Up to this point in the Torah, we have encountered several immutable God principles.
The first principle we uncovered is the Principle of Separation.
This concept means that God is constantly in the process of dividing, separating, and electing a people unto Himself for His purposes.
We saw this governing dynamic at work in the very first chapter of Genesis when God separated the Light from the Darkness.
For those of you who have attended a Christian church, I’m sure you’ve heard the term “sanctification”.
This is none other than the Principle of Separation as “sanctification” means “to set apart”.
As believers, we have been “separated” or “sanctified” to conform to God’s will for service to Him.
In fact, this is the very definition of holiness.
Moving on, another God pattern we discovered is what I have dubbed the “As-in-heaven, so-on-earth Principle”.
The idea here is that physical objects and events depicted in the Scriptures are a reflection of spiritual truths that exist in the heavens.
The tabernacle, which is a physical, earthly model of the heavenly realm, is a good demonstration of this principle.
Another good example is the serpent being cursed and cast out of the garden of Eden.
This mirrors what happened in the spiritual realm when Satan was kicked out of heaven way, way back.
Now when we come to the Joseph story, more than ever before, we will see the Lord employing a new principle that could simply best be described as “Divine Providence“.
So what is “Divine Providence“?
In a nutshell, it is the idea that God is working behind the scenes to bring about His fixed will even though it seems like He isn’t working at all.
I can understand why some people would become deists.
Sometimes it really does seem like God created everything and then just left us on our own.
When we look around at all the evil in the world, all the wars, all the people in third world countries barely surviving, all the diseases that decimate whole populations, or all of the natural disasters that occur, such events can bring even the strongest, most faithful believer to his or her knees in confusion crying out “God where are you?!“
I’m living in Japan now and was here when the mega earthquake and killer tsunami struck this nation in March 2011.
During that time, I couldn’t help but question my faith and wonder to myself “God where are you in all this?”
Nevertheless, no matter how strongly things may seem to the contrary, the Biblical viewpoint maintains that no matter what the present circumstances or how men act in their free wills, God, like a master mathematician, is guiding mankind to an unchangeable, unstoppable and irreversible conclusion He has predetermined from eternity past.
Although we can see evidence of God’s unseen guiding hand in the lives of the patriarchs, we will see this divine providence play center stage in Joseph’s life.
However, I reiterate my point that it is only observable to us because we have the benefit of hindsight.
While Joseph and the other bible characters were in the midst of it, they couldn’t see divine providence at work.
This should be highly encouraging to us.
If you have placed yourself in God’s hands, even though it may not seem like it, He has a plan for you and is working it out in your life.
He’s got your back.