Lord, thank You for Your Word. It’s a lamp for my feet and my guide through the dark times of life.
Read Genesis 42:1-24
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
“No doubt all history in the last resort must be held by all Christians to be a story with a divine plot” (C.S. Lewis).
Even with the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream and Joseph’s appointment as Prime Minister, his dreams have not yet come true. He marries and has two sons, but chooses names that show that his journey is not yet over. Joseph’s very claim that he has forgotten his family (41:51) indicates that he has not! Even in fruitfulness, he acknowledges his grief (41:52). It is not until chapter 42 that the story turns towards the true fulfillment of the young exile’s dreams. Compelled by famine, Joseph’s brothers seek relief in Egypt. Unwittingly, they stand before the brother they betrayed, and we begin to see the ending toward which God has been leading us.
This is the point at which the sovereignty of God becomes clear. God’s project is not the prosperity and progress of Joseph: it is the very survival of the tribes of Israel. Long before Pharaoh’s dream, God saw famine coming. He needed a man on the inside in Egypt, ready to take action on behalf of his people. Joseph was that man, and we realize that the whole narrative has been played out in the providence of God. The actions of Joseph, his brothers, Potiphar, and even Pharaoh himself have been woven together in God’s larger purpose. God’s will is not brought about by abrupt action, but by God’s engagement with the ways of the world – ways that to us seem natural. God’s ways are above and beyond the ways of humanity. History itself is his servant.
God is working out his purposes on a global scale, achieving his objectives both through and in spite of Egypt, Joseph, and his brothers. Would we trust God more easily–and obey him more fully–if we truly believed that he was working out his plans through, and in spite of, us?
When someone has deeply wronged you, are you most likely to seek revenge or reconciliation? What does this tell you about yourself and your trust in God?
Sovereign Lord, You alone are God, and I bless Your holy name. Your powers extend beyond my ability and foresight, and I renew my trust in You.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.