“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” (50:20).
In this verse, Joseph spoke and reassured his brothers that even though they had intended to sell him to slavery and lie to Jacob about his disappearance, God meant it for good, to fulfill His perfect plan to keep many people alive. God prepared Joseph’s heart to respond with mercy to his brothers and not turn against them. The attitude that Joseph took was to look at his brothers with eyes of mercy and a wise heart. “You didn’t do this, it was God’s plan all along, so that I could be in the position to save our family and the whole nation!”
It is interesting that the word translated “meant” is a Hebrew word that literally means “to weave.” If we take that into consideration, he said that it was because God Himself “weaving” his life through slavery into Egypt, that he could preserve the lives of many, including the nation of Israel. Though the enemy with an evil plan may intend harm for you and destroy you, God as the artist weaves His colors into the fabric of our lives, and creates beautiful patterns into us and the finished product is always beautiful. As we see in verses before, Joseph sees the plan of God clearly and declares it as so: “And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry” (Genesis 45:7-9).
It brings to memory those times in my life that I went through suffering and in the end God accomplished something greater in me. As for us, in those times of suffering when our fabric may be broken and undone, as sons and daughters of an awesome God, there will always be a new pattern bringing us back together. Though we may not see the light when we’re in the midst of darkness, we must have confidence in God that He will bring us out of the trials and take us to a place of great purpose. The greatest example we have is Jesus. His life was taken by much suffering and his enemies thought that He was indeed dead, but He rose again on the third day! It is because of that third day that we find our hope we now and celebrate His resurrection. “it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations” (Luke 24:46-47)
How beautiful it is to have such confidence in God that instantly when things may be incredibly painful and difficult we know that He is working in the background, weaving a plan for our good, because that is the heritage of the people of God. I would like to have that trust and faith in God, that when things are off – I may say like Joseph did “This may have been rough, but God meant it for God.”
One thing I will say that helps in situations like these is to rely on the scriptures and build that much needed faith in God. It is wonderful to have scripture handy with us, and find promises for us in them so that we may be able to gain strength. One scripture that I find handy in moment like these is the promise found in Romans for the children of God “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Rom. 8:28)
If you’re in a tough spot right now, gain strength in the scriptures and say like Joseph, “God is weaving MY life together and has carefully planned MY life”. So let Him accomplish His purpose through you, thank Him in every situation and have confidence that He is weaving into the fabric of your life. He is the artist. He is in control.