April 27, 2015
It’s impossible to fully understand how God’s world of His sovereignty and man’s choice coexist, but they do. Some describe it as a continuum, placing more emphasis on one or the other, but Scripture simply describes a world in which both function simultaneously. Such is illustrated in the actions of Pharaoh in Genesis 40:1-4.
Joseph is in prison, wrongfully accused, yet, God is moving. No one sees it—probably not even Joseph.
Genesis 40 begins with, “sometime later.” We don’t know how long Joseph was in prison. Long or short, he was there because of Potiphar’s wife. He could have become bitter, but it seems he went about doing a good job with where he was and waited for God to intervene. He knew he would not be in prison forever; He believed in the dreams God had given him.
So, “sometime later” Pharaoh is angry. It’s probably a scary thing to work for someone as powerful as a Pharaoh—people who can and do command at a whim. One day Pharaoh was apparently in a particularly bad mood—at least at mealtime. Disgruntled about the food and drink, he sends both the cupbearer and baker to prison.
Yet, within the Pharaoh’s actions, God was at work. Unknown to the Pharaoh and Joseph, God was setting up a great redemption plan for Israel.
God has designed the actions of people for His purposes. It matters not at all if they follow God, as Joseph, or don’t know Him, as the Pharaoh.
God was at work then, and God is at work now.
Nothing escapes His notice. Nothing escapes His control.
He is God. He is good. And, we can trust in that.
—the parishioner who doesn’t do anything