Today’s Bible Reading and Devotional is Genesis 41-42.
The LORD continued to prosper Joseph as he served faithfully in Pharaoh’s prison. Two years passed before the butler remembered Joseph, the man who brought him comfort and interpreted his dream in prison (41:1a).
In God’s providence, dreams disturbed Pharaoh’s sleep which he feared were omens of bad things that would befall him and his kingdom (41:1-8). Setting the stage, the butler remembered Joseph and Pharaoh commanded he be brought from prison before him (41:9-32).
Joseph credited his skill to interpret dreams to His God (41:16) and his faithfulness was rewarded as Pharaoh appointed him to serve Egypt, second only to himself (41:33-44). Promoted when he was only thirty years old (41:46), Pharaoh entrusted Joseph with the granaries of Egypt as the nation prepared for seven years of famine followed by seven years of plenty (41:45-57). Genesis 41 closes with the revelation; “all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands” (41:57).
God sovereignly and providentially set the stage for Joseph’s brothers to come to Egypt seeking food for their households. No doubt believing the brother they betrayed was either dead or toiling away as a slave, they did not know their fate would rest in the hands of the brother they sold as a slave (42:1-20).
Joseph recognized his brothers, but wisely concealed his identity. Through an interpreter he questioned them to learn not only know the fate of his father Jacob, but also his brother Benjamin. Joseph no doubt wondered if his brothers regretted their sins committed against him (42:21-23). Speaking in Hebrew among themselves, his brothers did not know the man they presumed was a powerful Egyptian was their brother and understood their remorseful confessions (42:23). Rather than bitterness and vengeance, Joseph “turned himself about from them, and wept” (42:24).
Genesis 42 closes with a dramatic scene as Joseph set in motion a plan to force his brothers to return to Egypt with his brother Benjamin.
Joseph ordered Simeon, the second oldest brother (Reuben being the eldest), be bound, led away, and demanded they not return to Egypt without their youngest brother. Unable to intervene, they began their journey home and were overcome with grief when they found the money they used to purchase grain in their grain sacks. Sharing all that befell them in Egypt, their father Jacob was overcome with grief (42:29-38).
We conclude today’s devotional with Joseph beginning to understand not only that God rewards faithfulness, but He also orchestrates events in our lives for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28-29). Joseph faithfully served the LORD…as a slave, a steward, a prisoner, and as a powerful man of wealth and position. He was providentially in the place of God’s choosing where he would save and shelter his father, brethren and their families from famine.
I close wondering if someone reading this devotional might find themselves like Joseph, far from the place you might have chosen and wondering what God is doing. Remember, God is faithful and protection and promotion come from Him.
Copyright 2019 – Travis D. Smith