Monday, March 14, 2011

Genesis 40-43

So last week in Genesis we read that:

1. God tells Joseph that he will reign over his family.
2. Brothers decide to kill him but instead sell him into slavery.
3. Joseph is sold a second time as a slave to a high ranking family in Egypt.

What happens next is more apparently sad news:

"Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt, and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the guard, an Egyptian, had bought him from the Ishmaelites who had brought him down there." (Genesis 39:1)

Joseph was sold as a slave. That's pretty awful news for Joseph. He doesn't have rights. He is now property. He is owned. But,

"The LORD was with Joseph..." (Genesis 39:2)

How often do we look at the first verse of a chapter in our lives and forget that there's more than one verse? As believers, many times we seem to focus on the negative aspect of a situation and forget, "The Lord is with..."

We read the first part, (bad news) but we forget the main part (God is here).

I read the other day, "Jesus plus nothing equals everything."

Do you believe that? Jesus plus nothing equals everything.

Joseph gets sold into slavery. But becomes successful in his master's house.

Potiphar, Joseph's owner, becomes very successful and blessed because,

"The Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake..."

God was with Joseph in his slavery and Joseph gets put in charge of all of Potiphar's house. He makes decisions for everything. He's in charge. He's the man.

Then more bad news. Joseph had the same problem I have,

"Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance."

LOL I'm just kidding. But the Bible does say that. Joseph was a good looking dude.

So good looking in fact that Potiphar's wife decides that she wants to sleep with Joseph. Joseph refuses. She tries over and over for a time and he still refuses.

Eventually, she accuses him of trying to seduce her (which is a lie) and Potiphar gets very angry at Joseph and throws him in prison. Which is where are story picks back up this week.

Joseph is in prison and two of the King's (Pharaoh's) servants gets put in prison with him. The servants have two dreams and Joseph interprets them for them: one servant will eventually get restored to his post and the other will be hanged.

Eventually, the two servants get out of jail and go back to work for Pharaoh.

Joseph has been in prison for about 10 years at this point when the Pharaoh has a dream that no one can interpret. One of the servants who was in prison with Joseph remembers that Joseph can interpret dreams and tells the king,

"When Pharaoh was angry with his servants and put me and the chief baker in custody in the house of the captain of the guard, we dreamed on the same night, he and I, each having a dream with its own interpretation. A young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. When we told him, he interpreted our dreams to us, giving an interpretation to each man according to his dream. And as he interpreted to us, so it came about. I was restored to my office, and the baker was hanged." (Genesis 41:10-13)

So Pharaoh sends for Joseph to be brought out of jail and to him to interpret his dream. Joseph shaves and showers to get the prison stank off and is brought to the king. Pharaoh asks if Joseph can tell him what his dream means. Joseph says that he can't, but that God can and will.

Pharaoh tells him the dream and Joseph interprets it and Pharaoh is pleased. So much so in fact that Pharaoh appoints Joseph as the main leader in Egypt, answering only to Pharaoh in authority.

So Joseph goes from slave, to prisoner, to interpretor, to Prime Minister in this section of Scripture.

What happens next is incredible, but we'll have to wait until next time.


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