Thursday – Looking Evil in the Eye

By Jonathan Parnell, desiringGod

   Joseph’s brothers realized something we should never forget. It comes at the end of the story in Genesis 50. This is a long time after the brothers conspired together against Joseph. A lot had happened since they hated their brother enough to sell him to Midianite traders for twenty shekels of silver (Genesis 37:28). That was the evil that started it all.

   Years passed and then the famine came. The sons of Jacob traveled to Egypt in search for food. By this time, Joseph was the top ruler in Egypt next to Pharaoh. Jacob was old now. He blessed his sons and then he died (Genesis 49:33). And that’s where we see it: When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” (Genesis 50:15)

   So at the end, after a lot of good things had happened to Joseph and his family, when there was “a lot of water under the bridge,” so to speak, Joseph’s brothers were terrified that Joseph would punish them for “all the evil” they did to him. But why is that? Why were they scared about this even after all this time? Joseph’s brothers were scared because they knew no matter how much good had come from their evil, what they did was still evil. They knew that though good had come to Joseph and the whole family, what they did to him was still wrong and worthy of punishment, and they thought the time to pay had come.

   The point here is simple: God using evil things for our good does not make the evil things less evil. But more than that, God has overpowered evil in such a way that evil actually destroys itself. Evil’s high time, after all, was at a place called Golgotha about 2,000 years ago. How promising it must have seemed to Satan and the hosts of hell as the nails were beaten into Jesus’s hands. The Creator of the universe mocked by his creatures, ridiculed, slain — this is the greatest evil imaginable. He came to give us life, and we blew him up on a cross.

   And at the moment, when Evil thought it triumphed, the curse on this world was broken, absorbed into the One who took our place. Evil thought it had won when it actually had killed itself. Darkness for a day, silence for one more, and then came the morning of the third. The blackest dark gave way to the brightest light. Jesus came alive. He defeated death and paved the way for an entirely new humanity.

   His death was wrong. He was killed by wicked men. It was evil, evil, evil. And then he was raised, truly raised, bringing good for all who trust in him. Good, good, good. We should never forget.

   Read the entire article at

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