#288 – Bringing About Good (Genesis 37:28)

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“Then Midianite traders passed by and they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit and sold him to the Ishmaelites for 20 shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.”
(Genesis 37:28)

This one verse summarizes a lot of activity in Genesis chapter 37. First, Joseph in a sense boasting before his brothers of his favored position in the family as his dad had given him a coat of many colors, as he’d had dreams that revealed to him that his brothers would bow down to him. When he walks out to see his brothers one day they take him somewhat to end his life. They decide to throw him in a pit. When these slave traders come by they sell Joseph into slavery.
I can just imagine being in Joseph’s shoes. What is going through your mind as your brothers and your own family throw you into a pit, at first you think to leave you there to die? Then when some slave traders come by your brothers sell you off into total slavery. Now obviously we’ve not gotten to the end of the Joseph story, but in Genesis chapter 50 God makes clear through Joseph that though the brothers were selling him into slavery, God was ultimately using this to send him to Egypt. It would be for the brothers’ good that that would happen.

In the life of Joseph and throughout Scripture, we see God plotting for good even amidst tragic situations.

Oh, there’s so much to talk about in this story, but at this point I just want to encourage you. If you are walking through a particularly challenging time in your life right now, or maybe not now, maybe it’s a trial that’s coming around the corner that you don’t even know is coming around the corner, I just want to encourage you to know that in the middle of that trial, though you will not understand, though you may not right now understand why is this happening, what is going on around me, I just want to encourage you. There is a sovereign God who is on the throne. He is indeed working in ways we don’t see to bring about good. He’s working to bring about good. That’s his promise in Romans chapter eight, verse 28. He’s working to bring about good in your life, in the lives of the people around you.

I’m just trying to imagine some of the different things that might be going on where you were thinking, “Nothing about this seems good”. I think Joseph would probably say the same thing, like nothing about this seems good. He had no idea what God had in store. I just want to encourage you and I want to pray for you and pray for all of us, that our hearts would be prepared with this truth in our hearts when we face trials. God, we confess that there are times in this world, the heaviest most painful times in particular we have in this world where we don’t understand. We don’t understand why this or that is happening. We hurt, we have questions. We’re confused. We don’t get it. Why is this happening? We look up right now as we pray and we trust that you are on your throne right now, that you are always on your throne, that you are always in control, that you are always working all things, all things together for the good of those who love you. We say we trust in you.

God I pray that you would help brothers and sisters right now who are walking in trust to trust in you. Help every one of us. I include myself in this. I don’t know what’s coming around the corner. God, when it is hard, God please help me to trust in you, to know that you are in control when nothing makes sense. We praise you for that truth in this Joseph story. God, we pray that the conclusion in the end would be the same as we see here, that we would one day, even if it’s in eternity, be able to look back and say that God was working in all of that for good and ultimately for your glory. God, we trust in you. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.
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