The Discipline of Doctrine

As a slave in Egypt, Joseph perseveres in faithfulness until God elevates him to the place of second in command to Pharaoh. Because of a great famine, Joseph’s brothers, who years before had wickedly sold him into slavery, come to buy grain in Egypt, the only place it was available (thanks to Joseph’s efforts).Joseph’s brothers do not recognize him when they stand in his presence. When he tests his brothers by putting a silver cup in the sack of his youngest brother, Benjamin, whom he then threatens to keep as a servant, Judah selflessly offers to take Benjamin’s place. At Judah’s selfless offer, Joseph cannot control his emotions and reveals himself as their brother—to their dismay, as they fear his vengeance (vv. 1–4). Instead Joseph comforts them, telling them not to blame themselves, and assures them, “God sent me before you to preserve life” (v. 5). Joseph does not deny his brothers’ sin, but he sees a higher purpose—“It was not you who sent me here, but God” (v. 8). Of course, on one level they sent their brother away when they sold him, but God used their evil for good without himself becoming guilty of the evil. He planned and utilized their deed to bring about great good, including care for them and their father, Jacob (45:9–46:7). Theology for Life—We do not fully understand how God sovereignly rules over evil actions, but we trust his promise to use all things, even present sufferings, to bring about the ultimate good of his people (Rom. 8:18, 28).

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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