God Meant it Unto Good — Joseph of the Old Testament

“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” Genesis 50:20 KJV

from Genesis 37:

An inspiring account in the Bible is of the life of Joseph of old;
which is a story that turned out well, though his brothers gave him up to be sold.

Jacob, his father, had a special love for him because Joseph’s mother was dear to his heart. Though Leah was his wife, too, and had given him sons, he’d loved only Rachel from the start.

To this son of his later years, he provided a colorful, distinctive coat–which gave his favoritism away. Due to seeing this, Joseph’s older brothers hated him; and then his dreams caused an even greater fray.

Joseph told them of those dreams. In one, they were binding sheaves in a field. Then, his sheaf stood up straight–while theirs gathered round in a circle and bowed down to his, as if prophetic of something at a future date.

Another dream that he shared, including his father on the telling, was of seeing the sun, moon, and eleven stars. These, too, were all bowing down to him, Joseph said. So Jacob pondered this, but told him it was going too far.

One day, Jacob sent Joseph out to meet his brothers, who were in Shechem, watching over the flock. He looked for them there but was told they’d gone to Dothan. They saw him coming and began to mock.

“Here comes this dreamer!” Then they planned to kill him, until Reuben put a stop to their schemes. He told them to leave Joseph in a wilderness pit, intending to rescue him from their anger over his dreams.

But when Reuben was away, they came up with a new plot–to sell Joseph to some traders in a passing caravan. The Ishmaelites purchased Joseph from his own brothers then, putting twenty shekels of silver into their hands.

Jacob’s sons took Joseph’s tunic and stained it with blood from a goat they’d killed–then brought the coat back home. There, they asked their father, Jacob, if it was Joseph’s coat, assuming he’d think a wild animal was responsible alone.

This was a crushing moment in the life of Jacob–he refused to be comforted in his mourning for this favorite lad. Meanwhile, Joseph was sold in Egypt to an officer of Pharaoh’s; but God had a plan amidst something so bad.

P. A. Oltrogge

The story of Joseph will be continued in the next post.

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