Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
Gen. 45.8 – “So it was not you who sent me here, but God.”
Yesterday we noted in this remarkable passage, the first thing Joseph required of the brothers who had sold him into slavery was to: “not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here.” Now the second thing he wants to cement into their hearts and minds is his own understanding of the matter: “So it was not you who sent me here, but God.” No, he is not denying their role. He is not denying their guilt. He is recognizing that things do not happen on just one plane. That God is on His throne, ruling His universe, and that accordingly nothing is as simple as someone merely acting. We are so prone to evaluate our life experiences only the basis of the immediate. We hurt, that is bad, all associated with hurt is bad. There is little sense of taking our trials and tribulations to the Lord, that they might be re-cast in our hearts and minds in light of eternity. We forget that softness and ease are seldom tools for moving men toward God. How many can testify that it was their pain, their emptiness, their brokenness that was the catalyst to find refuge, help and forgiveness in Christ Jesus? In fact it is ONLY on the basis of need that we run to Him. Though the immediate need may be physical, psychological, relational, situational or consciously spiritual – it is the sick who find their need of the Great Physician and thus are driven to Him by the press of things. No, He does not always fix the thing we run to Him about. Often, that is just the meeting point. He wants more to give us life IN the circumstance than just change it. To give us victory over it, power to endure it – more – grace to lay hold upon it for good. It is the story of redemption, not the Great Escape. That Joseph didn’t whitewash his woes or fail to recognize them realistically is shown in the names of his sons: Manasseh, “For…God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.” And, Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” A lost house and affliction. Still he can say – “It wasn’t you who sent me here, but God.” And why? For good. Yes, pain, heartache, difficulty, trial & grief – not one good in themselves – but redeemed FOR good, by the God of love for His people.