In The Right Place At The Right Timeby Arthur David Goldberg, LCJE Coordinator for Israel
Everything in Joseph’s entire life was part of God’s plan and purpose to bring him to exactly a specific point in the history of the nation of Israel. His birth to Rachel, his favored status in the family, his dreams, the jealousy of his brothers, his being sold into slavery and to Potiphar, his being put into jail, his favor with the chief jailer, his interpretation of dreams and especially the dream of Pharaoh, and finally his being appointed leader over all the land of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. Every single event in Joseph’s life – the good, the bad, the suffering, the abounding, the sad and the happy have now brought him to exactly the right place at exactly the right time. We see him after all his experiences as a man with a spirit of discernment and understanding and compassion. We see him sensitive to the reason God Almighty has brought him through all these trials and the separation from his family. He says to his brethren, “God sent me before you to preserve life.” “And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance.” “Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Gen. 45:5,7,8).
I hope it is absolutely clear to us that Joseph endured much suffering. What we do not see in Joseph is a man angry, vengeful, vindictive, and anxious to hurt his brothers. Let us by no means assume that it was easy for Joseph to arrive at this point and status in his life. We read in Gen. 50 that after their father Jacob had died, Joseph’s brothers feared that he would bear a grudge against them and “get them back.” They came to him begging forgiveness and falling down before him. But he answers them in vv. 19_20: “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place?” ….”You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive.”
Consider some other examples from the Word of God of people who were in “the right place at the right time.” Esther was a beautiful Jewish refugee in Shushan who was gathered up and added to the king’s harem. She did not choose this direction for her life. But just before she is ushered in to the king to expose the plot to kill all the Jews and save her people, Mordechai sends her this message, “And who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this.” What about Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, Moses, after the lion’s den, the fiery furnace, Pharaoh’s house, who were used to deliver our people Israel, all at God’s appointed place at God’s appointed time.
Our Lord YESHUA Himself appeared only at the fullness of time (cf. Gal. 4:4_5). He even knew the Plan of God and chose to be obedient. If we knew ahead of time what was coming, we would turn around and run in the other direction, like Jonah. Every one of us are always being prepared to be in “the right place at the right time.” Maybe we are not being “groomed” to save our people Israel or to save the world, but everything that we are and everything that has brought us to this very place of ministry and service, at this point in space, time, and history is part of the vast, eternal plan and purpose of God Almighty. You may not like the way you got here and you may not choose particular experiences to be in “the right place at the right time.” Even YESHUA Himself prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me, yet not as I will but as you will” (Matt. 26:39).
How often we have all wished that we could have arrived where we are by a different way. But then we would not be in “God’s right place at God’s right time.”
Arthur David Goldberg