December 09, 2017

Dreaming Joseph

Genesis 37:1-11; 50:15-26

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

—  Genesis 50:20

Joseph was a teenager who lacked common sense. When two dreams revealed that his family members would bow down to him, he eagerly told all those who were the least likely to appreciate them! His brothers hated him so much that they sold him into slavery. In Egypt, after a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs, Joseph became the chief deputy to Pharaoh, king of Egypt. When a famine brought the brothers to Egypt to buy food, they were reunited with Joseph. Their father, Jacob, was also reunited with his long lost son.

After Jacob died, the brothers wondered if Joseph would now punish them for their awful deed. But Joseph delivered a jaw-dropping response: You meant to harm me, but God turned it into good and saved many lives.

Advent reminds us that God is able to turn evil intentions into results that are good. We can’t always see how God does this; God’s ways are not our ways. But God is always working to do good. We see it in the life of Joseph and in the story of Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross, God took the evil of the crucifixion and transformed it into everlasting salvation for all who believe in Jesus as Savior.

Despite all our sins, God is always surprising us with the ways in which love can conquer hatred and forgiveness can over­power sin. Have you experienced God’s love in your life?

Lord, thank you for always being at work to turn evil to good. Thank you for sending Jesus to endure the cross so that we may live. Amen.

About the author — Thea Leunk

Thea Nyhoff Leunk has been a high school English teacher, a director of Christian education, a pastor of discipleship, and a regional coach for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. She is currently the senior pastor at Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thea has also written courses for teens and young adults on world religions, Christian faith traditions, and science and the Bible. She and her husband have three adult children.

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