A setback is a setup for a comeback. You know, Joseph is really the Rocky Balboa of the Bible if you think about it. Today on the Bible for Busy People, the dreams God gave Joseph, the ones we read about last time that provoked his brothers to wild jealousy, and even irritated his father who loved him so much, well, they’re about to come to fruition. It was a long time coming for this faithful young man, let me tell you.
Last time you and I met, Joseph was in prison, and that’s where we’re going to pick up the story today. He didn’t crawl up into a ball and give up. And we don’t have to either when we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations. Joseph continued to trust the Lord his God. I love the story of Joseph so much. Let’s jump into part 2!
A setback is a setup for a comeback. You know, Joseph is really the Rocky Balboa of the Bible if you think about it. Today on the Bible for Busy People, the dreams God gave Joseph, the ones we read about last time that provoked his brothers to wild jealousy, and even irritated his father who loved him so much, well, they’re about to come to fruition. It was a long time coming for this faithful young man, let me tell you. Last time you and I met, Joseph was in prison, and that’s where we’re going to pick up the story today. He didn’t crawl up into a ball and give up. And we don’t have to either when we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations. Joseph continued to trust the Lord his God, who was with him when his brothers threw him in that pit and sold him into slavery. Who was with him when he was falsely accused and thrown into prison. God was with Joseph when he correctly interpreted a fellow prisoner’s dream, and with him when the man was freed ,and forgotten. Because remember, even though the cup-bearer forgot Joseph, the Lord remembered him. The Lord cannot forget us. Isaiah 49:16 says that God has written our names on the palms of his hands. Okay, back to Genesis now, chapter 41 verse one.
Two full years later,
Talking about two years after the chief cup-bearer forgot Joseph in prison.
Pharaoh dreamed that he was standing on the bank of the Nile River. 2 In his dream he saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass. 3 Then he saw seven more cows come up behind them from the Nile, but these were scrawny and thin. These cows stood beside the fat cows on the riverbank. 4 Then the scrawny, thin cows ate the seven healthy, fat cows! At this point in the dream, Pharaoh woke up.5 But he fell asleep again and had a second dream. This time he saw seven heads of grain, plump and beautiful, growing on a single stalk. 6 Then seven more heads of grain appeared, but these were shriveled and withered by the east wind. 7 And these thin heads swallowed up the seven plump, well-formed heads! Then Pharaoh woke up again and realized it was a dream.8 The next morning Pharaoh was very disturbed by the dreams.
Have you ever woken up like that? Like God, was that you speaking to me? Was it the shrimp I ate before bed? You know? All right, back to the story.
So he called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. When Pharaoh told them his dreams, not one of them could tell him what they meant.9 Finally, the king’s chief cup-bearer spoke up. “Today I have been reminded of my failure,” he told Pharaoh. 10 “Some time ago, you were angry with the chief baker and me, and you imprisoned us in the palace of the captain of the guard. 11 One night the chief baker and I each had a dream, and each dream had its own meaning. 12 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. 13 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.”14 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. 15 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream last night, and no one here can tell me what it means. But I have heard that when you hear about a dream you can interpret it.”16 “It is beyond my power to do this,” Joseph replied. “But God can tell you what it means and set you at ease.”
Isn’t that true? Isn’t it interesting how Pharaoh had called for all the wise men and magicians to set his mind and heart at ease? What he really needed was the Lord. So Pharaoh explains the two dreams to Joseph and we pick up the story in verse 24.
I told these dreams to the magicians, but no one could tell me what they mean.”25 Joseph responded, “Both of Pharaoh’s dreams mean the same thing. God is telling Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do. 26 The seven healthy cows and the seven healthy heads of grain both represent seven years of prosperity. 27 The seven thin, scrawny cows that came up later and the seven thin heads of grain, withered by the east wind, represent seven years of famine.28 “This will happen just as I have described it, for God has revealed to Pharaoh in advance what he is about to do. 29 The next seven years will be a period of great prosperity throughout the land of Egypt. 30 But afterward there will be seven years of famine so great that all the prosperity will be forgotten in Egypt. Famine will destroy the land. 31 This famine will be so severe that even the memory of the good years will be erased. 32 As for having two similar dreams, it means that these events have been decreed by God, and he will soon make them happen.33 “Therefore, Pharaoh should find an intelligent and wise man and put him in charge of the entire land of Egypt. 34 Then Pharaoh should appoint supervisors over the land and let them collect one-fifth of all the crops during the seven good years. 35 Have them gather all the food produced in the good years that are just ahead and bring it to Pharaoh’s storehouses. Store it away, and guard it so there will be food in the cities. 36 That way there will be enough to eat when the seven years of famine come to the land of Egypt. Otherwise this famine will destroy the land.”
Boy that took guts. Verse 37.
Joseph’s suggestions were well received by Pharaoh and his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has revealed the meaning of the dreams to you, clearly no one else is as intelligent or wise as you are. 40 You will be in charge of my court, and all my people will take orders from you. Only I, sitting on my throne, will have a rank higher than yours.”41 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the entire land of Egypt.”
So, Joseph carried out his plans for storing grain during the time of plenty and through the hand of God, single-handedly saved Egypt and his own family from starving during the famine. The dreams he had had about his family, bowing down to him were absolutely prophetic. His brothers had the free will to betray him, but God had a greater plan. In Genesis 50, verse 20, Joseph tells his brothers,
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.
Unbelievably awesome. Remember that the Lord is with you as he was with Joseph through all of his calamities, and he has a greater plan for your life as well. Till next time, you are loved.
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