Just Thinking Outloud

That would make a really great name for a blog…but alas I’m happy with the one I have. Although I’ve thought I really should have named my blog, “Another dumb girl”, which was my first nickname…I guess.

You see when I was born my uncle was in the second grade. As the story goes, the day after I was born was show and tell day for that particular second grade class. The teacher stood there before her students and asked my uncle, “Do you have anything for show-and-tell today?”

My uncle stood, feet spread far apart, fists jammed into his pockets, and said, “Yeah, I got summthin’ ta say, my sister had another dumb girl.”

Of course he denies it to this day, but the teacher was so touched (probably by the sheer silliness of it all) remembered it and told my grandmother.  Now that I think about it, this is the same uncle who many years later would drop a 10-pound weight on my head.  But that is another story for another day.

This morning I was reading a devotional (that I promise has nothing to do a dumb girl, or dropping weights on heads of dumb girls) and one of the verses they recommend reading was Genesis 50:20. You’re familiar, I’m sure, with the back story. Joseph has been sold into slavery, his brothers go to Egypt to get food because they are starving to death. Joseph eventually reveals to them that he is Joseph. In Genesis 50, Jacob had died and the brothers were still fearful of Joseph and wanted to be sure he let them live a nice long life.

In verse 20, Joseph says, “What you meant for harm, God meant for good.”

I got hung up by the words “God meant”. I stopped and began pondering what those mean. God meant…

God meant it for good. Does that mean “God caused it”? Or does it mean more like Romans 8:28 that God used it for good?

Now I know God is sovereign and nothing happens to His children without His permission, I guess my question this morning is this:

Did God cause the brothers to sell Joseph into slavery so good would be the result? Or did God merely allow them to sell him because He could make good come from it?

Maybe it’s all just semantics and really it’s both.

I think when someone meant to do something they intended all along for it to happen. It was their plan. But when they use something that happened for another purpose I think it’s different. They didn’t mean for it to happen it just did.

So did God mean for Joseph to be sold for good, or was Joesph sold into slavery and God used it for good? I know God knew from before time immemorial that Joseph would be sold and it wasn’t a surprise at all.

I was hoping by the time I reached this part of my outloud thinking, I would have thought my way into an answer…but alas I haven’t.  I’m no closer to knowing which one it was, but I do know it really doesn’t matter and my curious mind will have to let it rest.


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