and He hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house,
and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt."
We forget that God can and will use the sinful actions and animosity of rivals
to further His plan in our lives.
That the angry brother, driven by jealousy,
can still be subject to God's control.
It doesn't excuse the sin to acknowledge the sovereignty.
God moves even through conflict and unhappiness and dysfunctional families.
In every one of the families of the patriarchs, there are issues.
The extra women. Hagar. Zilpah. Bilhah.
There are brothers at war.
Ishmael against Isaac. Esau against Jacob.
The sons of the handmaids against Joseph.
There are favorites played, between wives and between sons.
Marital strife -- even between Isaac and Rebekah,
who had no extras in their marriage.
But the children caused conflict between them.
Years of unsettled wandering and infertility.
And a Promise that did not fail.
A future and a hope that is still working in their children.
Being named the friend of God.
Governed by God.
The father of faith.
The one the nation is named for.
"It was not you who sent me here," Abraham's great-grandson said.
"It was God."
Perhaps he had taken to heart
how God had moved and worked in his great-grandfather's family.
His grandfather's family.
His father's family.
He had moved them through conflict and animosity --
sometimes earned, and sometimes unmerited.
But always directed.
The conniving father-in-law.
The disdainful household help.
The jealous step-brother.
The fighting wives.
The cheating employer.
The murderous brothers.
All of them had been ultimately fitted into the intended will of God
and the Promise He kept promising them.
"And we know that to them that love God
all things work together for good,
even to them that are called according to his purpose."