Scripture Reading: Genesis 45:4-14
“And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 45:7,8)
Joseph was able to relate everything that happened in his life to God. God was in his thoughts continually. When Potiphar’s wife tempted him, he said, “How could I do this great wickedness and sin against God?” (39:4). When he interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker, he said, “Do not interpretations belong to God?” (40:8). When asked by Pharaoh to interpret his dreams, Joseph said, “It is not me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer” (41:16). When Joseph named his sons, God was on his mind. He said of Manasseh, “God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household” (41:51). Of his other son Ephraim, he said, ” God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction” (41:52). And now we come to our passage today — “And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth” (45:7). Joseph looked past secondary causes to God, the first cause, and thus he gained a stabilizing perspective on life.
Joseph looked beyond the evils that had been done to him and saw that God was in control of every situation he had faced. He had been unreasonably hated, treacherously enslaved, falsely accused, and wrongly imprisoned. He knew that none of these thing was accidental; God was in control of them all. Even the wicked schemes and evil deeds of men are under the control of the sovereign Lord of all.
In addition to saying that God was in control of what had happened to him, Joseph also said that God was accomplishing a good purpose in these events — “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life” (45:5). Joseph saw God’s hand in every evil thing that he suffered and he saw how God had a good purpose for every one of these events.
Since Joseph knew everything came from God, he was able to forgive his brothers. Do you have trouble forgiving someone? If so, try thinking of the wrong the person did to you as part of God’s providence. Think of the good that can come out of it. Ask God what He is teaching you and how He will use what He has done to you for His glory and for your Good.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)
Sovereign Lord, I know that You have a purpose for my life. You are working all things that take place in my life according to that purpose. I know that You are in control of all things. Enable me to keep a God-focused perspective on the good and on the difficult things that come along in my life. Help me keep my eyes on You and remember that You cause all things to work together for my good and for Your glory.
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