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.

A Surprising Reversal – Genesis 48-49

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 48-49

While the story of Jacob blessing his sons (Genesis 48) receives little attention from most of us today, we should pause to consider that it catches the attention of the New Testament believers. Of all the items to place in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11, we read this: “By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, bowing in worship over the head of his staff” (Hebrews 11:21). What is so significant of a father blessing his boys?

Jacob is old, near death, and ill. He sits up in bed to meet his son, Joseph and his two half-Egyptian sons. We must remember more is happening here than meets the eye. For this is the family of God’s promise, the one family from all the families on the earth from whom the Messiah will eventually emerge. At this critical moment near the end of his life, Jacob remembers God’s promise to him (Genesis 48:3-4). Hebrews 11:21 says that by simply remembering this promise, Jacob worshipped. The promise given to Jacob recalls the promise originally given to Abraham, the father of the faithful.

At this moment, Jacob does something unusual – he claims the boys as his own (Genesis 48:5). They will no longer be his grandsons, but his sons. In place of Reuben and Simeon, who had discredited themselves (Genesis 49:7), Joseph’s boys, Ephraim and Manasseh, will now be Jacob’s sons. More importantly, these two boys will serve as two of the twelve tribes of Israel for generations to come.

While the Messiah and the kings of Israel will come from Judah’s line, Joseph’s blessing is to have two of his sons included. Joseph had continually believed God was building a great people even when the future looked bleak (Hebrews 11:22). Joseph, like Abraham before him, built his life on faith in God.

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.