The Hidden Purposes of God – Genesis 50- Exodus 1

Our church family is reading through the first five books of the Bible together in ninety days. We invite you to join us as we believe this will be a time that will change our lives. 

Read Genesis 50 – Exodus 1

Joseph’s life shows us that God’s purposes often travel strange paths. Who would have ever thought that all Joseph went through – the deception of his family, being sold into slavery, false imprisonment – would all be used of God to orchestrate, prepare and position Joseph to be used to save all of Israel? The hidden purposes of God can sometimes be seen only at the end of your story. Isaiah 55:9 reads, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways (or purposes) higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” We operate with only partial knowledge. God operates with all knowledge. He is God, and we are not. Proverbs 25:2a tells us, “It is the glory of God to conceal things …” We are reminded to never doubt God.

Are you facing something in your life that makes no sense? It very well may be that God is putting something into place that, afterwards, will make you say, “That was amazing!” Lose a job? He may have something much better. Break up with a girlfriend or boyfriend? There may be someone much better that God has waiting for you.

There is a tremendous story that God displays, when without tipping His hand to us in advance, we suddenly recognize that He was working His will all along and we couldn’t see it. He is also merciful to withhold information from us that He knows we aren’t ready to know, even if we think we really want to! It may be that God places a higher priority on our being transformed than our being informed.

Pain’s Hidden Design – Genesis 45-47

Our church family is reading through the first five books of the Bible together in ninety days. We invite you to join us as we believe this will be a time that will change our lives. 

Read Genesis 45-47

Joseph has now successfully tried his brothers and seeing their transformation, he breaks down uncontrollably. After he reveals himself to his brothers, he says two profound statements.

First, he tells his brothers, “And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life” (Genesis 45:5). A volcano of hatred threatens to blow the top off the whole family, but Joseph did not allow the family to dissolve into bitterness.

Second, Joseph reminds us of God’s silent but pervasive role: “And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many
survivors” (Genesis 45:7). We don’t often see God’s design behind the pain we suffer immediately. But make no mistake, God has designed every detail of our lives.

There is a story told of two strangers seated next to each other on a plane. Earlier in the flight, the pilot announced that weather would cause the plane to be delayed by several hours. Minutes later, the pilot announces, there was a small break in the weather and the plane would land with minimal delay. One stranger looks to the other and says, “Someone up there loves me. I’m going to make my connecting flight.” The other replies, “If you miss your flight, does that mean God doesn’t love you?”

Joseph didn’t see God’s hand immediately. It took time for him to see God’s hidden ways. Surely, the pain in his life was overwhelming at points along the way. Surely, the betrayal of his brothers hurt him deeply. God choreographed Joseph’s pain in at least two ways: first, by his father’s favoring of Joseph over his brothers, and second, by God’s giving Joseph a vision of his own future exaltation.

The world never escapes God’s control – and neither do you. Joseph is but one stepping-stone on the journey to bring Jesus into the world: “By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones” (Hebrews 11:22). There are no miracles in Joseph’s story. God doesn’t suspend his natural laws to make things happen. The story is about the hidden but sure ways of God. The world never escapes His control.

Blind Forces of Fate? – Genesis 24-26

Our church family is reading through the first five books of the Bible together in ninety days. We invite you to join us as we believe this will be a time that will change our lives. 

Read Genesis 24-26

In a world of cruelty, Ahmed wondered if his family’s fate was left to the blind forces of fate or if there was a God who cared. Fleeing unthinkable violence in the Middle East, Ahmed, along with his wife and four children, recently fled the violence in Syria. His family heard stories of refugees selling body parts to secure their future and witnessed others scrawling the word “freedom” across their bodies in the hope of being rescued. Theirs had been a long, arduous journey and he questioned whether God would care for them.

Some might look at Abraham’s family the same way. As Abraham’s life fades, Isaac, the chosen son, rises to the forefront. Abraham’s family is incredibly special because it is through this one family that God will bring the Messiah, Jesus Christ. The story of Isaac’s choice of Rebekah shows God’s unseen hand directing all things pertaining to Abraham’s life and his children’s lives.

As you read the story of Abraham’s servant choosing the wife of Abraham’s son, Isaac, take careful notice of the details of the story. You will notice that the story is told twice in Genesis 24 so you have the advantage of knowing what happens before either Isaac or Rebekah. God involves himself in the small details of the story by arranging all of life itself to suit his purposes. While you will not read of any miracles in this love story, neither will you see their lives governed by blind forces of chance. Instead, God’s unseen hand directs the regular, ordinary events of life for his people.

The God of Scripture is all powerful, all knowing, and all controlling. He directs, controls, and involves himself in the ordinary details of our lives even today.