Not You but God (Genesis 45:8) - Radical
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Not You but God (Genesis 45:8)

“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.”
– Genesis 45:8

Genesis 45:8 is one more, just one more startling statement in this story of Joseph. As Joseph is speaking to his brothers he says, “It wasn’t you who sent me here.” Well in one sense, absolutely it was. Like they’re the ones who sold him into slavery. He wouldn’t have been there if they hadn’t sinned against him, if they hadn’t hurt him, if they hadn’t betrayed him, if they hadn’t almost killed him and instead decided to sell him into slavery. So in a sense, yes they did, they did send him there.

Genesis 45:8 God Can Use Evil For Good

Joseph realizes that his brothers meant evil, but God meant it for good. Questions may arise as we journey through life in a fallen world, but the conclusion is clear: Trust in Christ.

But Joseph realizes that ultimately, there’s a bigger picture at work. That there’s a whole nother perspective. So yes, his brothers did that. They sold him. That’s what he says in verse 5, “You sold me here, but God sent me.” That’s what he says in Genesis 45:8, “It is not you who sent me, but God.” So God sent me. Now again, that is just mind boggling, theologically baffling. How did God send through the brothers’ selling him into slavery? I mean the brothers were sinning, but ultimately over and above everything else, God was working.

And this is where I just want to encourage you. We live in a world of sin and evil all around us. And it is exactly that. It is the work of the adversary, the devil, in the world around us, the deceiver. And as long as we are in this world as it is, sin and evil will be present all around us. And not just around us, we are prone to it in each of our hearts.

Genesis 45:8 Reminds Us God Is In Control

But know this. This is the good news ultimately of the Bible. There is another perspective. There is a God over this world who is holy and good. And this God is omnipotent, and omniscient, and sovereign. Which means he is in control. Which means sin and evil are not ultimately in control. And the devil and demons are not ultimately in control. The adversary, the deceiver is not ultimately in control.

This Verse Reminds Us to Trust In God

And so even as sin and evil is happening, ultimately there is a God who is reigning, and who will ultimately bring an end to sin, and evil, and suffering. That God is ultimately working in all things to bring about his good purposes to pass. And so there’s so many questions that even arise in that. But the conclusion is clear. Put your trust in God. Turn from sin and evil and trust in God. This is the gospel, repent and believe. Turn from sin, turn from evil and all of its effects and trust in Jesus.

Jesus has taken the payment for our sin upon himself. Jesus has died on a cross to conquer sin. He has risen from the grave to conquer death. And so put your trust in him, put your trust in his love, put your trust in his sovereign grace today. Call other people to do the same, call other people to trust in him, to turn from sin and trust in him. Pray for that right around you, in your workplace, in your office, in your neighborhood. Also, pray for boldness and compassion to share the gospel with others so they might turn from sin and trust in Jesus. Pray for that here, pray for that around the world. Pray for Turkish speaking Kurds in Turkey and 6+ million of them. Very little if any followers of Jesus, let’s pray that that would change.

This Verse Leads Us to Pray For Turkey

God cause Turkish speaking Kurds in Turkey to believe in the gospel. Cause people around us in our workplace, in our families, in our neighborhoods to believe in the gospel, the good news of your love, to turn from sin and self and to trust in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

God we praise you for this gospel, we praise you that you are sovereign over everything. We put all our trust in you. And we pray that you’d help us to live with this perspective, that over and above everything you’re working, and you can be trusted.

So, give us a Genesis 45:8 kind of faith that trusts your hand, even in the middle of sin, and evil, and suffering, and pain in this world. In Jesus’s name we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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