01/19/18 God Had a Plan

READING: Genesis 44-46

“Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God.”

Genesis 45:8

I’ve read many times the story of Joseph’s seeing God’s sovereign hand in his journey into slavery and Egypt. I’ve heard it preached for years. Decades after his brothers threatened to kill him and then sold him to Midianites, Joseph forgave them because he saw God’s direction in it all: “And now don’t be grieved or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life” (Gen. 45:5). Indeed, Joseph repeated himself so his brothers would hear him: “Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Gen. 45:8).

This story really is amazing. Joseph modeled faith and forgiveness in such a way that we still turn to him as an example for others. He was perceptive enough to see God’s hand in the past to prepare him for the present—and then to point toward the future. Thus he could say to his brothers, “God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance” (Gen. 45:7). Joseph realized that God had a plan, and he was intentional in following it.

I suppose somebody might think, “Of course, it’s easy to see God’s hand when you’re high up in the leadership of Egypt, but what about those who remain on the bottom rung of the ladder?” It would always seem easier to see God’s work in our yesterday when our today is most bright—but perhaps that’s one of the points of the story. God’s in control—period—and we can always trust Him. He takes us where He takes us for His glory, and it’s His call what our stories look like. He will use us as He wishes to accomplish His plan.


  • If you’re having a tough time and it’s hard to trust God, go back and read the story of Joseph so far.
  • If you need to forgive somebody, let it go. Then, let that person know of your forgiveness.  

PRAYER: “Father, grant me a heart that forgives like Joseph did.”


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