It is Wednesday, and after a couple of days break, I’m back. I hope you missed me!
Our Bible passage for today is Genesis Ch.41 vs.1-40. Don’t pass over too quickly the first words of the chapter, ‘When two full years had passed…’
I have been mentioning the patience Joseph has had to learn, and 2 years is a long time for nothing to happen, especially when you are expecting something to happen quickly, since he was hoping the chief cupbearer would put in a good word for him.
Being patient and trusting the Lord whilst waiting to sell a church building that is taking years to happen is an obvious modern application!!
So we had dreams and their meanings in the previous chapter, and now Pharoah, the top man is having funny dreams as well, perhaps they are all eating too much cheese!
If you have seen the musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, live or on TV, this is one of the highlights of the show, when Pharoah comes out dressed like and singing like Elvis Presley, it is brilliant!
But looking at the text when all the local magicians and wise men are baffled by the dreams, the Chief Cupbearer is reminded of his forgetfulness and suggests Joseph as the one to help the situation.
But when Joseph is called, he is clear that it is God who does the interpreting and not him (v.16), and he is bold enough to suggest that God is specifically revealing his plan to a pagan king (vs.25, 28), and that the 7 years of abundance and 7 years of famine have all been planned and decided by God Himself (v.32), which we now see are part of His greater plans to reveal Himself and save the world.
Joseph doesn’t just reveal the dreams but also says what must be done next, storage in the good times to keep for the bad times (vs.33-36); wise financial advice from a seasoned public economist perhaps, but Joseph isn’t that, so in the circumstances we must see this as divine wisdom being spoken, wisdom from above as the letter of James in the NT describes it (especially Chs.1 & 3).
Joseph has effectively written his own job description and so he gets the job to lead Egypt through all that is to lie ahead (vs.37-40). Amazingly he starts that day in prison and ends up as No.2 in the whole country!!! It’s a great story, they don’t write them like this anymore!
Remember the key verse in the story, Genesis, Ch.50 v.20, where Joseph is speaking to his brothers at the end of the story;
‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.’
The hard work now begins, and then there is his own family situation to sort out, more tomorrow…
In our prayers, we remember again some of our overseas connections, Fidel & Christine and the children in Kenya, Hannah now finally back in Tunisia, praise the Lord, Saw Myint (our Crosslinks student) in Myanmar, and Frank & Val in Nazareth.