Continued from here .
The foundational scripture Evans used to explain the concept of detours was the life of Joseph in the Old Testament. God revealed to Joseph through a dream that he would be elevated above his brothers, so they sold him into slavery. Joseph prospered as a slave but was imprisoned for something he did not do, ironically because he refused to do something wrong. Joseph helped someone get out of prison, which was what he wanted for himself, and hoped that favor would be repaid, but it wasn’t. However, two years later, God moved, and when He moved, HE MOVED! Not only was Joseph released from prison, but he became second in command in Egypt. God used Joseph to save the people from a severe family and reconciled him with is family. Joseph was able to look back on the detours of his life and say to his brothers,
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” ~ Gen. 50:20
Nothing in Joseph’s life made sense as he was living it. God told him that he would be elevated above his brothers, but then his life got worse and worse: sold into slavery, imprisoned for doing the right thing, left behind as he gave someone else what he himself wanted…This took place over a number of years, and he must have been ready to pull his hair out wondering how God could have promised elevation but instead allowed him to be thrown into deeper and deeper pits. And yet, the Bible records no complaining. While I am sure Joseph had his moments of despair, he chose to be a blessing to others, no matter how deep his pit became.
Evans calls this dynamic a detour … when God tells you the end, but the path to the end is so circuitous that you question whether you could have possibly heard God correctly. I have been on such a detour for a couple of years now, but I sense my detour is finally (blessedly!) coming to an end, which is leading me to ponder this concept of detours to share with you.
Link to Evans’ Sermon Notes.
[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace with her hand on her hip and an hourglass saying, “I’m Waiting.” Courtesy Bitmoji.]