The Sovereignty of God
In last week’s Overflow, we followed the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob. Joseph’s life was marked by many ups and downs. After he is sold into slavery by his own brothers, he rises to leadership in the house of Potiphar, an officer in Pharoah’s court. Then he is wrongly accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison.
While in prison, he interprets dreams of his two cellmates, the cupbearer and the baker of Pharoah himself. Joseph, giving all credit to God, reveals that one will be restored to his position and the other will be executed.
The cupbearer is restored to his position. Joseph asks him to remember him when he is restored to Pharoah’s court. But Genesis 40:23 tells us, “The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.”
The following verse of Genesis 41:1 tells us that, some two years later, Pharoah had a dream. It was at this time that the cupbearer remembered Joseph and his interpretation of dreams. Joseph is called up from prison to stand before Pharoah. When Pharoah asks Joseph about his ability to interpret dreams, he once again gives all glory God, ““I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” (Genesis 41:16)
Joseph then reveals the interpretation of Pharoah’s dreams and the plan for how to respond to it. This revelation did far more than save the day. It saved an entire nation, and in some ways many throughout the entire world, from the famine that was to come. Eventually, Joseph’s own brothers and his father are saved through Joseph’s following of God’s revelation.
Throughout the life of Joseph, we see the unreliability and inconsistency of people, the uncertainty and apparent injustice of circumstances, and the absolute reliability, justice, mercy, and sovereignty of our loving God.
Reflecting on this reality when he is reunited with his brothers who had sold him into slavery, Joseph said,
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
God’s plans for Joseph were always good. And God’s plans for you and for me are always good. And God was, is, and always will be in complete control. God is sovereign. Let us find rest in the beauty of these truths.