Scripture: Genesis 50:20
It looks like as a people, we are going backwards instead of forward. Our voting rights are at risk.
The Senate won’t pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
Our history is being silenced. They don’t want you to teach Critical Race Theory in our public schools.
Our lives don’t matter. The police oﬃce received a two year sentence for killing a young man during a traﬃc stop for hanging an air fresher from the car mirror!
You meant it for evil! But, God can turn it around for our good.
It’s time for good moral people to stand up for justice! It’s time to mobilize and build back better communities. It’s time to invest in our children.
It’s time to make changes in our lives. It’s time to stop killing one another. It’s time to live together in peace. It’s time to forgive, but never forget. It’s time to love.
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)
You meant it for evil; God meant it for good.
The book of Genesis is a book of beginnings. The word genesis, in both the Hebrew and Greek means “in the beginning.” Genesis is a book of beginnings that introduce central theme of the Bible — creation, birth, genealogy, and history of origin.
Genesis is composed of a total of 50 chapters that biblical scholars divide into two parts based on geographical location. The history of the biblical patriarchs is found in Genesis.
Genesis is a book about relationships — God’s relationship with creation, God’s relationship with humanity, and God’s relationship with individual human beings.
In Genesis, we meet Abram who later becomes Abraham, who has two sons Ishmael and Isaac; Isaac, who has two sons, Jacob and Esau, and Jacob, who has 12 sons, and one of them is Joseph.
The life of Joseph is the main subject of chapters 37 – 50. The character of God is reflected in Joseph’s life.
The Favor of God
In the book of Genesis, you’ll notice many stories where the younger son is favored over the firstborn son. But, the sovereign God selected whomever God wanted. God divinely chose these men. Somebody said, “Favor ain’t fair.”
But, I disagree, because God, the creator of the universe and all therein, can use anyone God chooses. After all, God is in control.
Joseph was Jacob’s favorite son and he adorned Joseph with an ornamented robe. Joseph was an annoying 17-year-old younger brother. He tattled on his brothers to their father.
Joseph was endowed with the gift of prophecy. He was a dreamer and could see into the future.
He foretold a time when he would rule over his brothers and sisters and father and mother. His brothers hated him and were jealous of him for his dreams (Genesis 37:5-11). But, Jacob kept the matter in his mind.
The truth is, God chose Joseph to be Jacob’s favorite son. God chose Joseph to be “first among his brothers.” God already had a plan for Joseph’s life. In today’s scripture text, Joseph’s dream came to fruition.
The Faithfulness of God
Before his dreams came to fruition, Joseph went through some unfortunate events in his life. Joseph brothers plotted to kill him. God’s chosen people will have diﬃcult days.
You may have God’s favor on your life, but please understand, the enemy is plotting to steal, kill, rob, destroy and discredit you. Don’t let the devil use you! Rebuke the devil and he/she/they/them will flee! God is not going to allow God’s dream to die in you.
God appoints people to rescue dreamers. God used Reuben, Joseph’s eldest brother, Jacob’s firstborn, to try and rescue Joseph. “Let’s not kill him. Throw him in the cistern here in the desert.”
Reuben had planned to rescue Joseph and take him back to their father.
Joseph was striped of his ornamented coat. Later, his brother’s dipped the coat in animal’s blood, presented it to their father and said a ferocious animal had devoured him.
While Joseph was in the cistern, a caravan of Ishmaelites, also known as Midianites were coming. Judah’s suggested selling Joseph to them when they arrived. They sold Joseph for 20 shekels of silver.
In Egypt, the Medianites sold Joseph to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s captain of the guards. This is the first stage in the movement of God’s plan for Israel. God’s people would move from Canaan to Egypt.
Joseph obtained a favorable position in Potiphar’s house. Then Potiphar’s wife falsely accused him of sexual misconduct. His cloak was torn from him and shown to Potiphar. He was then unjustly thrown in prison for attractiveness and moral integrity.
But Joseph’s gift of grace — his ability to interpret dreams rescues him.
Your gifts make room for you, and brings you before great people (Proverbs 18:16).
Finally, Joseph became Egypt’s second in command because God was with him. Joseph had favor, and the sovereign God was faithful to Joseph.
A Future with God
“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”
When Joseph was 30 years old, he was put in charge of Egypt as second in command to Pharaoh, only. Joseph predicted 7 years of abundance and 7 years of famine. He stored grain during the years of abundance. When the years of famine spread over the whole country, Joseph, now 39 years old, sold grain from the storehouses to the Egypt and Canaan.
When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent his ten sons there to purchase grain. Joseph’s brothers bowed down to him.
On the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. Then Joseph sent and invited his father Jacob and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five in all; so Jacob went down to Egypt.
God had made Joseph forget his troubles. God had made Joseph fruitful in the land where he suﬀered. Joseph forgave his brother because he understood, “You meant it for evil, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive as they are today.”
We have this future hope: God will rescue you and me from all our troubles. God will wipe away every tear. God will take care you.
Stop crying and complaining. Receive Christ! Only believe you are favored by God and know that God is faithful. God is working it out! God is working it out for your good!
God will turn your worry to witness and worship, pain and problems to praise, God will turn your brokenness and burdens to blessings , grief and grumbling to grace. God will turn your maniacal mess to a merciful ministry frustration to a faith journey. God will turn your stress, sickness and sadness to salvation.
“You meant it for evil; God meant it for good.” In the name of Jesus, Amen!
The Rev. Dr. Mary S. Minor is the senior pastor of Brookins-Kirkland Community AME Church, 3719 W. Slauson Avenue in Los Angeles.