All These Things Are Against Me
The other night I was feeling discouraged. We had been praying about some things, and it seemed like the more we prayed the worse things got. We pray and pray and pray, and the harder we pray the farther we seem to be from an answer. While I was thinking on this, a verse popped into my head, “All these things are against me.” Where was this verse? I could not recall. So, I got out the concordance and looked it up. The Lord allowed me to find the verse and He encouraged me with some thoughts from it. I pray He will encourage you as well.
“And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.” (Genesis 42:36)
This particular heartache had started for Jacob about twenty years earlier. For many years, Rachel was barren. Finally she had a son, Joseph. This was the son of Jacob’s old age. Later Benjamin was born, but Rachel died in childbirth. Joseph was special to Jacob and was his favorite son. His brothers were jealous of the favor bestowed upon Joseph by their father, and they hated him. One day Jacob sent Joseph out to check on his brothers who were in the fields with their flocks. They decided to take revenge on Joseph, plotted to kill him, and then caught him and threw him in a pit. However, a company of Ishmeelites passed that way, and the brothers decided to sell him instead.
Jacob mourned for Joseph. Joseph was sold as a slave in Israel, but Jacob did not know this. Joseph’s brothers, not wanting to take responsibility for their actions, had killed a kid of the goats and dipped Joseph’s coat of many colors in it and brought the coat to Jacob. Jacob believed that Joseph had been torn of wild beasts. For years, Jacob mourned for his son. But, while he was mourning, God was busy preparing a blessing. He was getting Joseph ready for a special work. He was making a way whereby Jacob and his sons could be preserved and God could begin His special, miraculous work of founding and preserving the nation of Israel.
After a number of years had passed, a great famine came up in the land of Egypt and in surrounding lands as well. Jacob and his family had nothing to eat. They had heard that there was food in Egypt, so Jacob sent his sons down to Egypt but kept Benjamin with him. By then, Joseph was second in command in Egypt and was responsible for overseeing the selling and distribution of the grain. When his brothers came to buy grain, he recognized them. However, they did not recognize him. He accused them of being spies and put them all in prison for three days. Then he released them and sent all but Simeon back to his father. He ordered them to bring Benjamin with them when they returned or they would not be allowed to see his face.
When Jacob heard all these things, his heart was torn. Joseph was gone, Simeon was in prison in Egypt, and now they would take Benjamin away, the only son left of his beloved Rachel. For twenty years, he had experienced heartache; and now things had gone from bad to worse. He felt there was no hope left. Everything was against him.
Although it looked so dark and grim, everything was not against Jacob. God was about to bestow upon him a blessing that was beyond anything Jacob could imagine. All those heartaches and all the horrible things that seemed to be against him were part of God’s plan for him. The end result would be joy, peace, prosperity, and rest. And God would make of Jacob the greatest nation on earth. Years later the brothers would come to Joseph, and he would reassure them, “As for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)
This is a good reminder for us. Everything may look grim, all that is happening may seem to be against us. But, if we are walking with the Lord and our hope and trust is in Him, even these evil things are part of His plan to do something good and bring about a blessing in our lives. What an encouragement to rest and wait on Him! May God give me that patience and help me to trust. And may God give you rest in Him as well.