THE BOOK OF GENESIS
A pleasant day to all of you.
In the story in the book of Genesis about Joseph, Israel's son,
he has found himself being done wrong by others and yet found Grace in
God's sight and God took care of him. Let's see if God continues to do so.
The last time, his master Potiphar's wife accused him of seducing her, when
in fact is was quite the opposite. Consequently, Joseph has been thrown in
prison where the king's (Pharaoh's) prisoners were held.
Joseph has the Lord on his side
though, and everywhere he goes, things prosper because he is blessed. The
prison keeper had no worries after putting Joseph in charge of all the
One day the Pharaoh was offended by
his butler and his baker. He was sorely angry at them and ordered that they
be imprisoned where Joseph was being held in jail. There was a night when
both the butler and the baker each had strange dreams. When Joseph saw them
the next morning they both looked sad so he asked them what was wrong. They
told him that they both had dreams, but there was nobody to interpret them.
Joseph said, Don't interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.
The butler began, In my dream there
was a vine with three branches. And it budded and blossomed and grew
clusters of ripe grapes. And Pharaoh's cup was in my hand, so I took the
grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup and put the cup in his hand.
God gave Joseph the gift of
interpreting dreams and he explained to the butler, The three branches are
three days, and within three days Pharaoh will pardon you and give you your
job back. Then you'll serve him just as you did before.
Then Joseph added, Please remember me
with kindness when you are freed and mention me to Pharaoh so I can get out
of here too. I was stolen out of the land of the Hebrews and I haven't done
anything here either to deserve being put into prison.
When the baker heard that the
interpretation of the butler's dream turned out so well, he told Joseph his
dream, saying, In my dream I had three white baskets on my head and in the
top basket there was all kinds of pastries for Pharaoh, and the birds ate
them out of the basket.
The news wasn't so wonderful for the
baker. Joseph said, The three baskets are three days, and within three days
Pharaoh will cut off your head and hang you on a tree and the birds will eat
your flesh off of you. The baker must have had the wrong kind of daily
bread ... ;)
Three days later, it was Pharaoh's
birthday and he made a feast for all his servants. He gave the butler his
job back, but he hung the baker, just as Joseph had interpreted ... However,
the butler forgot all about mentioning Joseph to the Pharaoh.
In the next
chapter, the Pharaoh himself
had a dream that needs interpretation. Who do you think will fit the bill
for that job?
THE BOOK OF GENESIS
In our last
chapter, we had Joseph in the Pharaoh's prison, in
charge of all the prisoners. Joseph interpreted some dreams for the
Pharaoh's butler and baker who were in the jail with him. It was a happy
ending for the butler but for the baker, things didn't turn out so well.
Joseph asked the butler to put in a good word for him with Pharaoh when he
got his old job back, but alas ... The butler forgot all about it until ...
It's been two whole years since the
butler was given back his position, and Joseph is still in the prison. It
came to pass that Pharaoh had two dreams, and he was troubled about what
these dreams meant. He called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt
and told them his dreams, but none of them could interpret them for Pharaoh.
Finally, the butler remembered
Joseph. He told Pharaoh how Joseph interpreted his and the baker's dreams
and how things turned out exactly as he explained, so Pharaoh had Joseph
brought out of the prison to him. He told Joseph that nobody could
interpret his dreams but he had heard that Joseph could. Joseph said, It
isn't me who can interpret them, but God will give you an answer to ease
Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams. In my
dream, I was standing on the bank of the river and seven fat cows came up
out of the river and fed in the meadow. Then seven scrawny cows, such
skinny cows I have never seen in Egypt, came up out of the river and ate up
the first seven fat cows. But when they had eaten them, they were still as
scrawny as before, so I woke up. When I fell back to sleep, I saw in my
dream seven fat ears of corn sprang up on one stalk. Then seven withered,
and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. The seven withered
ears devoured the seven fat ears.
Joseph said, Both dreams have
the same meaning. God has showed you what He's about to do. The seven fat
cows are seven years and the seven fat ears are seven years. They are one
and the same. The seven scrawny cows and the seven withered ears will be
seven years of famine. That's what I meant when I said God has showed you
what He's about to do.
There will be seven years of great
plenty throughout Egypt and after that there will be seven years of famine.
All the plenty will be forgotten in Egypt and the famine will be so serious
that it will consume the land. Because of how terrible it will be, is the
reason why you had two dreams about it. God has prepared it to happen and
it will come to pass.
Pharaoh should look for a person who
is cautious and wise and put him in charge over the land of Egypt. Then
hire people to store up one fifth of what the land produces during the seven
good years. That food will be for the seven years of famine, so that the
land of Egypt can survive.
Pharaoh and all his servants believed
Joseph's interpretation. Pharaoh said to Joseph, Since God has shown you
all this, there isn't anyone as cautious and wise as you are. You will be
in charge and by your ideas my people will be ruled. Only in the throne
will I be greater than you.
Pharaoh took off his ring and put in
on Joseph's hand, dressed him in royal clothes and put a gold chain around
his neck. Joseph rode in the chariot behind Pharaoh's and people bowed as
he passed. Pharaoh made Joseph ruler and said nobody will do anything
without Joseph's permission in all the land of Egypt.
Pharaoh gave Joseph a wife named
Asenath and he traveled all over Egypt. Joseph was thirty years old now.
The seven years of plenty produced abundantly and Joseph gathered up so much
food to store that he stopped keeping track of it because there was so much.
Joseph had two sons before the famine
came. He named the firstborn Manasseh, which means Forgetting, because he
said God made him forget all his labor and his father's family. He named
the second Ephraim, which means, Fruitful, because he said God has made him
fruitful in the land of his affliction.
The seven years of plenty ended, and
when the seven years of famine began, but there was food in the land of
Egypt. When people asked Pharaoh for food, he sent them to Joseph and told
them to do what he said. The famine covered the whole earth and people from
all other countries came to Egypt to Joseph to buy corn because it was so
So almost fifteen years has passed since Joseph was sold into the land of
Egypt, and has become a very prominent man in the land. People from
countries all over are coming to buy food from him. Now speaking of
dreams, remember Joseph's dreams about his brothers bowing before him?
Who do you think will show up in Egypt looking for food and end up bowing
before him? Oh, my! God sure does have a way of balancing
things, doesn't He?