“And they said one to another, ‘We are very guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore, is this distress come upon us’.”
In Christ, “all things do work together for good IF we love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
Life is like a jigsaw puzzle. And, so often the pieces seem so disjointed and unconnected. That’s why it’s important—yea, imperative—that we trust in a God Who knows “the Big Picture” and has a wonderful Plan for our lives (Jer. 29:11-14). That way we’ll not give into confusion or despair when some of those pieces are painful, leaving us in perplexity.
There was no way for the 10 brothers to understand what was happening to them.
They’d gone to Egypt to buy some corn during a terrible famine in the land (v.1-3). And, there was no way for them to know that Joseph, whom they’d sold to a passing band of Midianites for 20 pieces of silver (Gen. 37:27-28), would be the one to greet them that day when they arrived in Egypt (42:6).
Although they didn’t know Joseph, he knew them (v.7-8).
And, it was at that moment he realized the significance of the dreams he’d had some 32 years before as a young teenage boy (v.9; 37:5-11).
So often the things God is showing us today will not make sense to us—for they are intended for use another day. That’s why, like Mary, we must “keep them in our hearts” (Lk. 2:19, 51) . . .mulling over them in meditation. . .confident that the One Who gave those truths will one day use them for His Glory and our good.
Even though the brothers viewed their dilemma as simply “getting what was coming to them” (vv.9-22), later on they’d realized Joseph’s whole purpose was to ultimately bring them to live with him in safety in Egypt (Gen. 45:1-28). And, they’d also realize that ultimately God’s Hand had used everything to ensure His Promises to Abraham would be fulfilled (Gen. 12:1-3; 15:1-6; 17:15-21; 21:12; 22:15-18).
Oh, dear Pilgrim, too often we focus more on our difficulties than we do our Deliverer. We groan over the sharp edges of the “puzzle” and why God allows them, forgetting He’s creating a beautiful mosaic in our lives. And, if we’re not careful, we’ll end up living in the guilt of past sins—even though we’ve asked God to forgive us of them—instead of trusting Him to bring about good out of even the worst mess-ups of our lives.
How wonderful to read the final chapter of this beautiful story of Joseph’s interaction with his brothers (Gen. 50:15-21). Truly, he was a precious picture in the Old Testament of the coming Christ—giving Grace where none was deserved and showing Mercy to those who deserved to suffer for their sins. May the Holy Spirit help us today to remember the importance of living by faith, not sight; that way we’ll not become discouraged and be tempted to despair when everything’s falling apart around us (II Cor. 4:8-9; Phil. 1:6).
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated May 31, 2010