But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
(Genesis 50:19-20 NLT)
What if Joseph had treated people as he was treated? How would the story of Joseph’s life have been told differently? Or would it have ever been known?
There is a common thread in Joseph’s life—forgiveness and acceptance that good and bad were a part of God’s sovereign will for his life. Joseph’s journey unfolded with this two-pronged approach to life.
When Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into Potiphar’s household, what if he had become bitter and cynical, would have ever found favor with Potiphar, and put in charge of his whole household (Genesis 39:1-4 NLT)? When Joseph resisted the sinful advances of Potiphar’s wife and was rewarded by being thrown into prison, what if he had questioned God’s goodness (Genesis 39:10-20 NLT)? If he had become resentful, would he have been put in charge of the other prisoners (Genesis 39: 21-22 NLT)? As Christian singer and songwriter Keith Green often said, “if you find yourself in a valley, farm it.”
Or when he was forgotten by the King’s Cupbearer when Joseph helped secure his release, was he not tempted to say that God had forgotten him, and he may as well give up (Genesis 40:23 NLT)?
Could Joseph have said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good,” If he had not forgiven his brothers and believed in his heart, though it not be written yet, that “God causes everything to work together [for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them (Romans 8:28 NLT).
Have you been disappointed, betrayed, or forgotten, and do you have difficulty reconciling these things with God’s goodness? Never judge God by your circumstances but judge your circumstances by the character of God. The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings (Psalms 145:17 RSV).
What if Joseph had treated people like he was treated, he would never have become the deliverer of his people.
The image is used with permission from Microsoft.