They Meant Evil, God Meant Good


By Carolyn Dale Newell

 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Gen. 50:20 (NKJV)

Joseph was a godly person who was always plotted against. He experienced much evil, but he looked past it to see God’s hand at work.

First, Joseph was hated by his own brothers. They abandoned a plan to kill him when they sold him into slavery. Joseph was purchased by Potiphar in Egypt. God was with Joseph, causing everything he did to prosper. Therefore, Potiphar made Joseph overseer (Gen. 39:1-6).

That was not the end of Joseph’s troubles.  Potiphar’s wife tried to seduce him; But Joseph honored God and fled. Her false accusation of rape sent Joseph to prison.

Joseph held an administrative position while imprisoned. He also interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s butler and baker. Upon his release, the butler did not mention Joseph as promised. Two years passed before the butler told anyone about Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams.

Pharaoh had experienced dreams that no one could interpret. Joseph was brought from prison and through God’s wisdom; he gave Pharaoh the warning concerning the upcoming famine which was pictured in his dreams. Joseph also gave Pharaoh a plan to collect food during the years prior to the famine. Pleased with Joseph’s discernment, Pharaoh made him second in command over Egypt.

Joseph realized that if he had not been sold into slavery, falsely accused, and imprisoned, he would not have been able to spare the lives of many people, including his own family. Thirteen years of evil and betrayal, though not condoned by God, were weaved into God’s plan for Joseph.

God can use our bad circumstances by over-ruling them through His providence to bring about good (Rom. 8:28). Friend, take comfort in God’s providence. What others meant for evil, God meant for good.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Joseph and this reminder that You are working through Your providence to bring about good from the evil that others inflict. Amen.


Read Gen. 50:15-22.


Can you recall a time when God providentially worked something out in your life? Give Him thanks.

Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.


6 thoughts on “They Meant Evil, God Meant Good

  1. Lisa Preuett

    I love the story of Joseph! Just finished a women’s Bible study on his life and how God uses our suffering for the good of others. Thanks for the powerful reminders of how God is in control even when we can’t see the big picture. #FindStability with Stacey Thureen

    Liked by 1 person


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