29 January 2020

Lessons from Joseph

“Then the chief butler spoke to Pharaoh, saying: ‘I remember my faults this day.’”
Genesis 41:9 (NKJV)

Some of us might remember a certain fascination of mine with the story of Joseph, the eleventh and favourite son of Jacob. In the first escapade of Joseph we covered his wrongful imprisonment and pondered whether his hope faded as he realised that his release was not actually imminent. We also learned that sometimes the answer to prayer is ‘wait’.

We left Joseph in prison still awaiting Pharaoh’s Butler to remember him and bring his cause to Pharaoh. We can pick the story up in chapter 41 of the book of Genesis. Verse 1 says “Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream;” In his dream he was down by the river and saw seven fat cows come out, followed by seven thin cows which, after eating the fat cows, still remain meagre-looking! (Verses 2-6). Not surprisingly, Pharaoh awoke from his dream. On returning to sleep, Pharaoh had another dream this time about ears of corn: seven big and juicy, followed by seven thin and blighted. The thin ears of corn devoured the plump, juicy ears. Pharaoh once again awoke (verses 5-7). The dreams disturbed Pharaoh so much that he was still troubled in the morning.

Now we come to the header verse. As none could interpret the dreams, the Butler remembered the Hebrew in prison. Long story short, Joseph, after giving God the glory, told Pharaoh “all those things you saw in your pyjamas, are a long-range forecast for your farmers!”* Joseph went on to advise that a wise steward be used to prepare for the famine to come (verses 25-38).

A lesson we can learn here is that God places us exactly where we need to be when we are needed and our job is to be ready. Imagine if Joseph had taken his eyes off God and allowed himself to wallow in self pity or worse, allowed a root of bitterness to develop? How can we know that this did not happen? Let’s read for ourselves, breaking into verse 15 Pharaoh says “’But I have heard it said of you that you can understand a dream, to interpret it.’ So Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace.’”

When we keep our focus on God, we too can speak with such assurance. And Pharaoh, recognising a good man when he sees one, makes Joseph his number two—but that’s a whole other story!

O Lord God, thank You for the encouragement we can find in Your word. These stories in the Bible are meant for our encouragement and to embolden us. Let us walk with our eyes fixed on You. In Jesus’ name.

Study by Jackee Brown

*Joseph and the Technicolour Dreamcoat by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber
Song: Pharaoh’s Dream Explained can be found here: https://youtu.be/jZDqg2pvg_c

About the Author:
Jackee Brown is a member in the Worldwide Church of God UK Congregation in London, a part of Grace Communion International .

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God London
Indian YMCA Student Hostel
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2:30pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email: london@gracecom.church

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