I can’t imagine why I never noticed this before. I have read the story of Joseph and his brothers many times. And yet, I had never considered this one thing.
You see, I have always viewed this story from Joseph’s point of view. I have thought of how it would feel to be him—lonely, despised, framed, imprisoned. I have admired and respected his strong stand for God as he suffered many persecutions and rightly so.
But I missed one really important point. Until today.
When Joseph’s brothers traveled to Egypt for food they were completely unaware that their brother would be the one giving them food. But we know as we read the story how it ends. And today I realized that God took something completely evil and not only rewarded Joseph but rewarded the evil-doers! God used the brothers’ gross sin against Joseph and actually turned it into something good not only for Joseph but for the brothers, as well.
I just never thought about that before.
I mean we often trust God to use the evil, hurtful things against us for good, but I guess I never thought about the fact that God can take something I did that was sinful to bring about something good for me.
Doesn’t this give us a different perspective about our past?
I guess as I think about this, it does make sense. For some of us have had the same thing happen to us—
-Out of sexual immorality came a beautiful child.
-Out of a broken marriage or a stay in jail came eternal salvation.
-Out of a rebellious youth, where we chose to marry an unbeliever, God drew us to Himself and rescued both for His glory.
We have seen these occur. And we see how God plucks some (not all) from the mire and mess they have made and blesses them.
I don’t know the hearts of the brothers. We know by some of their conversation that selling Joseph has weighed very heavily on their hearts for a very long time. It would seem that they are extremely sorry about what they did. (Genesis 42:21-24)
And so could it be that God will not choose to bless us until we come to a point of repentance, where we admit our guilt?
And, once again, we come upon that word humility. If there is anything I have learned through my Old Testament readings it is how much God hates pride!
And so, let us remember that God can use even our most wicked sin and turn it into something good for us. But, first, we need to have a heart of repentance and humility.
Now, the following is specifically for my Bible Challenge readers–
I hope that you are sticking with me on the Bible Reading Challenge. By now, it may be getting rough. You have read things that don’t make any sense and you are struggling. Or life has happened and you are behind a couple of (or more) days. I want to encourage you to keep going! You will be so glad you did! I promise you this. I also want to encourage you to focus more on what you do understand and the lessons you are learning from these stories than on what you don’t understand. You won’t understand everything but that’s okay. Just keep reading. Remember we are reading to know and understand God better–it’s not about us or our enjoyment of what we are reading! It may be helpful for you to read (or re-read) the most common Bible Study Trap, at this point.
4 thoughts on “Why didn’t I ever see this before?”
I am with sticking with you in the daily reading. I am finding it very interesting & appreciate your blogs. Thanks for this alternate view of this passage.
Thank you, Pam. I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me that. Sometimes I feel like I am writing for just me ;)
Is not God simply amazing!? One of your statements stuck out to me, “we are reading to know and understand God better–it’s not about us…” That is something that I see so much as people talk and discuss “Christianity” they talk about what they get out of it and how it affects them. But it is not really about us. It is about God, and the glory that we bring Him. Yes, we can get something out of it, but it is ultimately about God. The Old Testament teaches us so much about God. He loves details. He wants obedience. He demands humility. He seems to like the colors blue, purple, and scarlet. (the last was a comment that my children made listening to us read of the tabernacle).
Yes! Exactly! And tell your kids that I had the same thought about the colors when I read through the OT last year :)