I’m sharing a devotional from a favorite pastor of mine, Tony Evans, that was just emailed out today. I think we all need to be reminded that we exist in a world where a “but God…” moment is possible in our own messes, fears, failures or broken dreams. The omnipotent, eternal God who gave Joseph a “but God…” moment is the same God in charge who can bring one to you in YOUR pit, just as easily.
– But God –
Meant. The word can be defined as the past participle of “to mean” which is to intend for a particular purpose and destination. You’ve probably heard someone say something they probably shouldn’t have said or done something that lacked tact but someone else tried to cover it up with, “They meant well.” What they were saying is that even though what the person said or did created a negative reality, that was not their intention. They hadn’t meant to cause harm.
But that was not the case with Joseph’s brothers when they stripped him of his coat and dumped him in a pit. Nor was that the case when they greedily plucked him from the pit and sold him for a profit to slave traders headed to a foreign land.
Joseph’s brothers meant anything but well. They meant to cause him harm. They meant to ruin his life. They meant to dethrone him from the position of importance he had come to believe he would one day hold. They meant bad. Actually, they meant evil.
Those two words are two powerful words. When you come across “but God” in Scripture, pay attention. What comes next will usually change the entire situation. Especially if “meant” is added after them.
But God meant ….
Genesis 50:20 shows what God can do with something meant to harm you. He can not only protect you in it, but He can also promote you because of it. The exact thing Joseph’s brothers had meant to cause him harm was the exact thing God used to promote him to his destiny.