Forgiveness and the Sovereignty of God April 8, 2014

In Genesis 42-45 we read the story of Joseph’s brothers going to Egypt to buy food and culminating with Joseph revealing himself to his brothers.

 

There are several things that we can learn from this story. One is God’s ability to bring about what he had foretold to Joseph over 20 years earlier. Just because it had been over 20 years since Joseph had the dreams didn’t mean that God had forgotten about the plans he had for Joseph. Should it surprise us that God’s timetable and our timetable are not always the same.

 

Another thing we can learn is about the transformation that happened in the life of Joseph. Joseph seems like a cocky arrogant teenager in the beginning but is a humble God honoring young man in the years to come. Likewise we see the importance of having God’s favor on us. In each of the down circumstances (slavery, prison), God was with him. God was also with Joseph as he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and wisely counseled Pharaoh on what to do in light of the dreams.

 

Indeed there are many takeaways from this story.

 

However, one stands out to me is that in the midst of all his negative and positive circumstances, Joseph can see the hand of God at work. Joseph’s ability to see this is a significant part of being able to forgive his brothers. In Genesis 45:5-8, Joseph attributes his being in Egypt to the hand of God and a part of God’s divine sovereign plan. Joseph understands that God used the wicked motives of his brothers to fulfill the dreams and to bring about the salvation of the family, indeed the blessing of the surrounding world through Joseph’s God given insight, wisdom and planning.

 

At times, devastating things happen to us in our lives. May we see the good hand of God at work in molding us for the plans he has for our lives. May we become better people and not bitter people in the midst of circumstances over which we have little control.

 

May we learn to forgive and trust God’s sovereignty.