God Meant It For Good
Title: God Meant It For Good
Reading for January 17: Genesis 48-50
"As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."
This passage doesn't say what we might think. It doesn't say, "You meant it for evil and God USED it for good." Read it again: "You meant evil against me, but God MEANT it for good."
God decreed that Joseph be sent to Egypt to save the world:
He told Abraham that his family would end up in Egypt (as slaves for 400 years, no less - Gen 15:13).
The psalmist will later say this about what God did: "When he summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread, he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave." (Psalm 105:16-17) God not only sent Joseph to Egypt, He also sent the famine to force the family to move down there.
Two times Joseph comforts his brothers by declaring that God had "sent" him down to Egypt (Gen 45:5, 7).
It was God's will that Joseph endure the sufferings he went through. This is why it was so easy for Joseph to forgive his brothers. He realized that his slavery, imprisonment, and all of the evil he endured was a part of God's plan.
Joseph's suffering is a type of Christ's. Just as Joseph's suffering was necessary to bring about salvation (and to the ones who brought on his suffering, no less), even so was Jesus' suffering necessary to bring about our salvation, the ones who are responsible for his death on the cross.
And all of this was by God's design and purpose (Acts 2:23; 4:27-28).
What a marvelous plan!
What a Savior!
Oh, the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!