ACTS 7:9-15 “Jacob’s sons became jealous of their brother Joseph and sold him to be a slave in Egypt. But God was with him and brought him safely through all his troubles. When Joseph appeared before the king of Egypt, God gave him a pleasing manner and wisdom, and the king made Joseph Governor over the country and the royal household. Then there was a famine all over Egypt and Canaan which caused much suffering. Our ancestors could not find any food, and when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent his sons, our ancestors, on their first visit there. On the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and the king of Egypt came to know about Joseph’s family. So Joseph sent a message to his father Jacob, telling him and the whole family, seventy five people in all, to come to Egypt. Then Jacob went to Egypt where he and his sons died.”
This story of Joseph and his amazing adventures in Egypt always makes me remember that God can bring good out of the most horrible-sounding situations. When Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, it sounded like the end for Joseph. I imagine that the brothers never expected to hear from Joseph again. Surely they thought that he would perish as a slave in a foreign country. But God had other plans for Joseph. The king looked favorably upon Joseph who must have been a very bright and talented young man. The king, perceiving Joseph to be a man of multiple useful abilities, put Joseph in charge. In this position Joseph had much power and was able to maneuver so that the royal household had an abundance of grain in preparation for a famine that would come upon the land. When the famine did hit, Joseph was able to bring seventy five members of his family to Egypt to avoid starvation. Who would have thought that Joseph would be used as the instrument to rescue them from almost certain death!
I think of a book I read many years ago that made an impression on me: God, the Amazing Alchemist, by John Claypool. In it Claypool relates the story of Joseph in Egypt and compares God to an “alchemist’, one who was thought to be able to turn anything into gold. Claypool asks us never to despair regardless of how impossible or how bad a situation seems because God can bring good out of the worst of situations.
Ann Sieracki, EfM Mentor