December 08, 2018

God’s Providence

Genesis 45:1-7

God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

—  Genesis 45:7

If anyone can claim to be a victim of biblical proportions, Joseph can. His brothers sell him into slavery. A false accusation lands him in prison for several years. But then, quite dramatically, Pharaoh delivers Joseph from prison and places him in authority over all of Egypt (Genesis 37-41).

If someone else were telling it, this would be the perfect setup for a vengeance story. But this is God’s story. When Joseph’s traitorous brothers show up looking for some grain, they get more than they ask for. They receive compassionate, abundant deliverance from God through Joseph (Genesis 42-44). Joseph, always the visionary, sees what they can’t: God himself has directed the whole story. Even out of the evil that people do, God works redemption.

Those sacks of grain mean more than the survival of one family. They mean the fulfillment of God’s promise to redeem his people—more populous than stars or the dust of the desert—people who trust him.

Joseph the betrayed victim became Joseph the savior. And his story prefigures another betrayal, another victim, and the ultimate Savior. Jesus, though innocent of any sin, was arrested, falsely accused, and exe­cuted on a cross. Yet out of this travesty of justice God perfected the deliverance of his people. No matter what each day brings your way, trust God and celebrate his providence.

Father, help us to fully trust you and celebrate your goodness today. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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