The Methods of Divine Providence
Genesis 42:36
And Jacob their father said to them, Me have you bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not…

He thought everything was against him. But we know that he was wrong. All was for him, both temporally and spiritually. Jacob's exclamation was caused by ignorance.

I. I notice THAT GOD WORKS THROUGH SECONDARY INSTRUMENTS. The fore-determined purpose was to provide for Jacob and for his race; and we know that this purpose was accomplished. Jacob spent his declining years in peace and plenty beneath the shadow of his son's greatness. So also was the race secure from the incessant wars and dangers of Canaan. In the land of Goshen they grew into a nation, till, through the agency of the Egyptian king, God sent them forth upon their destiny a great and conquering people. But think, how many links in the chain of events there were to bring about this result, how many secondary causes were at work! The silent order of nature, the bad passions of man, the apparent accidents of travel, the vain visions of the night, all concurred — but why? Was it some happy accident alone that blended them all together? Do great results spring out of blind causes? or do the accidents of a world of chance accomplish the promises of a God of truth? Surely not? They all concurred because God was in them all, through them all, over them all.

II. I notice THE COMPLEXITY AND REACH OF THE DIVINE GOVERNMENT, EXTENDING SO FAR AND INVOLVING SO MUCH AS TO BE WHOLLY BEYOND OUR POWER TO UNDERSTAND IT. Surely none but God can measure God. If He be not beyond our reach and understanding, He cannot be God. We know only that which is before our eyes, and can not measure Him or His doings.

III. But, lastly, LET US LEARN TO HAVE CONFIDENCE IN THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE FULFILMENT OF ALL HIS GRACIOUS PURPOSES TOWARDS US. To the blinded eye of the flesh indeed there may seem darkness and trouble on every side of us, our wishes thwarted, our hopes destroyed, our loved ones taken away — every comfort wrecked, till the heart cries out, I have nothing left to live for — yet when that time of bitterness comes to us, let us not forget the promise, "All things work together for good to them that love God" the exact meaning is "all things are working together for good," at this very moment, when the anguish is in thine heart, and the complaint is yet quivering upon thy lips.

(E. Garbett, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: Jacob, their father, said to them, "You have bereaved me of my children! Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin away. All these things are against me."

The Increasing Troubles of Jacob's Old Age
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