Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 4, 2022

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think”

Today’s devotion comes from Genesis 42:18-25.

“Now Joseph said to them on the third day, “Do this and live, for I fear God:  if you are honest men, let one of your brothers be confined in your prison;  but as for the rest of you, go, carry grain for the famine of your households, and bring your youngest brother to me, so your words may be verified, and you will not die.”  And they did so.  Then they said to one another, “Truly we are guilty concerning our brother, because we saw the distress of his soul when he pleaded with us, yet we would not listen;  therefore this distress has come upon us.”  Reuben answered them, saying, “Did I not tell you, ‘Do not sin against the boy’;  and you would not listen?  Now comes the reckoning for his blood.”  They did not know, however, that Joseph understood, for there was an interpreter between them.  He turned away from them and wept.  But when he returned to them and spoke to them, he took Simeon from them and bound him before their eyes.  Then Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain and to restore every man’s money in his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. And thus it was done for them.”  Genesis 42:18-25.


We are reminded of God’s providence by Joseph’s action in the last verse of filling his brothers’ bags with grain, restoring their money, and giving them provisions for the journey.

Even though Joseph’s brothers may felt distress thinking Joseph treated then roughly and sternly (not aware of all that Joseph provided and intended for them), Joseph provided and intended way beyond what they recognized and even hoped.  

Likewise, we may feel at times that God treats us by roughly and sternly by the trials, distresses, and afflictions that we experience, not aware of all that God provided and intended for us.

May the following Scriptures build our faith in God’s providence.

“Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.” Psalm 34:19.

“4 I sought the LORD, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.

8 O taste and see that the LORD is good;
How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!
9 O fear the LORD, you His saints;
For to those who fear Him there is no want.” Psalm 34:4-9.

“Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
3 Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
4 Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
5 Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.” Psalm 103:1-5.

Consider the following from the Heidelberg Catechism.

Q. 26.  What believest thou when thou sayest, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth”?

A.  That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (who of nothing made heaven and earth, with all that is in them;  who likewise upholds and governs the same by His eternal counsel and providence) is, for the sake of Christ His Son, my God and my Father;  on whom I rely so entirely, that I have no doubt but He will provide me with all things necessary for soul and body;  and further, that He will make whatever evils He sends upon me, in this valley of tears, turn out to my advantage;  for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and willing, being a faithful Father.

Q. 28.  What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by His providence doth still uphold all things?

A.  That we may be patient in adversity;  thankful in prosperity;  and that in all things which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us from His love;  since all creatures are so in His hand, that without His will they cannot so much as move.

“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever.  Amen.”  Ephesians 3:20-21.


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