Daily reading assignment: Genesis 41-42
Now two years passed before the butler gave any thought to Joseph, the man who comforted and interpreted his dream in prison (41:1a). In God’s time, Pharaoh’s sleep was disturbed by dreams (41:1-8) that he was moved to seek assistance in interpreting his foreboding of great trials Egypt would soon face. The stage was set for the butler to remember Joseph and commend him to Pharaoh a man as a man who could interpret dreams (41:9-32).
Interpreting the king’s dreams, Pharaoh rewarded Joseph’s faithfulness appointing him to serve over Egypt, second only to himself (41:33-44). Only thirty years old when he was promoted (41:46), Joseph was entrusted with the granaries of Egypt as the nation prepared for seven years of famine that would follow 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 had providentially set the stage for Joseph’s brothers, forced by famine in their own land, to come to Egypt seeking food for their households.
Joseph recognized his brethren; however, none of them suspected the Egyptian ruler to whom they bowed was their brother Joseph and their fate now rest in the hands of one they had despised and sold into slavery (42:1-20). Joseph concealed his identity and repressed the emotions that swelled up in his soul as he remembered the dreams of his youth now fulfilled in his brothers bowing before him (42:9a; 37:6-9).
Joseph questioned his brethren; not only to learn the fate of his father Jacob and brother Benjamin, but also to discern whether his brothers had repented of their sins against him (42:10-19).
Overhearing their remorse (42:20-23), God confirmed in Joseph’s heart that the passing years had changed his brothers’ hearts toward him. Rather than bitterness and revenge, we read Joseph “turned himself about from them, and wept” (42:24).
Joseph’s faith has sustained him through bleak times…from the sorrow of being rejected by his brethren, through being falsely accused and imprisoned…we have observed in Joseph’s life what King David will one day confirm, “As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him” (Psalm 18:30).
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith