Cannabis Came Calling and No One But Joseph

Our series Joseph: A Life with Many Colors has been on hold for two full months. And I’m sorry. Cannabis Came Calling to the state of Illinois and directly to the Village I call home. A long time ago it seems, when I was concluding my preaching time at Plymouth Congregational Church of Racine, WI, I mentioned that if pastors cannot take biblical principles and apply them to civic life, they have no business standing at a pulpit to preach. So, our series on Joseph has been on hold while I’ve been standing before public officials, almost role-playing Joseph’s life in my hometown. No, I wasn’t thrown in prison, and I wasn’t interpreting dreams-it’s just a truism when I said in our last Joseph installment, “timely intervention is evidence of God’s benevolence.”

Into the turbulent mess of life (or Pharaoh’s dreams), God displays His goodness. He changes someone’s trajectory and makes another thing their priority because it’s God’s priority. He sends a messenger with a message to minister like a cold drink quenches thirst on a hot day.

Thankfully, I’ve arrived at a waystation, a resting place at least until next month, so I pick up again the work I truly love: God’s Word. An easier obedience, by far.

Way back in July, Joseph had interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and outlined a Very Good Plan for how to stem the catastrophe that was about to come on Egypt: a dreaded famine (Genesis 41:32-37).

Joseph’s strategic outline was perfect for the moment…all the hope, all the organization, all the future, all the opportunity for Pharaoh to look good. Now all that was needed was to choose someone to implement it. God had someone in mind, and no one but Joseph would do.

Genesis 41:37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”

Now, that’s one outstanding credential! It’s not like Joseph was standing there pointing at himself or raising his hand, shouting, “Oh, oh, oh, pick me”! No need for any of that. God had it covered. Pharaoh could see who had the vision and the right spirit for the job. Joseph stood alone as the one who could interpret Pharaoh’s dreams…because God had Joseph’s elevation in mind. It was time.

Genesis 41:39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” 41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.”

Think about it:

  • Proverbs 25:13 “Like a snow-cooled drink at harvest time is a trustworthy messenger to the one who sends him; he refreshes the spirit of his master.” How did “Joseph’s Very Good Plan” set Pharaoh’s mind at ease and refresh his spirit?
  • God is in the hope and redemption business. How did the plan give Pharaoh hope?
  • The prison years of Joseph cultivated his relationship with God and resulted in a growing discernment and wisdom that would be required for the task to come. What areas of your life has God been cultivating for use at some future point…maybe character or skills…that you acquire now for His timely purpose later?
  • When God’s timing arrives (and His timing is perfect), all the obstacles melt away. Did it matter to Pharaoh that Joseph was a Hebrew? When someone truly needs emergency help, like a paramedic’s job, do differences of race, gender, or political affiliation remain a priority? Or will the person’s skill, willingness, and availability carry the day?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on September 27, 2019

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