I have been reading the book of Genesis as of late and following the movement of people and events. In particular I was looking at Joseph (who had a dream that essentially showed that all his older brothers would at some point, bow to/serve him. Of course his brothers essentially became prideful about it and thought they would set this young man straight. Initially planning to kill him, they later sold him into slavery.
Quite a few years later through a number of events Joseph ends up number 2 in the land answering only to Pharaoh himself. The Pharaoh has this dream and Joseph interprets the dream for him, the dream shows there will be 7 years of plenty and then 7 years of extreme famine in the land. What do you know, it happens exactly as predicted. Pharaoh has set Joseph over everything so anyone who has need must go to see Joseph.
Wouldn’t you know the famine eventually reaches his family and they must come to Joseph with heads bowed asking that Joseph will sell them some food. Now there are a lot more details to this story but here is the part that has me thinking.
Eventually through Joseph, the Pharaoh welcomes the whole family into Egypt and provides not only for Joseph but all his extended family as well. Eventually the firsts of all these people die off. The Pharaoh dies and other kings rise up. In this process the family tree of (Israel who was Joseph’s father) flourishes and gains more and more strength and the King of Egypt fearing that this people gathering strength and numbers may threaten the livelihood of Egypt tell the handmaidens to kill all the males born to the Hebrew’s This begins the persecution of the Israelite’s.
I don’t know why, but reading this morning the pieces came together in such a way that the irony of the situation struck me. God delivers this whole family into this brother’s hand to save them from starving to death and later this same nation they go to decides to enslave them due to fear of what might happen. God’s purposes never look like what we think they would or should look like…. but what’s more profound is His purposes always succeed!