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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

January 15, 2024

Read to Read …Again


Daily Reading:  Genesis 43-45


Genesis 45:8

So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.


Probably every preacher has, at one time or another, preached on the theme “But God…” While this is not the first usage of this term in the Bible it is a prominent one. Joseph is revealing himself to his brothers.  The dream he dreamed way back in Genesis 37 has come true. His brothers bowed down before him.


Of all that Joseph has been through, he sees clearly that the hardships, difficulties, loneliness, and rejection was not their doing. It was God’s. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God. The Lord God of Heaven had a purpose for Joseph and had to build into him a certain character that would allow him to complete that purpose. Joseph had to save Israel. It was not his brothers; but God who sent him to Egypt.


Many, too many, question why me. It could be “but God” is allowing their issues for their betterment or to put them in a place to help others. Some wonder, “Why did this or that happen?” But God. Some may do everything just like another yet not have the same success, make the same amount of money, have the same number in church, or have great health all of their life. On and on and on we could go. Sometimes it is not the work of the things we do, it is “but God” working. Putting up one, putting down another.


Think of the blind man in John 9. He was born blind, and the disciples asked Jesus: …Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind. To which the Lord replied: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. After saying this and other things the Lord made an ointment of clay and his spittle, anointed the eyes of the blind man and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam. The man did and his sight was restored. This was a “but God” moment. God set this up years before, perhaps before creation just to demonstrate God’s power on earth through Jesus Christ.


Please do not misunderstand. That man had a free will, he didn’t have to go wash in that pool of water, but he obeyed the Lord and benefited. Joseph didn’t have to obey and keep the right spirit through all he endured, but God. God used his free will choices to save Israel. For example, consider my marriage to Mrs. Howe. When we were married, we were both lost, religious, but lost spiritually. We had no clue about being in ministry. But God saved me, called me, and I accepted; she, not having married a preacher/pastor also had to choose, she accepted the challenge, and our entire lives were forever altered. “But God” called, we accepted, and today you are reading this. If it were not for “but God” there may be no Read-to-Read devotion series, not like this at least.


Praise the Lord for the “but God” things of life. They are everywhere, sometimes we just have to stop and look to find them. Joseph did.


William T. Howe Ph.D.

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