Pastor Randy’s Top 66 – Genesis
“But Joseph said to them (his brothers), ‘Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.’ And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:19-21
Joseph’s brothers (the future tribes of Israel) were jealous of Joseph so they plotted to kill him, but then decided to sell him into slavery in Egypt instead. One thing led to another – many painful things after another – and Joseph eventually was raised up to be second in command in Egypt because of his correct interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream, which saved all of Egypt from starvation. When Joseph’s brothers traveled to Egypt in hopes of getting some food (the famine stretched all the way up to Israel) they came face to face with Joseph, and were fearful that they would all be put to death because of this mistreatment of Joseph.
But Joseph saw things differently. First, he was forgiving towards his brother; and secondly, his forgiveness stemmed from his firm belief and trust in the providence of God. Although the brothers were wrong in treating Joseph poorly, the Lord – in His sovereign control of all things – used their sin for His glory by not only blessing Joseph, but in providing food for all of Egypt, as well as saving his brothers. What they meant to do in harming Joseph, the Lord meant it for His glory and the saving of many. And of course, not only did the twelve tribes of Israel come from these brothers, but Jesus Himself would come from the tribe of Judah.
We may and will face all sorts of hardships and calamities in this life, but because we are loved by God through Christ, and because the Lord God is sovereign in all things, we can believe – as Paul taught us in Romans 8:28, “ALL things work for the good to those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose”. This never excuses our sin, but rather shows us how omnipotent and gracious our Lord God is by His ability to turn our sin into gold. The journey may be painful, but the Lord is faithful to bless His children for His glory and our blessing.