I love reading the story of Joseph in Genesis because it is filled with events, some large, some seemingly insignificant, which declare the sovereignty of God in his life. It is encouraging to me to see how God superintends even the smallest details of life for the good of his people.
If you know the story of Joseph, you know the series of horrible events in his life, which culminated in a great deliverance from his troubles, as he is placed in a position of honour and power over the land of Egypt. I think we tend to look on God’s sovereignty in Joseph’s life in an isolated manner – that God was able to work all the trials of his life for his good. So we apply this to our own struggles, and hopefully have our trust in God enriched for our own lives.
What I find most remarkable about Joseph’s story, however, is how God was working providentially on behalf of Joseph’s brothers. They sold their own brother into slavery and pretended he was dead to cover up what they did. They wronged Joesph deeply, but listen to Joseph’s analysis of what they did to him:
And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life… God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
(Genesis 45:5-8 ESV)
What is incredible here is that Joseph recognizes that God superintended his circumstances for the benefit of his brothers – to save their lives in a time of great famine. They sinned against him, yet God was still working even their sin not only for Joseph’s benefit but for theirs as well! Let this be an encouragement to you, that God can and does use all circumstances, even your greatest failures, to bless you and those around you if you are his children.
It is remarkable how God is able to work good for us when we are sinned against. It is ever more remarkable how God can still be working for our good when we are sinning against others!