We can say our pain is unwelcome, uncomfortable, and unenjoyable. But we cannot say it is unplanned. In this lab, John Piper shows that God doesn’t just use evil, allow evil, or permit evil. He plans it — yet without sinning.
Some questions to ask as you read and study Genesis 50:16–21:
- Do you think that God can be sovereign and good while still reigning over sin?
- Read Genesis 50:20 and Acts 4:27–28. Does God just use evil for his own purposes, or does he plan evil for his own purposes?
- When suffering strikes, we often cannot see how God is going to use it for good. What can you learn from the story of Joseph to help comfort you when suffering comes?
Principles of Bible Reading
Authors often give us reasons for why someone did a certain action or why we should do a certain action. They typically give the action statement first (e.g. I went to the store/you should go to the store), then a conjunction or connecting word (in this case, usually, so that, in order that, or simply that), and finally the reason for the action or the purpose statement.
Parents tell their children to eat their broccoli (action) so that they can have dessert later (purpose). The commercial tells us to buy this shirt (action) so that we can be more attractive (purpose). First Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God [action] so that at the proper time he may exalt you [purpose].”