Saturday, January 20
God planned it for good
Scripture: Genesis 49-50, Psalm 8, Luke 20
Genesis 50:19-20 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.”
When Jacob dies, Joseph’s brothers fear that Joseph will exact his revenge. They seem to put words in Jacob’s mouth, pleading for Joseph’s forgiveness. Joseph’s answer is classic. He acknowledges their guilt: “you planned evil against me.” There is no dressing it up: it was evil; it was wrong. And Joseph acknowledges God’s greater purpose: “God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival (saving) of many people.”
First, there is true right and wrong, good and evil. What the brothers did was evil; what God did was good. Joseph names it accurately. As I pointed out last weekend, moral relativists (the most popular position now) cannot say that what the brothers did to Joseph was wrong—only that they don’t like it. But God is there, and so is right and wrong. We are called to stand against evil and do good.
Second, God is able to turn human evil to His own purposes. He does it here, but most significantly, He does it with Jesus’ death. Jesus was unjustly arrested, beaten and crucified. It was evil and wrong. But “God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the saving of many people.” We are saved because God’s goodness is greater than human evil.
Today’s challenge: do good, stand against evil, and above all, trust God to work in everything and accomplish His purposes. Don’t get discouraged and give up. God is always working, even when it seems the darkest.
Prayer: Lord, use me today to accomplish Your good purposes on earth.