“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.” (Genesis 41:14)
When we last saw Joseph, he was in the Egyptian prison along with Pharaoh’s chief butler and chief baker who had also been put there. God had worked in both the butler and baker’s lives. They both had dreams that they didn‘t understand. Joseph saw that they were sad, and even in his own predicament, he was concerned about them. They told him that they’d dreamed dreams, and he asked them to tell him what they were.
The chief butler told Joseph his dream. Joseph interpreted it to mean that the chief butler would get his job back in three days. Joseph also asked him to speak to Pharaoh for Joseph, because he didn’t deserve to be in the prison. Then the chief baker told Joseph his dream. Unfortunately, Joseph had bad news—the chief baker would be hanged in three days.
Can you imagine being the chief baker, knowing that you would die in three days, and not knowing what awaited you on the other side of the grave? No doubt many people live in fear of death and the afterlife. They don’t know Jesus as their Saviour, just as the chief baker probably worshipped the false gods of Egypt and didn’t know the true God, the Redeemer who would one day come. So Joseph had a chance to talk with him about the true God, the God of Israel, before he was executed.
As for the chief butler, unfortunately, he forgot about Joseph once he got his job back: “Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.” (Genesis 40: 23). God, however, had not forgotten Joseph. Pharaoh later had a troubling dream. He dreamed of seeing seven fat, healthy cows that were eaten up by seven scrawny cows. Then he dreamed about seven fat, healthy ears of corn on one stalk that were eaten up by seven withered ears of corn. Pharaoh didn’t know what the dream meant, so he called his astrologers and fortune-tellers. They couldn’t help him, and it was then that the chief butler remembered Joseph and told Pharaoh how he had interpreted dreams for him and the chief baker. Pharaoh sent for Joseph to be brought immediately to him.
Joseph shaved himself and changed his clothes. He cleaned up to show respect for Pharaoh. He was about to see someone important. Did you ever see defendants in court who weren’t dressed for the occasion? Defendants should dress up, as much as they can. They are about to see someone important. When they don’t take the time to put on decent clothes, they show lack of respect for the court, like the judge is not important. Some judges realize that, too. Isn’t that an interesting detail from scripture?
Pharaoh told Joseph his dreams about the cows and the corn. Joseph told Pharaoh that the dreams were a warning to Pharaoh. Egypt would enjoy seven years of plenteous crops, followed by seven terrible years of famine. Joseph advised Pharaoh to appoint a man to oversee the gathering of food, and later the distribution of it. Joseph may never have dreamed that Pharaoh would pick him to be that man, but he did. So one day, Joseph is in the prison. The next day, he is the second-most powerful man in one of the most powerful countries in the world at the time.
God may not work in your life as dramatically as He did in Joseph’s, but whatever your situation, just “Trust in the LORD, and do good;” (Psalm 37:3). Psalm 46:10 also says, “Be still, and know that I am God:” Whatever your situation, God is in charge and has ways of working things out. We’ll also see more of how God worked in the lives of Joseph and his family later. Meanwhile, if you want to see how to receive Jesus as Saviour, please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar.
Brian Miller 4/8/2015
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822