The Big Picture

Today’s Passage – Genesis 45 – 47

(Second Milers also read – Mark 7 – 8; Proverbs 18; Psalms 86 – 90)

Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:5)

“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 20)

Joseph was truly a man of great spirituality. As I was reading through these chapters of Genesis, there was something that stood out: Joseph forgave his brothers. The fascinating thing about Joseph’s forgiveness, however, is that it was not requested by the brothers. The brothers do not actually ask for Joseph’s forgiveness until after the death of Jacob in chapter 50. I am not so sure that their motivation was exactly pure, either. They were probably just trying to make sure that Joseph would not finally get even now that Dad was gone. However, Joseph then will just reiterate the forgiveness he already gave them in chapter 45.

There is one more thing that I would like to point out regarding Joseph’s perspective on what hs brothers had done to him. He says in chapter 50 that, though the brothers fully intended to do Joseph harm, God allowed (“meant”) it for good. For whose good you might ask? Well think about it. If Joseph’s brothers had not sold him into slavery, Joseph would not have been strategically positioned to ultimately become the prime minister of Egypt. From his position there he was able to feed the people of Egypt and the rest of the surrounding areas; including his family back in Canaan. The “bad” thing that his brothers did was made “good” by God. In fact we can see through hindsight that God’s sovereign hand was in the whole thing; not that God caused Joseph’s brothers to sin against him, but that God could take their willful crime against him, and through his foreknowledge, use it for good and His glory. Joseph had the right perspective. He could see the “Big Picture”.

How do we look at the “bad” events of our lives. You’ve noticed I’m sure that life is full of “bad” things: bad people; bad accidents; bad health; you get the idea. The key to true spirituality is how you choose to look at these events that God has allowed to enter into your life. Maybe He’s trying to get your attention. Maybe He’s trying to teach you something. Maybe He is using you to glorify Himself in the eyes of somebody else. You may not understand completely all the “good” that God is doing through the “bad” things that are happening; but know this: God is doing something, and everything God does is good. And also know this: the tunnel you may be going through today may be very dark, but if you stick with God, you will eventually get to the light at the end of it. It’s easy to see the light when you get out of the tunnel; but the truly spiritual person will see the light through the eyes of faith when he is in the darkest recesses of the problem that has come his way. You will get out of the valley and back on top of the mountain; but you have to trust God. Remember, He loves you more than you love yourself.

Let me challenge you. If you are going through a trial in your life today, try to look beyond the immediate problem, and see the big picture. God is in control. He knows what He is doing, and He will make something wonderful come out of it. Contrary to the way many of us thing, the universe does not revolve around us; it revolves around Christ. His sovereign plan is the big picture.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

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