Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt
Open Your Bible
Genesis 42:1-38, Genesis 43:1-34, Romans 8:28
BY Missy Fuller
Text: Genesis 42:1-38, Genesis 43:1-34, Romans 8:28
This past September my parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. My brother and sister and I wanted nothing more than to make it incredibly special and memorable. We spent months preparing, orchestrating every detail.
Not only had we planned a surprise party and invited all my parents’ favorite people, but more than half of our extended family was coming into town to celebrate, my brother and sister included. And if that wasn’t enough, all their people had pitched in to send them on a second honeymoon—something my dad had been praying about for months but had no clue we’d already arranged.
Naturally, we made the weekend full of perfect moments with new surprises at every turn. My favorite moment was walking my parents out of their house to the driveway as my brother and sister jumped out from behind the bushes. I still watch the video of my mom’s face over and over.
Seeing my parents’ shock, excitement, and genuine thankfulness throughout that weekend was such a blessing. It was a beautiful reminder of the way God works in miraculous ways in our lives when we have absolutely no clue what He’s up to.
God had been working all along to mend the broken relationships in Jacob’s family. Long before Joseph was taken to Egypt, God had all the details worked out.
Meanwhile, nothing seemed to be working out for Joseph’s brothers on their trip to Egypt. They had no idea what was happening to them, or why it was happening. They were treated harshly, then blessed and honored. Poor guys—all they wanted was some food! They must’ve been thoroughly bewildered.
They simply reacted to each bizarre, unexplainable event, clueless that the seemingly isolated incidents were stitching together a greater story of redemption. Like us in our own lives, they could only see what was unfolding in the present. They did not know all God was orchestrating behind the scenes.
When Joseph was sold into slavery, God was working.
When Jacob thought his beloved son was dead, God had a plan.
When Joseph was thrown into prison, God was sovereign.
When there was a famine in the land, God had a purpose.
When Jacob thought he had lost another son, God was bringing about His will.
This family—with the exception of Joseph, a surprise planner himself—believed they were in the middle of a mess. I wonder how many times they felt completely hopeless, like there was no way any good could possibly come from their current situation. But it wasn’t a mess. It was a beautiful, intricate story of redemption designed by the God who has a sovereign plan for the universe and a personal, intimate plan for each of His children.
Like Romans 8:28 says, our God is always working.
When things feel helpless and desperate, God has a plan.
When we’re convinced our story is over, God is at work.
When we’re exhausted and confused, God is sovereign.
When one more horrible, unexplainable thing happens, God has a purpose.
When we’ve truly lost all hope, God is bringing about His will.
I’ll admit, I’m still pretty proud of the surprise we pulled off for my parents. But even our greatest human plans are shockingly pitiful compared to the wondrous miracles our Father works for His children. May we rest in His sovereignty today and always.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
– Ephesians 3:20-2 NIV