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A Lesson from Joseph

Have you ever felt like there were times in your life when everything was going wrong?  Joseph did.  Joseph had brothers whose jealousy of him drove them to plan his death (Genesis 37:18).  To get rid of him forever. They threw him into a pit, sold him to traders in a caravan going to Egypt, and told their grief-stricken dad that he was dead. Much later, after many years of suffering, strife, and sifting - even three years in prison - Joseph was raised up by God to become Egypt’s Prime Minister - the second most powerful position in the land.  God in his sovereignty appointed Joseph to this position before a famine would strike Egypt (Genesis 41:40).  During the famine, Joseph’s brothers traveled to Egypt, desperate for food.  They came into Joseph’s presence, not knowing who he was, requesting his help.  But Joseph knew who they were.  And he saw them for what they had been: men influenced by Satan to act on their emotions of hatred, jealousy, and greed to do his work for him.  To carry out his evil scheme. The Lord’s great mercy softened Joseph’s heart toward them.  When he finally revealed his identity to his brothers, they begged for mercy.  They thought their lives were finished.  They were sure that they would reap what they sowed and they would be killed. But astonishingly, God moved Joseph’s heart and he forgave them.  And Joseph punctuated his recognition of God’s sovereignty through these words to his brothers: “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). Could God be permitting evil moments in your own life so that he can eventually use them for good?  So that he can bless others through you?  Grow the faith of others as they watch your faith remain unshaken?  God knew he would use Joseph’s story to demonstrate his ability to use evil for good.  God’s perspective is always eternal.  He knew that by appointing Joseph to the Prime Minister of Egypt, the Jewish people would have a way to survive.   And here’s what’s most important in Joseph’s story ... and ours: the Jewish people had to survive for Jesus to enter the world and save humanity from its sin. From the pit, to Potiphar, to prison, to Prime Minister - God was sovereign over all.  He promises to use evil for good as he always does for his children.  Always. And this promise is for you as well.

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