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September 13, 2020 | Doug Sauder
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“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God . . . ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come.’”—Genesis 45:8–15 (NIV)
In today’s passage, Joseph assures his brothers it wasn’t actually them who sent him to Egypt—it was God! Did Joseph always feel this way? Probably not. I’m sure there were moments at Potiphar’s house, after having been accused of sexual assault and wrongfully imprisoned, where he thought: What am I doing here? Why is this happening to me? This isn’t where I thought I’d end up!
Like David, who throughout the Psalms expressed raw, painful emotions and life struggles, Joseph probably felt the same during those 17 years. And yet, regardless of his emotions, he continued living faithfully.
Although Joseph may not have always seen the big picture of what God was doing and why God had allowed everything that happened to him until his brothers showed up in Egypt, it didn’t impact how he lived. This should serve as an example to us. We won’t always know in the midst of the work what God is doing and how He’s working, and we don’t have to in order to trust Him, rest in His promises, and live faithfully.
We can remember all He’s done in the past—how He’s never forsaken us and has always been faithful. This allows us to have confident hope about today and tomorrow. Joseph remembered the stories of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We have the Bible and we’re surrounded by what the author of Hebrews calls “a great cloud of witnesses”—the testimonies and God stories of believers throughout history and around us right now—which allows us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1–2 NIV). We can trust it’s God who has brought us to where we are for His good purposes. And we can, in everything, be secure in the hope we have in God and by the power of His Spirit, “live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope” (Titus 2:12–13 NIV).
For Joseph, that hope was fulfilled in the restoration of his family and the work God did through him. For you, it may be different. It may not seem to be on the scale of what was done through Joseph, but that doesn’t make it any less miraculous or amazing!
So, friends, remember today that even when we don’t see the whole picture, even when we’re in the proverbial Potiphar’s house or prison, or even if we were the Israelites enslaved in Goshen 400 years after Joseph saved them and brought them there, He is moving us ever closer each second “toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14 NIV).
DIG: How can we exemplify the posture and heart of Joseph in our lives every day?
DISCOVER: In what ways has God opened your eyes to the bigger picture of His great work in and through your life? How has this helped you live faithfully?
DO: Write down some key verses about the faithfulness of God and write out some of the key moments in your own walk where the Lord has shown His faithfulness and keep them with you—whether in the notes app on your phone or on a paper you can fit in your wallet or bag.