"God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God." Genesis 45:7-8
It is not difficult to find people who express their belief in God as Sovereign, but Joseph's understanding and acceptance of His sovereignty is exceptional. It is easy to acknowledge God's sovereignty until things do not work out the way we think they should. There appears to be no bitterness when Joseph tells his brothers, you sold me into slavery, but it was God's plan and purpose that brought me here. I want to have Joseph's attitude about life. He believed God was in control. Paul had not yet written, "We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose," (Romans 8:28) but Joseph would have agreed.
"Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus."
Joseph of Arimathea was looking for the kingdom of God. The NRSV says he was waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God. He was anticipating the coming of the Messiah. I know Jesus is coming again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords and can gladly say "Come, Lord Jesus, come." But the question came to me, "Am I expectantly looking for the kingdom of God as I live my life?" Am I so busy with the daily activities of life that I miss His kingdom activity?
Lord Jesus, forgive me for living such a self-centered life. I act as if I am the center of the universe. I forget everything was made by You, through You and for You. One day You are coming to claim all that is Yours.
If you thought Eliphaz was harsh, wait until Zophar gets through with Job. Zophar's description of God is right, and his explanation of how to be right with God is correct, but his application to Job is incorrect. Zophar says Job is just a talker, babbler and mocker who claims to be sinless. Job does not claim perfection. In Job 9:1 he asks, "how can any man be right before God and in Job 9:33 expresses the need for an arbiter. Zophar accurately describes repentance in Job 11:13-14, “If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you."
However, since Job is not living in sin, Zophar's application is inappropriate for this situation.
Father, reading these conversations makes it clear I am not only to know Your instruction, but I should apply it correctly to myself and others. Please, Holy Spirit, bring Your Word to my mind at the right time and give me proper discernment. May I not misrepresent my Lord.