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    GOD IS IN CONTROL(Questions 27-28)

    In the last lesson the catechism, we discussed how the Apostles Creed tells us three things about God: one, that He is a Father, two, that He is Almighty, and three, that He is the Maker of heaven of earth. In this lesson we want to take a closer look at God's almightiness, or another word for it-providence.

    27. What is the providence of God?
    By His power God controls all things so that nothing comes by chance but by His Fatherly hand.

    28. How does this help us to know that God is in control?
    We can be patient in trials, thankful for blessings, and have confidence in the future knowing that nothing can separate us from the love of God.

    Sometimes it is hard to believe that God is really in control of the world we live in. With all the evil things we see happening around us, we are tempted to look up to heaven and say, "Are you there God? Do you care?" But the Creed is careful to remind us that our Father is in control no matter what we may think or feel. We are not the first(nor the last) people to think that God has abandoned us or to wonder if He is really watching out for us. Today we want to look at two specific stories from the Bible to see how God is on His throne and in control-even though it may seem at times like He is far, far away.

    The first story is that of Joseph. You will probably remember that Joseph was the great-grandson of Abraham, and the grandson of Issac. Joseph's father was Issac's son Jacob. We pick up the story of Joseph when he is seventeen years old and working in the fields with his brothers.

    Genesis 37:1-11

    Joseph who is the second youngest of the family, has visions of greatness that makes him an enemy of his brothers. Because they feel not only their father Jacob but also their Father God has shown favor to Joseph, the older brothers begin to devise a wicked plan.

    Genesis 37:12-36

    The brothers in jealousy do the most hideous crime. They sell their brother into slavery and tell their father Jacob that Joseph has been killed. Now at this point you might wonder why God is allowing his special children Jacob and Joseph to go through such a trial. But as the catechism points out that even in trials God is in control and nothing happens apart from His Fatherly hand and providence.

    We will skip ahead in our story to many years later. After Joseph was sold as a slave, he ended up in the palace of the Pharoah, or the King of Egypt. The King was having bad dreams and only Joseph could tell him what the dreams meant. He warned the King that a mighty famine was coming and told Pharoah to begin saving up food or his people would starve. Because Joseph was so wise and saved the people of Egypt, Pharoah promoted Joseph to Governor. It is here that we pick up the story and begin to see how God had everything worked out for the good of Joseph.

    Genesis 42:1-24

    Because of the famine that had struck the land, Joseph's brothers are forced to go to Egypt to seek food. And guess who the Governor is who is in charge of their area? That's right-Joseph. The brothers dont recognize Joseph but he recognizes them. He begins to test them and decides to make them bring his youngest brother Benjamin back to Egypt. Let's see what happens next...