Genesis 48–God Doing What God Does

God is simply free from usual convention. The old joke put it this way–God created man in his image, and men have been trying to return the favor ever since! God will not be put in a box. His ways are not our ways.  

When Joseph brought his sons to be blessed by Israel, Israel blessed the younger brother ahead of the older.  God’s plan sees ahead, much farther and wider than we could imagine. So, he could lead Israel to bless Joseph and his sons in a way consistent with his plan.  

That is why we spend a great deal of time confused by what God does in our lives. We can only see from our limited perspective. God, conversely, sees and knows all things. While it is difficult, God asks us to trust him.  

When we do trust him, he navigates life’s twists and turns–and prepares and leads us through the seemingly impossible course into a full and purposeful life here and an eternity with him in Heaven. That is why our faith is the most important gift to God.  

Be prepared–we will probably never fully understand why God does what he does, but, if we trust him–we will be blessed beyond our wildest dreams.  

God Bless You 

When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”

“They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.

Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”

10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”

12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.

15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers
    Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
    all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
    —may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
    and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
    on the earth.”

17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day and said,

“In your[c] name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
    ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

Genesis 47 Part 2–Joseph Completes the Hard Work

Joseph prepared for and managed the famine for the entire 14 years of its history.  When one reads the story, it is clear he did so with the wisdom and grace that only God could have provided him.  He was careful to collect the food in the prosperous years. He then was equally careful to distribute the food carefully and according to the law. 

But Joseph was also practical as he would never leave his nation feeling entitled.  He did want them to know they would be fed. They remained grateful even as they handed over their possessions, livestock, and lands.  

Even as Egypt fed the world, it had to carefully manage its people and property.  Failure to do so would have set them up for civil unrest and ultimate cultural breakdown.  Under Joseph’s leadership, that never happened. Pharaoh prospered, and the famine eventually passed with little death, destruction, or devastation.

Genesis clearly sets out that God would lead differently than how men would lead.  Joseph never became greedy, prideful, or selfish.  He followed God’s lead and literally saved the known world. 

If our culture of today could do the same, imagine the brokenness that could be repaired.  Authority respected, families reunited, no homeless no hungry only peace and unity.  Egypt was not living on unicorn kisses and rainbows.  All their property and possessions were lost to Pharaoh so that they could survive.  But the selflessness of leadership was contagious, and the people were able to band together and endure the devastation.

It needs to be our prayer and our mission to honor God as a country, as a church, as families, and as individuals.  We must remember that we can be “One nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for ALL!” But it takes selfless leaders, selfless citizens, and a selfless commitment to unite and weather the storm.  For that to work, our nation needs revival.  Our nation needs a Joseph and our nation needs to change.

God Bless You

 There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”

16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”

20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude,[c] from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.”

25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”

26 So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt—still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s.

Genesis 47 Part 1–Settling the Family

There are some important things to remember, Joseph served Pharaoh, and as such, he would do nothing to dishonor his king.  So, when Pharaoh told Joseph to settle His family in Goshen at the mouth of the Nile River, Joseph was pleased to do so.  He made his family safe and productive as the Pharaoh’s livestock husbandmen. 

This was year 3 of the famine and year 10 of Joseph’s leadership.  He was loved by Pharaoh and trusted by all.  He was literally feeding all the known world.

In verse 11 we learn the family is settled in the District of Rameses.  I was confused, but studying further, I was reminded that Moses wrote this text long after his liberation of Israel when Rameses was the ruler and enemy of Israel. Goshen became his city and where he exploited Israel.  But that was long after Joseph settled them there.

God settled His people in their place to make them a great nation.  It was to be a hard drive to prepare them for that responsibility.  For now, they would be blessed, prosper, and enjoy the fruit of the sacrifice of those who had gone before.It is great to see Jacob blessed.

It is also amazing to know he had an additional 17 years with Joseph.  Such a gift for both men.  One must treasure all the time we have.  We can never know when we will be called home.  Until that time, like Jacob, we must make the most of every opportunity to love our own and share the Gospel with any and everyone we can.

God Bless You

Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.

Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”

“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.”

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.”

Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed[a] Pharaoh, Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?”

And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers.” 10 Then Jacob blessed[b] Pharaoh and went out from his presence.

11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12 Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their children.

Genesis 46–Together at Last

So, the big day had finally arrived.  Joseph welcomed His family to Egypt.  As the entire region was experiencing famine, His family would be in the nicest area of Egypt.  Israel heard from the Lord, this is all part of the plan and Israel need not worry but celebrate Israel would become a great nation, and Joseph was waiting for him, and Joseph would be closing his eyes in death.  

The entire clan, 66 in all safely traveled to Goshen, in Egypt, and were welcomed by Joseph to their new home. They would become Pharaoh’s personal husbandmen.  This was a great deal of good news while the remainder of the world was suffering in a great famine. 

When Joseph and Israel met, It was a dream come true for both men.  No matter how desperate Israel’s situation had become, Having Joseph back simply erased a huge mountain of pain and regret.  For Joseph, all the success and all the power simply did not compare to being reunited with His father and his brothers. He ran Egypt, but now he also had his family.  His sons would meet their Grandfather.  They would hear and know of the chosen people and nation Israel. They would be a part of God’s plan.  

I am sure that as Joseph and Israel hugged and cried, they knew that God had this planned from the beginning of time.  God revealed Himself in countless ways over the years to give hope and faith to these men.  He does the same for us.  God reveals His plan as we walk with HIm.  It is often in ways we would never expect.  But, the Lord always shows He has things well in hand.  If we can continue to trust and follow the Lord, He will lead us through His plan and to a great life.  Not only a full and meaningful life here but eternity with God in Heaven.

God Bless You

 So, Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

“I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan. Jacob brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring…

Genesis 45 Part 2–Jacob’s Life Restored

There was probably never a morning over the last 20+ years that Jacob did not dread waking up.  The loss of Joseph, the struggles of the other kids and the growing famine were all things that made living a chore.  On this day, however, Jacob would see his entire perspective on life change.  I am sure he was sitting by his tent when the precession of camels and donkeys came into view.  He was probably asking himself what in the heck are all the carts and livestock?  Then as his sons, all his sons, including Simeon and Benjamin came close he was at least relieved to know he had not lost more sons.

What happened next was unbelievable. The brothers presented Jacob with the news that Joseph was alive and ruler over all of Egypt.  I am sure that had to rattle Jacob.  It says he was stunned and in complete disbelief.  But then the reality of what was before him set in and for the first time in nearly 30 years he felt joy and elation.  He literally was revived.

There would be a lot to deal with in the days ahead, but God was giving Jacob his very heart’s desire at the end of his days. Jacob was glad to leave Canaan and go see Joseph before he died.  He was glad to have his entire family together and live in peace and without struggle. Jacob would truly see and sense God’s honoring their covenant and Jacob would again walk in trust and faith as he had when he returned to Canaan.

It is a great thing to have hope restored.  We see in our daily lives a great number of days with struggles and troubles.  Sometimes it hardly seems worth it to continue.  The Word reminds us, however, that as we continue to follow the Lord, He will give us the faith, hope and love that we need to continue the journey.  He also sprinkles in days of restoration so that we never lose our hope trust in Him. 

We can never give up, never give in, and always remained focused on God and His plan for our lives.  If we will, we will have days that he reveals Himself and restores all the world and our enemy attempts to take away!

God Bless You

17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’

19 “You are also directed to tell them, ‘Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives and get your father and come. 20 Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours.’”

21 So the sons of Israel did this. Joseph gave them carts, as Pharaoh had commanded, and he also gave them provisions for their journey. 22 To each of them he gave new clothing, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels[b] of silver and five sets of clothes. 23 And this is what he sent to his father: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and other provisions for his journey. 24 Then he sent his brothers away, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Don’t quarrel on the way!”

25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt.” Jacob was stunned; he did not believe them. 27 But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 And Israel said, “I’m convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

Genesis 45–God’s Big Reveal

Joseph learned years before that God had a plan for his life.  But back in Canaan, Jacob and the rest of the group had no idea.  They lived day to day struggling with the guilt and the loss of Joseph.  Now, two years into the famine, the brothers became hopelessly entwined with the guilt of disposing with Joseph and now how to survive.

On this day, their lives were about to change forever.  Joseph had been testing the brothers to see if they were as hateful and self-absorbed as they had been 22 years before.  He found that they had grown more selfless and were willing to sacrifice themselves for their father and his brother Benjamin.  At that point, Joseph revealed himself to his brothers and God’s plan that led them to sell him into Egypt.

They were of course shocked and terrified by the news.  Joseph and Pharaoh quickly alleviated the fear and dread.  Joseph was the Lord of Egypt.  He was mentor and friend to Pharaoh and now Pharaoh was setting the family up for a great life in Egypt. When Jacob would find out, it would restore his faith and commitment to God and the covenant made by his grand dad.

The revelation also completed the circle of restoration for Joseph.  He was made rich and powerful by Pharaoh and God’s plan.  Now he would receive back his Father and brother Benjamin after 22 years apart.  It is important to trust God to complete his plan for our lives.  It is also important to remember that God does nothing halfway.  God’s plan and restoration is always complete and more wonderful than anything we could hope or imagine.

It is for that reason that we must never give up hope or lose our faith in God or His plan.  We need to be patient, however, as that plan will always be completed in God’s way and in His time.  That is the most difficult and the most wonderful part.  His great reveals will always outshine anything we could create–Just ask Joseph.

God Bless You

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, “Have everyone leave my presence!” So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it.

Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, because they were terrified at his presence.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.[a]

“So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt. Now hurry back to my father and say to him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don’t delay. 10 You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me—you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. 11 I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.’

12 “You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. 13 Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.”

14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.

16 When the news reached Pharaoh’s palace that Joseph’s brothers had come, Pharaoh and all his officials were pleased. 17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’

Genesis 42 Part 2–Jacob’s Hardest Test

Joseph had the brothers where he wanted them.  He could do anything to them now.  He was the ruler, and they were men in need. Still, during that, Joseph’s heart for God still showed.  He released his brothers to go and get Benjamin.  He gave them the food they needed and even gave them their money back.  The brothers returned home afraid, confused, and full of regret.  There telling of Joseph’s loss reminded them of their great sin.

In Canaan, Jacob was distraught.  He lost Joseph, Now Simeon, and this ruler wanted to see his youngest, Benjamin.  He had tried so hard to build on his father’s legacy and now all seemed lost.  Little did Jacob know that soon all would be put right, and the true adventure would begin.  Jacob would have to release his last and prized son to have his entire family returned.

In our time, trials seem to have the same impact.  We often face circumstances that look like the worst and end of all hope; only later to find that God had all in control, and used those trials to bless and build us into our Lord’s image.  We must continue to trust God, even when we seemed to have lost our faith and ability to do so.  It is those times that we can truly see God’s hand at work.As Jacob watched his son’s depart for their return to Egypt, he did so expecting the worst.  The great news was that God had a much better plan.

God Bless You

On the third day, Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God: 19 If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households. 20 But you must bring your youngest brother to me, so that your words may be verified and that you may not die.” This they proceeded to do.

21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”

22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” 23 They did not realize that Joseph could understand them, since he was using an interpreter.

24 He turned away from them and began to weep, but then came back and spoke to them again. He had Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

25 Joseph gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to put each man’s silver back in his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. After this was done for them, 26 they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left.

27 At the place where they stopped for the night one of them opened his sack to get feed for his donkey, and he saw his silver in the mouth of his sack. 28 “My silver has been returned,” he said to his brothers. “Here it is in my sack.”

Their hearts sank and they turned to each other trembling and said, “What is this that God has done to us?”

29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them. They said, 30 “The man who is lord over the land spoke harshly to us and treated us as though we were spying on the land. 31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies. 32 We were twelve brothers, sons of one father. One is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in Canaan.’

33 “Then the man who is lord over the land said to us, ‘This is how I will know whether you are honest men: Leave one of your brothers here with me, and take food for your starving households and go. 34 But bring your youngest brother to me so I will know that you are not spies but honest men. Then I will give your brother back to you, and you can trade[a] in the land.’”

35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each man’s sack was his pouch of silver! When they and their father saw the money pouches, they were frightened. 36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You have deprived me of my children. Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!”

Genesis 42 Part 1–Meanwhile, Back in Canaan

It had been nearly 20 years since Joseph was sold into slavery.  His father and brothers had continued with their lives and Joseph had become a sad memory.  That was soon to change.  God allowed the famine to reach Canaan.  He placed Israel and his sons in a position to have buy grain to survive.  When Israel sent his sons, he sent all but Benjamin as Benjamin was his last tie to Rachel.

The brothers went to Egypt and sought to buy grain.  They had no idea that the one they had to deal with was their brother.  When they saw him last, he was a teenager, innocent and naive.  Now as they faced Him, He was in command of all Egypt hardened and wise beyond all measure.  Now as Joseph faced them, he easily recognized them, but they had no idea who Zaphenath-paneah was.

Joseph could have done so many things to exact revenge, but that was not his goal.  Joseph’s goal was to take a good look at his brothers and see what had become of them and his little brother Benjamin.  So, Joseph used hIs position and the element of surprise to dive deep into his family closet.

We all have opportunities to use circumstances to our advantage.  We have better knowledge or experience than those with whom we deal.  It then becomes a matter of heart to determine how we use that advantage.  What we see in Joseph and other great heroes in the Bible is the desire to honor God even when we can use an advantage.  God looks at our hearts and determines if we are living to be like Him or like the world.  

When we choose to trust and honor God in our circumstances, He will then bless us and carry us through whatever we face.  God will also give us insight and wisdom to deal with others in a way that honors Him.  Our journey is long, and trusting God to lead will always straighten the path out and assure we arrive when and where God wants us.  That is the picture of Joseph.  

God Bless You

42 When Jacob heard that grain was available in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why are you standing around looking at one another? I have heard there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy enough grain to keep us alive. Otherwise, we’ll die.”

So Joseph’s ten older brothers went down to Egypt to buy grain. But Jacob wouldn’t let Joseph’s younger brother, Benjamin, go with them, for fear some harm might come to him. So Jacob’s[a] sons arrived in Egypt along with others to buy food, for the famine was in Canaan as well.

Since Joseph was governor of all Egypt and in charge of selling grain to all the people, it was to him that his brothers came. When they arrived, they bowed before him with their faces to the ground. Joseph recognized his brothers instantly, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where are you from?” he demanded.

“From the land of Canaan,” they replied. “We have come to buy food.”

Although Joseph recognized his brothers, they didn’t recognize him. And he remembered the dreams he’d had about them many years before. He said to them, “You are spies! You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become.”

10 “No, my lord!” they exclaimed. “Your servants have simply come to buy food. 11 We are all brothers—members of the same family. We are honest men, sir! We are not spies!”

12 “Yes, you are!” Joseph insisted. “You have come to see how vulnerable our land has become.”

Genesis 41 Part 3–From Prisoner to Commander Joseph Sees God’s Plan

Joseph found himself out of the dungeon and into command of the nation of Egypt.  He was 30 years old.  He took charge and put a plan together that would not only save Egypt but save the world.  In the next seven years, Joseph had a great life.  He married, had two sons, and completely lost his desire to leave Egypt and go home. He even named his first son as a reminder that God had changed his heart and desire.

As administrator, Joseph was masterful.  During the bountiful years he was careful to collect all the surplus that was available.  In that he collected more grain than could be counted.  Storehouses popped up all over the nation and were filled to overflowing.  Then the famine came.  In that time, people began to feel the sting of famine.  I am sure they were thinking, “How can this be.  We are great farmers.  Look at the last seven years.  Most did not realize it was God and not them that made the crops grow in abundance. 

The next years would be the time they realized God’s power and plan in making Joseph administrator.

In our lives, we are called to trust and obey the Lord.  When we do, He makes amazing things happen.  When we trust him in difficult times, He carries us through and uses us not only to meet our needs, but often to save many others.  We can only remain available and faithful.  God must do the rest.  We must have the heart of Joseph.  We must let go of the past and march forward trusting God and allowing Him to work through us

God Bless You

And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.”

37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God[a]?”

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.

44 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt.” 45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On,[d] to be his wife. And Joseph went throughout the land of Egypt.

46 Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharaoh’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt. 47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced plentifully. 48 Joseph collected all the food produced in those seven years of abundance in Egypt and stored it in the cities. In each city he put the food grown in the fields surrounding it. 49 Joseph stored up huge quantities of grain, like the sand of the sea; it was so much that he stopped keeping records because it was beyond measure.

50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh[e] and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim[f] and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

53 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”

Genesis 41 Part 2–Pharaoh’s Dream and Joseph’s Reality

The wait was finally over.  As Joseph was shaving and putting on a fresh robe, he had to think about the robe of many colors his father had provided him so many years before.  He had a simple life then.  Now, he was being brought before the most powerful man in Egypt.  He had no idea why.  God knew though.  He knew from the beginning of time.  He was about to use Joseph to push forward the plan that would complete God’s promise to Abraham.

When Joseph appeared before Pharaoh, He did not yet realize that this was the turning point for God’s plan in Joseph’s life.  All the trials, temptations, and frustrations were now on the alter, and Joseph simply had to choose to trust God or take control of his life, independent of God.  Joseph’s response to Pharaoh made his choice clear, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.” Even after all the anguish, Joseph was still committed to God and trusted Him to lead.

In our lives, we never know when we will be called upon to further God’s plan.  It will almost always come after we have trusted him through difficult times. God prepares us to assist in completing His plan.  Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5:24, “The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it!” We simply need to trust the Lord and walk humbly through the path He has laid out.  If we will, like Joseph, we will see God execute His plan flawlessly!

God Bless You

After two whole years, Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing by the Nile, and behold, there came up out of the Nile seven cows, attractive and plump, and they fed in the reed grass. And behold, seven other cows, ugly and thin, came up out of the Nile after them, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the Nile. And the ugly, thin cows ate up the seven attractive, plump cows. And Pharaoh awoke. And he fell asleep and dreamed a second time. And behold, seven ears of grain, plump and good, were growing on one stalk. And behold, after them sprouted seven ears, thin and blighted by the east wind. And the thin ears swallowed up the seven plump, full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream. So in the morning his spirit was troubled, and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was none who could interpret them to Pharaoh.

Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “I remember my offenses today. 10 When Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, 11 we dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own interpretation. 12 A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream. 13 And as he interpreted to us, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged.”

14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit. And when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came in before Pharaoh. 15 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I have had a dream, and there is no one who can interpret it. I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” 16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, “It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer.”[a] 

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