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God Works All Things For Our Good and His Glory

“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 50:20)

God’s hand in working all things for our good may not always be crystal clear in our perspective. At times there are difficult experiences and painful circumstances that make it difficult for us to trace God’s sovereign hand. Yet despite how unclear it may be in our perspective, it is always certain and guaranteed. God works in ways we do not always understand or accept at the present time, but in His own perfect way and time, He always reveals His perfect purposes behind what He does: to preserve His children and glorify His name.

This beautiful truth is greatly displayed in the story of Joseph.

Joseph was one of Jacob’s twelve sons. But being the son of his old age, Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other sons. His special love for Joseph reflected in a special treatment for Joseph. So when Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than any of them, they hated him and conspired to harm him. This led them to capturing their brother and selling him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Joseph would later end up in the hands of Potiphar, an officer of Pharoah, the captain of the guard.

Despite Joseph’s faithfulness to his new master and his new responsibilities, he ends up being accused of violating Potiphar’s wife, which leads to his imprisonment. While confined in prison, Joseph helped two prisoners, Pharoah’s chief cupbearer and chief baker, by interpreting their dreams. And of the cupbearer would be restored back to Pharoah’s office, Joseph’s only ask was to make mention of him to Pharoah that he might be set free. But this cupbearer forgot about Joseph for two years and only remembered him when Pharoah sought help in interpreting his dream.

After successfully interpreting Pharoah’s dream about the incoming famine, Joseph was tasked by Pharoah himself to prepare Egypt for the severity of the famine that would affect all the earth. By God’s enabling, Joseph put everything in place for the anticipated scarcity of food. Joseph had prepared so excellently that when the famine finally hit, Egypt was sufficiently supplied with food. They were so abundant in resources that even the surrounding nations came to them to buy grain.

Then the time came that Jacob had heard that there was grain for sale in Egypt, so he instructed his sons to go and purchase food for them there. This then opened the opportunity for Joseph to reunite with his brothers. When Joseph had revealed that he was in fact their long lost brother, they were fearful that he might pay them back for all the evil that they had done to him. They fell before Joseph, asking for his forgiveness and presenting themselves as his servants. But to this Joseph tells them what we read in Genesis 50:19-20, “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.”

From being flagrantly thrown into a pit by his brothers to being elevated into a national position in Egypt so that Jacob’s line would not perish, God was working behind it all. In and through the circumstances of Joseph’s life, God had greatly displayed that he was graciously sovereign in both the means and the end. Joseph recognized that despite the evil intentions of his brothers, God had intended that these evil intentions would work according to His predetermined counsel: the good of Joseph and the good of His people. Every piece of this story showed God’s hand intricately working out every detail in such a way that magnified how He pieced together a story of His preserving grace. Through all that God ordained in Joseph’s life, He did not only preserve Joseph, but also His covenant people in whose line the promised Messiah would come from.

Dear believer, God’s sovereign hand works all things for our ultimate good and His greater glory. At times we might find ourselves in circumstances where this truth is hard to believe, but this truth is and always will be what it is: the truth. Therefore, it will always be unchanging and unfailing. God is graciously sovereign. He will not ordain anything that He will not carry us through or anything that He does not see will serve our spiritual benefit. As an all-knowing and all-powerful God, He makes sure that His purposes will ripen fast so that we could see more clearly and deeply just how wonderful He is.

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