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The Bible Teacher’s Guide, Joseph: Trusting In God’s Sovereignty And Goodness

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Two of the greatest truths that Scripture teaches are that God is both sovereign—in control of all events—and good—righteous and benevolent in his character and all he does. This means that even though bad things happen and evil people and forces exist, God’s good plan will prevail in the end. In fact, Scripture says God accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will (Eph 1:11), and that he works all things for the good of those who love the Lord (Rom 8:28). God oversees and overrules random events, routine circumstances, good works, and even evil to ultimately accomplish what is good, which includes blessing his people and glorifying his name.

This is clearly seen in the story of Joseph. Born into a polygamous and divided family, his older brothers hated Joseph and sold him into slavery. While a slave in Egypt, he was falsely accused of sexually assaulting his master’s wife and consequently thrown into prison. After interpreting Pharaoh’s prophetic dreams and providing wise counsel concerning them, Joseph was promoted from a prisoner to Egypt’s governor in a single day. As governor, God used him to save Egypt, the infant nation of Israel, and other nations during a seven-year worldwide famine. Though evil happened to Joseph, God used it to train Joseph, bless him and others, and glorify God’s name. God’s plan is to do the same through us (Eph 2:10, cf. Jer 29:11). However, to not short-circuit or delay God’s plan, we must trust and remain faithful to him throughout the process. Are you trusting him—regardless of your current circumstances, any evil deeds you’ve committed, or evil deeds that have been done to you? Reflecting on God’s sovereignty and goodness in Joseph’s story will help you trust and obey God more (cf. Heb 12:1). May the Lord grant you great faith and perseverance to inherit his promises (Heb 6:12)!

Copyright © 2020 Gregory Brown

Unless otherwise noted, the primary Scriptures used are taken from the NET Bible ® copyright © 1996-2016 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Holy Bible, New International Version ®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®) Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, Copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (NASB) are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, and 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture quotations marked (KJV) are from the King James Version of the Bible.

All emphases in Scripture quotations have been added.

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Related Topics: Character of God, Character Study, Christian Life

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