Let’s keep reflecting on the story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50). The story that so many are familiar with – the one told by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph and his Technicolor Dreamcoat” – does not do the Biblical account justice. That version is told about a boy whose dreams came true, whereas the Bible is less concerned with Joseph’s personal dreams and ambitions, and more focused on what God is achieving through his people.
A few generations before Joseph, God had made a covenant with Abraham, Joseph’s great-grandfather, promising him, amongst other things, that he would bring blessing to the people’s of the earth through his descendants (read Gen. 12.1-3). At the end of Joseph’s story in Genesis 50, there is a final fascinating exchange with his brothers. They are concerned that now they have buried their fatherJacob that this would be the time for Joseph’s revenge for selling him into slavery. Joseph reassures them: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Gen. 50.20 NIV11). Joseph had come to see that his personal misfortune was a part of God’s plan to save the Ancient Near East from famine. What happened to him was still evil, but he saw God’s hand at work.
We see this truth ultimately at the cross of Jesus where the promise made to Abraham is brought to its ultimate fulfilment. The most horrendous evil – the betrayal and judicial murder of the perfect son of God – is used by God to bring blessing as the good news is preached to the nations.
Often we face challenging times. We may be tempted to think that God is somehow removed from our situation and that where we find ourselves is not a part of his will for us. However, when we turn to God’s word we can see that God’s rule is never challenged. Nothing in our lives is apart from his will for us. Will we take encouragement that God still uses his people in every circumstance to bring blessing? Will we trust him to use even our trials for his purposes? Remember, Jesus’ resurrection comprehensively demonstrates that our God can be trusted.
Pastor | Trinity Church Brighton
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