When we do mean things out of jealousy to hurt others, it has a negative impact. The impact can affect us for a little while, but God can use the situation and turn it into something good.
God did it in the life of Joseph. God turned his situation into good when his brothers meant it for evil. Joseph’s brothers hated him. Their hatred for him began early on when they noticed their father favored him the most (Genesis 37:3).
Their hatred for Joseph grew more after Joseph told them about a dream he had. The dream was that one day his family will be bowing down to him. Joseph knew what the dream meant because God gave him the ability to interpret dreams. After telling them they became angry and wanted to kill him (Genesis 37:5-7).
During their plans to kill Joseph, his older brother Reuben suggested they throw him into a well instead of killing him (Genesis 37:21-24). Reuben’s plan was to save him later.
While Joseph was in the well, another brother, Judah suggested they sell him to a group of traveling Ishmaelites instead of killing him (Genesis 37:26-27). The Ishmaelites bought Joseph and took him to Egypt. In Egypt they sold him to Potiphar, an officer to the king of Egypt (Genesis 37:36).
After being sold to Potiphar, he took Joseph to live with him. Potiphar saw that God was with him and made Joseph his personal servant (Genesis 39:3-4). Joseph was put in prison by Potiphar after his wife falsely accused Joseph of forcing her to have sex with him. It was really her making the sexual advancements towards him (Genesis 39:20), (Genesis 39:7-9).
While in prison, Joseph interpreted more dreams. He interpreted the dreams of the King’s workers. When the King of Egypt had a dream that worried him, he sent for all the magicians and wise men in Egypt, but no one could explain the meaning of it (Genesis 41:1-8). One of his workers remembered Joseph was able to interpret his dream while he was in prison with him (Genesis 41: 9-13).
The King sent for Joseph, and he was able to interpret the dream. Joseph told the King that there would be a famine in the land. He needed to store up a supply of food for seven years during the time of plenty because there would be a seven-year period of famine coming to Egypt (Genesis 41:29-30).
The King approved of the plan and made Joseph governor and put him in charge of the country and all people to obey his orders (Genesis 41:40-41). During the seven years of plenty, Joseph travelled the land collecting and storing food and grain in the cities. There was so much grain that Joseph stopped collecting it (Genesis 41:48-49). The seven years of plenty came to an end in Egypt, and the seven years of famine began, just like Joseph had said.
People in Egypt began to get hungry and cried out to the king for food. He told them to go see Joseph and he would help them. As the famine grew worse, people from all over the world came to Egypt to buy grain because the famine was severe everywhere (Genesis 41:56-57).
Joseph’s brothers also came to Egypt from Canaan to buy food. They went to Joseph not knowing who he was bowed down before him with their faces to the ground (Genesis 42:6). Joseph remembered the dream he had about his brothers bowing down to him (Genesis 42:9). His dream came true too.
What Joseph’s brothers meant for evil; God turned it into good. God used Joseph’s difficult times to save many people from starving to death during the famine. Joseph forgave his brothers and gave God all the glory for all He had done (Genesis 50:20).