walk in the word
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:20, esv).
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). “All Scripture.” All of it. None of it is filler. To repeat God’s own choice of words, all of it is “profitable.” But we can also say this: not all of it is equally profitable. Some parts, some verses, more specifically than others, are game-changers.
Genesis 50, verse 20, for example.
“As for you, you meant evil against me.” This is Old Testament Joseph, reminding his brothers what they all knew. Their treatment of him had been abusive—their jealousy, their plotting, their berating of him as worthless, their kidnap and sale of him to passing slave traders. It was worse than bad—it was evil. “But God meant it for good.” They’d intended to do him harm, and yet Joseph had never really been under their power. He’d been under the power of Almighty God, all the while, who was causing all things to “work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).“No child of God is ever really a victim. God is always bigger, always greater, and His plans cannot be thwarted by others’ bad behavior.” Click To Tweet
Joseph was not their victim. No child of God is ever really a victim. God is always bigger, always greater, and His plans cannot be thwarted by others’ bad behavior.
But how do you get to a place where you can say and believe what Joseph said and believed? “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” How do you ever truly live inside the knowledge that God has everything under His power, including not only you but also the person or people against you?
The answer: Start now.
Genesis 50:20 didn’t happen overnight. It was twenty-five years in the making—years that included unjust slavery and jail time, rejection and neglect. But before the famine even arrived that would compel his brothers to come seeking relief in Egypt, Joseph had already named his firstborn son Manasseh, a name whose meaning implies forgetfulness, for he said, “God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house” (Genesis 41:51).
Remember, too, when Joseph’s brothers later showed up, how they didn’t even recognize him—this kid brother of theirs who now ruled a world power, second only to Pharaoh. Remember how, when Joseph finally couldn’t keep his secret any longer, he became so overwhelmed with emotion that he excused himself to another room and wept loudly enough that people outside could hear him. “Do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here,” he told them, “for God sent me before you to preserve life . . . God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth . . . It was not you who sent me here, but God” (Genesis 45:5, 7–8).
He wasn’t yet saying it as perfectly as he would say it later in Genesis 50:20, but the heart behind it was already there and growing. Joseph had chosen early in his journey not to live in bitterness, not to get stuck in their abuse, trapped by animosity, even for a little while. And if you’ll start at that same game-changing point today, you’ll get to your Genesis 50:20 moment. Probably much sooner than you ever thought possible.
Lord, thank You for revealing in Your Word a more accurate paradigm for life than my mind would naturally assume. Thank You for the gift of Scripture, which records all the truth I need for understanding Your purposes. Thank You mostly that no matter what comes my way, I can know You’ve declared already You’ve “meant it for good.” Help me believe this promise at new depths, starting today, as I trust in the triumphant name of Jesus, amen.
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