101-141 Genesis Part 3 Chapter 41
The Pharaoh had two dreams which troubled his spirit. It was a vision of seven fat cows being eaten by seven skinny cows. The second vision was that of seven poor ears of corn devouring seven good ears of corn. The troubling of his spirit would be a positive indication that God produced these dreams. The wise men and magicians of Egypt were unable to interpret these two dreams for Pharaoh.
We all live in a time when the desires we have we want now. We pray and expect to have the answer in short time. But we serve an all knowing God who knows when the time is right for answered prayer. Joseph spent another two years in prison before he was called out. I can only imagine that each day he prayed to God asking for his release. After all Joseph had committed no crime. Yet two years passed before that prayer would be answered. Suppose Joseph had been released quickly after the butler had been restored to his position. In all probability Joseph would have gone back home to his family. Joseph would not have received the blessings of his service to Pharaoh. His family would not have had a place of escape from the famine. God knows what has been, what is, and what is to come. Therefore God knows when it is the best time for blessings to come into our lives. God also knows the harm blessing can cause if received at the wrong time. God knows our needs before we even ask for them and He also knows the proper time for us to receive them.
After two years the butler remembers Joseph when Pharaoh has his two dreams. The butler tells Pharaoh about Joseph and Pharaoh sent for him. When Joseph learns why Pharaoh has called him he quickly gives God the glory for the dreams he is about to interpret for Pharaoh. Joseph interprets the dreams as one in the same. There will be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. It is wise in time of plenty to save for the times of lack. Take notice of the goodness of God to send seven years of plenty before the seven years of want. We should not disregard the abundant blessings of the Lord and prepare for the lean times that come in the cycle of our lives. There is an important spiritual message here as well. We must labor for food for our bodies but then we do not live on bread alone for all of this world will pass as well as ourselves. We live on the bread of life that comes from the Word of God. Through Him we have eternal life in His Kingdom. Let us not only labor for the food of this world but labor to store of the blessings of the world to come.
Joseph showed a great respect for the Pharaoh of Egypt by serving him in a selfless manner. Joseph didn’t say I can interpret your dreams but you have to help me first. Joseph honored God by delivering His message to Pharaoh and by providing good council so they would be prepared for the famine to come. Not only would the Egyptian people be spared but also the family of Israel. In return for Joseph’s faithfulness in his God Pharaoh recognized that the Spirit of God was in Joseph. Pharaoh honors Joseph with a new name, Zaphnath-paaneah, “a revealer of secrets.” Pharaoh gives Joseph his ring and makes no one higher in Egypt than Joseph other than Pharaoh.
Joseph was diligent in storing up provision in the years of plenty. Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On, was made Joseph’s wife and she bore him two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. Joseph named his sons according to the Divine Providence that God had shown him. Manasseh means, “Making to forget”. Joseph had forgotten all the anger he had towards his brothers for selling him into slavery. The Providence of God had been so great that now Joseph could see the blessing in it. Ephraim means, “Fruitfulness”. Joseph had been fruitful here in the land of Egypt. The famine came and Joseph labored himself to manage the distribution of the stored grain so that everyone would have according to their need. The famine spread to all the lands surrounding Egypt and even unto Canaan the land of his father Jacob and his family.
Let these events lead us to Jesus. We live in a time of famine in that many in the world today are starving for the bread of life. Without money and without price God’s grace and the free gift of salvation through His Son Jesus Christ. Let us be busy feeding the hungry least they perish for the lack of the bread of life, which is Jesus Christ.