Published 9:29 am Thursday, October 29, 2015
As we have seen before, the story of Joseph in the last part of Genesis is fascinating. It all comes to a rightful conclusion in Genesis 50:20 where Joseph declares to his brothers, “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 does Joseph mean? How has God used the evil of Joseph’s brothers to bring about His good purposes? It is important that we think about this question in relation to God’s promises to Abram in Genesis 12.
One of the promises God made to Abram was that He would make a great nation of him. Abram’s family had not yet grown to a great nation at this point of redemptive history, but they were multiplying.
The famine in Canaan had the potential to wipe them out. God used Joseph’s presence in Egypt to prevent that from happening.
Another promise God made to Abram was that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through him. Certainly we see that happening throughout Israel’s history, but we see it taking place in the Joseph narrative in at least two ways.
First, Abraham’s descendants were not the only ones who were protected from the famine by Joseph’s presence in Egypt. His interpretation of Pharaoh’s ominous dream led to his preparing for the famine during the years of plenty that came before the years of famine.
Through Joseph’s diligent preparation, the lives of the people of Egypt, and likely other surrounding areas, were protected with food to eat.
Second, God’s promise that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through Abram is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus, Abram’s descendant who gave His life to purchase salvation for all peoples.
If you look back at Matthew 1:2, you will see that Judah, one of Joseph’s brothers, was an ancestor of Jesus. Through Joseph’s presence in Egypt, God was protecting the line of the Messiah.
I am reminded once again that the purposes of God never fail. Life often seems bleak, yet God is still on His throne ruling sovereignly over His creation. All worship is due Him for His goodness and power.
Adam Blosser is the pastor of Drakes Branch Baptist Church. He can be reached at email@example.com.