“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)
Have you ever been so overwhelmed with everything that seems to be going wrong in your life that you wonder how it can possibly work out for good? Or maybe you are holding a grudge against someone that has done you wrong and nursing feelings of planning to get even with that person?
Joseph’s brothers had every reason to be afraid of what was going to happen now that Jacob had died (Genesis 50:15). After all, they had sold him into slavery and let their father believe that he had been dead all these years. But God had intervened and now Joseph had the upper hand.
Instead of punishing them for their actions, his response must have surprised them. “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God…” Joseph recognized that God had been at work in his life all along right from the start.
God had gone before them and brought him to Egypt so that he could now save the Israelites from starving in Canaan. Not only were they now safe in Egypt, but they had been given the best pastures for their livestock and in fact all of Egypt had been provided for through Joseph’s wisdom.
His brothers had meant to harm Joseph and teach him a lesson, but God had worked it all for good so that all of them would not only survive but multiply. How often do you see only the harm intended, but God has other plans for you?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the reminder that even when it seems like nothing is going right, you are still at work. Even when others mean to harm me, your plans are greater than that. Help me to see those places in my life today when it looked like my life was headed for disaster, but God turned it out for good. Amen.