Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Genesis 37:12-14 (NIV)
Now his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, and Israel said to Joseph, “As you know, your brothers are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I am going to send you to them.” “Very well,” he replied. So he said to him, “Go and see if all is well with your brothers and with the flocks, and bring word back to me.” Then he sent him off from the Valley of Hebron.
Genesis 37:12-14 (MSG)
His brothers had gone off to Shechem where they were pasturing their father’s flocks. Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers are with flocks in Shechem. Come, I want to send you to them.” Joseph said, “I’m ready.” He said, “Go and see how your brothers and the flocks are doing and bring me back a report.” He sent him off from the valley of Hebron to Shechem.
“Then his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem. Israel (Jacob) said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing [the flock] at Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them.” And he said, “Here I am [ready to obey you].” Then Jacob said to him, “Please go and see whether everything is all right with your brothers and all right with the flock; then bring word [back] to me.” So he sent him from the Hebron Valley, and he went to Shechem.”
Joseph’s life is about to take an unscheduled turn of events; at least in his terms of thinking. How often do things happen in our lives that we never wanted, intended or expected? Most of us can say often, I am sure. Face it; bad things happen to good people. Even more importantly we must realize that bad things can happen and often do to God’s people.
Jacob calls Joseph to him and gives him a job to do. “I am sending you to go check up on your brothers. They have taken the flocks and gone to Shechem. Go see how they are doing and then bring me back your report.” Joseph’s response was; “I’m ready” or “Very well” in others words, “No problem, Dad. I am on it!”
I wonder if Joseph would have been so quick to agree to this mission if he realized what was in store for him. Bad things do happen to good people, but as children of the Most High we must realize that it is ultimately He who is in control of our lives and nothing can happen to us unless He allows it to happen.
Joseph is about to go from the favorite son to a slave in an unknown land. No longer will he be living a life of privilege and favor. He will find out what it is to live in some of life’s most deplorable situations (a slave and a prisoner) and yet, we find that he continues to have a good attitude through it all and relies wholly on the Lord.
What we must realize is that no matter where the turn in the road takes us; God is with us. We also need to remind ourselves that those turns in the road were allowed by God for a purpose. Whether it was to mold us into something new, prepare us for something new or to bring us to a new purpose; God always has a reason and plan. There are no coincidences with God.
As we will see later in Joseph’s story, he realized that God had His hand on him all the time. We find that Joseph was able to say with great confidence to his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive [as they are this day].” -Genesis 50:20 (AMP)
The question we must ask ourselves is, will we trust that God is in complete control of every part of our lives; especially when bad things happen to us? Will we put our faith in Him to work all things out for our good?
God, Most High, there are times when I question what you are doing in my life; for there are things that happen that I do not understand. Help me to trust you in every situation. Help me to have faith in You and what you are doing; for nothing can happen to me unless you allow it to happen. I may not understand the “whys”, but you do and that is what truly matters. Help me to be a willing, trusting, obedient servant for you, Lord.