Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Joseph’s Revenge

 “Joseph said to [his brothers], ‘Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?  But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.’”  Genesis 50:19-20
Joseph made a choice when he was sold by his brothers to have faith that God would be there with him through whatever was going to happen to him next.  That was the first choice, but it wasn’t the only choice.  Joseph had to make that choice, along with other choices, everyday for the rest of his life…just like we do.

All those choices had a major payoff for Joseph didn’t they?  Can you imagine what went through Joseph’s mind and heart when he saw his brothers walking up to him after all those years.  What would you have felt?  Most people’s first thought would have involve some kind of revenge I think.  Joseph had a free move to get even before his brothers knew who he was…but he didn’t take it.  He still loved his brothers, even after the way his brothers treated him.  Jesus still loves us, even after the way we’ve treated Him.  WOW!

Have you ever met someone who attributes everything to luck?  Especially when it happens to someone else.  You’ll often hear them say things like, “Wow, you’re so lucky.”  Somebody who just met Joseph after the Pharoah put him in power might have thought that Joseph was lucky.  We know better though.  Both in Joseph’s life and in our own lives, there is no such thing as luck. 

Nothing in our lives can be attributed to luck or fate.  Every breath we take is counted by God.  Psalm 139:13-16 says:
“For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.  I will praise You; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.  My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.  Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” 
Imagine that!  God knows each of us on the molecular level.  And He is interested and involved in every part of each of our lives.  And as Joseph’s life proved, 
“Those who follow Christ are ever safe under His watchcare.  Angels that excel in strength are sent from heaven to protect them.  The wicked one cannot break through the guard which God has stationed about His people.” The Truth About Angels, p13. 
“Under His watchcare” is a pretty good place to be, don’t you think?  That means that no matter where we find ourselves in our day-to-day lives, we are in the palm of God’s hand.  So as I look around at my current situation and see what could be described as less than ideal circumstances, maybe I should analyze the situation in a different light.  Maybe I’m not having “bad luck”, as some people would say, or, as others would say, experiencing a “punishment” for my sins.  My daily life may not always look or feel the way I hoped I wanted it to, but Ellen White reminds me in The Desire of Ages, 
“God never leads His children otherwise than they would choose to be led, if they could see the end from the beginning and discern the glory of the purpose which they are fulfilling as co-workers with Him.” P224-225
I think that if there is an over all theme for Genesis, it is that God is in everything that happens. He is always working through us to show His character to the world.  We are his “co-workers” and as we work with Him, He makes us a promise.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  And you will seek Me and find Me, when you seach for Me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:11-13

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