Woven throughout the pages of scripture are many vignettes of GOD’s provision and deliverance of that people that HE loves with an everlasting love. This is nowhere more vividly illustrated than in the account that we have of Joseph being sold as a slave into Egypt for the specific purpose of ministering deliverance to the household of Israel (nee Jacob)..
In this particular account (as throughout the scriptures) we see layer upon layer of various “circumstances” and “occurrences” which manifest the absolute predestination of all things by the hand of an all wise and Absolute GOD. In man’s natural understanding he would attribute such things to “luck”, “coincidence”, or “karma”. Yet to those to whom it is given to rejoice in a Sovereign GOD, they see Paul’s declaration clearly demonstrated. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
Every incident that occurs during this unfolding saga has its own set of “circumstances” which define each particular occurrence. When analyzed separately, they can each be attributed to various “causes” and “effects”, such as the animosity and jealousy which arose among Joseph’s brothers that led to their decision to sell him into slavery to the dreams which Joseph was enabled to interpret for the baker and the butler which ultimately led to his interpreting Pharaoh’s dream and arriving at a place of honor and power in the kingdom of Egypt.
While each one of these events produced its individual results and in a measure accomplished a specific and particular purpose of its own; it is as we see the whole unfolded and each of these episodes woven into a greater fabric of an overall purpose that we are made to rejoice and give glory to HIM who does all things well and for the benefit of those whom HE loves. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.” (Isa 46:9-13)
It is impossible (and unnecessary) for men to predict (or understand) the outcome of every step that the LORD is pleased to design in the unfolding of HIS purpose as we read “And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” (Isa 42:16) “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:8-9)
Surely, Job would not have known nor could he have foreseen that the loss of all that he held dear was the result of the LORD;s challenge to Satan. He could not have known that the whole scenario was designed by the LORD, to bring him to a true understanding of the majesty of the MOST HIGH GOD and that every trial in that journey was ordained by the hand of HIM who loved him before he ever drew his first breath. He did not enjoy each step of that sojourn but by the grace of GOD he could reflect upon it after the fact and give glory to HIM who alone is worthy of all glory, even in the same fashion as King Nebuchanezzar could, after eating grass like an ox. “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Dan 4:34-35)
We see Pharaoh, the Sovereign Ruler of Egypt, instructing that wagons be sent to gather the household and belongings of Jacob, so that they might have ease of journey to the land of Egypt in order that they might escape the famine and dwell in a land of plenty. He commanded this because of his great love and regard unto Joseph. Thus we see Jacob’s household as the objects of his affection because of his affection for Joseph, whom he regarded as the steward of his kingdom and the administrator thereof. Jacob nor any of his family would have a standing or regard in his sight were it not that he had regard unto Joseph.
Now in this we see illustrated the regard which the FATHER has for those whom HE has chosen “in CHRIST”, from before the foundation of the world. They are precious in HIS sight because they are hidden in CHRIST and HE is their MEDIATOR and DELIVERER even as Joseph stood in their room and place as their kinsman. The FATHER has respect to all who are seen in the RIGHTEOUSNESS of CHRIST, and none for those who are not.
As we consider these “wagons” we see a picture of the grace of GOD. These wagons belonged to Pharaoh and were presided over by Joseph. Pharaoh commanded that these wagons be sent to Canaan to fetch the “house of Israel”. He instructed that they bring not any of their “stuff”, since the land to which they were being brought was a land of plenty. He actually sent asses laden with “good things”, “corn and meat” to supply them on their journey so that they had need of nothing of their own making to accomplish this passage.
The GRACE of GOD is the SUFFICIENCY of the saints of GOD. HE owns this grace and dispenses it as HE wills. There is no other conveyance which can bring the saints out of the land of famine and barrenness and into the land of plenty. HE demands that the saints bring nothing with them of their own making or provision since HE supplies all that is necessary for them to arrive safely at their destination. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9)
The biggest hindrance to the entrance of men into the Kingdom of GOD is that of self-righteousness, which is having any sort of regard to ones own actions, merits, or obedience as a means of gaining the favor of GOD. The only sort of folks who are called (i.e., invited as well as compelled) into this Kingdom are sinners who confess that they are unworthy of the least of HIS mercies. Even as Toplady wrote these timeless words, “Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to THY cross I cling, naked come to THEE for dress, Helpless look to THEE for grace. Foul I, to the FOUNTAIN fly, Wash me SAVIOR or I die.” So too, does every one of GOD’s elect approach.
Thus when Jacob saw those “wagons”, his spirit “revived” and he rejoiced to see the DAY of his SALVATION. So too does the GRACE of GOD serve to make the household of faith to be glad and rejoice in the CAPTAIN of their SALVATION. “Behold the throne of grace! The promise calls me near; There Jesus shows his smiling face; And waits to answer prayer.”(John.Newton)
Behold the “wagons” and rejoice O child of GOD, chosen and called!mam