Good Masquerading As Bad
Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. Genesis 37:3-5 (KJV)
Joseph was his daddy’s favorite. His brothers envied him- the scripture even says they hated him. In the Hebrew the word hated means they utterly hated him as they would an enemy or foe. In other words, they had absolutely no affection or love of any kind in their hearts for Joseph. They couldn’t stand the sight of him. It appears to be a very bad thing that most of Joseph’s family completely detested him and wanted to see him dead. But, was it really?
Joseph was so hated that his brothers conspired to kill him, but they settled for selling him to slave traders. Being sold into slavery was a very bad thing. But, was it really?
Working as a slave in the house of Potiphar, Joseph was falsely accused and imprisoned. It was unfair and unjust. What a bad thing to suffer. But, was it really?
Let’s follow this through from start to finish and see how bad Joseph’s experiences really were.
If Joseph had not been his father’s favorite and had received no dreams, his brothers would not have hated him and sold him into slavery.
If he was not sold, then he would not have ended up in Egypt working for Potiphar.
If he was not working for Potiphar, he would not have been accused by Potiphar’s wife and sent to prison.
If Joseph had never gone to prison, he would not have met the butler and baker for the Pharaoh and interpreted their dreams.
If he had not interpreted their dreams, he would have never been summoned to interpret the dreams of Pharaoh.
If he had not appeared before Pharaoh and interpreted his dreams, he would have never saved the people of Egypt and the surrounding area from famine.
If he had not proposed a way to save the people from famine, many would have died, including Jacob and his family.
If Jacob and his family had died, the nation of Israel would have never existed and the lineage of Jesus would have been terminated.
Had the lineage of Jesus been cut off, He would not have come in the way He did to be the sacrifice for the sins of the world.
If Jesus did not sacrifice Himself for our sins, then you and I would not be saved.
Of course, God is God and since He intended to save mankind, He could have use another way to do so- even if it did not happen through Israel and the lineage of Jacob. But the logical thought process I have outlined above is sobering. What if Joseph had not gone to Egypt? What if he had not interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams? It prompts us to revisit those “bad” things that happened to Joseph and see them in a different light. While they were certainly cruel and heartbreaking events, God turned them for good.
What bad thing are you facing right now? What if you found out that the very problem that is staring you in the face is the very thing that will launch you to something greater than you ever imagined? We all like to quote Romans 8:28, and with good reason. We all long to see those difficulties transformed into stepping stones to the blessing. And God loves to do just that.
And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose. Romans 8:28 (Amplified Bible, AMP)
Today, look at your situation with fresh eyes, and consider the fact that God’s plans often include the good masquerading as bad. Joseph recognized this very thing.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Genesis 50:20 (KJV)