Joseph had cause to be prideful when he was young because his father favored him, and dreams indicated that his brothers would bow down to him (Gen. 37:1-11). Although his years spent as a slave and a prisoner were great trials for Joseph (Gen. 39-40), he learned humility of spirit during that time, which would be needed for the work the Lord had for him to save God’s people from the famine to come.
“Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?” — Ecclesiastes 7:13
You may be wondering why God has allowed various afflictions in your life. In an introduction to eighteenth-century Scottish pastor and theologian Thomas Boston’s book The Crook in the Lot, J. I. Packer describes a “crook” this way:
But in Thomas Boston’s usage the crook is the crooked, that is the uncomfortable, discontenting aspects of a person’s life, the things that the Puritans called losses and crosses, and that we speak of as the stones in our shoe, the thorns in our bed, the burrs under the saddle, and the complaints we have to live with; and the lot is the providentially appointed path that God sets each of his servants to travel. (Thomas Boston, The Crook in the Lot: Living with That Thorn in Your Side, pp. 7-8)
It is helpful to consider God’s purposes in your adversities so that you can respond in a manner that brings glory to him. Here are seven reasons according to Boston why God makes a “crook” in a person’s lot, along with related Bible passages:
1. The trial of one’s state, whether or not one is in the state of grace.
Even though we know from reading the book of Job that God allowed Satan to tempt Job to curse God through all the calamities Job faced, including the loss of his children, his wealth, and even his health, Job was not privy to that knowledge:
And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side?
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