So Joseph does what he has learned to do. First he answers the question that Pharaoh poses to him. What does this mean? Then, without being asked and it appears without even a pause he answers the question that results from his answer. He starts out be telling Pharaoh what his dreams mean. There will be seven years of great abundance followed by seven years of great famine. Then he tells Pharaoh what needs to be done to prepare for and respond to the coming famine. One fifth of the produce of the land during the abundance needs to be stored away for the famine time.
As a result, Pharaoh sees God’s hand and blessing on Joseph and places him over the entire nation of Egypt. Joseph was 30 years old at this time. He spent almost half of his life as a slave in Egypt, and most of that time was spent in prison. But the whole time, God had a purpose for him. He wasn’t doing nothing and watching his life waste away. He wasn’t stuck with no hope and no future. God had a purpose for him, and this was that purpose!
God was preparing Joseph to not only excel, but to become the second in command of Egypt; to provide leadership and wisdom to prepare the people and nations for the coming blessings and famine; to save not just lives, but nations from perishing in the flood of famine that would hit for seven years. God had a plan, and that plan had a name. It simply took a life of disappointment and overcoming to prepare Joseph for that purpose… a purpose that was revealed and a change that was laid out, all in 1 day.
How do we see our lives? I know that i struggle sometimes trying to see how and why my life has turned out as it has. I have seen people pass and surpass me in life, and i wonder, ” Why do they get blessed, and it seems like i don’t?” Why do i so often feel rejected and pushed away by God. I know that that’s not really the case and that God has a plan for me as well, but i can’t help feeling sometimes that i have been abandoned and left to rot in prison for some unknown reason. I know it’s not really like that, but that’s how it feels sometimes. Ultimately though, I know that I have a hope, and that God has a plan. That it’s not really about me. It’s about Him, and i have to make sure that i don’t get myself in the way.
So what is your struggle?
John J. Camiolo Jr.
Well it’s official, my first pen (black) has bitten the dust. Long live the pen (purple)! At this rate, i will be all out of my Pilot Varsitys after about Genesis 36. I may have to make an investment into a good quality pen with lots of refills. What kinds of pens do you guys like?
Genesis 13 brings Abram back to the bigger picture. I was writing this out, and i love that after sojourning in Egypt for a short time (due to famine), Abram returns back to where he started in Canaan. Not just the same area, but the same place. He returned to the land between Bethel, meaning “house (beth) of God (el)”, and Ai. One is a tribute to God, and the other is to become a city of mighty warriors that are strong and brave enough to rout the people of Israel (Joshua 7) even with the terror of Israel is covering the land and Israel’s God had just destroyed the great city of Jericho by having Israel march circles around it.
So while there was a time of temporarily being off course, Abram (and God) pick up where they left off. Abram, being blessed by God while in Egypt, has grown bigger. No longer can he and his nephew Lot be in the same place. It’s just not big enough for the two of them. So Lot goes to the lush Jordan valley while Abram stays in the plains of Canaan (i always want to spell it Cannan).
It is there that God expounds on His promise:
“Now lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever. I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth, so that if anyone can number the dust of the earth, then your descendants can also be numbered. Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you.” (NASB)
Wow, things just keep getting better and better! The promise defogs a little more, Abram sees more of the bigger picture, and it becomes even more amazing. However, more than the promise is a command. Abram is given instruction; “Go and walk the land.” How many of us attempt to claim and embrace the promises of God, yet we never walk the land. We want the blessing that God has promised us, but we never lay claim to it by following His instructions. We never fully understand what it is that He is promising to us because we never take the time to discover what it is that He is giving to us. Laying claim to something before even knowing what it is often results in disappointment and disillusionment when it does not result in what we expect of it. Also, how can we really appreciate or find value in anything if we don’t have to work for it. In order to understand what it is, what it means, and what it is worth. We must DO so… (it’s an action)