Today’s Reading: Gen. 39:1 – 42:5
We got a good story today. Joseph was sold off as a slave and ended up in Egypt. But, “the Lord was with Joseph and he prospered.” How assuring! Then, “the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph.” It did not end there; when Joseph ended up in the prison, “the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness” Wherever he went, the Lord was with him and he was prospered. I find it very comforting in that thought.
I also note that Joseph was not in self-pity mode, either. Even though he was a slave, he was diligent and worked hard. He refused to sin against God, even though it led him to the prison. While he was prison, he did not feel sorry about himself, but worked as best as he could. In fact, he had enough “margin” in life so that he could notice when the chief baker and chief cupbearer were dejected. If you are sorry about yourself or depressed about yourself, you do not have mind-set to care or note about anyone else. But, Joseph was not. He was aware and he cared enough to ask, “why are your faces so sad today?” Do we do that? Even if our lives appear to have so much storms, do we care what’s going on around us? Do we notice who’s in pain around us? If not, we should!
Then, here comes Joseph explains about the dreams – the chief cupbearer, the chief baker, and finally the Pharaoh. Do you notice the difference between this time and the time he was telling his own dreams to his brothers & father yesterday? When he spoke of his own dreams, he did not put God first. He just spoke without much thought – even with a bit of glee or bragging. For today, he put everything into God’s hands. Even when the Pharaoh asked, he answered “I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires”. He gave all his work & glory to God. Of course God returns it to him in ten-folded or more. Then, when Joseph spoke, he started “God has revealed…”, “God has shown Pharaoh…”, “Firmly decided by God and God will do it soon”. It was not he, but only by the grace of God that he knew what to say to the Pharaoh.
What surprised me next is the Pharaoh. He entrusted Egypt to Joseph completely. I could see for one or two months, but for 14 years from the beginning (7 good years and 7 bad years). Can you imagine how other officials react! “What! You will give the second in command to a strange imprisoned foreign slave!” Can you imagine how many times the Pharaoh got told down during those 7 good years! But, the Pharaoh maintained his resolve. When you are in a leadership position, can you do that? Can you give a rein to someone who may not be in a position to lead but force to give such leadership, if God directs you to do so? It is not an easy thing to do! The leadership in nature is not a shared thing. The Pharaoh in ancient Egypt was treated as if he was a god – he was willing to give his rein to a slave, because God spoke to Joseph.
Is the Lord with you today? Even if you may not feel like he does, he is with us because he will never leave us and he will never forsake us. Then, let us keep our face up and keep working hard on whatever we are given today because the Lord will look after us for the rest.