Monday, March 2, 2009

Spectacular Sins Chapter 6

This week the Spectacular Sins Book Club is discussing Chapter 6, The Sale of Joseph and the Son of God. What a beautiful illustration of God's sovereignty is found in the life of Joseph as his brothers sold him into Egyptian slavery, jealous of his boastful dreams. Yet in doing so, they not only fulfilled his dreams, but saved themselves.

I love how Piper describes God's hand in what the brothers did. Years later, Joseph tells his brothers, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today." (Genesis 50:20, ESV,) Piper says,
Notice it does not say that God used their evil for good after they meant it for evil. It says in the very act of evil there were two different designs: In the sinful act, they were designing evil, and in the same sinful act, God was designing good. (p. 81)
Another translation of this same verse reads "You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people." (Gen. 50:20 HCSB)
Lisa has a couple of personal application questions for us this week:

Looking back, describe an event that was both intended as evil and good. Are you allowing God's purposes to prevail or have you been content in accepting the evil consequences? Explain.

Wow. I have been thinking about this one all day, which is why it has taken me a while to get my post up. My life thus far has been blessed by not experiencing deep, wrenching heartache or evil on the scale that many folks encounter. I haven't been able to think of a "major event." But there have been numerous times when I considered an occurrence to be counter to what I presumed was God's will, only to find out later that He had a much better purpose after all, and I was oh-so-grateful my plans did not succeed.

One thing that really resonated with me was Joseph's faithfulness no matter what was perpetrated against him. Are we being faithful in less than desirable situations so that God can make the most of them? How are lives being preserved as a result of your experience?

It is my greatest desire that I am indeed faithful in every circumstance so that God can fulfill His plan. I think that most of the time we don't know - and won't know this side of heaven - what lives are preserved as a result of our faith. I obviously long for my children's lives to be impacted, as well as those of others around me, and that they are moved to draw closer to God as a result of the walk they see me walk. I fail miserably every day, but fortunately, God's mercies are new every morning! In the words of this beautiful song,
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful
May the fire of our devotion light their way
May the footprints that we leave
Lead them to believe
And the lives we live inspire them to obey
Oh may all who come behind us find us faithful!
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Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

I haven't thought of that song in years and now I'm going to to be humming it all day! Great insight today (as ususal), and what a call to Christians everywhere to be examples to those who come behind us.


Lisa Spence said...

I fell behind this week...maybe I can pull double duty next week? Great thoughts here as usual...