Focal Passage: Genesis 37:5-11, 19-27
I have often heard people say, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” The idea here is that when chance circumstances are not what you would like for them to be, you make the most out of the situation. On the surface it seems like a good notion. However, the Bible teaches something altogether different – that God is sovereign over our circumstances and that while evil may come at the hands of sinful men, His plans cannot be thwarted, and He will turn all things for our good and His glory.
Consider Joseph. Joseph did not choose his dreams, God did, and his brother’s efforts to prevent God’s plans actually fulfilled them instead. They do eventually bow down to Joseph in Egypt.
Of course the plan was not to have all of them bow down before their favored relative. No, Joseph was sent ahead of them to preserve them as a people from the famine. This would also preserve the line of the Messiah to come through Judah’s offspring, a Messiah whose story also illustrates God’s sovereign use of evil to advance His purposes.
Acts 2:23-24a says, “This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to the cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again …”
Evil men committed evil acts against Jesus, but God had predetermined that these things would take place for His glory and the salvation of His people. They meant it for evil, but God meant it for good (Genesis 50:20). Such knowledge brings great hope and comfort to the believer.
Therefore, in your service to the Lord, do not become prideful or prone to despair. He has placed all of us in unique situations, He uses all of us differently, and He even uses those who would seek to destroy us to accomplish His will.
Be faithful to walk in a manner worthy of your calling.