Acts 7:9 – “And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.”
This is THE classic example of God thwarting men’s plans while having a far grander plan in mind. Genesis 37:28 should have been the last we heard of Joseph. Maybe one or two verses more that he lived a slave for a few years and died a miserable death. But God was with him, and though his brothers’ intentions were evil, God turned everything around to deliver the family of Jacob from a famine (Gen. 50:20). Joseph survived 13 more chapters when his story should have ended at Genesis 37:28.
Acts 13:30 – “And though they found no cause for death in Him, they asked Pilate that He should be put to death. Now when they had fulfilled all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a tomb. But God raised Him from the dead.” The events surrounding the death of Jesus changed the world. His own people, ignorant of the Old Testament they read weekly, rejected the one the Old Testament spoke of. They condemned Him to death, begging for His execution and locking up His abused and lifeless body in a tomb. But God made all of those efforts of no effect, and Jesus lives again never to suffer corruption. We even sing about the hope of “no death and no decay!” in response to God’s undoing of death.
Ephesians 2:4-5 – “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved).” Ephesians 2:1-3 explains what it means to be “dead in trespasses.” Before becoming Christians they were just like the world, following the devil, and living in lust. Such a separation from God that “wrath” was second nature to the Ephesians. But God.
How wonderful these two words are! God’s redeeming purposes are not thwarted by evil men. God turns everything around.