Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph; does my father still live?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed in his presence. Genesis 45:3
Oriental carpets were originally woven by hand. While the top side of the carpet (the visible side) appeared neat and beautiful, the backside (the floor side) was different. It was usually a series of tangled knots with threads beginning, ending, and tied off in unpredictable places. Order and beauty on one side was supported by seemingly random tangles on the other.
When eternity reveals our life on earth, we may find something similar—a series of events and connections that we were unaware of which accomplished God’s purposes. That’s what happened when Joseph dealt with his brothers. They were unaware that Joseph knew who they were, and that he was orchestrating events to bring their long-term estrangement to a repentant climax. They were shocked when “the carpet was turned over” and they saw that Joseph had forgiven them.
We must trust God’s work behind the scenes in our life. He will do what is needed to call us to repentance and lead us to greater maturity.
Even the wicked actions of men serve God’s purposes and it is by His works of providence that He permits those wicked actions to be done. J. Gresham Machen
Joseph: Because God Meant It for Good