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October 24, 2020

Two years passed without Joseph hearing anything about the request he made to the chief butler whose dream he interpreted while he was in prison. Joseph had said to him, “But think on me when it shall be well with thee, and shew kindness, I pray thee, unto me, and make mention of me unto Pharaoh, and bring me out of this house: For indeed I was stolen away out of the land of the Hebrews: and here also have I done nothing that they should put me into the dungeon” (Genesis 40:14-15). Fortunately, Pharaoh had two dreams the magicians and the wise men of Egypt could not interpret that caused the butler to remember the young thirty-year-old Hebrew prisoner named Joseph, who had interpreted his dream.

The butler told Pharaoh about his encounter with Joseph and how he interpreted his dream and the chief baker’s dream. After hearing the butler’s words, Pharaoh wanted an immediate audience with Joseph, who could possibly interpret his two troubling dreams.  So, Pharaoh sent for Joseph in the dungeon, but before appearing before Pharaoh, Joseph shaved and changed his clothes.

Pharaoh told Joseph he heard that he could interpret dreams; however, Joseph responded by saying, “It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.” Pharaoh then proceeded to tell Joseph his two dreams. Though one dream had a pastoral setting and the other an agricultural setting, Joseph told Pharaoh, “The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath shewed Pharaoh what he is about to do,” and he was given these two dreams because “God established the thing, and God would shortly bring it to pass.”

After hearing the interpretation that there would be seven years of abundance, followed by seven years of famine that would consume Egypt’s land, Joseph made some recommendations to Pharaoh. He suggested that a discreet and wise man be placed over the land of Egypt who would appoint officers to take up the fifth part of the harvest and store it under Pharaoh’s care during the seven plenteous years resulting in food for the years of famine.

Joseph’s plan sounded so appealing to Pharaoh and his servants that he choose Joseph to be the man, for he said, “Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?” Additionally, he made Joseph second in command, arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, gave him the ring he wore, and placed his gold chain around Joseph’s neck, symbolizing Joseph’s authority. Furthermore, Joseph rode in the second chariot behind Pharaoh, and in respect, the Egyptians bowed down to him.

Pharaoh renamed Joseph,  Zaphnathpaaneah, which means “a revealer of secrets” and gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, to be his wife. During the seven years of plenty,  Asenath bore Joseph two son; the first son Joseph named  Manasseh, which means “For God, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house” and the second son he called, “Ephraim, for God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.”

Genesis forty-one ends, revealing Joseph diligently carried out his job gathering up all the food and corn and storing them in cities throughout all the land of Egypt. When the first year of famine began, Egypt had food that Joseph was able to sell to the Egyptians and people of other countries who also came to Egypt to buy corn.

As I did in the previous blogs of this series, I will end this blog with points that I think are helpful for all of us to remember.

  1. Imagine how Joseph felt as days became weeks and then months without hearing anything concerning his release from prison. No doubt, he probably felt his dreams would never materialize. Dreams from God may be delayed but not denied. When all appears lost, keep hope alive.
  2. God gives dreams to believers and unbelievers
  3. When God gives you a dream, you may need someone to interpret it
  4. The answer to your problem may be found in prison. Great men are not only found in palaces; some are in prison.
  5. A troubling dream was the catalyst for Joseph’s release from prison. Your freedom can come from unexpected places.
  6. With God’s help during the past thirteen years while a slave and then a prisoner, Joseph had developed managerial skills. Though you are in uncomfortable situations, spend your time gaining skills. God prepares us for the promise.
  7. Elevate qualified persons.
  8. The first time Joseph’s garment was taken from him was for an act of betrayal.  The second time, he left his garment behind to escape from a seductress, and this third time he willingly gives up his garment to receive a garment of royalty.
  9. God used Joseph to bless and save an idolatrous nation.
  10. A wise person will save during harvest, so there will be substance during times of scarcity.
  11. God can change your life overnight. From being a prisoner, overnight,  Joseph received promotion, power, privileges, and prestige.
  12. Elevation can be so rewarding; you forget the painful process.
  13. God can prosper you in foreign territory.
  14. Ask God to help you to remember those things that you need to rectify.
  15. You have the solution to someone’s problem, or you could be the solution to someone’s problem.


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