Even with the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream and Joseph’s appointment as
Prime Minister, his dreams have not yet come true. He marries and has two sons, but
chooses names that show that his journey is not yet over. Joseph’s very claim that he has
forgotten his family indicates that he has not! Even in fruitfulness, he acknowledges his
grief. It is not until chapter 42 that the story turns toward the true fulfillment of the
young exile’s dreams. Compelled by famine, Joseph’s brothers seek relief in Egypt. Unwittingly,
they stand before the brother they betrayed, and we begin to see the ending toward
which God has been leading us.
This is the point at which the sovereignty of God becomes clear. God’s project is
not the prosperity and progress of Joseph; it is the very survival of the tribes of Israel.
Long before Pharaoh’s dream, God saw famine, He needed a man on the inside in Egypt,
ready to take action on behalf of His people. Joseph was that man and we realize that the
whole narrative has been played out in the providence of God. The actions of Joseph, his
brothers, Potiphar, and even Pharaoh himself have been woven together in God’s larger
purpose. God’s will is not brought about by abrupt action, but by God’s engagement with
the ways of the world – ways that to us seem natural. God’s way are above and beyond
humanity. History itself is His servant.
God is working out his purposes on a global scale, achieving His objectives both
through and in spite of Egypt, Joseph, and his brothers. Would we trust God more easily
– and obey Him more fully – if we truly believed that He was working out His plans
through, and in spite of us?
When someone has deeply wronged you, are you more likely to seek revenge or reconciliation?
What does this tell you about yourself and your trust in God?
Read: Genesis 42:1-24
[From Encounter with God/Scripture Union – 4th Qtr. 2013]