Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. . . . ” Genesis 45:3-7
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
Wow. How terrified Joseph’s brothers must have been. How furious Joseph could have been. So many years of secreted guilt borne by Joseph’s brothers. So many years of loneliness, alienation, and confusion punctuated by false accusation of a worst kind and unjust incarceration. How godlessly Joseph’s brothers acted. How God-less Joseph must have felt.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.
Aren’t there seasons when we feel as though God has left and won’t return? As though He changed His mind and abandoned us? And yet doesn’t God promise never to forsake His. Doesn’t He demonstrate time and time again His merciful, patient power toward even the most treacherous in league against the defenseless, tearing down their pride, their high walls, muffling their rage, confounding and turning their venomous stratagems, transforming their minds, hearts, wills, showing them their fatal sinfulness and need for saving rescue?
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take! Didn’t He do that to Joseph’s brothers? Didn’t He do that for Joseph? Yes He did. Hasn’t He done that to, in and for you? Yes, He has. Won’t He continue? Yes, He will. Faithful is He who began a good work in you,to bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6
Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.