He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
God is always prepared ahead of time. He gets things ready for what will happen next so they can be used at the set time. And He was going to need a man in Egypt, but he had to be a good man, a man of wisdom and integrity who would remain obedient to God through a harsh trial until the time was ready. He needed a servant to go before and make a way for deliverance. He needed one of His own to prepare a place for His nation to come and dwell.
Joseph was the one that God could use, the one who would endure severe circumstances with grace and not come out bitter, but better. He was a man who would be generous and compassionate even as he rose to a place of prominence. He was someone who wouldn’t give up on God and doing the right thing and serving his Lord when things got hard or uncomfortable. He was a man of character who could be trusted with such a task. And so he was in the right place at the right time to be used of God to deliver Israel from the famine.
And so as God continues with His plans and time marches ever onward, He is still preparing people in different places and different times to be used by Him to fulfill His purposes. He is using those of us alive right now to prepare something for a future generation. He has called us to a specific place to get something ready that someone else is going to need. He’s allowed us to endure hardships to strengthen us for the next task He has for us to do. And He’s always working with a mind toward what is coming next as we go step by step into the future.
God has called us out to fulfill His purposes, and He wants us to be like Joseph—obedient and faithful, full of integrity and character, willing to serve Him and not compromise, gracious in trials, and trusting in Him. He wants people that He can use so His plans can continue on, so His work on earth is done. Like Joseph, we may have to go through some things we’d rather not. We may not understand the purpose of what we’re dealing with right now. But won’t it be wonderful when we come out the other side and can look back and see how God was working all along?