“You Meant it for Evil, But….”

Gen 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.

These words of course were spoken by Joseph to his brothers who had abused him so terribly. The brothers – a very rare case – came to him in what appears to be genuine repentance. But even if they had not, this particular part of Joseph’s words to them would apply. “You meant it for evil…but God meant it for good.”

I think that at least at the other end of abuse, especially when we have been enabled to get out of the abuser’s evil control, and we look back, we can see this. I was reviled by many “fine Christians” down through the years and what they did (NONE of them have ever repented) they will give account for to God. But I also know that in these years of misery I was in school. I suppose we can also think of Moses out there for 40 years in the desert thinking that his usefulness for the Lord was done and kaput! In fact, it was just beginning!

Evil people are evil. God’s wrath is upon them. But He uses them in our lives to wake us up to evil and its tactics so that we can expose it and help others and continue to stay free of it ourselves. “Thanks,” abusers. Your evil has turned to my good.

3 thoughts on ““You Meant it for Evil, But….”

  1. The good that I have seen in my life is ultimately for the good of those around me as well as in my closer walk with my Savior. I have seen God bless others through me in ways that wouldn’t have been the case if I first were not refined in the fire.

  2. This is very true, Pastor, and I am glad to be reminded of it.

    Were it not for God’s faithfulness to me and to the design of my character, as He had always intended me to be, I could not have been of the discerning and wise help to so many others who were in the midst of the blinding fog of relational abuse. He continues to move me forward today as a voice against evil and its injustices, and I am ever so grateful for His grace in being of service to others. Without Him, I would have been overtaken long ago, or simply given up. God is greatly to be praised!

  3. Thank you for your wise words. We were discussing this passage today in Bible study, and your words gave us additional insight. The abusers in our lives have indeed sent us “to school” and God has clearly used them to teach us many things. Unfortunately, this teaching is often turned around when we are told that because God uses all events for ultimate good, we just have to suffer and stay in an abusive situation. Joseph gave his brothers some pretty tough tests to see if they had repented before he let them back into his life.

Leave a Reply