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So when she gave birth to Joseph, he became known and esteemed as a miracle child. This quickly got old among his older brothers. Roots of bitterness soon took root within his brothers, so much so, that they schemed to get rid of Joseph—ultimately selling him into slavery. (Genesis 37:28) To cover up their evil scheme, they slaughtered an animal, covered Joseph’s multi-colored coat in the blood and told their father that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal. (Genesis 37:31-33) (On a side note: It’s interesting to me that Jacob, who had a history of deceiving others (Gen 27:19; 30:40-43), was deceived by his sons for years before learning the truth.)
Years later, Jacob and his family were hit hard by the famine that had ravaged the land, so Jacob sent his sons to Egypt to buy grain. (Genesis 42:2-3) However when his son’s arrived and asked to buy grain, they had no idea that Joseph was the man standing before them. Though Joseph immediately recognized his brothers, he wanted to know if they had changed, so he put them to the test. Joseph accused them of being spies and ordered one of the brothers to be arrested and held captive, while the other brothers took grain back to their father and were ordered to return with his younger brother Benjamin, whom Joseph had never met. No doubt Joseph longed to meet his younger brother because Benjamin was the only brother of his that was also born of his mom, Rachel.
When Joseph's brothers returned to their father, Jacob, you can imagine Jacob’s heartache when he heard the news that his son Simeon had been accused of being a spy, and had been bound and was being held captive in Egypt. No doubt Jacob had intentionally kept his youngest son, Benjamin, home with him when he sent his sons to buy grain, to protect Benjamin because of what happened to Joseph. Now with Joseph gone, and Simeon bound and being kept prisoner, Jacob is not about to freely give up his youngest, Benjamin, and risk the chance of losing yet another son. (Genesis 42:36, 38)
Things couldn’t possibly have been worse for Jacob. Totally overwhelmed, Jacob cries out “All things are against me!” (Gen. 42:36) Little did Jacob know, this couldn’t be further from the truth. All Jacob knew were the circumstances he saw before him. He had no clue that Joseph was alive, well, and was now the second most powerful man in all Egypt. Jacob had no idea that Joseph was the man behind Simeon’s arrest and Benjamin’s summons—and truly had no intention of causing his brothers harm, but just wanted to meet his younger brother. Above all, Jacob would never had imagined, in his wildest dreams, that he would be reunited with Joseph, and move with all his sons to Egypt to live with the son he had been grieving the loss of all these years.
Although Jacob felt all things were against him, things weren’t not even close to what they seemed. While at the moment it felt like things couldn’t possibly be worse, very soon Jacob would learn the truth and be overjoyed thinking, things couldn’t possibly be any better! My point is, like Jacob in his distress, we only see one piece of the puzzle in light of the good plans God has for us (Jer. 29:11)
Sometimes all we can see is the circumstances of the trial we are in. We can’t see how it can possibly get any better. But God…But God is working all things in our life to good. But God has great plans for us, not plans for harm--plans to give us a future and a hope. Before Jacob knew about Joseph living in Egypt, and the blessings that were yet to be revealed, Jacob was convinced “All things are against me!” When our heart is overwhelmed, God is not done yet. There are blessings still yet to be revealed. Just wait and see. In those frustrating and dark times in our life we can either believe all things are against us, or all things are working together for good. (Romans 8:28) Once choice will inevitably make us bitter, while the other will make us better. Have faith! The best is yet to come!
Question for you: Can you think of time when things couldn't have been worse, but God turned it all around in ways you never could have imagined?
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Copyright © 2013 Brooke Espinoza.