“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.” -Genesis 50:20 (ESV)
Have you ever noticed all the people God called throughout the Bible in bad situations to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks?
Despite how it appeared on the outside, God had these followers perfectly positioned to alter the course of history and fulfill His plan on the earth.
Some names that come to mind include: Ruth and Boaz, Esther and Mordecai, Rahab, Moses, Gideon, Deborah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. All of these followers found themselves in less than ideal spots and yet God did extraordinary things through them. They were slaves and fugitives and convicts and outcasts and widows and prostitutes and society’s rejects. But God saw something different in them.
Joseph was a seventeen-year-old “dreamer.” God had given him a dream that his brothers and his father would bow down to him and he would rule over them. Even his father Jacob rebuked him for his dreams (Genesis 37:10). Why don’t we nurture younger believers instead of quenching their passion for God? When you were a younger believer did God give you a dream that other believers snuffed out? What is He saying to you about that dream today?
Some time later Jacob tells Joseph to go check on his brothers. His brothers seize him and throw him in a pit. Then they sell him as a slave to some Ishmaelites. That is a pretty rough place to be. Betrayed by his family, sold into slavery, he ends up in the household of Potiphar, a powerful man in Egypt, an officer of Pharaoh. Did Joseph whine and complain? I don’t think so. Instead Genesis 39:2-3 (ESV) says Joseph found favor in Potiphar’s house:
“The Lord was with Joseph, and he became a successful man, and he was in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 His master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord caused all that he did to succeed in his hands."
Are you still waiting for God’s promise but you feel like you are in “slavery”? What kind of attitude are you taking while you wait? Are you disappointed and complaining or are you standing in hope and trusting God to do what He said?
But then something even worse happens to Joseph. Potiphar’s wife tries to seduce him. He runs away and she blames him! He is convicted and sent to prison. He’s wrongfully accused. But the prison is exactly where God wants him to be to save the house of Jacob and all of Egypt!
“But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him steadfast love and gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison.” -Genesis 39:20 (ESV)
Prison is where he meets Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer and chief baker. He interprets their dreams. The chief cupbearer is delivered from prison and the chief baker is hanged. But the cupbearer forgets about him.
Then God gives Pharaoh a dream that will save all of Egypt and the house of Jacob. But no one knows what it is about. Until the cupbearer remembers Joseph. God gives Joseph the interpretation and Pharaoh promotes Joseph to second-in-command. He becomes the one tasked to gather food during the times of plenty for the times of famine that will follow.
Joseph is thirty years old. It took thirteen years of struggle, slavery, trials, and imprisonment until the day God promoted him to a ruler in Egypt. His brothers and father did bow to him. Joseph’s declaration in Genesis 50:20 comes after his brothers plead for their lives for the wrong they did to him.
Ask God what He wants to tell you along the journey if you are still waiting for His dream to come to fruition in your life. What is He calling you to do to prepare while you wait?
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