Where Has God Placed You?
“You sold me here, but you didn’t send me here” (Genesis 45:5-8)
What is your placement or lot in life? Where has the Lord led you and where have you ended up? Are you at the spiritual or geographical place that you ever expected to find yourself? What is God doing and why has He brought you to these specific circumstances in life?
In the above verses, it sounds like Joseph is talking out of both sides of his mouth when he disclosed his identity to his brothers. What does he mean? It sounds like it should be “either/or.” Did his brothers send him to Egypt or did God send him there? How could it be both?
How could Joseph interpret the violent hands of his murderous brothers and God's hands who would lead him to Egypt as the same?
In Genesis 37, we see clearly that Joseph’s 10 half-brothers who “hated him and couldn’t speak a kind word to him”, threw him down a desert cistern to die, then decided to sell him as a slave to traveling merchants enroute to Egypt.
His brothers show no mercy as he begs and pleads with them for his life. Instead, they “sit down and eat lunch” as if it were simply just another mealtime in the wilderness (Genesis 42:21).
If there were ever an account in the Old Testament that shows God’s hand working behind the hidden curtains of Providence, it is this one. When I think of how the Lord works in Josephs life, the word mystery comes to mind.
The hymn composer William Cowper penned these words…”God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform; He plants his footsteps in the sea, and rides upon the storm”.
It is hard to wrap our minds around the Lord using harsh circumstances in our life to accomplish His divine will and placement for us. However, as we see with Joseph and his brothers, God's Providence and control can overrule another’s evil and selfishness towards us so it becomes God’s will!
Theologian George Lawson states, “God was the first cause; the brothers were but instruments overruled by Him for the accomplishments of His own purposes. It was God’s will that Joseph be brought to Egypt, but it was also his will to use his brothers as a means to get him there”.
It is critically important for us as believers to discern God's hand at work in our lives even through the most unjust of circumstances. If we can’t get there we will either live in bitterness and blame towards those who have been the perpetrators of our hard life, or we will live in the fear of the present and future as a result that God is not in control of our lives after all.
Has there possibly been someone that has changed the course of your life through the crushing blow of disappointment? Do we still blame them and hold them accountable for our placement in life? Or was it God ultimately working through the people and circumstances along the way (like Joseph’s brothers), that was designed by His perfect Hands for our betterment and his glory?
Joseph finally learned it when he said ”You sold me here, but God sent me here”!
Pastor Bill Gallagher