God Meant It For Good
Genesis 12 introduces the Abrahamic Covenant - one of the most important moments in the biblical narrative. In the Abrahamic covenant, God promises that Abram will be the father to many nations. He also promises to provide His people with the land of Canaan. Finally, we read how God promises that His people will become a blessing to the entire earth. I’m sure Abraham thought that everything was going to change in that moment or shortly after the promise was given (after all, don’t we always expect God’s promises to unfold in our own timing). Abraham may have believed that the promised land would take them back to the time of Eden -- a land without sin, pain, and brokenness. But, we have the privilege of knowing the rest of the story, and we know the truth. We are incapable of experiencing perfection on earth, because of our broken beginnings.
Shortly after God proclaimed the goodness of His creation, humans brought in brokenness by listening to the serpent. We read about how Adam and Eve hid from God in shame, Abel murdered his brother, and even Noah, who found favor in the sight of the Lord, was discovered drunk and naked. The story of wickedness reaches a climax at the Tower of Babel where God in His wrath disperses the people. Following that passage began the story of Job, whose entire life was touched by the evil nature of Satan. Reading through the early chapters of Genesis and Job feels a little bit like reading a synopsis of 2020 (fires, a global pandemic, the shortage of toilet paper, Tiger King, Murder Hornets?!?, social unrest, racial tension, depression, grief, loss, and so much more). It seems easy for hopelessness, anxiety, and depression to settle in our hearts.
BUT GOD! In Genesis 12, God comes in and makes a covenant promise to His people. A promise that we know He has fulfilled in the birth of His son, Jesus. The broken beginning of humankind has no claim on the power of our God. As we march onward through Genesis and beyond, sin will continue to prevail in the hearts of men and women. But, as Joseph says to his brothers that sold him into a life of slavery, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.” Genesis 50:20
God can and will use our broken beginnings for His glory. He will redeem, deliver, heal, and restore His people in ways that will bring us to our knees. The stories of Jacob, Moses, Ruth, David, Peter, Paul, and many more will continue to remind us of God’s ability to take broken people and use them to do His good work. As we move through this year of reading the entirety of God’s Word, let us hold fast to the reminder that what some mean for evil, God means for good and live in the freedom and hope of that message.