“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.“ (Romans 8:28 NASB)
Although this biblical truth was written by the apostle Paul for the Christians in Rome, God’s character of keeping His promises to “those who are called according to His purpose” can be seen throughout the history of the people of Israel, a people chosen and called by God to be holy. I thought of a few characters in the Bible, through whom God gave great redemptions to His people, when the wicked were plotting to destroy the nation.
Joseph was one of the twelve sons of Jacob, future patriarchs of the people of Israel. God had given him a dream, in which his eleven brothers and father came to worship him. This angered his brothers, who at first sold him into slavery in Egypt and told his father that he had been torn to pieces by a wild beast. So the Lord made Joseph the second man after Pharaoh many years later. The famine of seven years, which had spread to the land of Canaan, caused Joseph’s brothers to come to Egypt for wheat for their families. In Egypt there was a storehouse of wheat, which Joseph had made following God’s guidance. Joseph revealed to his brothers, and the Lord caused his whole family to be freed from hunger, to move to Egypt, and to live well under his care.
When he saw that the Jewish slaves were multiplying rapidly in Egypt and had already presented a political danger, the new pharaoh, who did not know Joseph, ordered the killing of all male Jewish infants. A Jewish mother, however, hid her baby in a rush basket and placed it among the reeds on the river bank. By divine providence, the waters carried the basket to the place where Pharaoh’s daughter was bathing. Although she knew he was a Jew, she took pity on the child and named him Moses. Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s house and later became the one through whom God punished Pharaoh for the evil he had done against the children of Israel and brought all the people out of Egyptian slavery.
When the Jews were in another captivity, under the rule of Ahasuerus, a certain Haman, the ruler over the king’s chiefs, plotted the capital destruction of the Jews. He was disturbed by the fact that the Jew Mordecai did not worship him as he passed by him. He had originally planned to hang Mordecai on a 25-meter gallows (as tall as an 8-story building) and later to take revenge on Jews in all parts of the Persian kingdom. However, the Lord turned Haman’s evil plans upside down through the queen Esther, the daughter of Mordecai, who had been chosen by the heart of Ahasuerus. When the king learned of Haman’s plans, he was hanged on the gallows he had built for Mordecai. Moreover, the Jews were delivered from the hand of the enemies who threatened them. Let us have full confidence in God who knows how to turn evil for our good, of those who love Him and who have been called according to His plan. When it seems to us that some situations are working against us, we must know that God is in full control and returns them to our good.
Translated by Liza Bîrlădeanu