Joseph and the Hidden Working of God

Two full years and everyone was in the dark about God’s hidden working.  Joseph was going about daily prison life.  The cupbearer in forgetful living. Pharaoh had a dream.

Genesis 41:1 When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up. 5 He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted– thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream. 8 In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.

Pharaoh’s mind was troubled.  No wonder.  What a backward, upside down, nonsensical dream!  Doubled.

It must mean something, he thought.  But what?

Think about it:

  • Have you ever had disturbing dreams?  In Pharaoh’s culture, he was considered not just a king, but quasi-divine. How might this have made the king more concerned about his dreams being meaningful? 
  • God had in mind one interpreter (named Joseph) so when Pharaoh called everyone whose job it was to interpret dreams, divine circumstances, and understand how the puzzle fits together, no one could interpret.  How is that possible apart from God? 
  • What do you think this means?  Was it that no one tried, no one dared to guess, or that no one gave a satisfactory answer? 
  • Does it matter for the story, or is it simply that in some way or another Pharaoh needed Joseph for more than interpreting dreams, and this is how God advances the storyline?  
  • What does this tell us about God’s hidden working in the life of Pharaoh, Joseph, Joseph’s family, the Hebrews, and perhaps in your life too?

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on July 2, 2019

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