A friend of mine and I were chatting today about ‘not seeing’ and falling into the traps of people who are say pretty much wolves in sheep’s clothing. That can happen to any of the best of us – even if spiritually mature. The response is then later, ‘How could I have not SEEN’, ‘why was I so blind?’ and it makes us even doubt our faith and our hearing God. Of course at that time there are many around who will step upto the plate to rub it in as well. Some would be doing out of love and some would be doing that to show they are ‘spiritual’.
One thing is that even Satan was able to use Peter to try to stop Jesus from going through the trials. Peter meant it out of love.. but the fact remains that Peter was one of the closest three to Jesus, He loved Jesus so much and it was him that Jesus chose to be the ‘ROCK’. Jesus said that Satan has asked to sift the disciples but it was Peter that Jesus told this to and it was Peter that Jesus hoped whose faith would not fail, it was Peter that Jesus prayed would turn back and strengthen the others! It was this very Peter that Satan used to try to stop Jesus – that Jesus rebuked Peter, “Get behind me Satan”. It’s easy for the enemy to use us or to ‘blind’ us so to speak. Yet, isn’t God sovereign?
Here we see Jesus giving Satan PERMISSION to sift the disciples as wheat! And Jesus PRAYING for Peter! Couldn’t God have stopped it? Of course He can as He is Almighty but He allowed all this for a purpose, just as much as He allowed Satan to enter Judas as Jesus was meant to be betrayed and hung on the cross. Didn’t Jesus know that Judas was going to betray Him? of course He did!
For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him – John 6:64
In fact Jesus said, It would be better for him if he had not been born.” = Mark 14:21 and that ‘The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” – Luke 22:22
Jesus knew but didn’t stop it or try to stop it as He also knew it had been decreed for a greater purpose – especially for you and for me!
On the other hand I think of Joseph and his dream. He was able to SEE what God had planned for him, the bigger picture! Joseph shared the dream with the family? Why? Some say he was ‘boasting’ but personally I don’t think that’s the case. Perhaps he was so sure that what God has said would come to pass! Perhaps he was excited in seeing the dream! We don’t know for sure as what is not recorded is speculation but as I always say speculating gets us to think further. One thing is for sure, the brothers got jealous and sold him to the slaves! That set him off on his journey to become ruler! Little did the brothers know that their jealousy helped to set him on the right course! Later when they had to be at the mercy of the very one they sold off, they would have known that the vision Joseph had seen was INDEED from God and that no matter what, it had INDEED come to pass. They couldn’t deny the fact that God was behind it. They couldn’t deny that God loved them too to put Joseph there ahead of time to provide for them. They couldn’t deny that Joseph was full of God’s love and wasn’t taking revenge on them but rather understood God’s sovereign plan. Joseph tells them what they had INTENDED for HARM, God TURNED IT AROUND. Not once has the Bible recorded of Joseph murmuring or losing hope or asking God why he was going the opposite direction of the dreams that were given to him! (Thinking of his unwavering faith makes me cringe with my lack of faith! Honestly! God gives me visions, things seem to be taking a turn for the worse and I start kicking my feet like a child in protest and questioning God what, why, how, where..!).
Being betrayed, being deceived is always painful.. and usually by ones we trust and love. It’s interesting that Joseph who was able to SEE the bigger picture, the dream of him ruling over his family was unable to ‘SEE’ what his brothers were going to do to him. There is a possibility that he did see and kept quiet surrendering – as nothing is explicitly recorded in the BIble in this regard! However it’s not recorded that he did SEE either! God who gave Joseph the gift to SEE in one area, didn’t give the revelation to SEE in another. There was no need for Joseph to know that. Perhaps if he had known he may have stopped the journey from unfolding and only God knows how God prepared Joseph through that ‘wild goose chase’!
God in His Sovereignity could have easily stopped Joseph from being sold – in fact He could have turned the tables around at that very moment. But He didn’t and He allowed it… as perhaps that is what He had ordained in the first place. It was a long twisted journey for Joseph but somehow I think that was plan A for God, not plan B. He knew how the plot would unfold, how the story would happen – just like the twisted journey for David to become king even after being anointed.
I was curious and looked up the word ‘SEE’ – and this is what the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia has recorded:
In addition to the ordinary sense of perceiving by the eye, we have
(1) חזה, ḥāzāh, “to see” (in vision): “Words of Amos … which he saw concerning Israel” (Amo_1:1). The revelation was made to his inward eye. “
The word of Yahweh … which he (Micah) saw concerning Samaria” (Mic_1:1),
describing what he saw in prophetic vision (compare Hab_1:1) ……
(2) ὁράω, horáō, “to take heed”: “See thou say nothing” (Mar_1:44);
(3) εἶδον, eı́don, “to know,” “to note with the mind”: “Jesus saw that he answered discreetly” (Mar_12:34);
(4) θεωρέω, theōréō, “to view,” “to have knowledge or experience of”: “He shall never see death” (Joh_8:51).
Joseph didn’t ‘see’, didn’t take heed, didn’t know or didn’t have a view of this being sold scenario!
What we SEE is what God wants us to SEE and what we don’t SEE and thus fall into, is also I believe what God allows. The key thing is for us to stay tuned with the Holy Spirit in every thought, decision and action, to stay surrendered then the leading is His – in His way!
(Falling when we are not surrendered and not being led by the Holy Spirit is yet another situation!).
If we find yourself being betrayed or deceived or used – just thank God that even through this that He is indeed working behind the scenes – to mould you to be more like Him, to be His vessel of love regardless, to prepare you to love even the very ones who caused the hurt and misery… That He is indeed working behind the scenes to reveal to everyone in the particular scenario and outside it too of His character, nature bringing Him glory and thus giving the opportunity for people who need to repent to repent and to embrace Him 🙂