WHAT THE DEVIL MEANT FOR EVIL
“And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God has sent me ahead of you.” Genesis 45:5
When Joseph’s brothers sold him to be an Egyptian slave, they did not do it so he may become Egypt’s Prime Minister. It was out of jealousy that they what they did, and they had meant to never see their brother again. And for the next 13 years Joseph was kept in prison for something that he was innocent of. And yet, despite being falsely accused and having to spend 13 years in the prison, God’s favor was upon him. He was put in charge of the other prisoners. God gave Joseph the gift to interpret dreams, and it was because of that did Pharaoh released him and made him Prime Minister overnight. The devil had meant to destroy Joseph and make him the lowest of the lowest, but God has other plans.
The devil has one plan for our lives which will never change, and that is to destroy us. Sin brings destruction. Sin done by ourselves brings guilt and condemnation and that can be very, very destructive. Wounds inflicted on us as a result of others’ sin bring in hurt, bitterness and resentment. And because this world is a sinful world, the devil is out in full force to seek our destruction.
Sometimes we just do not understand why all these has to happen. It seems as if each time after God gives us a promise, an attack will immediately be launched against it. Prior to his handover to the Egyptians, Joseph had two dreams of being someone so much respected that even his parents and his brothers will have to bow down to him. He was so confident that it was from God and it will come to past.
Then, things went absolutely wrong. Joseph’s brothers decided to, out of jealousy and fear that they will one day have to bow down to their brother, sold him off as an Egyptian slave, hoping that they will never see him again. At first, Joseph found favor in the eyes of Potiphar, but it was short lived when Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him for being sexually immoral simply because he chose to do the right thing. For more than a decade, he spent his life in the dungeons. The dreams that God gave him seemed to just vanish in thin air. It seems that God is a liar.
But despite all that has happened, Joseph’s faith in God was never faint. The Bible says that ‘the Lord was with him, and showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden’. All throughout Joseph’s darkest times, God was with him. In fact, God was preparing Joseph for the palace even while he is in the prison.
When things get tough, do not be disheartened. Know that whatever word that proceeds from God’s mouth will never return to Him void. He will bring it to past in due time. Like in Joseph’s life, God prepared Joseph in the prison for the palace. Joseph was promoted from the lowest of all Egyptians (prisoner/slave) to the second man in the land, with a high authority given by Pharaoh.
When you have the favor of God, it cannot be taken away. Joseph’s dream was finally fulfilled when his brothers bowed down to him when they came begging for food. They did not realize that he is their brother, but Joseph recognized them. God has used Joseph to bring prosperity to the land of Egypt, making it the richest land at that time. Famine hit the land, but because of the wisdom that God has granted to Joseph, not only the people of Egypt have enough food, but people from neighboring lands come to Egypt looking for food.
In all these, Joseph was never bitter towards his brothers. When he revealed himself to them, he broke down as healing took place. Joseph restored his brothers and forgave them. He saw that God was behind all the ugly things that have happened. Joseph understood that God has sent him to Egypt not only to preserve its land and its people, but also those from neighboring regions who came looking for food. God is always true to His promises, though at times it may seem as if He has forgotten all about them. As in the life of Joseph, despite all the 'effort' his brother put in to stop themselves from bowing down to him, God's promise still prevailed, even after all the years.
The devil never wants the promises of God to be fulfilled in our lives. He will do anything to discourage and cause us to wage war against God. But remember, God is always faithful.
Paul says in Romans 8:28 that ALL things work TOGETHER for good. All means the good and the bad; and they work as ONE, together for a single purpose. You cannot separate the good from the bad, for it will be like looking at a single black piece of a puzzle instead of the whole picture; or eating the eggs and the flour separately instead of eating chocolate chip cookies. You need to put the good, and the bad together and learn to look a bit ahead into the future. Even if you cannot see how something so bitter can be a blessing in disguise, rest assured that God can. Sometimes trials force us out of the comfort zone or even bring us out from danger that we do not see coming. Sometimes, it is an opportunity to move on into something bigger that we have never seen. Remember, that in every crisis there is always an opportunity. There is always a door of escape.
When things get hard, know that you are in the exact position for promotion! Remember that the lower you are, the higher you will go. All you need to do is to surrender everything to God and always believe in His promises.