Appearances Can Be Deceiving

download-5Genesis 42:36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.

Jacob had no idea what God was doing.

Twenty years earlier, Joseph had disappeared from Jacob’s life; his sons deceived him into believing that his beloved son had been eaten by a wild beast. Twenty years later, a famine gripped the land, and in desperation he sent ten of his remaining sons to Egypt to buy bread, keeping Benjamin behind for safekeeping. Then, only nine of his sons returned, leaving Simeon in Egypt, and with the fearful pronouncement that they would not see Simeon again unless they returned with Jacob’s youngest son, Benjamin. And, they were terrified to find stolen goods inside the sacks of food that they had brought home.

In frustration, Jacob declared, “All these things are against me!”

That was the situation from Jacob’s perspective. But what was really happening?

Over the last twenty years, Joseph had gone through his trials and come out the Vice Pharaoh of Egypt. Through his God-given wisdom, he had guided Egypt through the seven years of plenty so that they had enough stored away to survive the years of drought. When Jacob’s sons arrived to buy bread, it was Joseph that they appeared before; they did not recognize him. It was his plan to get them to return with Benjamin, no doubt to make sure a similar fate had not befallen him in Joseph’s absence. He had commanded his servants to place the “stolen goods” in their sacks of food.

Jacob said, “All these things are against me!” But nothing was further from the truth. In God’s providence, all things were working together for the glory of God and the good of His people. Certainly, some things in Jacob’s life were the result of the law of sowing and reaping; but there is no denying the work of God’s superintending providence in his life as well.

God had placed Joseph in the position of power to save their family. And through these events, Jacob was going to see his son again!

Sometimes, appearances are deceiving. We do not know what God is doing. His hand of providence works in ways beyond our understanding. How would YOU have taken Joseph and made him Vice Pharaoh of Egypt? Probably not the way that God did it – through a pit, Potiphar’s house, and prison. But God has His ways and they are not ours:

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. (9) For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Trust God! Appearances can be deceiving. What may seem to be AGAINST you may actually be God working FOR your good.

Thank you for reading. God bless.

About James Rasbeary

I am the pastor of the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Wylie, Texas. Check out my blog at www.broraz.com.
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