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Pastor's Column 2/25/2024



“But Joseph replied, ‘don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.”    Genesis 50:19-20, NLT


“Reversing The Intent!”


The ancient and intriguing story of Joseph and his brothers is one that never grows old. Some of the most trying aspects of family dynamics and human nature are presented in the narrative. Joseph, through no fault of his own, has become a favorite son of his aging father Jacob, and his younger wife, Leah. Jacob’s mother, Leah, died during the birth of her last child, Benjamin, Jacob waxed eloquently at meal time, telling his family about his dreams. When interpreted, the dreams revealed Joseph's future ascendency over his family. The brothers of Joseph thought the dreams and their dubious interpretation was nonsense. Joseph's dreams soon angered them, because they all seem to have the same theme: Jacob’s rise to power; and their capitulation to his authority. Jacob, it seems, was concerned about the dreams, but encouraged Joseph to share them. This acquiescence of Jacob, coupled with a beautiful, embroidered coat he presented to his son in the presence of the others, proved too much. The jealousy and anger of the brothers toward Joseph reached a fever pitch. Observing their brother at a distance, who was coming to bring them food as they worked in the fields, a rash decision was made to “kill him.” But for the intervention of one brother, Reuben, the alternate plan was to “sell him [as a slave].” This they did, intending to be rid of their brother forever. However, God used this episode in the life of Joseph to bring him into prominence in Egypt, where he inevitably saved his family and his people from starvation and death. God ‘reversed” the dreadful intent of Joseph’s brothers. Our trials often are the tipping point for something better, that God intends. We must trust God and never abandon our belief that He will bring us justice, recovery, and prosperity. Joseph went from the slave pit: to prison; to the palace; then to prominence. Only God takes what others intend to harm us with; turns it around, and replenishes His grace for the days of our lives!

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