph has done to this point had a reason.


First, wanting to know about his father and brother’s welfare.


Secondly, giving his brothers the opportunity to confess and repent of their sin against him.


Thirdly, to see his brother Benjamin once more.


During this time Joseph not only gave them the grain they needed to survive but also returned their silver, twice.


This time, Joseph has his servants place his divining cup into Benjamin’s bag to set yet another trap, not to punish, but give opportunity for the brothers to confess and repent.




Genesis 44:1-5

“Now Joseph gave these instructions to the steward of his house: “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s silver in the mouth of his sack. 2 Then put my cup, the silver one, in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the silver for his grain.” And he did as Joseph said.

3 As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys. 4 They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward, “Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 5 Isn’t this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done.’”



a.      Isn’t Divining a sin?

                                              i.      Deuteronomy 18:10 “There shall not be found among you . . . anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens.”


                                           ii.      I Samuel 15:23 compares rebellion to the “sin of divination.”


                                        iii.      Practicing divination is listed as one of the reasons for Israel’s exile (2 Kings 17:17)


                                         iv.      Jeremiah 14:14 spoke of the false prophets of the time, saying, “They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.” So, compared to God’s truth, divination is false, deceitful, and worthless.


                                            v.      As Luke traveled with Paul and Silas in the city of Philippi, he recorded an encounter with a diviner: “We were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling” (Acts 16:16)


1.      The girl’s ability to penetrate mysteries was due to a demon that controlled her. Her masters received “much gain” from their slave. Paul eventually exorcised the demon (verse 18), freeing the girl from her spiritual bondage and angering the slave owners (verse 19).



 I had a young man ask me once, “If magical powers are evil, then why is it OK for Christians to pray for stuff and do things like healings?”

 As we see here in scripture, divination is a sin, yet Joseph has had wisdom, understanding, and knowledge.

 The sin is not the act of divination, but the source. Things from God are of God, any other source is sin. Whether divination, wisdom, knowledge, etc.



b.     Why did Joseph have this cup to begin with if divination is a sin?

                                              i.      Firstly, divination (understanding or wisdom of things such as dreams, signs, reading of palms, stars, fortunes, etc.) is a sin and condemned by the bible.


                                           ii.      Secondly, Egyptians were not followers of El-Shaddai (God Almighty). Joseph, being placed in a position of great power in Egypt, second only to the Pharoah himself, would also be given one of these “Silver Divining Cups”, as all leaders who made decisions would have.


                                        iii.      Thirdly, there is no evidence that Joseph ever actually used this cup for anything other than setting a trap to bring fear upon his brothers in hopes of them confessing and repenting.


                                         iv.      Lastly, Joseph did not need witchcraft to try and obtain knowledge, wisdom and understanding, because he had God’s Holy Spirit for that!


                                            v.      Any knowledge, wisdom or understanding from any other source than God is a sin.


c.      The cup was chosen because of its perceived value and small size

                                              i.      More than likely, Joseph chose the cup because of its small size (easy to hide) and its perceived value as the divining cup of the Lord of Egypt




a.      When Joseph’s Steward reached the brothers, they were defensive

                                              i.      They had no clue they were being set up once more

b.     Still proclaiming innocence, they offered themselves as slaves

                                              i.      Verse 10 “…Whoever is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free from blame.”


c.      When the cup was discovered, they tore their clothes

                                              i.      We see this many times in the bible, tearing one’s clothing in pain, anguish, anger, and here they were terrified


                                           ii.      A thief would surely be harshly dealt with by the leader of Egypt, especially for stealing from him




a.      Before Joseph, they threw themselves to the ground before him

                                              i.      Joseph stating, “What is this you have done? Don’t you know that a man like me can find things out by divination?”


                                           ii.      This statement is true! Only, Joseph’s understanding, knowledge and wisdom come from the Lord through His Holy Spirit!


b.     Judah speaks for the brothers

                                              i.      “What can we say to my lord?” Judah replied. “What can we say? How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants’ guilt. We are now my lord’s slaves—we ourselves and the one who was found to have the cup.”


                                           ii.      However, Joseph only wanted Benjamin


                                        iii.      Judah begs for Benjamin, offering himself in trade for Jacob’s sake



c.      The confession, and the works worthy of repentance

                                              i.      Judah confesses God has revealed their guilt


                                           ii.      They submit themselves as slaves


                                        iii.      When Joseph states he only wants Benjamin, Judah then offer himself instead




It is at this point when Joseph could no longer control himself and keep his composure before all those in his court.


He demands they all leave so there was only Joseph and his brothers.


Next week Joseph will reveal himself to his brothers.



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