The Life of Joseph - Lesson 18, Continuing the Life of Joseph in Egypt.
Genesis 41:1-8, And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river. And, behold, there came up out of the river seven well favoured kine and fatfleshed; and they fed in a meadow. And, behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill favoured and leanfleshed; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. And the ill favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke. And he slept and dreamed the second time: and, behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. And, behold, seven thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and, behold, it was a dream. And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
Genesis 41:9-13, Then spake the chief butler unto Pharaoh, saying, I do remember my faults this day: Pharaoh was wroth with his servants, and put me in ward in the captain of the guard's house, both me and the chief baker: And we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he; we dreamed each man according to the interpretation of his dream. And there was there with us a young man, an Hebrew, servant to the captain of the guard; and we told him, and he interpreted to us our dreams; to each man according to his dream he did interpret. And it came to pass, as he interpreted to us, so it was; me he restored unto mine office, and him he hanged.
Genesis 41:14-24, Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
Joseph had been faithfully fulfilling his duties in the prison when the call came.
He had no idea that it would happen this way for he had since given up on the butler remembering him to the Pharaoh, in a way that would earn his quick release.
But Joseph knew, based upon his dreams, that God was going to call him.
It was a sudden call for sudden calls were not unknown in Joseph's life.
One day he was the favored son of his father, the next sold into slavery by his brothers.
A manager of his master's household one day and the next day in fetters in prison.
Now he is master of the prison and in the next moment he stands in the presence of the greatest king on earth.
But we are to remember "The kings heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of waters. He turneth it whithersoever He will"
God is in charge here!
The Pharaoh summons Joseph because God brought it about for him to summon Joseph.
God's time had come for Joseph to be delivered from prison.
God's time had come for Joseph to be exalted to a position of high honor and responsibility.
The Pharaoh's dreams were simply the instrument used by God to accomplish this.
Joseph is instructed to shave his beard for Egyptians were clean shaven peoples while the Semitic peoples were bearded.
When in the presence of the Pharaoh the safest thing to do is to do as the Pharaoh does.
A change of clothes was also called for to come in the presence of the king.
No prison clothes in the presence of the Pharaoh!
We are about to witness the character of Joseph displayed in difficult circumstances but we will see that that character is the same that he has displayed while at home at Potiphar's house, and in the prison.
Joseph is the same wherever he is whether it be with the prisoners or with the Pharaoh.
His faith is always with him.
This may remind us of the scripture that tells us that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever
Joseph had no time to prepare nor did he know of what to prepare.
But when the time came to answer the Pharaoh he relied upon God's spirit to answer the Pharaoh for he was quick to give God the glory for any interpretation skills he might have.
Hasn't Jesus Christ instructed his disciples so?
Luke 12:11-12, And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say: For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
Pharaoh: I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.
Was the butler there?
Did Joseph, upon hearing the words, "I have heard say of thee" think of his plea to the butler?
No doubt he did, how else would Pharaoh know?
God had used the butler's memory of Joseph, but God had used it to accomplish his will and not to simply provide for Joseph's freedom.
It was of God's good pleasure to lift Joseph up but it was done for God's glory.
For everything is to be done to bring glory to God and simply releasing Joseph would not bring glory to God.
Remember that when you pray.
Will your answered prayer bring glory to God?
Joseph stood in front of the most powerful man of the time, a man that was considered a god.
I find it amazing that he immediately corrected Pharaoh with regard to the true source of interpretation of dreams.
He did not take this opportunity to gather praise to himself but instead said:
It is not in me:
A phrase that quickly comes to the lips of those who are humble.
Humble and yet fearless for the truly humble know that behind true humility stands the omnipotence of God.
"It is not in me" means that it must be from outside of me.
And Joseph immediately reveals where that outside is.
God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
Joseph uses the name for God of Elohim. El o heem
This is the same word for God that is used in:
Genesis. 1:26, Then Elohim said, 'Let us make man in our image.
It is a word that is a plural form for deity, not in the sense of polytheism or many gods but in the sense of the plural of God's majesty.
It is a revelation of the infinite nature of God.
This name suggests that there is mystery to the Creator-God which man cannot fully fathom.
This is not a god that can by seen as the Pharaoh can be seen but this is the unseen God, the creator of all including the Pharaoh.
Was this a subtle hint that the Elohim that Joseph served was not a mere god like Pharaoh was.
Not a weak god like the Pharaoh who even needed to have dreams interpreted
This is who Joseph points to as he give glory to the one who will provide him with the interpretation of the dreams of Pharaoh.
God had singled out Joseph for this ministry but it was Joseph's duty to give glory to God for the revelation and the meaning of the dreams and to take no glory for himself.
For don't you suppose that Joseph knew the truth of:
Exodus 34:14, For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
If God's very name is Jealous it follows that He will not share glory with another.
That is what God told Isaiah in;
Isaiah 42:8, I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
We are not to receive glory to ourselves for that which God has given us!
And Joseph refused to receive glory to himself even in this high pressure situation in which he hastily found himself.
It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.
In other words what God gives you will satisfy your heart, and you will no longer be troubled, for God's answer is always the truth.
Genesis 41:25-32, And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one. And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine. This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he showeth unto Pharaoh. Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt: And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land; And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous. And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Pharaoh thought he had two dreams and he did but Joseph said the dream is one.
God gave Pharaoh two dreams but only one meaning.
When God repeats himself it is to emphasis that the thing is fixed and cannot be altered.
Jesus often said Verily, verily. Of a truth, of a truth.
Psalm 41:13, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.
Two dreams that are one means this is fixed and cannot be altered and so what your dreams foretell is fixed and cannot be altered.
the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
Much in Joseph's life came in twos.
His great grand father Abraham, had two children of Sara (Isaac and Ishmael)
His grandfather Isaac, had two children of Rebecca (Jacob and Esau)
His father Jacob, had two children of Rachel (Joseph and Benjamin) he had two dreams, he was imprisoned twice, two garments were prominent in his life, the butler and the baker had two dreams, he waited for two years after the incident with the butler to be called by the Pharaoh, the Pharaoh had two dreams, there were two periods of seven years.