God: Master Weaver, Master Builder
by Max Lucado
In God’s hands intended evil becomes eventual good.
Joseph tied himself to the pillar of this promise and held on for dear life. Nothing in his story glosses over the presence of evil. Quite the contrary. Bloodstains, tearstains are everywhere. Joseph’s heart was rubbed raw against the rocks of disloyalty and miscarried justice. Yet time and time again God redeemed the pain. The torn robe became a royal one. The pit became a palace. The broken family grew old together. The very acts intended to destroy God’s servant turned out to strengthen him.
“You meant evil against me,” Joseph told his brothers, using a Hebrew verb that traces its meaning to “weave” or “plait.”1 “You wove evil,” he was saying, “but God rewove it together for good.”
God, the Master Weaver. He stretches the yarn and intertwines the colors, the ragged twine with the velvet strings, the pains with the pleasures. Nothing escapes his reach. Every king, despot, weather pattern, and molecule are at his command. He passes the shuttle back and forth across the generations, and as he does, a design emerges. Satan weaves; God reweaves.
And God, the Master Builder. This is the meaning behind Joseph’s words “God meant it for good in order to bring about . . .”2 The Hebrew word translated here as bring about is a construction term.3 It describes a task or building project akin to the one I drive through every morning. The state of Texas is rebuilding a highway overpass near my house. Three lanes have been reduced to one, transforming a morning commute into a daily stew. The interstate project, like human history, has been in development since before time began. Cranes hover overhead daily. Workers hold signs and shovels, and several million of us grumble. Well, at least I do. How long is this going to last?
My next-door neighbors have a different attitude toward the project. The husband and wife are highway engineers, consultants to the department of transportation. They endure the same traffic jams and detours as the rest of us but do so with a better attitude. Why? They know how these projects develop. “It will take time,” they respond to my grumbles, “but it will get finished. It’s doable.” They’ve seen the plans.
By giving us stories like Joseph’s, God allows us to study his plans. Such disarray! Brothers dumping brother. Entitlements. Famines and family feuds scattered about like nails and cement bags on a vacant lot. Satan’s logic was sinister and simple: destroy the family of Abraham and thereby destroy his seed, Jesus Christ. All of hell, it seems, set its target on Jacob’s boys.
But watch the Master Builder at work. He cleared debris, stabilized the structure, and bolted trusses until the chaos of Genesis 37:24 (“They . . . cast him into a pit”) became the triumph of Genesis 50:20 (“life for many people”).4
God as Master Weaver, Master Builder. He redeemed the story of Joseph. Can’t he redeem your story as well?
1. Spiros Zodhiates, ed., The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible:
Key Insights into God’s Word, New American Standard Bible, rev. ed. (Chattanooga, TN: AMG, 2008), Genesis 50:20. See also “Greek/Hebrew Definitions,” Bible Tools, Strong’s #2803, chashab, www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Lexicon.show/ID/H2803 /chashab.htm.
2. The same term is used in Genesis 13:4 (“he had . . . built an altar” [NIV]), Job 9:9 (“He made the Bear”), and Proverbs 8:26 (“he made the earth” [NIV]).
3. Zodhiates, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, Genesis 50:20. See also Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance Online, #6213, www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/hebrew/nas/asah.html.
4. Genesis 50:20 is from The Message.