Genesis 43:26-28 When Joseph came home, they presented to him the gifts they had brought into the house, and they bowed down before him to the ground. He asked them how they were, and then he said, “How is your aged father you told me about? Is he still living?” They replied, “Your servant our father is still alive and well.” And they bowed low to pay him honour.
As I reflect on these verses (and, in fact, the whole ‘Joseph’ story in Genesis 37-50) I wonder why I ever doubt that our omnipotent, sovereign God is in full control of every part of our lives, faithfully watching over us in love and guiding our feet in accordance with his will.
Joseph’s frightened brothers are now bowing down before him without even, as yet, knowing that it IS Joseph! And the biggest contributing factor that brought about this strange situation was the fact that Joseph had had a couple of (God-given) dreams in which his brothers were bowing down to him, and he had, perhaps foolishly and insensitively, shared this information with them! And now the dream was being fulfilled as a concrete reality.
We are not told, but I often wonder, throughout all the events leading up to Joseph’s final revealing of his identity to his brothers, whether in their subconscious minds, they were starting to piece details together and wonder if this could be Joseph, the one they had once sold as a slave to travellers to Egypt, and of whom they had said, ““Here comes that dreamer! … 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.” (37:19-20). Ironical, isn’t it!
But, in all this, we see our faithful God working out his sovereign purposes in their lives and circumstances, unbeknownst to them, and enabling Joseph later to say to them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” (50:20). I will try and remember all this next time I am anxious about God’s providence, or doubtful about his omnipotence, grace, love and faithfulness in ALL things.