Every time I read this passage I am struck by what occurred between the brothers after their father Israel died. They had lived for years in Egypt with Joseph. Their brother protected them and cared for them. But somewhere in their hearts they still felt guilty for mistreating Joseph in the past and were afraid his kindness to them was merely for their father’s sake.
What Joseph says to them after they bury Israel is something I am reminded of during tough times. They had meant to harm Joseph but God had another plan. God took Joseph’s captivity, used Joseph’s obedience, and provided salvation for Joseph’s family.
God didn’t make the brothers sin that day they threw Joseph in the well. That is not consistent with his holiness. But because the brothers sinned and because Joseph remained faithful, God was able to use the situation to bring about good.
We make choices every day. Sometimes we choose to sin. Sometimes we choose obedience. And even if I am going through a difficulty not of my choosing, I want to remain faithful like Joseph did.
It is then, and only then God can accomplish something good out of the pain.
God, my heart is hurting. May you find me faithful and allow you to use these painful circumstances to reach someone for Jesus’ sake.