LESSON/VERSE 4 of 12
Hello my friends!
I’ve got to be honest with the fact that this entry has been hard for me. I have had the verse done and picture done but writing this post has been like pulling teeth.
The part of Joseph’s story that we are in just breaks my heart. I put myself in his shoes and simply cannot wrap my head around how he does it.
Does what, you ask?
How does Joseph keep a good attitude and sunny disposition through his circumstances?
How does he do it?
We left off with Joseph being falsely accused and being thrown in prison. I told y’all about Michael Morton in the last post. Michael is a guy who was falsely convicted of killing his wife and sentenced to life in prison. Over a period of 25 years –a time in which his only child stopped seeing him and changed his name- he grew bitter and angry.
Until, he had an encounter with God.
And that encounter changed everything for Michael.
He was still in prison. His son was still being fathered by someone Michael had never met. His wife was still gone. Her murderer was still uncharged with the crime.
But God began to change Michael in his circumstances.
I believe we are told so many times in Joseph’s story that “God was with Joseph” to explain how he was able to do so well in his circumstances. That is the only thing that explains it for me.
Nothing else rings true.
I know I am going over ground already covered but I just can’t stop thinking about it. I have been talking with God about it and what I feel the Lord saying to me is that circumstances are just circumstances. If God is with you, circumstances are just circumstances.
Today’s portion of Joseph’s story is Genesis 41:1-46.
The portion begins with telling us clearly that two full years have passed since the baker’s and cupbearer’s dreams have come to pass. The cupbearer has failed to remember Joseph, and two full years have passed. Pharaoh has had a dream that no can make any sense of. At this point the cupbearer tells Pharaoh of Joseph and the success he had interpreting the dreams of the cupbearer and the baker.
This brings me to my verse for today.
Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they quickly brought him out of the pit.
From Pit to Palace in an instant –Joseph’s circumstances change dramatically but not the fact that God was with him!
Pharaoh asks Joseph if he can interpret his dream. Now, right here, I think I would be tempted to tell the Pharaoh what he wants to hear, but Joseph is not swayed by his change in circumstance, he tells the Pharaoh he can’t, but God can! I really like the Amplified version for this verse:
Genesis 41:16 Joseph answered Pharaoh, It is not in me; God [not I] will give Pharaoh a [favorable] answer of peace.
Beautiful, isn’t it?
So Pharaoh tells him the dream and Joseph answers (leaving himself fully out of the answer):
Genesis 41:25 NIV Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do.”
Who has revealed? God
Who has God revealed to? Pharaoh
In our culture, I think we would likely hear, “God told me your dreams mean…”
I love his removal of self from this revelation.
Joseph does tell Pharaoh that the dreams mean that there will be seven years of abundance for Egypt, followed by seven years of famine. Pharaoh wants to put someone in charge of the surplus to ensure that they will have what they need during the famine.
Genesis 41:38-41 ESV
Then Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”
Joseph woke up that morning in a pit, and ended the day second in power to Pharaoh himself!
WOW! Circumstances are nothing when God is with us! The tough (and very human) struggle is to remember that.
Chapter 41 in Genesis is action packed. There could be an epic movie made and this is part of the story is the thrilling upturn for our hero. All of that is true, but what I take comfort in is, knowing that in order for Joseph to be cheerful in prison, his relationship with the Lord was a daily comfort to him. He had a real and powerful connection with the Lord. His acknowledgement of God is a big clue for me. We aren’t usually very aware of God’s gifts unless we are in a day to day walk with Him through prayer, thankfulness, and deep dependence upon Him.
That is the lesson I take away from chapter 41.
What speaks to you in this chapter?
Have I mentioned how much I love Joseph’s story?
For next time, read Genesis 41:46-57.