God is Sovereign Over Evil (Joshua 16:1) - Radical

God is Sovereign Over Evil (Joshua 16:1)

“The allotment of the people of Joseph went from the Jordan by Jericho, east of the waters of Jericho into the wilderness, going up from Jericho into the hill country to Bethel.”
-Joshua 16:1

This could just seem like a simple verse describing the allotment of land that goes to the people of Joseph. But I just want you to pause and think about this picture. This was hard to see coming in Genesis 37, right? You remember back in the Old Testament, the first book in the Bible, when Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers when he was thrown into a dungeon for year after year after year, he was stuck in this dungeon. Who could picture that, one, he would even live, like his brothers at one point wanted to kill him. And there he was a slave thrown into a dungeon and yet think about Genesis 50:20. What others intended for evil, God intended for good.

What others intended for evil, God intended for good.

God was preserving Joseph. God was preserving his entire family. He would keep them alive during famine, through Joseph being sold into slavery, being thrown into a dungeon. God was working in all of this in ways Joseph never could have imagined, in ways no one could have imagined or would have planned. God was working behind the scenes in ways that would lead to, not only his good, but the good of his entire family that would lead to the good of his family one day entering into the promised land just as God had promised. And specifically here in Joshua 16:1, his people, his descendants receiving part of that promised land.

So we pray according to Joshua 16:1, God help us to trust you today, when we walk through hard times and when we don’t understand why things are happening around us the way they are, God, we pray to you asking for you to help us to trust fully in you, that you are at work behind the scenes in ways we don’t see, in ways we would not plan, in ways we cannot imagine, that you’re working. You’re always working behind the scenes for the good of your people and 16:1, when we can’t see what’s coming and what you’re designing, and maybe it’s a long time before we ever see that, maybe we don’t even see it this side of heaven. God, we pray today with trust in you and we pray that you help us to trust in you. God, give us faith on days when faith is hard to come by or to strengthen our faith, our trust in you, that we might know that even in the darkness and even in the waiting, that you are working and that you are bringing all things together for the good of your people, that light is coming ultimately. Oh God, that one day we will experience the fullness of all your prophecies, whether that’s in a land where there is no more sorrow or sin or suffering, trials or challenges, where we will see your face and we will enjoy your glory forever and ever, and ever.

We pray that you would help us to hold fast in faith. And we pray for descendants of our faith to come. God, we pray you help us to pass on this faith to those who come behind us, until that day, when we’re gathered around your throne, with every nation, tribe, and tongue you’ve brought to declare your glory and your praise from all the nations. God, we pray. Bring it about and help us today to trust that you are working to bring that about amidst everything going on around us. We pray this in Jesus’ name, according to Joshua 16:1, according to your work in Joseph’s life. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

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

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