so when joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. and they took him and threw him into a pit. the pit was empty; there was no water in it. then they sat down to eat. and looking up they saw a caravan of ishmaelites coming from gilead, with their camels bearing gum, balm, and myrrh, on their way to carry it down to egypt. then judah said to his brothers, “what profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? come, let us sell him to the ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” and his brothers listened to him. then midianite traders passed by. and they drew joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. they took joseph to egypt. [genesis 37:23-28]
the God who sees. El Roi.
when we read accounts like this where a narrative is about people, really dramatically evil people, it’s easy to forget that this is a narrative about God. but God is present in this narrative. he hasn’t forgotten joseph. he has not permanently given these barbaric men over to their sin permanently. he is here. he is watching. he is still in control.
for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. [job 28:24]
his eyes are on the ways of mortals; he sees their every step. [job 34:21]
for your ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all your paths. [proverbs 5:21]
“who can hide in secret places so that i cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “do not i fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. [jeremiah 23:24]
do you every feel this way about your own life? that God is distant, or unengaged with your life and your circumstances? take comfort in the God who sees you. he knows everything you are going through. he is still in control.
God also has plans for this rough and hate-filled family. God has a purpose for everything that happens to them and to us. he is bringing them low to bring about his good plans. so we can also take hope in his purposes. he promises he has a plan for you. you may not see it now. it may be you are going through his discipline, or suffering, or grieving. but he will not leave you there.
for God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. [ecclesiastes 12:14]
why are you cast down, o my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? hope in God; for i shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. [psalm 42:11]
for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. [hebrews 12:11]
for i know the plans i have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. [jeremiah 29:11]
the Lord is not oblivious to the brokenness of his world. El Roi sees you. he knows you. he is with you. and he will deliver you. cling to him, and you will taste and see that the Lord is good.
~ arwen eastman