Genesis 50:20

Genesis 50:15-21 (see also Genesis 20:6Proverbs 21:1Jeremiah 18:6Acts 2:23)
When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong which we did to him!” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father charged before he died, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph, “Please forgive, I beg you, the transgression of your brothers and their sin, for they did you wrong. And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.”’” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. Then his brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in God’s place? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive. So therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.” So he comforted them and spoke kindly to them. 

God knew the brothers’ evil thoughts and intentions, and arranged His plans accordingly. God did not ordain, decree, determine, cause or fix their evil thoughts and intentions. God and the brothers “meant” the same act of slavery, but for very different reasons. God intended slavery as a means to save a life, whereas the brothers meant slavery as a way to dispatch a rival sibling

One member of The Society of Evangelical Arminians: “This is an example of God turning evil caused by others, not himself, to good. They do the evil freely, and He directs it and fashions it to good. I actually think Josephs attempt to encourage his brothers, not to be too hard on themselves, can be reconciled with this view, that Joseph did not literally mean they were not responsible, but was encouraging them in light of the fact of God using it for good.”

Dave Hunt: Furthermore, the Bible does not say that God decreed that Joseph’s brothers would hate him, desire to kill him, sell him into Egypt, and then lie to their father. It is clear that their evil intent came from jealous hearts. God foreknew their hearts and restrained and channeled their wicked desire to accomplish His will. (Debating Calvinism, p.52, emphasis mine)

​Arminian, Roger Olson: “Arminians are well aware of Calvinist arguments based upon the Genesis narrative where Joseph’s brothers meant his captivity for evil but God meant it for good (Gen 50:20). They simply do not believe this proves that God ordains evil that good may come of it. Arminians believe God permits evil and brings good out of it. Otherwise, who is the real sinner?” (Arminian Theology, p.100, emphasis mine)

​Question: Who sent Joseph to Egypt?

Answer: Due to jealousy, most of the brothers wanted 
Joseph dead. However, God designed an alternative. 
That was His plan, which was to sell Joseph into 
slavery to Egypt, which not only God used to save 
Joseph’s life, but also the lives of his family. So God 
is bringing something good out of evil. God is not 
causing the original evil; that’s already present and 
foreknown of them. So God takes their evil motives 
and accomplishes His purposes despite it, since God 
could have just as easily accomplished His purposes 
had they been faithful instead, and that’s important 

​Calvinist, James White: “Their intentions were evil.” (Debating Calvinism, p.45, emphasis mine)

Agreed. So, do Calvinists believe that God caused it in order to know it?​

James White: “How God can know future events, for example, and yet not determine them, is an important point….” (Debating Calvinism, p.163, emphasis mine) 

This involves a grounding principle, whereby God must cause the evil thoughts and intentions of the brothers in order to infallibly know the thoughts and intentions of the brothers, and really sets up a case of extreme Calvinism.

Dave Hunt: “White denies omniscience in his repudiation of any ‘grounds upon which to base exhaustive divine foreknowledge of future events outside of God’s decree.’ If God must decree the future to know it, He’s not omniscient.” (Debating Calvinism, p.389, emphasis mine) 

James White: “This is compatibilism with clarity: God uses the sinful actions of the Assyrians for the good purpose of judging His people, and yet He judges the Assyrians for their sinful intentions.” (Debating Calvinism, p.44, emphasis mine)

No, its compatibilism with deception. Simply ask whether such Calvinists believe that God causes what He uses. According to Determinism, God knows the intentions of the brothers only because He caused all 100% of it. The brothers were therefore free to do only what was determined. They werent free to go off and do some other bad thing, but only what is scripted. Thats not freedom. Thats more like compatibilistic slavery. They do what they want, true enough, but Calvinism claims that their wants are 100% determined for them, just like all 100% of their thoughts are determined for them. 

James White: “...since God judges on the basis of the intentions of the heart, there is in fact a ground for morality and justice.” (Debating Calvinism, p.320, emphasis mine)

Dave Hunt responds: “...but Calvinism falsely says that He causes the intentions He judges.”  (Debating Calvinism, p.327, emphasis mine)

And if He didnt cause all 100% of it, then according to James White, God couldnt infallibly know it. 

Joel Ellis: Divine determinism asks us to believe God will manifest His glorynot in spite of the evil in this world but actually through it, through the sin, evil, and suffering of mankind. Thus child rape, abortion, genocide, and terrorism are not merely occasions for God’s mercy and power to be known; he actually ordains these evils in order to glorify himself. (The Providence of God, emphasis mine)

One member of The Society of Evangelical Arminians: “Just because God did something great with a bad situation, it doesn't mean that God needed the bad situation to do it. Do they really believe God is so weak that He needs bad things?”

Another member of The Society of Evangelical Arminians: “I think this is one of the darkest and most unbiblical and unloving and unkind fruits of consistent Calvinism: The claim that whatever suffering occurs was exactly what God wanted for a good purpose.”

Ultimately with Calvinistic Determinism, God gets blamed for what Satan does, and Satan gets credit for what God does. In other words, God gets cited for predestining the evil thoughts and intentions of Joseph’s brothers, whereas Satan gets credit for being the instrument through which Joseph gets sold into slavery and ends up in Egypt to save the day. That’s what Calvinism does to Scripture. An entirely different perspective is that God saved the day, not by causing evil and delivering people from what He Himself caused, but by saving people from the evil that they themselves had caused. Calvinism invents a concept of “concurrent causation” where both God and man are causing the same thing, so as to make it appears as if man is causing what God intricately predestined. This is not logical, and moreover, it sullies God. For a Calvinist, however, nothing is more important than Determinism, and any who questions it, are whipped with the sovereignty rod: “So you don’t believe that God is sovereign, do you?” Determinism is the most fundamental point in Calvinism, and yet it doesn’t even appear in TULIP. 

Dave Hunt: “There is no escaping Calvinism’s teaching that by ‘God’s eternal decree’ He caused the evil in the brethren’s hearts and caused them to execute their evil deeds.” (Debating Calvinism, p.52)

Calvinist view:  God caused the brothers to desire the evil of slavery in order to bring about good. (In other words, God determined their thoughts for them, without which, He would otherwise have no idea what they might think next. Now since they exclusively think only and every thought that God ever gives them, cradle to grave, the simple fact of carrying out the thoughts that God unilaterally gives them, constitutes a “second cause,” even though they are not independently causing anything at all, which makes Calvinist reasoning, deceptive.)

Arminian view:  God meant temporary slavery as a better alternative to death, and not that God, in any way, predetermined their thoughts for them.