Only Providence Sees the Script

Jonathan Horn's book, Washington's End: The Final Years and Forgotten Struggle, uses Washington's own words: "There was so much he could not control: the feuding 'interests' and 'jealousies' forcing the federal city 'to pass through a fiery trial'; the hundreds of newspapers, including those belonging to 'infamous scribblers' smearing pages with libels and lies intended to 'destroy all confidence' in the government; the political parties fueling 'ill-founded jealousies and false alarms' pitting 'one part' of the people 'against another'; the countries of Europe unleashing upon the world 'a more destructive sword' than ever recorded in modern times.' In all this, a man could see but 'mere chaos.' Only Providence could see the script to which the confusion conformed" (191).

One life stands out as in the Bible of Providence working behind the scenes: Joseph in Egypt. While never (in the recorded text) receiving any direct words from God, Joseph began to put "two-and-two together." At what point this dawned on him, we are not told. His adverse conditions were many and over- whelming – sold by his brothers into slavery; unjustly accused of attempted rape; being left in prison for two more years after the cupbearer forgot him – all looked like chaos ruled the day. But Joseph saw that the "confusion conformed to the script that only Providence could see"!

It took years for this to develop. At thirty, he is in suddenly catapulted from lowly slave to being prime minister of Egypt! Nine more years transpired when, by seeming happenstance, his brothers appear before him to buy grain during the famine. Joseph puts his brothers through several tests to see if they had repented and transformed their character. When fully satisfied they were changed men, he made himself known to them in Genesis Ch. 45. He said to them, "You sold me here – God sent me to preserve life!" "It was not you who sent me here, but God." Joseph summed up the whole of his life with these words: "You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good" (Gen.50:20). The confusion conformed to the script that only Providence could see!

I wish I would remain unruffled amid the raging storm. I worry far too much. I look about me at the chaos that rules our present age, and I become despondent. Then I read the calm assurance of Joseph's carefully measured words, and the peace which surpasses all understanding rises in my heart again (Phil. 4:7). I finally remember that only Providence can see the script to which the confusion must conform!