But God meant it unto good

7 May 2006

"But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive." Genesis 50:20

When all was said and done, Joseph was not ignorant concerning God's sovereignty and His providential dealings in his life. Though, to us, God's dealings with Joseph seem quite severe we see that God had a purpose in Joseph's afflictions. As the story goes, he was thrown in to a pit by his own brothers; sold by them to the Ishmalite traders; sold by the trades for profit as a slave for Potipher; falsely accused by Potifer's wife; thrown into prison because of the slanderous report of the woman; and forgotten by his friend who could have helped him get out. His brothers thought evil against him. If you would have asked the world, they would have said that God did not know Joseph, that he was cursed. Thankfully, we are given a behind the scene view of his life. God allowed it and meant it…… for good. God was doing something miraculous with Joseph. He was preparing him to be a great ruler. In types and shadows Joseph was a picture of our Lord Jesus Christ, sold for so many pieces of silver, hated by His brethren and yet loving and saving them all. But to us, there is a practical application that we should always remember. One application is that trials and afflictions have their purpose. They are like the sculptor's chisel bringing something beautiful out of a shapeless and useless form. Also, God allows bad things to happen to good people. He allows people to do unkind things to His own children and there are hidden purposes in them that we can not always see. Perhaps, by personal affliction we have suffered a financial loss that kept us from having more of this world's goods that we needed. The love of money is the root of all evil and we, by God's kind hand of providence, were kept from great evil by poverty. Surely, trials cause us to love this world less and long for heaven. Trials cause God's people to pray more, to depend more upon God and less upon self. Not only do trials facilitate prayer, they increase the fervency of prayer. A kind how do you do is exchanged by a warm embrace and a lengthy conversation. Trials are like the wind, they blow away the chaff and save the wheat for the harvest. God's purposes are limitless. One can hardly imagine the pain that Joseph experienced those years but what a spiritual blessing he enjoyed. "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."( Hebrews 12:11-14).