January 15, 2020
Summarize what you read in one paragraph:
Joseph had been in jail for two years, forgotten by the chief cupbearer. In the meantime the Pharaoh had two similar dreams. Being stirred and bothered by them, he asks for all the magicians and wise men in Egypt. When no one could interpret his dream, the chief cupbearer sent for Joseph because he had interpreted dreams before. Coming before the Pharaoh, giving all the glory to God, is he able to interpret his dreams. “The dreams of Pharaoh are one in the same” (Gen. 41:25) After explaining what God has planned – a seven year abundace followed by a severe seven year famine. After the knowledge and wisdom shared, Joseph is put second in command over all the palace and people in Egypt. After seven years of abundance, the entire world is enduring the famine while Egypt has saved up every year for these years. In the land of Cannaan Joseph’s father orders his sons to go to Egypt to purchase grain for the family so they will not die. At the sight of his brothers, Joseph is reminded of a dream. “You are spies! You have some to see where our land is unprotected.” (Gen 42:9) They need to prove their honesty, they must bring their youngest brother Benjamin. When they go back home, after Simeon is commanded to stay as a prisoner, they realize their silver for the grain has been returned to them. Their reaction – fear. Not until they are all out of grain are they sent again to go to Egypt. Judah pleads with his father to let Benjamin to with them. After agreeing, they bring gifts to give to the Eygiptian Official (Joseph), double the amount of silver, and Benjamin in tow. Arriving to Joseph, they are directed into his house. He is moved to tears as he sees Benjamin. They all feast together and were sent away. This time Joseph gave them a test, all their sacks were filled as much as they can carry, silver returned, and a hidden silver divination cup in the sack of Benjamin. When they were confronted by the steward about their thievery a bargain was struck. “If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves.” (Gen. 44:9) Back at the house, searched, and exposed. Judah pleads with Joseph to have him take the place of Benjamin.
We are left on a cliffhanger. What will Joseph say?!
What is one key verse?
Genesis 41:37-40 “The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
How does what you read change your vision of God?
It reminds me of God’s perfect and intentional timing. Joseph was supposed to be sent before his brothers, as we read previously (Gen. 37:6-11), but maybe not expecting what it actually would look like and the journey along the way. But, watching Joseph put his trust, faith, and hope in God we see how being a vessel – no matter the circumstance changes people’s lives.
How does what you read change your vision of yourself or others?
I look deeper into Joseph’s life and admire his obedience to God. His circumstances did not shake his faith. I want to be a leader who has unshakable faith and is used in all walks of life.
How will you Go With God because of this reading? (What is an action step?)
By putting my faith above my circumstances. Is that easy? No way. But having faith as small as a mustard seed is what I hold onto. (Matthew 17:20)
Where did you see Jesus in these chapters? (What made you think about Jesus?)
I see Jesus through the actions of Joseph. He treated his brothers, who hated him and attmepted to murder him, with love, grace, and truth. Jesus showed this with the Pharisees in his day. Joseph also gave his brothers opportunities to be changed and revised men. Men who were honest and humble – men who feared the Lord. All the glory was given to God. Just as Jesus reiterated in the gospels.