August 12, 2009

God prepares the way


am currently reading in Genesis for my morning devotions. This morning I read chapters 45 – 47, part of the story of Joseph, and I noticed something I don’t think most of us pay attention to.

We all love the story of Joseph—how he was sold into slavery by his brothers and eventually became the second-in-command in Egypt and his brothers had to bow before him to get food during the famine.

Genesis 50:20

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.

Those of us who rejoice in the sovereignty of God love this story because it so clearly shows that God works directly in our lives to bring his will to fruition—even decreeing evil deeds by some with the intention of fulfilling his plans. As Joseph says in Genesis 50:20, his brothers had evil intent toward him when they sold him into slavery, but God meant it it for good. God didn’t adjust it for good; God didn’t change it to make it work out for good; God meant it for good. He had the whole thing planned right from the start. In fact, He had planned it long before the start—before the world began. This is a wonderful and glorious truth! God is in full and total control, even of the things that seem to be going haywire in the world.

But the portion of this story that jumped out at me this morning is the fact that Pharaoh’s house rejoiced with Joseph that his brothers had come. They rolled out the red carpet for them. The people of Egypt opened their arms and welcomed Joseph’s family.

Genesis 45:16–18

When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your beasts and go back to the land of Canaan, and take your father and your households, and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you shall eat the fat of the land.‘”

My family is moving to a new place where we don’t know anyone. We travel, Lord willing, to Front Royal tomorrow to sign the papers on the house. And then our moving day is two days later—this Saturday.

This could be a very scary situation. We don’t know anyone there. And we can’t afford to hire moving people to move our furniture. And my wife is not a weight lifting kind of girl. So the heavier furniture could be a real problem.

My parents were in Ohio this past week for a missions conference. My father was one of the speakers at that conference. He met a man there who traveled from Front Royal, Virginia, to Ohio with another one of the speakers at the conference. They talked about our situation and that man offered to help us find a house in Front Royal. He then met with us when we went to look at houses last Friday. He had a friend with him who attends a different church there in Front Royal. That church supported my parents when they were on the mission field in South Africa. Are you following all of this?

The pastor of this church in Front Royal has volunteered to organize a group of men to meet us at our new house in Front Royal this coming Saturday afternoon to help unload the truck. They have offered to help carry our heavier furniture.

God has prepared the way. Folks we don’t even know in Front Royal, Virginia, are rolling out the red carpet and welcoming us with open arms.

What a great and powerful God we have!


  1. Rich, I have to tell you something. After the last "let down", we were in the car going somewhere, and the kids and I were praying for you. It was the day after Richard Allen Farmer had preached that message I sent you. He prayed, totally quoting the message about arriving to the shore on broken ship parts, but to be WELCOMED BY THE PEOPLE ON SHORE. (Paul's shipwreck at Malta)

    I will be telling this story to Ethan today, letting him know that God has indeed answered his prayer. Your story will be a faith builder in the life of my youngest son, dear brother!! I can't wait to see his face.


  2. I love it! This is just sooooo good hearing about answers to prayer!

  3. Faith is a beautiful thing! I'm happy to hear things are working out for your family Rich! The new house is a beauty!

  4. Rich,

    I was ready to call in the Marines to help until I got to the end of your blog. My son Derek is involved BIG TIME at Occ. Bible church and I would bet he would have gotten some helpers from there. Blessings on you as you go...where no Gelina has gone before!


  5. Thanks, Neal. We actually may have some friends from Occoquan Bible Church coming over.

    I'm so glad to hear that Derek has plugged in there. It's a very good church with outstanding teaching. Let Derek know that Dave & Angela Starkston and Ed & Suzie Mattern are very good friends of ours. I think they'd enjoy hearing that he's the son of my college roommate.


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