Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Jul 27 2011 - E100.12c – Gen 41:1-57, Joseph interprets Pharaoh's dreams

Pharaoh had disturbing dreams and all his magicians and wise men were unable to interpret them. At last, his cupbearer remembers Joseph and, to his shame, the promise he had made two years earlier. When Pharaoh is told of how Joseph interpreted the dreams of his officials he calls for him to be brought to court. After a wash and shave, Joseph appears before Pharaoh.

Again, Joseph makes no claim to be able to interpret dreams by his own power, but he is confident that God can reveal their meaning. So the strange dreams are told to Joseph and he in turn tells Pharaoh their meaning. Joseph tells Pharaoh that God has been gracious in revealing what is about to happen; seven years of abundant harvests will be followed by seven years of famine.

Joseph has done all that was asked of him, but he has more to say. Also, no doubt, at the prompting of the Lord, this foreign prisoner has the temerity to advise Pharaoh of what he should do. He should appoint a wise and trustworthy official to supervise the collection and storage of the excess grain during the years of plenty so that there is food for the people during the years of famine. Pharaoh and all his court immediately recognised the wisdom of this suggestion and that Joseph possessed wisdom given him by God that made him the most suitable person to take on this great responsibility.

Joseph has been raised up from the prison pit to sit among princes; he has become a great and powerful man in Egypt – what does verse 42 remind you of? He built granaries in every city in Egypt to store away grain from the years of plenty so that when the famine came he might be able to provide for the needs of the people. The chapter ends by telling us that, "all the earth came to Egypt to Joseph to buy grain, because the famine was severe over all the earth" (41:57).

Joseph was a man who knew God. Despite all the troubles that had come his way, he had not become resentful of God nor turned away from him. Rather, he had trusted God, grown in character and had gained wisdom by learning from God. His wisdom is seen in the naming of his two sons, Manassah and Ephraim; he determines to foget the troubles of the past and to live fruitfully for the Lord (cf. Philippians 3:13-14). With God, there are no wasted years; only years of preparation for new areas of service. God had been preparing this young man to be the means through which he would bring blessing to all the needy peoples of the earth.

Loving Father, your word tells me that, "suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope" (Romans 5:3). But I am so often preoccupied with my own comfort rather than your kingdom that the merest discomfort produces dissatisfaction, resentment and bitterness. Enlarge my vision and help me always to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Give me his wisdom to know your will and to do it; and in doing it to bring your blessing to those in need.

Peter Misselbrook