Genesis 37:20 “Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”

I have recently been reflecting again on what the Heidelberg Catechism teaches us about the sovereignty of God, especially in these troubled days when all of our well-trodden, familiar paths are being churned up and confused by the fall-out from the pandemic.  Where is our loving God in all this?  We certainly need a reliable GPS (God’s Providence Sustains) to navigate our way forward.

In answer to the question, ‘What do you understand by the providence of God? (Q27), the Heidelberg Catechism says, “Providence is the almighty and ever present power of God by which he still upholds, as with his hand, heaven and earth and all creatures, and so rules them that leaf and blade, rain and drought, fruitful and lean years, food and drink, health and sickness, prosperity and poverty – all things, in fact, come to us not by chance  but from his fatherly hand.”

How foolish of Joseph’s brothers to think they could undermine God’s sovereign Plan by their wicked scheme!  What they meant for evil, God meant for good (50:20).  Joseph will have many hopelessly discouraging trials ahead of him before he sees the fulfilment of the dreams God had given him, but how comforting it is for us to know that God does always keep his promise to work “all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  (Romans 8:28).  How important it is for our mental and spiritual health to reflect on the whole story of Joseph (Genesis 37-50), and how it fitted into the Big Picture of God’s Plan of Salvation, as we struggle with the challenge of our present circumstances.