by Mary Kate Hipp
"You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result--the survival of many people." (v.20) Many of you are likely familiar with this verse, maybe this calls to mind the song "See a Victory" by Elevation Worship where these words are the lyrics to the bridge. Let us dig in to this familiar verse a little further!
What is important to note about this passage is that Joseph had the spiritual maturity to recognize the goodness and the faithfulness of the Lord despite his circumstances. When life seems grim or hopeless, seldom do we recognize the goodness of the Lord. It is difficult to look back and exclaim the Lord's goodness over painful experiences. But friends, it is beautiful when we have the ability to step back and marvel at the Lord's handiwork. How His goodness was evident in every moment. This is not an innate skill--to be ever cognizant of how He work even in the most difficult seasons. This is a skill that we must ask the Spirit to grant us. Joseph graciously forgives his brothers many many years after they hurt him. This was likely not his immediate response. Ask God to grant you this skill so that you might find rest in the sovereignty of the Lord.
Some of my favorite tools for my personal devotions are the Every Moment Holy liturgy books. These books are full of prayers and petitions for just about any situation imaginable. This past spring, I stumbled upon a line of prayer that read: "You answer not what I demand, but what I do not even know to ask."
The bottom line of this verse is that God is sovereign. I find it interesting that this is one of the last verses in Genesis. From the beginning, we hear the God is sovereign. The sovereignty of the Lord does not equate to our lives being perfect, our every wish and prayer being granted. It does however constantly work for His good, which is to say the good of many people (v.20b). Often we are surprised by His faithfulness and goodness in what we did not even know to ask. He exceeds and transforms our expectations. Though evil may be planned against us, God who is abundantly greater has planned it for good!
May you see the faithfulness of the Lord more clearly, love Him more dearly, and seek Him more nearly this week.
Lord, help us to see your handiwork today. May we proclaim your faithfulness.