Grace to You

Now, I want you to turn to the last chapter of the book of Genesis, chapter 50, and we're going to begin and then do a little bit of a flashback. As you know, we are in a series called "Unlikely Heroes" that is already a prepared book and it will be available to you by the end of August. You're going to enjoy reading this book and we're taking a look at some of the...some of the heroes, some of the men and women that God used in remarkable ways who at the beginning were very unlikely to have the level of influence that they have had.

And tonight we're going to talk about Joseph...Joseph, because God meant it for good. If you look at chapter 50 of Genesis and verse 20, Joseph says, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result to preserve many people alive."

You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. That introduces us to a characteristic, an attribute of God which we often call His providence. That is to say that God works His own ends, no matter what the intention of people be it good or bad, God will bring about His own ultimate end. And what God means to happen, will ultimately happen. God coordinates and organizes all the apparently independent activities, and thoughts, and ideas, and movements of people, pulls them all together, makes them harmonize with one another to effect His ultimate ends. That is revealed to us in many stories in the Bible, none more dramatic than the story of Joseph.

As we come to the fiftieth chapter of the book of Genesis, there are eleven grim faces staring down anxiously at the floor. All attention is focused on the man who is enthroned in front of them. They are huddled, these eleven are, before one of the most powerful rulers in the world, one who stands only behind Pharaoh in Egypt and he has the authority to execute them. He is dressed in fashion that would be fitting for one who had the position he had. He is the Prime Minister of Egypt; he looks down on these humble Jewish herdsmen as they stoop before him. He has had a long history with these men. It is a history of pain and suffering, and rejection, and the memories are vividly etched into his mind. They had wronged him, this Prime Minister, in the past greatly. They had done great damage to him from a human perspective and now the tables are turned and he has the power and the authority and the ability to enact severe retribution against them. They are, in fact, his brothers who had betrayed him and the Prime Minister of Egypt is none other than Joseph, the one betrayed...

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John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, as well as an author, conference speaker, president of The Master’s College and Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry...

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