Text: Genesis 47-50; Psalm 16
If you have been reading on this schedule, we have just completed our first full book of the Bible – Genesis. Congratulations!
As the story of Genesis comes to a close, we come across one of the great verses of the Bible, Genesis 50:20. Jacob has died, and Joseph’s brothers come and seek Joseph’s forgiveness for their sin against him. Recall that they conspired to kill him, but backed off and he ended up sold into slavery. Joseph tells them to not be afraid, and says.
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.
What an incredible statement. In these words are captured a most encouraging concept about evil – that it serves God. Joseph’s brothers meant to do evil – it was the real thing – dark and ugly and malevolent. But God meant for it to happen for a good purpose. Think of that – God intended it for good. That means God was in it before it happened. It’s not like God saw the evil and thought, “Let’s see… how can I turn this into something good?” God intended for Joseph to be sold into slavery that he might go to Egypt and make a way for God’s covenant family to be kept alive in the famine, and then to grow into that great nation God had promised.
In Romans 8:28, we see the concept again – this time generalized – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” These verses are true, and they tell us that whenever we experience evil we can be confident that it is not out of control – that the Lord is at work in and through it. This is what the Father did when He organized the evildoers that nailed Jesus to the cross. The fact that God owns evil and is in charge of it is very, very good news!
in Him, Mike