You Sold But God Sent
Genesis Chapter 45 narrates a wonderful passage on the life of Joseph who finally reveals himself to his brothers after loudly weeping before them, not in sorrow or in self pity, but probably with relief, love and joy at the sight of his beloved brothers and most especially his nearest sibling Benjamin.
It seems also that Joseph is overwhelmed with the wondrous works of God in his life over the years from his childhood dreams to his being thrown into the pit, onward to his being sold as a slave, working under Potiphar, wrongfully imprisoned for a crime he did not commit.
And then he thinks of the moment when just when he may have possibly given up all hope of ever being released he is instead wondrously released from prison and elevated to a very high position as the right hand man of Pharaoh. A position that even he would never ever have thought of or imagined in his wildest of dreams.
The Lord God of Heaven had planned out every stage of every event that took place in his life, every single twist and turn even those moments which may have tempted him to feel that God had forsaken him. In all the varying scenes of life the Lord was working out His perfect will for Joseph.
Lets look at the scene again as he reveals himself to his brothers. Their reaction to his revelation is understandable considering that to their mind they have all along being dealing not with their brother, whom they probably presumed dead, but the second most important man in all of Egypt.
They have bowed down to this man, a man whom they perceived to be so high above them that they considered themselves as well as their father Jacob to be nothing but mere servants to this powerful leader of Egypt, with much fear mingled with uncertainty as to whether he would spare their lives.
And now this awesome powerful man states that he is their brother Joseph whom they sold to slavery. Joseph that seemingly worthless dreamer has become this great man feared by all of Egypt and the nations. What a mixture of emotions they must have felt as they dreaded their fate.
In their palpable vulnerability they find themselves now at the mercy of him whom they had desired to be rid of . Their guilty conscience now awakens as they ponder over their sins against him wondering whether he is now out to score old scores considering their shameful treatment of him.
But Joseph is not out for revenge as this is the last thing on his mind, rather he is overwhelmed by a multiplicity of emotions one of them being a great love for his brethren especially Benjamin. He probably has not ceased to pray for his brothers praying that God may touch their hearts and that perhaps one day he may be blessed of the Lord to see the faces of his family members once again.
Joseph does not even gloat over his brothers to remind them of the dreams that he had in childhood concerning his reigning supreme over them and the fulfillment of that dream in his current role as Prime Minister of Egypt and provider of all in the prevailing famine that has inflicted everyone.
Joseph has come to the understanding that his life has ever always been in the hand of an almighty loving God who would not let Joseph go through anything in life that has not been permitted by Father, Son and Holy Spirit from the courts of heaven. He tells them that they sold but God Sent.
It Is God
The account of Joseph’s life is one that should not only fascinate or interest all especially of the household of faith but more importantly should give us a sense of perspective regarding God’s ultimate purpose in history among His people, whom He has called from among the large mass of men as well as nations in any generation, that through them His mighty works might be displayed.
In essence Joseph’s life story could be the story of every child of God as they travel along life’s pathway experiencing and going through the various changes of life’s scenes while receiving encouragements as well as submitting to the Lord disciplines along their pilgrim journey through this brief earthly sojourn as they pray, worship, work and wait till their earthly travelling comes to an end.
Like Joseph we are all born into some sort of family whatever that family arrangement might be and like him we experience the sibling rivalry which gets worse when we among our family members are convicted of our sin upon hearing the Word of God, maybe for the umpteenth time, bow the knee to the Lord Jesus Christ confessing our sin before Him and pledging our allegiance to Him.
And as we embark on this new journey we begin to encounter the resistance of the world towards us first from our immediate family members, then that from distant members as well as neighbours and close friends who begin to consider us as oddities or antisocial killjoys with a morbid view of life.
Soon this hostility breaks forth not just from without but even our own flesh is opposed to our new state and we feel “fightings and fears within without” at every turn often seeming to overwhelm our spirits at every opportunity perhaps when we are assailed with doubts as well as temptations.
We like Joseph experience the major highs and lows of living in the world and may sometimes be overwhelmed either by the high station or office we may attain to or else be depressed by the very trying trials we may undergo, some of which may very well be life changing or even threatening for us.
In the midst of all these however we need always remember that our God and Father has in eternity planned and worked out every stage of our lives as well as every daily step that we take all for the sake that He might display His glorious purposes both in our lives as well as in the Church of Christ.
Ultimately we were called out of this world in due time by the Godhead to be pilgrims as well as strangers upon earth for the sake not of our earthly enjoyments or otherwise but that Christ Jesus our God and Saviour may yet be glorified in the salvation of sinners having made a public spectacle of all the powers of hell in His great redemptive work from His incarnation to His ascension.
May we like Joseph know the Lord’s presence when we undergo the ups and downs of life because of the faith seeing this as nothing but part and parcel of our pilgrim journey ordered by the Lord in His wisdom for each individual member of His invisible Church that at the last day all His trophies of Grace may be displayed and all may cry “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain forever and ever”.