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  • Writer's picturePatty

Hidden from our View (Part #1)

Read: Genesis 37:23-36; Genesis 45:25-28

 

Throughout the years, our home has frequently been a place for hiding presents. Sometimes friends have sent gifts to our address for safe keeping until they are retrieved just prior to Christmas. It is a fun thing to know we are holding a sweet surprise for someone else, and no harm comes from this kind of secrecy. In fact, both my husband and I have also hidden Christmas gifts that we have bought for each other. No peeking permitted, and truth be told, I am never tempted to take a look ahead of time. That would ruin the surprise, and I never dread a gift from the one I love.

 

This morning, I was reminded of an amazing story of God's work that remained hidden for decades. There was much pain but even more joy when the hidden parts of the story were finally revealed. More about that later after we see that same truth played out in Jacob's life.

 

In Genesis 37, we watch as Joseph's brothers gave into their jealousy and threw their brother Joseph into an empty pit. Joseph had come at the behest of their father to check on them, and their vitriolic feelings toward this favored young man boiled over. They decided not to kill him. Instead, they sold him to some traders for twenty pieces of silver. After that, the hiding began. No, not the harmless fun kind of trickery that will bring about something joyous. Rather, they took his robe which they evidently had taken off their brother prior to his being sold into slavery. They put animal blood on it to cover their evil deed. Then they went back to their father having hidden what they had done. Of course, Jacob believed what his eyes saw and what the brothers wanted him to believe, and he grieved and refused comfort. He couldn't have known what we know when we read this account. Verse 36 in Genesis 37 is the key. The precious word tucked right at the beginning of that verse is "meanwhile." Of course, Jacob grieved because he had no way of knowing that his son Joseph was alive.

 

Yes, Joseph was a slave, but the years to come would be unimaginable to Jacob because he didn't know that God was in the ‘meanwhile’. When the old patriarch would finally discover that his son Joseph was alive, Joseph would be the second in command in the land of Egypt. His favored son, whose life had been hidden from him for many years was the one in charge of keeping people and nations alive. All of Joseph's ups and downs were hidden from Jacob's eyes, but he was to learn that God had a big plan he could not see. A reunion he couldn't have imagined was coming, Genesis 45:25-28.

Jacob's spirit was revived after he believed the report of the things that had been hidden from his view.

 

Now, let's briefly see another wondrous story of many lives that were changed after many years where the people involved were separated from one another. In 1921, Svea and David Flood, along with another Swedish couple believed that God was calling them to Africa to what is now called Zaire. They wanted to go to a remote village where the gospel hadn't yet been given. The first village chief wouldn't permit them to enter. He believed their presence would anger the gods. Therefore, they went to another little village where they received the same rejection. Not deterred, they made mud huts for themselves, and there they lived. Away from the people they so longed to impact for Jesus. The only contact they had was with a little boy who was permitted to sell them chicken eggs and fruit twice a week. The other couple decided to stay at the mission station, but the Floods remained where they were. Svea taught the little boy to read and told him about Jesus, but life was hard and seemingly fruitless. When Svea got pregnant, things were very difficult because she was also dealing with malaria. Thankfully, the chief's heart softened a bit, and she was allowed to have a midwife for her delivery, and a healthy baby girl whom they named Ina, was born. Sadly, Svea died shortly after the baby came, and it all became too much for David. He took their baby to the mission station and left her with the other couple who had come with them. He believed that God had abandoned them, and he became very bitter and angry. However, David Flood didn't know what was happening in the "meanwhile."

 

Little Ina was taken by another couple to America, and her name was changed to Aggie. She was loved, and she lived a happy life in South Dakota. She married a Christian man, and they had two children. All these facts and so much more that was to be revealed, was hidden from David's eyes. What he couldn't have fathomed was God's love and how the Lord had been at work all the time, and we will finish the story, Lord willing, next week.

 

For now, may God give us tiny glimpses of the work He is doing in the ‘meanwhile’. Even when we don't see it, He is doing more than we can ask or think, Ephesians 3:20. Amazing things that remain, for today, hidden from our eyes.

 

 

 

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