He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him. (Psalm 105:17-19 KJV)
That very evening, the angels stood quietly and watched as the sons of Jacob hatched their plans against their little brother, Joseph. They held a lot of debates about it and then one of them came up with an idea- to sell him to the slave traders and so make money from him while riding him from their midst. The idea was good, and it really stuck. So, as the Ishmaelite traders approached on their way to the land of Egypt with their stuck of spice, balm and myrrh, the brothers took a quick decision to sell him. So, they sold Joseph for twenty (20) pieces of silver to those Ishamelite traders who took him and resold him to a certain official of high authority in Egypt; and thus, Joseph became a slave in Egypt. But that was what the earth saw.
The two angels went back to heaven, entering the big golden gates, and they approached the presence of the Almighty God Himself. Israel was an important ‘project’ in the sight of God, and all angels deployed on assignment always reported directly to the throne of His majesty. Taking their place before His Majesty, they simply reported, “Sent, my Lord! Our man has been sent to Egypt.”
Oh, the marvels of the thoughts of the Heavens. Imagine if a man had gone to heaven to complain to God of how, Joseph, a young man who believed and trusted in Him was sold as a slave to Egypt. Imagine the complaints and the arguments that the man would have made before the merciful throne of God as to why God should not allow those who trust in Him to be put to shame. Imagin the man seeking that God should intervene and cause that Joseph in no distant time would be released from his captivity and so come back to his father and to his land. Then imagine God saying to him, “What do you mean, my dear? The records we have here showed that we sent him to Egypt. He did not go there because his brothers hated him and planned against him. He did not go there because the devil had incited all the enemies of his destiny against him. No, he went there because we sent him there.”
“He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold as a servant…” How God sent him is not your business. Has he not his right as God to send a man wherever he wants him to be? There are many ways God can send a man into his land of promise. It is not only by speaking to him an telling him to go; he can also send him through circumstances, through the evil plotting of men, through marriage, etc. All a man needs the must in fulfilling God’s plan for his life is to become a living sacrifice (Romans 12 vs. 1-2).
So, while Genesis 37, 39-41 told us the story of Joseph from the perspective of the earth- the challenges he went through in Egypt, the accusation from Potiphar’s wife, the imprisonment, the butler’s forgetfulness of Joseph, Pharaoh’s dreams, Joseph’s interpretations, and subsequent uplift and many more; Psalm 105 told us what heaven saw.
For the way Joseph was bundled as a slave into Egypt, the heavens said, “He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:” His trials, challenges and difficulties were acknowledged by Heaven, “Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:”. Hence, it does not mean that the Heavens is insensitive to our pains, challenges, and difficulties. The Almighty is aware, he knows all things. He knows that you are merely a man, that is why He bears with you and works patiently to bring you into glory.
For all the challenges he passed through, the Bible said, “Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.” This was the heavenly account of Joseph’s life – the word of the Lord tried him. The Hebrew word for ‘tried’ here is tsâraph meaning to fuse metal, to refine, purge, melt, etc. It would not take God anything to bring His word in Joseph’s life to pass. In fact, it was in one single day of a few hours that God took Joseph from being a prisoner to being the second greatest ruler of Egypt. However, before God’s word to him came through, the word of the Lord tried (tested, refined, and proved) him. God’s word worked in Joseph’s heart until every anger and hatred against his brothers left and he could be trusted to take on the task of preserving Israel which was why God sent him to Egypt in the first place.
Notice that in all the things that befell Joseph, there was no single mention of ‘the devil’, both in the earthly and the heavenly account. Of course, the devil was present; he was the one who moved his brothers to think such evil thoughts against him. However, when a man is walking with God and faces the task of becoming a living sacrifice (which is a lifetime duty), as well as sitting down with God’s word so that it will try him; then he need not be overly concerned with the devil. For though he may scheme and plan evil against you, but for a man who has surrendered to the Lord Almighty, all attacks, and plots of the devil against him only gets him faster to his God ordained destination.
AND SO? How I wish we can take some time today and pray for our lives, our future, and our marriage. Ask the Lord to give you a heavenly perspective. Most times, our worries, anxieties, concerns, and anger at the present realities around our lives is simply because we do not have a heavenly perspective. We are only humans; we see with our five senses; but there is a world being those five senses. That is where the Almighty lives.
I leave you with this quote from Pst. W.F. Kumuyi:
“As pilgrims on this side of eternity,
We must realize that in the ebbs and flows of life’s circumstances,
There is an Eternal God who quietly pursues His purposes.
Nothing happens by chance to a God-ordained life.”