When God Uses Betrayal To Plant You
I have been enjoying the One-Year Bible Plan on the YouVersion app. It breaks up the bible into a few chapters a day so you can easily read it in a year. Right now, I am reading through Genesis and have been chewing on Genesis chapter 45 for a few days.
To give a little backstory, Joseph had already been sold to the Ishmaelites by his brothers and was taken to Egypt. Joseph ends up being bought by Potiphar, who was an officer of Pharaoh, and immediately found favor in their site. Genesis 45:2-3 says, "And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand."
Joseph then becomes overseer of the Egyptian's house and the entire house was blessed because Joseph served God. All was going great for Joseph until Potiphar's wife tried to get Joseph to sleep with her. Day by day she asked him but he said he would not lie with her (see Genesis 39:10). When Joseph walked into the house going about his business one day, he walked inside and noticed that no other men were in the house. Potiphar's wife grabbed him by his coat and asked him, again, to sleep with her and he immediately fled the scene. However, his coat was still tightly clutched in her hands. At the end of chapter 39 she lies and tells her husband that Joseph tried to sleep with her and Joseph is cast into prison. Even in prison though, Joseph was blessed by the Lord. (Read chapter 39 in its entirety).
Throughout chapter 40, Joseph interprets the dreams of two prisoners (the chief baker and chief butler) who were cast into prison for offending Pharaoh. The dream, interpreted by Joseph, detailed the fate of both the chief baker and chief butler. The baker knew he would be killed and the chief butler knew he would be restored to his position as chief butler. The butler had promised Joseph he would remember him and tell Pharaoh that he had correctly interpreted his dream but he forgot about Joseph once he was spared
Two entire years pass. Joseph is still in prison. We are unsure of the exact number of years he spent in prison but from the time of the baker and butler to his release was two full years. Chapter 41 details Pharaoh's dreams that no one could interpret until the chief butler realizes he forgot to tell Pharaoh about Joseph and how he had interpreted his dream two years earlier. Pharaoh tells the guards to release Joseph and bring him in to interpret his dreams.
As you read the chapter in its entirety, you read about Joseph interpreting Pharaohs dream. Pharaoh dreams about kine (cattle) and corn and was deeply troubled by his dream.
Genesis 41:26-30 says, "The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. And the seven thin and ill-favored kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he showeth unto Pharaoh. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: And there shall arise after them seven year of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the Land;"
Joseph continues to tell Pharaoh that he must find a man to be over the land of Egypt and to appoint officers to gather food up to store in preparation for the seven years of famine. Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge of his entire household and the land of Egypt. The bible says in verse 46 of the same chapter that Joseph was 30 years old by this time.
For the next few chapters ( read Genesis 42-45), Joseph is overseeing Egypt and along come his brothers who, at that point, did not know it was their brother Joseph who they sold to the Ishmaelites many years prior. They were coming in search of corn since it was still a time of famine. Their father Jacob sent them to Egypt and had no idea that his son Joseph was still alive after all those years. Joseph recognized his brothers but pretended not to for a time and accused them of being spies. He sends them back to their home to fetch their younger brother Benjamin and keeps Simeon as a prisoner. They finally return with Benjamin and Joseph decided to test them once more.
He hides a silver cup in Benjamin's (the youngest brother) sack (Genesis 44:12) and stops them all on their way out of town to search their bags. The cup is found in Benjamin's sack and Judah begs Joseph to take him as a prisoner instead of Benjamin because he, "...alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him." (Genesis 44:20)
Joseph finally loses it.
Genesis 45:1-2 KJV says, "Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard."
Then the verses that hit me like a ton of bricks.
Genesis 45:5-7 KJV says, "Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with your-selves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance."
This fires me up and there is so much to unpack.
1. Joseph went through many trials. He was sold by his very own family, imprisoned, and at the mercy of Pharaoh yet God blessed him. He even blessed him while he was in prison. What looked like him signing his own death certificate turned out to be God planting him exactly where he needed to be.
2. He saved his family that sold him into slavery. They sold their own brother into slavery yet he was merciful to them and ended up saving them from starving during the famine. Many, many years later Jesus would die on the cross for our sins and bestow mercy upon us even though we betray Him. This was a prophetic reference to what Christ would do for us.
3. What if the betrayal you're facing is God planting you?
Oftentimes when we are betrayed we are devastated and feel certain it won't ever get better. That is understandable as betrayal hurts. Betrayal often comes from someone we really care about. They decide to walk away, never to return, or their actions completely ruin our trust in them.
I bet Joseph felt betrayed and wondered why his own brothers would sell him into slavery. They were supposed to be there for him. I am fairly confident he carried that hurt with him because when he finally reveals himself in chapter 45, he wept. For years he was estranged from his father and family and finally it all came full circle. He could have cast them all in prison for what they did. He had the power to do so but he didn't. He wept. He showed them mercy and realized that God had planted him there to save the people from starvation.
So perhaps God is using your season of betrayal to plant you, friend. God uses the dark seasons to plant us and mold us. We can walk through our season downtrodden and depressed or we can walk through the valley of the shadow of death with the determination to be used greatly by God. He may be using your greatest hurt to do a deep work within you that will not only help you but be a witness to others of His power.