Genesis 41-45 has Joseph in the house of Potiphar and Pharaoh. While we know the deceit and deception of his brothers put him there, a strong message is found in the phrase, “and God was with Joseph.” Surprisingly enough Joseph does not appear bitter or revengeful about the lot life has given him. In each situation, we find that Joseph rises to the top, primarily because God was with him, but also a faith that Jehovah is stronger than anything life can throw at us. After the dreams in prison, Joseph spends another 2 years. SO much for an early release for good behavior. Forgotten by the Cup-bearer, Joseph waits, yet in his waiting, he rises to being in charge of the prison. Dreams come again to the narrative, this time it is Pharaoh who has the dream. ****Note dreams do not always come true, nor are they necessarily from God. Special time, special place. We have the Holy Spirit at work in us to discern the path of our lives. Cows and Corn – seven fat, seven lean. Feast and famine times. On with the story, Joseph is second only to Pharaoh for the rule of Egypt. Point here is that Joseph has to be in place before the problem occurs. God has Joseph in the right place at the right time for all the right reasons. God is going to do a work to get Jacob [Israel] to Egypt – this in itself is a fulfillment of Genesis 15, when God says to Abraham that his people will spend 400 years in Egypt. Well it makes sense that they would have to get there to get called from there. God’s plan is right, God is at work – He is still at work today even when we don’t necessarily recognize it. Joseph has been in Egypt for 13 years, he is now 30 years old. He has married and is entrenched into the Egyptians culture.
The famine comes – Jacob and family need food, so begins the saga of back and forth with the sons of Israel getting food and the manipulation of Joseph. It is interesting that even though it has been 13 years since the deception of Joseph’s death to Jacob, the brothers have not forgotten it. In fact when things go awry, the first thing they think of is the retribution for their evil done to Joseph. Eventually, the ploy to get Benjamin to Egypt and the indictment that the brothers are thieves. The dreams of the dreamer come true, twice the brothers fall on their face and bow to Joseph. I wonder what he thought when it happened? Jacob is not beside himself, not only has he lost Joseph, Rachel – now Benjamin is in jeopardy of being lost. It is good to see some of the brothers step up – Simeon and Judah to try to spare their father the agony. As the story develops Joseph reveals himself to his brothers – not sure that was a great time for them. Their sin obviously still haunts them. At the revealing – Joseph tries to console the distraught brothers and prove his love for them. This isn’t a “what goes around, comes around story.” It is a story of love and compassion in-spite of deliberate and malicious dealings.
Joseph is gracious and compassionate, in-spite of life, family and circumstances. He had a faith in the Father, that didn’t waver in the difficult times. I really don’t know how I would respond. The point of the narrative about Joseph, brothers and the events – God is at work in us to bring us through His plan for our lives and for His purpose in others. The “it’s all about Me syndrome” is not found here. How many of us even now find ourselves in a precarious position that seems unfair and ungodly? Are we willing to let the father in heaven “work out in us, what has been worked in?” Jacob in the end is rejoined with Joseph – and lives out a life of comfort because for a time he had to let his child go so that he could do the work of God. Are we willing to allow God to use us, or family and situation for His greater glory instead of our own immediate comfort?