Pawn Stars


I’m not smart (or patient) enough to be any good at chess, but I do understand the role of the pawn. It is the weakest piece in the game and is usually sacrificed to create a stronger position for other, more valuable pieces on the board. Rarely, however, is the pawn’s outcome good! In our lives, God is the ultimate strategist and is benevolent in all his “moves” in our lives. We are, similarly, pawns in God’s hands to accomplish greater things for his glory and renown. Whatever he accomplishes in the “game” is GOOD. Checkmate!

  • What unpleasant things happening in your life right now can you see God using to accomplish greater things through you?


45:1 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him. He cried, “Make everyone go out from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept aloud, so that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.

So Joseph said to his brothers, “Come near to me, please.” And they came near. And he said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not tarry. 10 You shall dwell in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, and your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. 11 There I will provide for you, for there are yet five years of famine to come, so that you and your household, and all that you have, do not come to poverty.’ 12 And now your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth that speaks to you. 13 You must tell my father of all my honor in Egypt, and of all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept upon his neck. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. As Joseph spoke to his brothers, what phrase (or thought) did he use multiple times (vss. 5-8)? Why is this phrase important?
  2. What was the stated purpose for which God sent Joseph to Egypt (vs. 7)? Beyond mere human survival, what significance did this purpose serve?
  3. What indications in the text do you see whether or not Joseph held a grudge against his brothers for what they had done?
  4. In what way did God use Joseph’s circumstances to remain faithful to his promise to use this family to bless all the nations of the earth?


We fight discomfort and injustice vigorously in our lives. But in the end, we can see God’s hand working in and through each of those situations to accomplish his divine purposes, not only in our lives, but in the world. Joseph understood that God was present through all he had suffered. And Joseph was now—because he had been faithful and obedient through it all—being used by God to accomplish some incredible things (that are now noted in the pages of history!). Sometimes, while in the midst of pain, we simply need to say and remind ourselves: “God sent me. God sent me. God sent me.”

  • Recount “all that you have seen” (vs. 13) God accomplish in your life—even through the pain—and celebrate whatever purposes of HIS that have been accomplished through you.
  • Recognizing God’s gracious hand on your life, extend grace and forgiveness to those who may have wronged you (Ephesians 4:32, Matthew 6:12).