Advent Day Five: The Egypt Effect

Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid.  Am I in the place of God?  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.  So then, don’t be afraid, I will provide for you and your children.” (Genesis 50:19-21)

God can be at work in our greatest tragedies.  These defining moments get our attention and cause us to realign our priorities.  People of faith look for the deeper meaning.  Sometimes the explanation is never found this side of heaven, but often, when we look back, God’s involvement is evident.

Joseph spent decades in Egypt, having been sold by his brothers into slavery. To an outsider, it may have seemed like he had been abandoned,  yet his captivity proved to be the means by which  the children of Israel were saved from starvation and annihilation.  God blessed Joseph and raised him to prominence in Pharaoh’s court, placing him charge of filling the granaries with wheat in the time of abundance.  Because Joseph was in the right place at the right time,  provisions were available for his family during the famine.

Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt to hide Jesus from Herod after the visitation of the wisemen.  Following the pattern of his ancestors, he was called out of Egypt, back to Israel at just the right time.  There he grew up safely in Nazareth as God prepared him for his epic mission. 

If you are in a situation that seems far from perfect, be certain that God can use circumstances to further his plan.  “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. “ (Romans 8:28).  Wisdom teaches us not to second guess the providence of God—in his time it will all make sense.

“Lord, I don’t always see you the circumstances of my life.  Rather than panicing and trying to figure it out, help me to trust in your guidance.  Give me patience to persevere, knowing that you are working out your own good purpose.”  Amen

Mindi Oaten’s painting “Our Instruction and Wisdom”is from God’s Garden of Grace collection.

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Paul was a preacher and teacher until he retired in 2015. He continues to write and listen to what God is saying to him in the ordinary and extraordinary things of life. Elaine was a public school teacher and administrator until she retired in 2018. She is using her retirement to reflect on God's work in her life and to share insights with her family and friends.

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