August 20th, 2018 | Genesis 45:1-13
The great English preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “When you go through a trial, the sovereignty of God is the pillow upon which you lay your head.” This belief enabled Joseph to not only be at peace with his history but also to reconcile with his brothers who had treated him so unjustly.
Before this point in the story, Joseph had been hardnosed with his brothers: alleging that they had committed crimes, treating them harshly, and imprisoning them. But we readers also know that he had to run out of the room on several occasions because he was overwhelmed with emotion (42:24; 43:30).
In the dramatic scene in our reading today, Joseph finally revealed his identity to his brothers and offered his own interpretation of what had happened to him. Four times, he declares that God is the one who brought him to Egypt: “God sent me ahead of you” to save lives (v. 5). The means God used to send Joseph to Egypt was the betrayal of his brothers. They could not have known that by selling Joseph into slavery, they would be saving their own lives.
From the larger perspective of the book of Genesis, Joseph not only saved the lives of Abraham’s family, he also spared people from many nations. God had promised Abraham that his family would be a blessing to all nations. The Joseph story shows how God keeps that promise. The surprising part is that God kept His promise to Abraham by redeeming the evil that Joseph’s brothers did to him.
This does not absolve the brothers of the great evil they inflicted on Joseph. Rather, it demonstrates that God is able to use even the most difficult and dysfunctional situation for His purpose.
APPLY THE WORD
Who sent Joseph to Egypt, his brothers or God? The biblical answer is both! The interplay of God’s sovereignty and human action is one of the great mysteries of Scripture. Paul said: “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!” (Rom 11:33).
Today in the Word’s Devotion is a production of Moody Global Ministries
Follow us on Twitter