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Keep the Faith

Wait to see how God's plan will unfold.

Genesis 42:12–25 (ESV)

He said to them, “No, it is the nakedness of the land that you have come to see.” And they said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan, and behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is no more.” But Joseph said to them, “It is as I said to you. You are spies. By this you shall be tested: by the life of Pharaoh, you shall not go from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. Send one of you, and let him bring your brother, while you remain confined, that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you. Or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies.” And he put them all together in custody for three days.

On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: if you are honest men, let one of your brothers remain confined where you are in custody, and let the rest go and carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest brother to me. So your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they did so. Then they said to one another, “In truth we are guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the distress of his soul, when he begged us and we did not listen. That is why this distress has come upon us.” And Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to sin against the boy? But you did not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.” They did not know that Joseph understood them, for there was an interpreter between them. Then he turned away from them and wept. And he returned to them and spoke to them. And he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes. And Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, and to replace every man's money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. This was done for them.

Why is Joseph weeping? What happened that’s so significant that he can’t control his emotions?

His plan is working beyond his wildest dreams. He wants his brothers to “get it”—to experience life-changing repentance. But how? He’s putting a lot of pressure on them, but he hasn’t done anything to relate their current situation to the past.

Joseph seems to be playing this by ear, without a specific plan to turn this into repentance. He even changes his mind at one point and lets most of them go explaining, “For I fear God.

Then he overhears them discussing how this is all because of the evil they did against “our brother” many years ago. How could they possibly have connected the dots already?

It’s God! He’s blessing this! It’s all just too wonderful, and Joseph’s eyes fill with tears.

Praise God for the amazing way that He works—including those things that don’t seem to make sense.

Sometimes we get to see God’s plans working out. Sometimes we don’t. And sometimes we have to wait—like Joseph did.

This can be a brutal lesson in patience. Without knowing how things are going to work out, we’re called on to keep the faith and wait to see how God’s plan will unfold. It’s tough.

But this helps sear the lessons into our memories in the end. God’s higher purposes can get heavy.

To forward this devotional, see the link in green below.

These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. Saturdays' by Matt Richardson. Subscribe here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, are here:

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NASB stands for the New American Standard Bible. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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