“Then Joseph said to his brothers,
‘Come close to me.’ When they had done so, he said,
‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt!
And now, do not be distressed
and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here,
because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.’”
Genesis 45:4-5 (NIV)
“You intended to harm me,
but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done,
the saving of many lives.”
Genesis 50:20 (NIV)
Joseph was a truly remarkable Old Testament person. He began life as a favoured son. However, the jealousy of his older brothers caused them to sell him into slavery in a foreign land. But Joseph demonstrated remarkable honesty, administration skills, and leadership qualities as a slave and finally became the CEO of the entire country of Egypt second only to Pharaoh himself!
Had the sovereign God not overruled the hatred of Joseph’s brothers his family would have possibly died during the seven year long famine. Even Joseph’s adoptive country of Egypt would have suffered greatly had Joseph not understood Pharaoh’s dreams that spoke of the coming seven years of great harvests followed by seven of severe famine.
Have you ever wondered when it was that Joseph came to the conclusion God meant his great suffering would turn for good? Was it during the time he was in the pit his brothers had thrown him in? Was it during the trek into Egypt as a slave that he decided this was going to be good? How about when he was thrown into prison because the wife of his owner lied about him and accused him of trying to seduce her? What about the years in the prison? Did he see good coming from evil then?
I think not. But Joseph did see signs of the Lord being with him because when he was sold as a slave to Potiphar he quickly became the head of Potiphar’s household. He came to know he was gifted and could make wise decisions in business. Then when thrown into prison the head of the prison soon realized Joseph was a very wise leader of the prisoners and gave Joseph charge of the prison. So again Joseph could see light at the end of the tunnel.
Finally when Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams he arrived at his full calling as Pharaoh’s second in command over the entire nation. Only then could he look back and fully know that the Lord was sovereignly bringing good from evil.
As you, my reader, look back on your past life and consider where you are right now, do you see any glimpse of the sovereign God in your life? Are you in a prison of sorts? Have you been abused by family like Joseph? Have you been lied about and treated as an evil person?
I cannot tell you that in this life you will enjoy prosperity and have the understanding that Joseph had in his latter days. But this I do know. You may have to enter heaven weeping but your loving heavenly Father shall greet you as you come into His eternal home. He shall wipe all those tears from your eyes, and you shall rejoice forevermore. Evil shall indeed be turned to good.
“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people,
and he will dwell with them. They will be his people,
and God himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.’”
Revelation 21:3-4 (NIV)