GOD INTENDED IT FOR GOOD
Leslie M. John
“And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them” (Genesis 50:19-21)
Nothing that happens in our lives happens without the knowledge of God. Although the world belongs to Satan, the Lord God is Almighty and He controls everything in this world rendering Satan’s works ineffective in the lives of those who are chosen by Him, and are called according to His purpose. The Lord gives us victory over Satan when we depend on Him.
Joseph was sold into Egypt and later from a very humble position he was elevated as Governor of the land; next only to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt. He was in charge of distribution of food in Egypt during the seven-year famine in Canaan.
Joseph’s early life was pathetic and filled with sorrows, and it appears as if God was not with him, but his later life proves that it was not so.
He was loved greatly by Jacob his father but his brothers envied him and threw him into waterless cistern from where he was pulled out and was sold to Midianites.
As the time passed by he was thrown into prison on false accusation leveled against him by Potiphar’s wife, who seduced him into having illicit relationship with her, when her husband was away. Joseph refused her request and consequently he had to face the wrath of Potiphar, who was taken away by his wife’s lies. On this cause Joseph suffered imprisonment for two years.
However, God was with Joseph, who was on the only one given intelligence by God to interpret two tough dreams of Pharaoh. The Pharaoh was pleased with Joseph’s interpretations of his dreams and ordered not only his release from the prison but made him Governor of the land.
“And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 41:44)
“And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph’s brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth” (Genesis 42:6)
Joseph’s brothers were sent by Jacob to Egypt to fetch food for them and later Jacob and all of Joseph’s brothers settled in Egypt at the behest of Joseph. Jacob was reluctant to go to Egypt but God assured him that He will bring them back into the Promised Land.
“And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. And Jacob rose up from Beersheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him” (Genesis 46:3-5)
When Joseph’s brothers fell prostrate before Joseph seeking food, Joseph went aside and wept for them. Also, Jacob bowed down to Joseph, none of them knowing that He was Joseph. One of the dreams of Joseph was fulfilled in its entirety but the second one was fulfilled only partially. Jacob’s wife Rachel was already dead when Joseph had his dreams.
“And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem” (Genesis 35:19)
Joseph’s other dream came true. (cf. Genesis 37:5-8; 37:9-11). The unfulfilled dream of Rachel bowing down to Joseph will be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God, when Lord Jesus returns and brings with Him all that were dead in Him and were raised. (cf. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16).
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him” (1 Thessalonians 4:14)
After the death of Jacob, Joseph’s brothers were so fearful that they said among themselves that Joseph would hate them, and will surely requite them the evil that they did to him before he was sold into Egypt. With that fear in their mind they sent a messenger to Joseph seeking, on behalf of them, forgiveness saying their father was dead. In order that they may find favor in the sight of Joseph the brothers did not hesitate to identify that they were servants of the God of Joseph’s father Jacob.
Joseph’s brothers also went with the messenger and they fell down before Joseph’s face and said “Behold, we by thy servants”. It is at that time that Joseph said to his brothers…
“And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:18-20)
Joseph, who was the Governor and in charge of distribution of food in Egypt, during severe famine in the land of Canaan, could have retorted and requited them of their evil done to him, but contrary to their fears they saw Joseph acknowledging God love and providence.
Joseph said to them, “Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive”
Although circumstances were adverse for Joseph in the beginning, he was the one chosen by God to help his brothers and parents in miraculous way. He forgave his brothers of all their trespasses against him, and said they intended it for bad but God meant it for good for not only Joseph but to his entire family.
Let us also realize that in all our adverse situations God will be us and never leaves us. He says “fear not”. We may peradventure think that everything is going wrong for us, but only time will tell that God was preparing a blessed situation for us. Everything works for good for those who love God and who are called according to His purpose.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28)