WHAT IF GOD HAD
NOT ALLOWED JOSEPH TO BE SOLD AND TO BE BROUGHT TO EGYPT?
“Now Israel loved
Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age:
and made him a coat of many colors” (Genesis 37:3). This is the preface to a
tragic story that led Joseph’s older brothers to hate him and to finally
sell him as a slave to the Egyptians. The rest is a magnificent story of
great trials, and immense final rewards for Joseph, who had been overpowered
by a vortex beyond his control.
What if God had not
allowed Joseph to be sold into slavery? What if He had simply intervened and
had not permitted Joseph’s brothers evil plans to succeed?
The biblical story
tells us that, though initially Joseph suffered greatly, the end result was
very positive for both him and his family. As the years went by, Joseph rose
to the position of Pharaoh’s first minister. Furthermore, the children of
Israel were allowed to live in Egypt so as to escape a deadly famine that
was prevalent in Canaan.
On the negative
side, Israel became a slave to future Pharaohs “who knew not Joseph” (Exodus
1:8). But centuries later, God had the opportunity to declare his great
glory by pouring his wrath upon Egypt and by manifesting to all the nations
that He was the Omnipotent God.
Had God intervened
and had He prevented Joseph from being sold, some of the most inspiring and
meaningful parts of the Bible would have never been written. We would have
never read about God’s miraculous interventions to save Joseph’s life and to
finally elevate him to number two in Egypt. We would not have been inspired
by God’s dealings with Moses. We would have never been awed by the great
plagues God rained upon Egypt. There would not have been a crossing of the
Red Sea, and there would not have been a giving of the Manna. The giving of
the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai would have never taken place. The forty
years in the desert and all the surprising twists and turns faced by Israel
would not have been in the Scriptures. Lastly, the glorious entering of the
Children of Israel into the Promised Land would have never happened either.
The selling of Joseph,
and his slavery in Egypt, therefore, was the introduction to a series of
stunning events brought about by God to astonish future generations. What,
at first glance, seems to be God’s perplexing unwillingness to protect a
faithful servant was, in reality, a critical and necessary part of a long
and glorious chain of events that introduced the Almighty to the nations and
to generations to come.
revealed his true identity to his brothers, he shared with them an amazing
insight: “And God sent me before you to preserve before you a posterity in
the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not
you who sent me hither, but God” (Genesis 45: 7-8).
Truly God was the
great orchestrator who directed the whole chain of events. He allowed
jealousy to saturate Joseph’s brother’s minds; He allowed resentment to
build and, finally, He brought about the events that made it easy for Joseph
to be sold to the passing caravan and be brought to Egypt. From the start,
God was totally in charge of the script, and made it all come to pass
according to His great plans.