• GPS

Where’s God?



Introduction


The world is a very dark place and getting darker and darker in these latter days. It is also going global, which isn’t necessarily bad unless the ideas and policies are found in human preferences or prejudices. All over the world, and now in the United States, we hear public policymakers and media cronies talking about the need for re-education camps for the ignorant who do not understand the unsurpassable genius of a human-based global system. Do you hear them singing: Holy, Holy, Holy, Mother Earth, we praise thee? The seas will lower, the global temperature will be a lovely and balmy 72 degrees with mild winds. Hurricanes, Tornados, Volcanoes, and Wild Fires will submit themselves to human brilliance. Maybe sharks will once and for all stop attacking swimmers or perhaps swimming will be banned to protect the “put upon” sharks. But best of all, those exasperating people who believe in God will once and for all be silenced.


Government Apart from God


Anyone who honestly studies history is aware of the fact that human government across the ages has been catastrophic. We’ve seen Tribalism, Monarchies, Dictatorships, Parliaments, Oligarchs, Fascists, Communists, Theocracies[1], Democracies, and Republics. The report card is “Utter Failure.” An overview of the Old Testament details how gravely Israel failed when their rulers ignored His guidance. Israel reaped the consequences of human rule: God ultimately dispensed His people throughout the world, beginning in 70 A.D. Wherever you look throughout the globe, life is a bloody and moral mess. As humanity made its way around the globe, it spread its infectious lust for power and its bent toward moral decadence. In fact, the lust for power was the primary motivation for global expansion. Some fleeing for their lives to find freedom while others lusted for more wealth and more territory. Wherever the God of Scripture is ignored or His principles corrupted, human hubris corrupts everything. Basically, when human beings rule according to their natural condition (without Jehovah God), we suck at everything except dominating and killing others.


God is in the Details[2]

Gen. 37, 39-41:40


In the myriad of things that can be gleaned from Scripture, an obvious activity is God’s omnipresence. No activity goes unseen; He is always in the details, especially in the details of His chosen peoples (Israel and the Church). Everything is present before Him. And in everything He sees, He involves Himself. Consider the life of Joseph.


Genesis 37 explains the reason for his brothers’ hatred of Joseph. His parents gloated on him; he loved it. At seventeen years of age, Joseph had the unmitigated nerve to share his dreams with his family. They depicted him as a leader to which his family would submit. Whether he was simply trying to irritate his brothers, we don’t know; however, we do know that they despised him for sharing the revelation. When the opportunity finally presented itself, all but Reuben agreed to sell Joseph into slavery to some Midianites who were passing by their location on their way to sell goods in Egypt. Worse, they decided to take Joseph’s wonderfully colored tunic, shred it, and then covered it with animal blood. The effect on Jacob was as they had hoped. No longer would they have to deal with their arrogant little brother, so they presumed.


Upon arriving in Egypt, Joseph was sold to a well-to-do officer, named Potiphar, who was the captain in charge of Pharaoh’s bodyguard. Potiphar saw a leader in the young slave and gave Joseph oversight over all that he owned and managed. The problem for Joseph is that Potiphar’s wife noticed the young slave’s talents and boyish good looks. After numerous attempts to lure Joseph into her bed without success, she managed to hold onto a piece of his clothing that she obtained during her last failed attempt to seduce Joseph. Angry, she called for her servants. She accused Joseph of attempted rape. With only her word on the issue, Potiphar was forced to place Joseph into the jail where Pharaoh’s prisoners were confined.


Is this the end for Joseph? Hardly! Joseph’s attitude and work ethic so impressed the Pharaoh’s Chief Jailor that he eventually made Joseph the manager of all the prisoners. A young Hebrew has the complete trust of an Egyptian Jailor.


While Joseph was operating the prison, two of Pharaoh’s officials, the cupbearer, and the chief baker angered the Pharaoh to such an extent that he had them both incarcerated in his prison. What did the Chief Jailor do? He put both the Cupbearer and the Baker under the authority of Joseph. After a lengthy time in prison, the Cupbearer and Baker each had a dream on the same night. Not knowing the meaning of their dreams, they each became quite dejected. During Joseph’s rounds early the next morning, he noticed the somberness in the two confined officials. “What saddens you this day?” Both told Joseph about their dreams and their inability to understand their meanings. Joseph gave them the meanings of their dreams. The Cupbearer would be restored to his office in three days. Joseph askes the Cupbearer to remember him before Pharaoh as one who has been unjustly imprisoned. The Baker, to the contrary, would not be restored to his office. He would be executed in three days. Joseph’s interpretations were spot on. In three days, the cupbearer was restored to his office and the Baker was executed. Sadly, the cupbearer forgot about Joseph.


Two years after the Cupbearer was restored to his position, Pharaoh had two dreams that he found uninterpretable. He called for the magicians and his wise men to give him an interpretation of these dreams. They were unable to do so. The Cupbearer, whose life was spared by Pharaoh, heard this discussion. “My lord, when the Baker and I were in prison, we also had dreams. A young Hebrew was able to interpret both of our dreams perfectly.” Upon hearing this statement, Pharaoh called for the young Hebrew.


Giving credit to God for his interpretation, Joseph successfully explained Pharaoh’s dreams. Egypt (as well as the whole known world of its time; Gen. 41:57) would have seven years of plenty followed by seven years of drought. He warned Pharaoh of the necessity of hiring a person who will manage the abundance the nation will receive during the first seven years of plenty so that Egypt will have plenty to survive the seven years of famine. Impressed by Joseph’s wisdom and to Joseph’s amazement, Pharaoh placed Joseph over his house, second only to himself. The young “throw-away” who was later sold to the Midianites by his brothers, was now directly serving the most powerful figure of his era, Sesostris III (1878-1843 B.C.).


Conclusion


Through Joseph, God would spare his brothers' lives and that of his father by bringing them to Egypt. Then, over 475 years, God created a nation that He would free from Egyptian tyranny, and ultimately bring to the Promised Land. But even more magnificent is the salvation that God would provide through this nation in the life, death, and resurrection of the world’s Messiah, Jesus Christ.


Where’s God? Fellow believers, God is in the details of every one of His children or who are not so fortunate, to the point of shaping human history for His glory and our good. He is NOT behind the scenes, like the Wizard of Oz, trying to keep the façade of a kingdom flourishing. Our Lord writes and directs the scene. He knows the beginning and the end. He is not in the background trying to keep things from going completely bonkers. He is executing a plan in each believer’s life that cannot be undermined by the evil intent of His enemies. In life or in death, God’s children don’t just survive; they overwhelmingly conquer through Christ their Lord.


World leaders, no matter their political preference or the extent of their power, are and will always remain under the thumb of a sovereign and omnipresent Lord. For every evil act that they impose on others, there will be a righteous reaction perfectly executed by a just God. He is patient, not tolerant. His plan supersedes all other plans. Justice is guaranteed!


Just like with Joseph, God is in the details of your life experience. You are secure in Him and you will gradually and ultimately overcome the wiles of this wicked self-righteous world (Phil. 1:6), guaranteed. He’s not trying to catch up. He is not fooled by some new human attempt to discredit or displace Him. Technology does not threaten Him—He is omniscient; He is really good in science and physics and such. He is your good, very good Father! A father always has an eye and a hand in each of His children’s lives. He is with you when you sleep and when you rise. When you fall, He will pick you up. He did not bring you into His family to fail you or to leave you unarmed. He has given His Word to you to study and grow in your faith. Like a good Father, He encourages you to learn. He picks you up when you stubbornly try to resist Him. Give in—you will lose to His love every time. The Father will never abandon His children. He’s involved! The more you study His Words, left to you by His grace, the more you will understand how deeply involved He is in your significant life! Got it? God is in the details of your life! Got it? God works in and with you as he worked in and with Joseph. Got it! Now go out and live life to His glory!

[1] This term refers to all religions, including Roman Catholicism, which have subjected people to religious authority without their consent. [2] As the Lord reveals history to Moses for future generations, He includes His work “within the scenes.” While He did speak to Abraham and a few others, especially prophets, personal interaction is not the norm. Joseph’s interactions with people were based upon his faith in God, i.e., what he knew about God. The key verse in this section of Scripture is Genesis 39:2, which explains Joseph’s success: “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.”