The biblical account of Joseph in Genesis 37 – 48 is one of many examples of God’s sovereignty and how God works out his plan.
Joseph was betrayed, sold by his own jealous brothers into slavery and separated from his beloved father and family. But the Bible makes it clear in Genesis 39:2 that “The Lord was with Joseph.. in the house of his Egyptian master”. As a result, Potiphar (his master) gave him substantial authority over his household. But things turned sour when Potiphar’s wife lusted after Joseph. In faithfulness to God, Joseph rejected her advances and she responded by accusing him of attempted rape, and Joseph was thrown into prison.
Once again, “the Lord was with Joseph” (Gen 39:21) even there, blessing him and ultimately putting him in charge of the other prisoners; for “the keeper of the prisoner paid no attention to anything that was in Joseph’s charge, because the Lord was with him” (Gen 39:23).
There, Joseph interprets the dream to a future time of abundance that would be followed by a time of great famine. Pharaoh rewarded Joseph with overseeing the lands of Egypt – second only to Pharaoh himself. And Joseph led Egypt to store up the abundant harvest in preparation for tough times ahead. His wisdom and planning saved Egypt, his own family and many other nations as well.
In God’s meta-narrative, Joseph was a prefigure to Jesus Christ, foreshadowing the ultimate saving work on the cross.
Trust in God’s Sovereignty & His timing
Through it all, Joseph remained faithful and trusted in God all these times for he said to his brothers toward the end of the book of Genesis, “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.” (Genesis 50:20) God did not forget Joseph, though it took many years for God’s great plan to be completed.
How should we respond?
We may not always understand what is happening around us regarding the situations or trials in our lives, and we want solutions instantly. But taking a leaf from Joseph, let’s learn to rest confidently in the fact that our God is sovereign and in control to further His perfect plans. Let’s grow in our faith to trust that God will work all things for good!
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
One of the most impactful truths from the account of Joseph is that God works in ways higher than we can see. Joseph understood this, enabling him to respond well to his difficulties.
Everyone of us goes through the ups and downs on life’s highway. Many of us want to trust God. When times are good, it can feel easier. But when times feel difficult, it is even more important to trust God and His sovereignty when things feel unsteady and uncertain.
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord” (Psalm 31:24)
By Deacon Lim Sheng Chin