God, Can You Really Work This Out for Good? | Genesis 50:20
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
So check this out. You are your father’s favorite son and your brothers’ worst nightmare. It doesn’t help that you bring bad reports about them to your father and brag about dreams in which they bow down to you. They plan to kill you, mercifully throw you into a cistern instead and then not so mercifully sell you to a traveling band of Ishmaelites. One day you are a favorite son with a cool coat; the next day you’re a slave on your way to Egypt. All this happens before your eighteenth birthday.
Your days in Egypt start well. One of Pharaoh’s officials buys you and puts you in charge of his house. Then one day you learn that hell has no fury like a woman scorned (that quote was actually written years later –1697 in “The Mourning Bride” by William Congreve—but you experience it before the play). You reject the wife’s advances, she responds with false accusations, and before evening you’re in prison. After a time you interpret some dreams, the Pharaoh learns of your gift, you interpret some of his dreams and he appoints you as his second-in-command. Long story short (yeah, I know…too late) you save Egypt and your family during a famine. But now your brothers are afraid that you are going to retaliate. So you take the opportunity to explain a deep theological truth.
God never wastes the time of His children. While God is not the author of evil, He uses all the events of life for His sovereign purposes. He uses—you have to believe this— every rejection, false accusation, unjust treatment…every disappointment, loss, unfulfilled dream, failure...He uses it all to mold us into the person He wants us to be. Granted, all the puzzles pieces of our lives may not fit as perfectly together as they did in the life of Joseph. We may go to our grave not understanding how some of the pieces fit at all. But the truth remains. God does use all things to work together for good to those who love Him. Sometimes you just have to take that truth by faith.
Father, there are many reading this today having a hard time believing this promise. Speak deep into their hearts. If you choose not to answer their questions, please deepen their faith.