Isaiah 30:18 “Therefore will the Lord wait that He may be gracious unto you…”
I’m a clock watcher. My daily schedule and activities are structured around a clock. Depending on the time, I hurry through a task or take it slower. Some tasks I change or eliminate because I do or do not have the time. But God does not have our time schedule. Because He is Omnipotent (all-knowing), His time is like a huge panorama screen that shows the beginning and the end in one view. Consequently, what I want done now, God may do for me 10 years from now. My prayer may appear to be unanswered or I may have thought God said “No” when actually He said “Wait” or “Later.” He does all things “in the fullness” of His time. Galatians 4:4
The life of Joseph in Genesis chapter 37, 39-50 is a clear example of God’s time versus man’s time, and is an amazing story to read. As a 17 year old lad, Joseph was loved with a special love by his father, Jacob, and hated by most of his brothers; a hatred that was founded on jealousy. That hatred was so strong that they even plotted to kill Joseph. One brother, Rueben, not wanting to kill him, talked the others into throwing him into a pit (hoping to rescue him later.) That hatred manifested itself so vividly when they callously and cold-heartedly ate their dinner as the young lad cried and pleaded from the pit. Genesis 42:21 says, “We saw the anguish of his soul, when He besought us and we would not hear.”
While Rueben was gone, the other brothers sold Joseph to the Midianites and he was carried off to Egypt to be a slave. His coat was dipped in an animals blood and given to Jacob, as the brothers covered up their evil deed with lies. Oh, the loneliness he must have felt to be so cruelly wrenched from the security of his loving father and carried to a strange land where no one served the One True God.
But God’s hand was upon Joseph and it is evident that he felt it, because Joseph never failed in his faithfulness to God. Alone and lonely, he was obedient to that which his father, Jacob, had taught him even while he was living in a foreign land among heathens. God caused those around Joseph to show favor toward him and treat him well; thus he lived comfortably for a while, although as a slave. Then, even though we may think Joseph had suffered enough, he had to go through another trial of being humiliated and lied about . Taken from his decent surroundings, he was put in a prison house for several years.
Consider the life he now had: when he should have been at home in Caanan raising a family, tending sheep, and spending time with his father, he was spending his younger years in prison.
Yet, there was no slackness in Joseph’s faithfulness and God caused those around him to show him favor. Finally, around the age of 30, God gave him wisdom to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and he was elevated to greatness, even first in command under Pharaoh. Over the next nine years, he was given a wife, had two sons and was treated royally. Now, at the age of 39, his brothers came to Egypt to buy corn during a severe famine. For 22 years they had lived knowing the terrible deed they committed against Joseph and the lie they told their father. But not knowing what happened to Joseph, their consciences were dulled as they lived out their lives.
Suddenly, the brothers are faced with a serious trial and their guilt surfaces. They fear they are being punished for their evil deed of the past. “We are verily guilty concerning our brother…” Genesis 42:21. Oh, how we are amazed as Joseph confronts his brothers with his identity and then makes this remarkable statement, “Now therefore, be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” Genesis 45:5. Again Joseph says, “And God did send me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.”
What trust Joseph had in the faithfulness of God to see his life, not as a personal tragedy, but as a fulfillment of God’s plan for His people. Joseph was blessed to see his father again, even for seventeen more years.
God’s Time versus Our Time. The everyday events in our lives pale in significance when we take time to submit to God’s plan for our life from His Time.
The Better Way: Believing God Is Good: Trusting Completely In God’s Omnipotent Hand In Everything is the only way.