How Joseph became Great…

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The story of Joseph interpreting the dreams of Pharaoh is a familiar one – 7 years of abundance and 7 years of famine. (Gen. 41)

Joseph not only told Pharaoh the meaning of the dreams (vv.25-32), he also gave solutions to the problem (vv 33-36).

Important facts to note with implications:
1) Joseph’s initiative: Joseph offered the solutions by his own initiative. He did not wait for Pharaoh to ask what to do.

Had he not done so, would he be chosen to take charge of implementing the solution? Would he become second most powerful person in Egypt next to the king?

Had he not help to provide the answer how to deal with the famine, perhaps his next assignment would be when or if Pharaoh had another dream for him to interpret.

2) God’s wisdom: Pharaoh knew that it was God who gave Joseph the ability to interpret dreams and to offer the solution. How did he know? Joseph told him (v.16). He told Pharaoh: I cannot do it but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.

Even though Joseph offered the solution, he did not offer himself to implement the solution. Pharaoh saw that Joseph offered a good plan and asked an important question:

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?”
Just as God granted Joseph the ability to interpret dreams, He also grants wisdom to solve the famine.

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.”

Because Joseph acknowledged God and gave God the credit for his ability to interpret dreams, God lifted him to a position of power.

In a crisis big as 7 years of severe famine, God put Joseph in the position to change lives and helped so many people – near and far. Because of Joseph, Pharaoh came to know of Joseph’s God – the God who saves.
Ultimately the famine is the start of the journey to how Joseph became reunited with his family.

God turns challenges in life to be stepping stones to blessings by His grace.
From the pit, to the prison, God prepared Joseph for the palace. From favoured son, to hated brother, to lowly slave, Joseph became a powerful ruler of a foreign nation who did not know God. Joseph introduced his powerful God to Pharaoh: the God who gave Pharaoh the answer he desires: answers not only to his dreams but answers to solve the dilemma of his dreams.

God is glorified and man edified (literally and figuratively) because of Joseph.

To ponder:
Do I see God in each detail of life as Joseph did? Am I aware of His presence in each crisis of my life? How am I telling people about God as I face challenges in life?

How am I taking hold of each opportunity to acknowledge and give God the credit due him? In each word that I say and each deed that I do, will people see me as “one is the spirit of God?”

Dear Lord, please grant me your spirit – the spirit of humility to know and acknowledge that you alone give wisdom. Please help me to live wisely for you so people will know you and be filled. Amen.

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