Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.
So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Genesis 45:1-8 ESV
But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him” I Corinthians 2:7-9 ESV
Brer Rabbit was always playing tricks on other animals. Brer Fox and Brer Bear were really tired of his tricks, and they decided to try to get even with him. They made a tar baby and put it on the road. Brer Rabbit tried to talk to the tar baby, but of course it didn’t answer. He got angry and tried to kick and punch it, but he just got stuck in the tar. Then Brer Fox and Brer Bear were able to catch Brer Rabbit. They tried to decide how they should punish him. Brer Rabbit kept begging them not to throw him into the briar patch, so they decided to do that. They thought he would be hurt by the briars, but actually he had tricked them again! He used the briars to comb all the tar out of his fur, and he was free again.
Joseph’s brothers tried to hurt Joseph, too. They threw him in a pit, then sold him as a slave. His brothers thought that that would be the end of Joseph. But God had other plans. He used what the brothers did to bring good things to Joseph. In time, Joseph became the second ruler of Egypt. God didn’t just use the bad things the brothers did to do good for Joseph. His plan was much bigger than that. His plan was to use Joseph to bless and save many people from starvation–including Joseph’s brothers. God is always able to bring good things out of bad things for his people.
The greatest good God ever brought out of bad was when Jesus died on the cross. The people who hated Jesus thought they had gotten rid of him, and Satan and his demons thought so too. If they had known what they were doing, they wouldn’t have put Jesus on the cross. God used the cross to win the victory over sin, death, and the devil. This great evil brought a wonderful good that lasts forever to everyone who believes in Jesus. We know that, because of what Jesus did for us, he can also bring good out of all the bad things that happen in our lives.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for always bringing good things out of bad things, and especially for our Savior Jesus. In His Name, Amen.