Rendering Good for Evil

                                                           Joseph Forgives His Brothers

     My mother had a book of Bed Time Bible Stores that she read to me each night as she tucked me in when I was growing up. Among them was the story of Joseph and his coat of many colors. To me each story was a story of adventure culminating in great victory for the "hero". 

     The Bible has many great stores, which are really more than just stories. They are meant to show how God reigns in the affairs of men and nations. When one does wrong, that is sins - deep down in side his conscious never lets him rest. Though the story of Joseph is exciting and leaves one sitting on the edge of their chair in anticipation of each next episode, we see nothing but darkness. It was darkness when his brothers threw Joseph into the pit. When Joseph was sold to the caravan heading to Egypt was darkness. Great was the darkness when by false accusation Joseph was cast into prison. The lingering days of imprisonment were dark.

     But wait. Had one of the links in Joseph's chain of Providence been omitted, perhaps he might have never been exalted to the ruler of Egypt. Nor would his father and all his family have been preserved alive from famine. Joseph's faith was sorely tried. He could not see the the end from the beginning, nor make reason for his dealings. God used them to make him fit for his subsequent advancement to power. God's ways entwine and interweave themselves to achieve God's ultimate scheme.

     Joseph was blessed, his father's house was saved, as God was preparing history for the coming of the Messiah and the ultimate redemption of all His people by the price paid at Mount Calvary. After Joseph and his brothers had buried their father, the brothers thought "payday" had finally arrived. Genesis 50:14-15. They sent a message to Joseph seeking forgiveness. VS 17.

     Some translations render Joseph's response to his brothers: 

 "You meant it to me for evil, but God meant it to us for good." Genesis 50:20

     That is the beautiful golden lesson that comes out of this gripping historical event. The providence of God was in and over every incident in it, making them to co-operate for the bringing about the great design which He had for the deliverance of the people in famine, for the education of the children of Israel in Egypt, and the unification of them at length into a nation capable of taking possession of the land of Promise.

     God often brings good out of evil and serves the designs of His provision, even by the sins of men; not that He is the Author of sin. His infinite wisdom so over-rules events and directs the chain of them, that in the issue that ends in His praise which in its own nature had a direct tendency to His dishonor; as the putting of Christ to death. (Acts 2:23) This does not make sin less sinful, nor sinners the less punishable, but it rebounds greatly to the glory of God's wisdom.

Just a thought across the garden gate by Parson Don.


                                                                                                        Updated June 24, 2017

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