When things are viewed from a short range; from the immediate consequences, it may often be difficult to see what good will come out of them.
When things are viewed from a short range; from the immediate consequences, it may often be difficult to see what good will come out of them. However, God does not view things that way. He looks at the total picture all at once and ensures that in everything, He works for good with those who love Him.
When Joseph was sold into Egypt, it must have been difficult to see that this was for his good. When he was further thrown into prison for refusing to commit adultery with Portiphar’s wife, it seemed as if the worst was truly working out for him; but when God took him from prison and made him the Prime Minister of Egypt, God’s purpose in all the thirteen years of suffering and trial was revealed to man. But, He had that purpose in mind and in view long before Joseph was born. He had set out to carry out that purpose. Although Joseph’s brothers allowed the devil to use them and although Portipar’s Wife was also used by the wicked one, God’s purpose for Joseph was not destroyed. He could, later on, tell his brothers,
“And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt” (Genesis 45:7-8). He further added,
“Fear not, for am l in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me; BUT GOD MEANT IT FOR GOOD, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today” (Genesis 50:19-20).
Do you see something great there? His brothers meant evil against him, but God meant it for good. That which was meant to be for evil was taken over by God and, without changing their evil intentions, He meant it for good and worked out for good, and God won. He always wins. There was conflict in purpose, but God’s purpose stood.
“The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord” (Proverbs 21:31)
“No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel, can avail against the Lord” (Proverbs 21:30).
Do you now see what your attitude should be? It should be one of rest in the will and in the hands of God. Stop saying that the devil has done this and that. You are not in the hands of the devil. You are in God’s hands, and He knows what He is doing. Do not by fearing begin to seek help from the wrong places, for the Bible says:
“Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord, “Who carry out a plan, but not mine; and who make a league, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin; who set out to go down to Egypt, without asking for my counsel, to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh, and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt! Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation” (Isaiah 30:1-3).
The Lord continues to speak in this direction, saying
“Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy one of Israel or consult the Lord! And yet he is wise and brings disaster, he does not call back his words, but will arise against the house of the evil-doers, and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. The Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together” (Isaiah 31:1-3).
Do you hear what the Lord is saying? He is saying that it is sin to turn to the world and turn to worldly methods to find solutions to problems that may arise as God works out His will for you. If instead of waiting on Him, you fret and turn to the world, or turn to worldly methods in order to try and help Him, He will stand fast against you. Egypt is symbolic of the world. All that the world has and all that it offers is flesh and not spirit. It may look very promising for now, but have you looked at it over the whole range, including eternity? Therefore the Lord calls you to trust in Him. He puts it in the following words:
“For thus the Lord said to me, ‘As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey, and when a hand of shepherds is called forth against him is not terrified by their shouting or daunted at their noise, so the Lord of hosts will come down to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill. Like birds hovering, so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem; He will protect and deliver it, He will spare and rescue it” (Isaiah 31:4-5).
Rest in the Lord. Trust Him. Do not be terrified by the noises and all that the world around you is saying. The Lord will come down. The Lord has already come down. He will protect you. He is already protecting you. He will spare you and rescue you. Even at this very moment, He has already set out to rescue you. Rejoice in Him and praise Him.
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