Ingenious Grace

“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 50:20 (NKJV)

Joseph’s life is like the Grand Canyon. Its depth is unmatched when it comes to God’s work among His people, and its width reaches from one extreme of the human experience to the other.  

From receiving a divine dream, to being sold into slavery by his own brothers, to being unjustly accused by Potiphar’s wife, to being cruelly forgotten in an Egyptian prison, to being exalted to the position of overseeing the greatest kingdom on earth, to being the instrument by which God would preserve the Hebrew lineage . . . Joseph’s journey leads us through the lowest level of persecution and pain to the highest heights of power and privilege.   

His life is also filled with some of the deepest spiritual lessons! When it comes to God’s ways and their application to real life, Joseph’s life educates us unlike anyone else’s. If we could compress these lessons into one truth, it would be the statement he makes towards the end of his story here in Genesis 50:20. In speaking to his brothers, who had sold him into slavery, Joseph drops the following truth on them:

“You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good . . .”

Allow that to settle for a second. God did something that nobody saw coming.  Despite the betrayal, banishment, and brutality, despite the years of being buried under man’s best efforts to wipe away every trace of him . . . the Lord was up to the unexpected.  

He sovereignly used the evil efforts of Joseph’s brothers to accomplish the greatest good for Joseph. But not just for Joseph, but for the brothers themselves! But not just for the brothers, but for their descendants! And not just their descendants, but for anyone who would eventually place their faith in one of those descendants—Jesus! Doesn’t this shine the spotlight on the ingenious grace of God? Where man’s sin and evil was so great, His grace and goodness was that much greater (Romans 5:20).  

This truth serves as an unexpected exclamation mark on Joseph’s life—and also ours, because we are deeply loved by the same God who specializes in working all things together for our good, often in the most unexpected ways.

DIG: How did God unexpectedly work in Joseph’s life?  

DISCOVER: How does this work apply to your life?

DISPLAY: Who will you share this truth with today?        

About the Author

Pastor Dan Hickling

Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.