Most of us are probably familiar with the story of Joseph being sold into slavery in Egypt. Isn’t it amazing how God worked all things together for good in his life? One bad thing after another was used to bring about God’s best plan for Joseph, and ultimately for the salvation of his entire family. But first He had to get him to Egypt.
God used Reuben to keep the other brothers from murdering Joseph outright. “But Reuben heard this and rescued him out of their hands and said, ‘Let us not take his life.’ Reuben further said to them, ‘Shed no blood. Throw him into this pit that is in the wilderness, but do not lay hands on him’- that he might rescue him out of their hands, to restore him to his father.” ~ Genesis 37:21-22. God saved Joseph from imminent death.
Next, God sent along some Ishmaelites, and Judah had a bright idea. “And Judah said to his brothers, ‘What profit is it for us to kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; for he is our brother, our own flesh.’ And his brothers listened to him.” ~ Genesis 37:26-27. Reuben may have talked them out of murdering Joseph with their bare hands, but leaving him to die in the cistern was still an option. Why not turn a profit on him instead? God got Joseph out of the pit of death.
And finally, God directed where Joseph would be headed. “Then some Midianite traders passed by, so they pulled him up and lifted Joseph out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. Thus they brought Joseph into Egypt.” ~ Genesis 37:28. God had much in store for Joseph to learn and to accomplish, and it waited for him in Egypt.
Imagine finding out how much your brothers really despised you by having them attack you and throw you into a pit. Imagine hearing them talk about your fate and what they might do to you. Imagine going from a spoiled rich boy to a lowly slave. Imagine. Wow.
No matter what circumstances look like, God sees the big picture. He knows what the future holds and works all things together for good in our lives (Romans 8:28) even when we cannot possibly see how any good can come of the evil surrounding and overtaking us. And He never leaves us.
“Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. And the LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.” ~ Genesis 39:1-2.
God once again worked in Joseph’s life so that he was right where he needed to be for God’s ultimate plan. We know the whole story, so we know how it all turns out. But Joseph couldn’t possibly know how it was going to be okay. It must have been such a comfort to him that “the LORD was with Joseph”.
Don’t forget we have that promise, too. “‘I will not fail you or forsake you.'” ~ Joshua 1:5
“‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.'” ~ Joshua 1:9