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] 

Genesis 40/41 Waiting on God IS TOUGH

Clearly, the baker was not pleased, but the cupbearer, well, his dream had come true, and he was back to work.  Pharaoh was allowing him to put the cup back into his hand.  Joseph had saved the day and he would surely be freed any day now…Waiting upon the Lord is at best difficult and most times it is absolutely maddening.

Joseph probably played the scene over and over in his mind. “When you are restored, please get me out of here.  Well now two years had passed.  Joseph continued to languish in the dungeon, while the rest of the world moved on.  Some impact he was having…

The most important part of surrendering to God is realizing that God’s timing never matches ours.  Still, God’s timing is perfect.  Had Joseph been freed from prison, he would have hurried back to his dad.  Wouldn’t you. Egypt had been a nightmare and He remained faithful throughout.  Still, nothing would have held Joseph in Egypt except prison.

God was about to turn the world upside down and Joseph was a key part of that transition. So, as miserable as Joseph may have been, that misery would never compare to the impact Joseph was to have on the world. 

When God chooses and uses heroes it often comes with great sacrifice and extended training. Moses was a fugitive and shepherd for 40 years prior to God’s call.  David ran from Saul and hid in caves for years.  Then it took an additional 7 years to unify Israel again. Paul was trained for 13 years prior to His first missionary journey.  Even Jesus waited until He was 30 to begin His ministry.

God plays the long game.  The Lord does so because He loves us; and knows we do better if we do not get into a hurry.  Joseph must have all but given up by this point.  But it is a great thing that he did not quit. We are often faced with the same frustration of simply not knowing God’s plan and being tired of waiting for its execution.

  Two verses are like cornerstones to hold us together.  Isaiah 40:31, and Romans 8:18. Isaiah reminds us that if we wait on God, He will empower us, enrich us, and keep us recharged.  Romans 8:18 reminds us that whatever trials we face now do not compare to what God has for us in reward if we will diligently seek Him. Please, do not give up, give in, or turn away from God’s plan for you–IT IS WORTH THE WAIT!!

God Bless You

Now the third day was Pharaoh’s birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh’s hand— 22 but he impaled the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation.

23 The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.Chapter 41

When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.

In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.

Genesis 40 Part 1–Dream the Impossible Dream

It was another day.  Joseph rose, did his job faithfully as a jail trustee, and wondered why God, who showed Joseph he was to be a ruler over his family including his dad, was separated from them all and now resided in the Pharaoh’s prison for a crime that he simply did not commit.

  Joseph’s old master, the Captain of the Guard, appointed Joseph to care for two of Pharaoh’s top officials, the cook, and the taster.  Their jobs were the most critical in keeping the Pharaoh healthy and alive.  Still, they ticked the Pharaoh off and ended up in prison.  Now Joseph was assigned to make their day.

Time passed and Joseph gained their trust.  He came to them on day and saw that they were down.  He knew that feeling! So, when he asked, Joseph found out that they had dreams that were both bothersome and unexplainable to the officials.  Joseph knew that feeling too.  After all, didn’t his brothers call him the “Dreamer”?

Joseph listened to the men and interpreted their dreams.  The cupbearer would be free, and the baker would be killed.  Not great news for the baker, but closure for both.

We are often asked to fulfill roles in our lives that are neither fun nor easy.  Prison trustee for the Pharaoh’s finest would be difficult at best.  Then to tell the Pharaoh’s top officials that they were to live or to die was a terrible duty as well.  If he was correct, the one official would die.  If he was not, He would die for making a false report.  In either case, it left Joseph no better off than before.  

Joseph maintained his trust and faith in God.  He told the truth. Now, God would take over and completer the plan.  Joseph would only need to wait upon the Lord.  Isaiah knew that feeling.  That is why He pinned Isaiah 40:31, “Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength.  They will mount up with wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint!” 

Isaiah, another prophet, that spent his life listening and following the Lord.  They were great men of faith and, as such, mighty tools in the execution of God’s plan.  These men were also great reminders to those of us that have come after.

Neither Joseph nor Isaiah had any idea what their impact would be.  Ironically, neither do we.  We simply are called to trust God and obey our Lord’s lead.  If we will, the Father will use us in ways we could never imagine.  Ask Joseph!

God Bless You

Sometime after this, the cupbearer of the king of Egypt and his baker committed an offense against their lord the king of Egypt. And Pharaoh was angry with his two officers, the chief cupbearer, and the chief baker, and he put them in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, in the prison where Joseph was confined. The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be with them, and he attended them. They continued for some time in custody.

And one night they both dreamed—the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison—each his own dream, and each dream with its own interpretation. When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were troubled. So he asked Pharaoh’s officers who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why are your faces downcast today?” They said to him, “We have had dreams, and there is no one to interpret them.” And Joseph said to them, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Please tell them to me.”

So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph and said to him, “In my dream there was a vine before me, 10 and on the vine there were three branches. As soon as it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and the clusters ripened into grapes. 11 Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh’s cup and placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 12 Then Joseph said to him, “This is its interpretation: the three branches are three days. 13 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head and restore you to your office, and you shall place Pharaoh’s cup in his hand as formerly, when you were his cupbearer. 14 Only remember me, when it is well with you, and please do me the kindness to mention me to Pharaoh, and so get me out of this house. 15 For I was indeed stolen out of the land of the Hebrews, and here also I have done nothing that they should put me into the pit.”

16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation was favorable, he said to Joseph, “I also had a dream: there were three cake baskets on my head, 17 and in the uppermost basket there were all sorts of baked food for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating it out of the basket on my head.” 18 And Joseph answered and said, “This is its interpretation: the three baskets are three days. 19 In three days Pharaoh will lift up your head—from you!—and hang you on a tree. And the birds will eat the flesh from you.”

Genesis 39 Part 2–Joseph’s Journey…NO MEANS NO! or Prison?

Joseph was handed over to slavery by his brothers, Once in Egypt, the superpower of that day, Joseph found himself in the top slave job imaginable.  He was operations manager for the Pharaoh’s captain of the guard.  He was so well trusted and respected, that Potiphar basically said, “other than my wife, you oversee everything I own…Well, there in was the issue.  

Potiphar’s wife wanted Joseph as a boy toy.  Day after day, she would try to seduce Joseph.  Joseph would not play along.  Potiphar’s wife tried everything.  Nothing worked–after all Joseph worshipped God, not women.  Finally, Potiphar’s wife engineered a plan that would leave Joseph without witness or support when she seduced him–HE HAD TO SAY YES, Right? Wrong.  Joseph fled, but Potiphar’s wife stole his clothes right from him.  Joseph refused to compromise.  The result? A medal? Nope.  A reward? Nope! A promotion? Nope! Jail , humiliation, and complete despair.  

It certainly was not fair; but it was also not the end.  See, Joseph had climbed the ladder of success for slaves.  It simply did not get any better. But God was not moving Joseph up the ladder of slaves.  God had a better plan.  God’s plan involved jail, cupbearers, butchers, bakers, and maybe even a candlestick maker… all folks, Joseph would have never met as a slave.  These were the people you met as a guest of the Captain of the guard, not his manager.  Ironically, just as Joseph thrived as a slave, he was also about to thrive as a prisoner.  As we see time and again, God’s chosen are blessed even in the difficult times. 

We simply must trust Him to lead, provide, protect, and prepare us for the path that God has laid out.If we trust the Lord, He will make our lives a legacy and a blessing even when things seem impossible.  It is in those times; He makes himself most apparent. We can never grow comfortable, even as the top slaves.  We may be missing the opportunity to be a jail trustee, or even the second in command of a foreign superpower??? 

Jesus said it best–“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you!!!” Matthew 6:33. 

This is the core of our amazing journey, that is if we are willing to simply trust Our Lord.

God Bless You

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.

13 When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14 she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 15 When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me 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.”

19 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.

Genesis 39 Part 1–So This is Slavery…

One can only imagine the terror, the feeling of betrayal, and the hopelessness that Joseph felt as he was being dragged to Egypt by the Ishmaelite traders.  He did not get to say goodbye to his dad or little brother, and he had no idea what lay ahead. 

One thing that Joseph did know was that God was still in control.  He also knew that God had a plan.  Joseph had the dreams where God told him that he would rule over his brothers and his family.  Further, Joseph knew how to work and how to be a man of integrity.

Joseph was purchased by the
Pharaoh’s head of security, Potiphar.  Once in place, Potiphar was blessed by Joseph being in his house.  Moreover, Potiphar saw that Joseph ran his home with efficiency and complete honesty.  Potiphar literally turned the house over to Joseph and did not give it a second thought.  Joseph saw God’s favor and knew once again that God kept HIs promises.

God plans for the long game.  He is never about a single event in our lives.  Instead, He works ALL things together for good for those who love God and are called according to God’s purpose.  Romans 8:28. 

When going through difficult times, We, like Joseph, must cling to our faith.  As the writer in Hebrews reminds us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

In the end, God’s plan is always best.  It is not based on any one circumstance, but a million little things that form a path and a journey to be like God and with Him for eternity.

God Bless You

Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did, Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So Potiphar left everything he had in Joseph’s care; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.

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.