Posted by Gary on September 20, 2005
Genesis 45:8 “Now therefore, it was not you who sent me here but God…”
I am reading my children the book of Genesis in the evenings before they go to bed. I was caused to pause in my heart last night as I read the children verse 8 when Joseph states, “Now therefore, it was not you who sent me here but God…” It was one of those times when the Scripture stands you up and speaks loudly and makes you think.
To the heart devoid of faith Joseph’s statement makes no sense. Of course it was Joseph’s brothers who sent him to Egypt right? They were the ones who threw him into a well and then drew him out and sold him to Midian traders heading to Egypt, this story has human agency written all over it.
The power of this statement is that no one knows more than Joseph that human agency has been at work in the events of his life: the false accusation of Potiphar’s wife, the forgetful butler who does not remember Joseph after being helped by him until two years after the fact. If anyone had a right to point at others and assign blame it was Joseph. How many of us would have done just that. The storyline changes but the statements are always the same: “If only they would have…”, “Everything was fine until he…”, “It’s my wife’s fault”.
Joseph understood and believed what the Bible shouts to us over and over, the fact that God is in control. This does not mean that humans are not involved in our lives and circumstances, of course they are but the message of the Bible is clear, what happens to us comes from the hand of God. I love Joseph’s statement; he is glorifying God when many of us would be venting our rage: “I can’t believe you did this to me”, “I hate you”, “You’ve ruined my life”. Not Joseph, he knows that God is even in control of the sinful actions of people and designs and uses them for His purposes and for the good of His children.
This is even true of our own actions. You and I often make plans about what we are going to do, we map it all out; but what does the Bible tell us:
“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
Here is just a sample of the things the Bible tells us God is in control of:
“He makes the nations great, then destroys them; He enlarges the nations then leads them away.”
“The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever he wishes.”
“That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, The One forming light and creating darkness, causing peace and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.”
“And the Lord said to him, ‘Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him dumb or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord?’”
“Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow.”
“See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; And there is no one who can deliver from My hand.”
“All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
“And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”
“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”
Join me in taking the challenge to consider our lives in light of what the Bible tells us about God’s sovereignty. Do you believe you are what you are and are facing what you are facing in life because it is God’s will that you do? Or are you blaming others and wasting your life saying, “If only”?
There is a great sense of peace and joy that comes from acknowledging God’s sovereignty over our lives. I would encourage you to make God’s sovereignty a grid and place it over your heart and mind and run every circumstance, difficulty and joy through it, they are all ordained by God and if He is your Father you know that they will all be worked for your good.
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