“And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you who sent me here, but God.” (Genesis 45:7-8)
Perhaps up until this time Joseph had blamed them for his affliction. If so, the famine and their descent into Egypt made it clear to him what God’s purposed regarding his suffering. And thus we come to understand that, very often, trials and suffering serve to bring God’s purposes to light. Joseph acknowledged that it wasn’t really them that sent him to Egypt – it was God and it was that His purposes for Israel might be accomplished.
Others may be vessels that the Creator uses but ultimately it is He who orchestrates and executes His Will concerning His plans and His people. Joseph recognized the affliction suffered at the hands of his brothers was that there might be a “remnant” and “deliverance” for his family. In other words, the suffering servant had to willing endure much in order that Israel might be saved.
Likewise Messiah’s suffering at the hands of others — the Romans and the Jewish leadership — served the same purpose. After the resurrection He acknowledged this saying, “Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” (Luke 24:26). All this was done so that, as Paul wrote:
“And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob’ and ‘this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.’ ” (Romans 11:26-27)
Consequently, we see that there must be those who are willing to be His vessels completely committed to His will. Even as Messiah prayed, “Not my will, but yours,” we also must we be willing to come to that point. We must be willing to serve His purpose regardless of the cost to us. It is to those whose commitment to Him is stronger than their zest for life that He will say, “Well done.” I want to be one of those people. Amen.
Blessings and Shalom,