2. God can bring good out of any situation

In order to understand the situation into which Joseph was born into, we need to have a look at his parents. His father was Jacob and his mother was Rachel. Jacob loved Rachel with all of his heart. The Bible tells us that he had to work seven years for her father Laban to get her as his wife. But his love for her was so strong that the seven years seemed like only a few days to him (Genesis 29:20). Finally the day came for their wedding. But Laban her father deceived him and gave him her sister, Leah, instead. Jacob was devastated, but Laban insisted that it was their culture to give away the eldest daughter first. A week later he gave him Rachel as a wife too. Jacob was thus forced through deception to have two wives. Now I don't know about you, but where more than one wife is mentioned in the Bible there is trouble. And this was no exception.

Leah hated Rachel, for Jacob didn't love her as he much as he loved Rachel. And in turn Rachel started to hate her sister, because Leah easily conceived and bore Jacob many sons, whilst she herself was barren. In desperation she insisted that her maid servant, Bilhah bear children on her behalf. Apparently Jacob didn't learn from the mistake that his grandfather Abraham made by doing the same thing. I am sure you all know how Sarah couldn't conceive and how she also told Abraham to have children through her maid servant Hagar. And once Hagar conceived the strife began. It was truly a mess and it brought many so much heartache and pain. This situation with Jacob was no different; he was in the middle of a battle between the sisters. First Leah bore four sons to Jacob, then Bilhah bore two sons to Jacob, then Leah saw that she was beginning to lose, so she gave her maid servant Zilpah to Jacob and she bore him two sons. Leah continued on her winning streak by bearing Jacob another two sons and a daughter. All in all it was eight sons for team Leah and two sons for team Rachel. The bitterness and strife was just terrible and the children could also feel the tension and the competitiveness amongst them all. It was in this milieu that Joseph was born, Rachel's own son. Jacob loved and adored him more than all his children, because Joseph was Rachel's own son, his beloved wife. But more on that later.

I don't believe that God planned this strife amongst the sisters and I know for certain that it didn't please Him. But He used this situation to work out His plan of salvation. God works in the number  twelve. You will notice it in so many things, for example Jesus had twelve apostles, the New Jerusalem has twelve gates, there are twelve months in the year etc. And here amidst this strife He started the twelve tribes of Israel from the twelve sons of Jacob (Joseph's brother, Benjamin was born later).

For me personally their family set up looked like a mess. Two wives, two concubines and twelve sons and one daughter, with Rachel and her two sons as the favorites. It is a recipe for disastrous relationships. But God used this to start His nation Israel. The brothers certainly weren't outstanding citizens if you read about their lives in the Bible, and yet God used them to bring forth a mighty nation, a nation through whom would come salvation to the world.

We might also find ourselves in difficult situations sometimes. Some of them might be our own doing and some may not, but it is so reassuring to know that God can even use these situations to turn them around for our good. The situation might seem bleak to you and the future not that bright, but God can use it all to bring His purposes to pass. All we need to do is to surrender to Him and to walk this road trusting Him explicitly like Joseph did. We will have a look at that, but for now know that God can turn your situation around and bring forth diamonds out of it that is a blessing not just for you, but for others as well.

Father thank you that despite all the terrible situations around me that good can come from it. I leave it in Your capable hands and know that You know what is best. I look forward to walking this road with You. Amen

Post a comment