Lately, in my Bible, I have been in the book of Genesis. I wanted to take my reading back to the beginning. The other night I just finished Genesis 45, when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. This passage stood out to me:
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. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years, there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt." Genesis 45:4-8
Joseph was hated by his brothers. They sold him off to the Midianite merchants who then proceeded to sell him to Potiphar, who is Pharaoh’s captain of the guard. Not only that, but after false accusations, Potiphar threw Joseph into prison for two full years. Granted, Joseph was able to get out and work for Pharaoh because of Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer. But can you imagine?
Joseph never once faltered in his faith. God was with him through it all and he knew it. I had to circle the words “but God” in the verses above in my Bible. Because God can use even the bad. I mean, at that moment, what would you have felt if your siblings/family sold you off into slavery? What could have gone through your mind? I know I would be hurt. I am honest in saying I would probably sulk over it for a long time. On top of that, what would have gone through your mind if you were thrown into prison due to false accusations? I would be so mad and upset. I might have even asked “Why? Why me?” But what did Joseph say? “Oh, God sent me. He sent me to save lives. You guys don’t blame yourselves.”
I probably would not have revealed myself to my siblings if they did that to me. I probably would not have told them, “Don’t be distressed about it, don’t be angry, don’t be upset.” I do not think I could forgive them. I would blame them. But Joseph forgave.
Joseph forgave them because he saw the bigger picture. He saw God’s hand in it all. God can use anything for his ultimate plan.
What are you going through at this moment? Have you ever wondered why you are going through it? Well, do something for me. Stop wondering why and start trusting God. He can use the difficult times in our lives. He can utilize the bad for His good. No matter what the bad is. And maybe, just maybe, He will reveal to you why you went through it later on. Just like He gave that insight to Joseph. But even if He does not, trust Him.
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