The end of Genesis gets us ready for the beginning of Exodus.
When we turn the page to Exodus, we are going to see Jacob’s descendants enslaved and treated very poorly. They aren’t in the land God promised them and they aren’t blessing all nations. Instead, they are cursed by a nation. The dark beginning of Exodus is only bearable if we hold onto the light at the end of Genesis.
Good From Evil
After all, God told Abraham back in Genesis 15 that his descendants would be strangers in a foreign land for 400 years. Now that time is coming. It’s no wonder, then, that when God appeared to Jacob on his way to Egypt, God told him not to be afraid to go. And the reason he didn’t need to be afraid was that God would bring them back out of Egypt.
This is the promise repeated constantly throughout these last chapters of Genesis. Jacob makes Joseph promise him to bury his body back in Canaan as a testament to the fact that his descendants won’t stay in Egypt. Joseph made a similar command at the end of his life, making his family promise to take his bones with them when God delivers them out of Egypt. But above all the blessings given, history recounted, and promises made in these closing chapters, one truth stands out above all the rest.
After Jacob dies, Joseph’s brothers are afraid that he will take revenge on them for selling him into slavery. So they go to Joseph and beg for their lives, offering to even be his slaves. But Joseph doesn’t hold a grudge. Not because he is particularly kind or gracious, but because he knows something true about how God works.
Here is what he says: “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
You intended harm. God intended good.
Haven’t we seen this time and again throughout Genesis? God takes the sinfulness, deceit, trickery, lust, depravity, and selfishness of humans, and makes good out of them. From Adam and Eve’s fall, to Jacob tricking Isaac, to Judah sleeping with his daughter-in-law, God has been bringing good out of evil the whole way. And he does it to accomplish a purpose - the saving of many lives.
Where is Jesus?
How can we not see the Gospel in this?
The Greatest Good From The Worst Evil
People sought to harm Jesus by imprisoning him, forcing him through an illegitimate trial, whipping him though he was innocent, and murdering him on a cross.
They intended harm. God intended good.
Through harming Jesus in this way, God has accomplished his ultimate purpose - the saving of many lives.
Jesus is the promised seed of Adam and Eve that crushes the head of the serpent.
Jesus is the descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who blesses all nations.
Jesus is the one who will bring us out of this current Egypt we are in, and bring us to the promised land of his presence forever.
See For Yourself
I pray that the Holy Spirit has shown you the God who always keeps his promises and even through the evil intentions of human hearts. And that you have seen Jesus all throughout Genesis as the promise keeper who takes every evil intention and brings about God’s ultimate good.