Preparation made into Profession–Genesis 41 Continued

God always seemed to put Joseph over whatever he had in mind.  At Potiphar’s he was over the entire house, in Prison, Joseph was in charge of the entire jail.  Now, even Pharaoh saw God’s hand on Joseph and entrusted him with all things other than the actual throne.  It was an uncanny thing, but people could not miss Joseph’s unique cal by God in his life.  He was trustworthy and he was blessed.  It was such an overwhelming presence, that you simply wanted him to be in charge.

We should strive to be that unified with God.  It would serve us in so many ways.  We would be blessed in all circumstances. We would change lives all around us.  And God would be glorified in each and everything we did.  It is a great ministry to honor God by simply being ourselves.  The challenge is to do so without personal pride or desire for gain.  When we live like Joseph lived, we will be blessed like Joseph was blessed.  Help me, Lord to honor you with all I do so you will be glorified.

God Bless You

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”

Joseph in Charge of Egypt

41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” 42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph’s finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. 43 He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command,[b] and people shouted before him, “Make way[c]!” Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.

The Moment We Have All Been Waiting For–Genesis 41 Continued

I am sure, that Joseph’s head was spinning.  Dragged from the dungeon, cleaned and dressed.  Brought before Pharaoh and asked to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams—Could this be what all the trials, all the wrongful treatment had been about? Imagine if at any point along the way, Joseph had given up or given in.  What if he had refused to rely fully on God.  Then the course of history could have been completely different.  But, Joseph remained faithful and did not fail.  Now–he stood before Pharaoh and laid out God’s plan for the world and gave Pharaoh the opportunity to save himself , his people and even the chosen of Israel.  I am sure, if asked, Joseph would quickly agree that all he faced was worth it in light of the amazing outcome of the story.

Faith teaches us that we are to remain faithful despite our circumstances.  We can never know exactly when or why God will use us and our life journey to do amazing things in the world.  Truth is, though, if we remain faithful, We will be used in the lives of others and our impact will be profound.  We may not get to see the outcome this side of heaven, but, then again, maybe we will—Joseph did. This Journey is short compared to eternity.  We have to be willing to face it daily—even if we do not know all the twists and turns.  We rely on God’s integrity and his love for us to carry us to the place he can use us to do amazing things.  Help me, Lord to remain faithful—so you can use me when you are ready.

God Bless You

So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.

15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”

16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The sevJen good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads of grain are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27 The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and so are the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.

28 “It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon.

I Won’t Forget…Much Genesis 40 part 1

The old Baptist joke was when someone said- “I’ll be praying for you,” they really meant I’ll be forgetting you. As silly as that may sound, unfortunately, it is often very true. Our daily lives often interfere with our best intentions.

The cupbearer certainly intended to help Joseph when he left the prison. But the readjusting to the job and sheer joy of freedom replaced any sense of loyalty or duty the cupbearer had for Joseph.

In our lives we often start our day with the best intentions only to find that those intentions are quickly clouded by day-to-day pressures. 

To confront the problem., Christians need to be proactive in their ministry. When we pray for people, we should pray immediately not plan to at a later date. When we see ministry needs, we simply need to help – not ask how we can help. People appreciate good intentions, but, they need true ministry. Help me Lord, to be a doer of the word, not simply a hearer with good intentions. 

God Bless You

Two full years later, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River.

Finally, the king’s chief cup-bearer spoke up. “Today I have been reminded of my failure,” he told Pharaoh.

One night the chief baker and I each had a dream, and each dream had its own meaning.

There was a young Hebrew man with us in the prison who was a slave of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he told us what each of our dreams meant.

And everything happened just as he had predicted. I was restored to my position as cup-bearer, and the chief baker was executed and impaled on a pole.”

Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought from the prison. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he went in and stood before Pharaoh

A Dream Come True? Genesis 40–Continued

There is little doubt that Joseph could only speak the truth.  Yet, the poor baker when he heard the news, kinda wished he did not know.  It is a difficult lesson to remember– that just because God is involved, does not mean all things turn out well. For some reason, man always expects for things to be great.  We are optimists. 

But, Joseph knew better than anyone, God’s plan is not always fun.  He was sitting in a dungeon, after being enslaved by his brothers, who were originally going to Kill him because he interpreted a couple of his own dreams.  The original Grim fairy tale!

In a fallen world, God uses trial, tribulation and travesty to refine and temper us like steel.  It is a difficult process, and often we are simply observers to what God is doing in our lives and the lives of others.  Despite the trauma of daily life, we also see the great blessings of following the Lord, and, if we are paying attention, we see his plans unfold in a way that is amazing. 

The horrific Holocaust during World War II was unspeakable! The senseless murder of millions of men, women and children–simply because they were God’s chosen race carried NO redeeming value.  Yet, as a result of the inhuman horror, Harry Truman led the charge to return Israel to its rightful owners.  And now, in 2015–Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the Jews from around the globe to come home. He assured them, provision had been made to embrace them in their promised Land!

Life is tough, and just because our dreams may come true; it does not mean that is cause for celebration.  We must live prepared to face the life we are given; and–not necessarily remain bitter if it different than what we would plan for ourselves.  God loves us and offers us–an eternity in fellowship with him and peace in the midst of chaos.  There can be more, and it may be easy–but, if it is not…we MUST remain faithful!

God Bless You

So the chief cupbearer told Joseph his dream. He said to him, “In my dream I saw a vine in front of me, 10 and on the vine were three branches. As soon as it budded, it blossomed, and its clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes, squeezed them into Pharaoh’s cup and put the cup in his hand.”

12 “This is what it means,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches are three days. 13 Within three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your position, and you will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. 14 But when all goes well with you, remember me and show me kindness; mention me to Pharaoh and get me out of this prison. 15 I was forcibly carried off from the land of the Hebrews, and even here I have done nothing to deserve being put in a dungeon.”

16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream: On my head were three baskets of bread.[a] 17 In the top basket were all kinds of baked goods for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them out of the basket on my head.”

18 “This is what it means,” Joseph said. “The three baskets are three days. 19 Within three days Pharaoh will lift off your head and impale your body on a pole. And the birds will eat away your flesh.”

Prison is a Dream–Genesis 40 Part 1

Had Joseph moved on…? The answer is clearly yes.  As he acted as the head trustee in Pharaoh’s prison, he was assigned the Pharaoh’s cupbearer (Egyptian Secret Service) and his Chief Baker to attend. When he went to care for them one day, he found them down and depressed.  When he inquired about the reason, they told him they had odd dreams and they could not figure out what they meant. Joseph immediately offered to help—But, not in his power!  He said Let’s seek God, he will have the answer! No resentment, no doubt, just complete trust and faith in God! Mind you–this was the same God that showed him he would rule over his family…Joseph’s faith had not and would not waiver! He was as sure Of God in prison as he had been at his father’s house and at Potifer’s house.

While we may not be sure of God’s timing, we can be sure of his integrity.  He does what he promises.  Granted, he may have a different time table and a different methodology than we might expect; but, he always keeps his word. We must continue to trust and rely upon him to execute his plan in our lives. As we do, we will see and be a part of events that will literally change the world around us. Joseph’s faith was about to impact Pharaoh’s officials lives.  He would not take credit, he would simply trust God and allow him to work. That faith would literally change the world—even from the bowels of a prison.  Where will your faith allow you to change the world? Are you ready?

God Bless You

After they had been in custody for some time, each of the two men—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were being held in prison—had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own.

When Joseph came to them the next morning, he saw that they were dejected. So he asked Pharaoh’s officials who were in custody with him in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?”

“We both had dreams,” they answered, “but there is no one to interpret them.”

Then Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.”

Life in Front of the Green Screen–Genesis 39 Final

Joseph was in the soup again. His desire to honor his master and the Lord landed him in the Pharaoh’s prison. It is in those moments that one truly questions the point.  Why do I continue to follow God so closely?  It always seems to land me in a place I do not want to be! But, if one believes, as Joseph did, that God was in charge and had a plan–then one would simply continue to trust and follow him no matter what the circumstances were in the background. Joseph did and before long was the head trustee of the Pharaoh’s prison.

It is like a modern green screen–the actor acts in front of it, but all he sees is a green screen. Viewers are seeing whatever pictures are projected—A country road, space shuttles, tornadoes, etc., but the actor only sees green.  The actor must continue to act by faith, trusting the Director to project the actions that are truly matching what is going on behind him.

Our walks with God are the same.  We will not know which circumstances will impact us.  We follow God where he leads and remain content whatever is going on in the background.  Amazingly, it is often harder to trust him when the green screen is calm and prosperous. That is when we usually try to take over.

We must continue to humbly and consistently follow him–Paul said it best, “I have learned to be content no matter what the circumstances are.  Whether well fed or hungry; living in plenty or in want–I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:12-13). If we are willing to do that, then God can use us to further his plan and somehow continue to bless us in the process.

God Bless You

When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.

But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. 22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. 23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

Doing What is Right Is Not Easy–Genesis 39 Continued

Joseph was a good man! He knew the boundaries and he stayed within them. So when his master’s wife wanted to use him –he properly refused.  But, he was a slave.  He was not an equal and had little say about the master’s wife’s behavior.  The right thing was to stay away from her–which he did, but she neither made it easy, nor would she allow him to say no to her. So Joseph escaped her tricks, but at great cost.  He remained pure and honest out of his devotion to God and to his master. His choice came with cost.

When we remain faithful to God, we know that ultimately we will be blessed. God has promised us an eternity with him and a full and meaningful life on earth.  But, as we buck the world’s system, invariably their will be a cost.  It is often simply being thought of as simple or naïve, but, many times it can lead to persecution, job loss or even prison and death.  It has been great to live in a country where we are free to worship as we see fit, but, as we look around the globe, that freedom is fading away nation by nation, generation by generation.  Soon, we too will face the choice of doing what is right or doing what is easy.  If we choose right, their will be a cost–but, as with Joseph, the cost no matter how high will be worth keeping our faith and walking with honor before God! Help me, Lord to walk honorably before you

God Bless You

 

Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”

But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10 And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her.

11 One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12 She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house.

16 She kept his cloak beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she told him this story: “That Hebrew slave you brought us came to me to make sport of me. 18 But as soon as I screamed for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”