Week 4: Day 5
Genesis 37; 39-41
“They saw him from afar, and before he came near to them they conspired against him to kill him.” Genesis 37:18
The Sovereignty of God in the Suffering of Joseph
It is so easy for us to grumble about the bad situations in our lives, but we shouldn’t. We suffer because the world is broken by sin (Rom 8:21). As we read of Joseph and his brothers, the story should give us a solace knowing that God is sovereign in all suffering. Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, set up by Potiphar’s wife, thrown in prison, and forgotten by the royal cupbearer. Yet, Joseph still persevered through all of that to become the second in command over all of Egypt. How? The LORD was with Joseph (Gen 39:2, 21; 41:39).
God never causes evil, but he uses it for his glory and for man’s good. When we look back on our sinful lives, it can be hard for us to understand how God could use our sin for his glory or how any good could come from it. But when we read stories like Joseph’s and when we read Scripture passages like Romans 8:28, “for those who love God all things work together for good…,” we have to trust that God is in control of everything—even evil. Nothing sums this up better than the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross was the most heinous crime ever committed, but it was also the most gracious and loving act that God could ever allow (Acts 2:23). When we find ourselves in a seemingly insurmountable situation, we should think about the cross. Jesus took the wrath, paid the price and traded his perfect righteousness for our horrible sin so that we may have eternal life (2 Cor 5:21, John 3:16).
Connection with Newer Testament
For the Kids
Ask your children about something difficult or sad that happened to them this week. Write these in one column. In a separate column, help them list the ways that God might use those things to provide for them. For example, maybe God is using a scary situation to make them more courageous. Maybe they had to keep returning to a boring chore because God wants them to learn diligence or obedience. God uses all situations, even difficult ones, to perfect and provide for his people.
1. Repent of any grumbling words you have spoken about your life’s circumstances and ask the Lord for grace to help you trust in his good providence in all affairs of your life.
2. Praise God that he works good in and through both evil and the suffering of his righteous servants. Praise God for Jesus, whose unrighteous suffering at the hands of his “brothers” resulted in the salvation of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation, including you.