Monday, January 21, 2013

Everything is Against Me

One Year Bible
Old Testament passage for Monday, January 21, 2013:  Genesis 42:18-43:34

Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!  Genesis 42:36 (NIV)

Jacob was at an all-time low.  His had been a life somewhat like a soap opera with family intrigue, broken relationships, favoritism, betrayals, and deception.  It was also a story of redemption.  God had met him at every intersection.  Jacob had come face-to-face with his own sinfulness, but he had also come face-to-face with God!

He was now an old man with grown sons and grandchildren.  He had been humbled and mellowed by life. At this stage, he might have expected to enjoy the fruit of his labors.  Instead he was faced with perhaps his deepest valley.

He had lost his favorite son, Joseph.  The blood-soaked garments had been brought to him proving that wild animals had killed this promising young man.  He and his remaining sons now faced the loss of  everything because of a severe famine.  When they had sought help in Egypt, the hard governor of that land had quickly taken a dislike to the ten sons that had come.  As a result Jacob had lost another son, Simeon, held hostage as a prisoner by this unreasonable governor.  He now faced the loss of his youngest son, Benjamin.  Benjamin, his next favorite, represented the last vestiges of a life Jacob felt he had lost. 

In anquish, he cried out, "Everything is against me!" 

Little did Jacob know that God was still very much in control.  Joseph was not dead, but instead was a part of the provision that God was sending Jacob's way.  The hidden hand of providence had been orchestrating a bigger plan.  Even though the famine was severe, God was in control of that, too.  God had spoken in a dream to a pagan king in Egypt so that provisions had been laid up for Jacob that he did not know about.  Jospeh, the lost son, had actually been sent by God to set up a future for Israel.  Simeon, though held hostage, was really in no danger at all.  His imprisonment was only a part of a hidden plan to bring Benjamin and Jacob into reunion with their lost brother and son.

Despite the mountain of evil evidence, there is a hidden hand of providence.  Despite the turn of events that looks so bad, there is a plan that will end up good.  Our God is at work, even when we can not see it.  Those moments when it seems that everything is against us are but our limited perspective.  God had sent Someone ahead of us to perpare the way.  Like Paul, we too can say, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).

You may feel that you are surrounded today by negative circumstances.  But, we can take heart.  God is working even when we cannot see Him!

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