Friday, 10 March 2017 08:50

Detours: Part of God's Provision

Written by  Sam Whatley
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We have all had to deal with detours in our lives, and not just on the highway. Detours are usually unexpected, unavoidable, and inconvenient. They are situations or events that take us in a different direction than the route we had planned. They can send us miles away from our goals and completely derail our time schedules. But sometimes they are a blessing, the means of God’s grace.


Consider the story of Joseph in Genesis chapters 37-46. Let’s recap the events. Ten of Joseph’s brothers hate him, throw him in a pit, and then sell him into slavery to a caravan heading from Canaan to Egypt. They tell their father, Jacob, that Joseph is dead and then basically forget him. Joseph endures thirteen years without much hope. He starts off as a slave and then finds himself in prison, serving time for something he did not do. Ironically, he is there for refusing to do wrong.


 Most of us would be pretty bitter at this point. We might resent everyone and be the last person you would want to be around. But not Joseph. He didn’t just do a good job, he showed everyone that he liked additional responsibility. He used his detour in life to develop real administrative skills. He was put in charge, first of his master’s household and, when incarcerated, the prison, itself.


But he knew his limits. He knew only God can see the future. When asked to interpret prophetic dreams, he relied on God to reveal to him future events and their significance.


Pharaoh was impressed that Joseph could pronounce the coming of seven good years and then seven years of famine. He recognized that someone was needed with knowledge, administrative skills, and a connection with Joseph’s God. So, after thirteen years at the bottom, Joseph found himself promoted to the number two position in Egypt, in charge of all agriculture and labor. His detour had become the foundation of his provision from God.


What about you? Are you on a detour today? Were you headed in one direction, when something happened, and now you seem to be going the opposite way? Are you moving away from all those plans and dreams you once felt so sure about?


Detours can happen many ways. Joseph was a favored son in a large family of men. He lost his status and the support of a loving father. He lost his freedom. He lost all of his possessions. But it did not make him resentful.


Years after Joseph had gained such wealth and power, he found a way to provide for and elevate all of his extended family. He found peace and reconciliation with those who had rejected him completely. You see, Joseph was more than the man running the most prosperous nation in the known world. He was a man who showed others the love of God.


When the brothers eventually sought his forgiveness, Joseph said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20 NIV).


God intends to use your detour for your good and for the good of others, if you will let Him. He may send you the long way around to bring you back home. But, your detour may be teaching you skills that you will need to become the person the Lord intends you to be.


God’s provision may appear to you as a block in the road. You may be scared of the future; you may face hardship. Joseph spent many years in servitude and imprisonment before he saw better days. But God had reserved ample provision for him, his family, and millions of other people.


Just as Joseph redeemed his people, God has redeemed us. He has the perfect provision for you and me, and not just for our physical needs. He cares about our hurts and our hearts. But most of all, He invites us to live with Him forever. His greatest provision is our salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ, His only Son.


So, when you see the detour sign, be ready to seek the Lord. When you accept His way, you will find His provision.




Last modified on Friday, 10 March 2017 08:58
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