Truly, O God of Israel, our Savior, Who has been hiding Himself; You work in mysterious ways. (Isaiah 45:15)
In my personal devotion time this past week, I read Isaiah 45 and Genesis 42 & 43 about the reunion of Joseph and his brothers. What a powerful story Joseph holds for his life! His constant devotion to the Lord seemed to always lead him into a brick wall of demotion. Yet the Lord always raised him up in promotion.
Thinking on the mysterious works of God and hiding Himself, I think of Joseph and how he hid who he really was from his brothers. Yet also, how he revealed himself to his brothers most would say was strange and weird; he planted a silver cup in his brother, Benjamin’s sack. Why? Well, on the surface, many might think that it was a cruel and heartless act of revenge on his brothers for selling him into slavery years before and taking him away from his family. However, it was really a turning point for the entire family which caused his brothers to search their hearts and led them to repentance, which resulted in Joseph revealing who he was.
Let’s back track a little bit….
The entire land was in the midst of a dry and harsh famine and people from all over came to Egypt to get grain and food for their families; Egypt was the only source of provision at this time. Joseph’s brothers traveled to Egypt as strangers to get food for their families, just like every other man who traveled to Egypt. Joseph was a stranger to his brothers and he longed to tell his brothers who he really was…
I am Joseph!
But they were not ready yet. The bible says that Joseph had to withdraw from their presence many times to weep in private because he could not tell them who he was; he did not know if they had changed or if they were ready. He was grieved that his brothers stood before him, thinking him a stranger simply because Joseph was the only one who could fill their empty sacks. How much grief do you think that God has for His children when they come into His presence with the prayer…
“Take my money; fill my empty sack; and dismiss me as a stranger”?????
Joseph wanted more than to simply provide for his family; he wanted to be a part of his family again, to reveal himself! He wanted no longer to remain a stranger to them. Joseph was not going to allow them to come to him for food and simply leave because they had plenty. He needed to know that they had changed and that they were ready to know who He was. If he had not planted the silver cup in Benjamin’s sack, his brothers would left Egypt and had never known him; but because of it, they had to return and he could reveal himself to them. By the silver cup, they came to know their provider in a new and personal way.
God has filled my sack so many times throughout my life, and I went on my way to devour it. He has blessed me even though I did not recognize Him. Yet I used up all my grain too quickly, which drove me back to His feet. Then one day I found a silver cup in my sack.
Oh, I praise Him for the love that refused to send me on my way with a full sack and an empty heart! The silver cup arrested me and presented Him with the opportunity to reveal Himself!
God loves us too much for us to remain strangers. Silver cups take many forms in our lives: trails, disappointment, demotion, and hurt. We each have a testimony of a silver cup in our lives. God uses “silver cups” in our life, not simply to teach us, but so that we can see Him for who He is…a good good Father. I cannot say that your current situation is God’s silver cup, but it is consistent with His great heart. He will not continually send His children away with a fullness that is not of Him.
Do not fear or resent the silver cup; embrace it. God is not playing a heartless trick on you, but has a full heart to reveal Himself to you. God sometimes leaves us in a fog to who He is and what He is doing until we are prepared and willing to be demoted Then will He reveal Himself to us in order that we can be promoted and He will get the glory!