Scripture Reading: Genesis 50:15-21

“But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.'” (Genesis 50:19,20)

From his early years, Joseph had a God-centered perspective of life. He could see God’s hand in every circumstance of his life — the good and the bad. Joseph suffered evil from several sources throughout his life. When he was a child, his older brothers were jealous of him and hated him. They planned to kill him but instead sold him into slavery.

Potiphar’s wife treated him cruelly. She propositioned him time and time again, but Joseph resisted each time she did. She sought revenge against him and had him thrown into prison. The chief cupbearer of Pharaoh, after he was released from prison, forgot about Joseph, which caused Joseph to spend two long years in prison for crimes he did not commit.

In spite of all this evil against him, Joseph had learned that God is a sovereign God. Thus, he said to his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Joseph understood that all things are under God’s sovereign hand, even the evil that others had done to him. He knew that God had an ultimate purpose for everything that happens in his life. Through the evil that Joseph’s brothers did, God preserved the Jewish people. Genesis 50:20 is the Romans 8:28 of the Old Testament — “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

God has a ultimate plan and purpose for each of us. He sovereignly brings everything in conformity to the counsel of His will — “In Him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Ephesians 1:11).

The greatest example of this is the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ — “This Man, delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. And God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for him to be held in its power” (Acts 2:23,24). Those who put Christ to death meant evil against Him, but God meant it for good, to save a countless host for eternity.

Things will happen in your family that you may not understand or like. But the great peace is that God causes these things to work out for our good and for His glory. Because Joseph had a God-centered perspective and because he had experienced God’s grace himself, Joseph was able to act graciously toward his brothers and forgive them.

The sovereignty of God is one of the most comforting doctrines in Scripture. God is in charge. He has a plan for our lives and nothing can thwart what God ordains. He causes all things to work for our good. We have to keep our eyes on Him and not on our circumstances.

Sovereign Lord, You are the God of providence. You have a plan for my life and You will accomplish what You have in mind for me. Give me grace to face the good and bad circumstances that will come into my life. Let me keep my eyes on You and not be overwhelmed with the issues of life. You are God; You are good; and You always know and do what is best for Your children.


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