Tim Keller | June 29, 2003
People often question the Bible and Christianity based on their own experiences rather than logical arguments. The story of Joseph in Genesis teaches us that even when God seems silent or hidden, He’s not absent or powerless. It’s not wise to turn away from God because we can’t fully understand our own situation. Joseph’s tale ends with him forgiving those who wronged him. This shows that a heart touched by God’s grace can respond to cruelty with forgiveness, see God’s work in human evil, and trust God to make things right, leading to a peaceful life.
1. He avoids God’s chair
The story warns us against trying to take God’s place and ignoring His word. It tells us not to judge the Bible based on our current understanding, as future people might think our views are outdated. It emphasizes that only God can truly meet our needs and solve our problems. It criticizes books that claim to boost self-esteem and provide answers. It warns us against seeking revenge or refusing to forgive. Only God can judge without becoming evil. Recognizing our limited understanding can lead to a godly, happy, wise, and generous life.
2. He takes God’s view
Optimists and pessimists see life’s troubles differently, but Joseph gives us a unique viewpoint. He acknowledges life’s hardships while believing in God’s goodness. The story of Job challenges the idea that if you live a good life, you won’t suffer. It supports Joseph’s belief that God is always working for our good. The belief is that nothing can stop God’s plan for us, and every event, even what we see as failures, can lead to growth and success. This highlights the importance of trusting God and not fearing mistakes.
3. He images God’s love
To love our enemies, we need a mix of humility and confidence. We need to see ourselves as equal to others and trust in God’s constant love. This balance comes from understanding God’s unearned grace, a concept shown by Jesus’ selfless sacrifice despite being divine. The cross is a powerful symbol of good coming from evil, inspiring us to live lives marked by deep humility and confidence.
February Book Offer
In his book Counterfeit Gods, Tim Keller shows us how a proper understanding of the Bible reveals the truth about societal ideals and our own hearts — and that there is only one God who can wholly satisfy our cravings and fulfill our hopes.
February Book Offer