Tag Archives: prison

Genesis 41-2 – Purpose

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.

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Genesis 41-1 – Fruition

Well, everything begins changing for Joseph at this point.  He has been a slave in his master’s house.  Then he was put into prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he remained faithful and did an amazing job while being a prisoner.  He worked for the chief of the prison and helped out those who were placed there.  Even then he was ignored and forgotten.  It has been two years since he helped out the chief cup-bearer and chief baker through their dream interpretations.  Now everything changes rather quickly.

Pharaoh has a pair of bad dreams, and no one can tell him what they mean.  Finally the cup-bearer comes forward and says, “there was this young Hebrew man who told me my dream.”  So Pharaoh sends for him and Joseph tells him that the interpretations come from the God who gave him the dreams, so tell them to Joseph and he will see what he can tell him.  All that hard work and faithfulness pays off, God answers, and Joseph is about to have a life change.

How long are we willing to wait for God?  Do we get frustrated and just give up when things just don’t go our way?  Do we feel abandoned when instead of blessing us, it seems like God just puts us through more and more trials?  Do we feel like it doesn’t really matter whether we do the right thing or not because either way we are getting screwed?  Just because it takes time for the seed to grow, sprout, bud, flower, and come to fruition doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan for us.  It just means, that His timing is much different from ours.

The fruition of his faithfulness, hard work, and honesty in the face of great trials leads him to this very moment and time… and what happens in the second half of this chapter; tomorrow.

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Genesis 40 – Hidden Blessing

Here we go again.  Joseph is still in his bind.  He still doesn’t know what he’s doing there or why.  He’s still a prisoner, working as a servant to the chief prison guard.  He continues to obey God and not get angry and reject the right thing because of his situation that is out of his control.  He doesn’t like being in this situation.  He knows it’s not his fault, but he also knows that it’s not right and wants out.

So, what’s a young man to do?  He does his job faithfully.  He works hard.  He cares for those he is responsible for.  As a result, God blesses him and his master trusts and relies on him.  He continues to work, grow, and excel, and God continues to prepare him.

So one day in doing his duty, he sees two under his care in confinement that appear visibly disturbed.  So he tries to reconcile the problem.  First off, why should anyone care about how two lowly prisoners feel?  Isn’t prison supposed to be miserable?  …especially confinement?  Isn’t the point to make it so that people don’t WANT to be there?  Yet here Joseph is, treating these prisoners like they are children under his care.

In probing he finds out that they both had unusual dreams that are bothering them.  So Joseph, being the man that he is, tells them, “Do not interpretations belong to God?  Tell it to me, please.”  He then proceeds to listen and explain their dreams to them.  He tells the cup-bearer that in three days he will be back at his old post, and he asks him to remember him in prison because he has been imprisoned unjustly.  He tells the baker that within three days he will be hung up by his neck and the birds would eat his flesh.  He does NOT ask the baker to remember him in his situation when he meets with Pharaoh.

So, their dreams are fulfilled, and as soon as the cup-bearer is back in his position, he immediately proceeds to forget about Joseph entirely.  Isn’t that the way it seems to be sometimes?  I can definitely feel for Joseph in this situation.  I’ve never been imprisoned on false charges.  I’ve never been sold into slavery.  But, I have been in situations where it seems like it doesn’t matter that i’m doing the right thing.  It seems like no matter what i do, my situation keeps getting worse and worse.  It seems like even when i try to get out of the situation, i just keep getting more and more stuck and people just forget me.

But you know what?  That doesn’t matter.  God knows what He is doing.  Even when we feel like He has forgotten about us, He hasn’t.  Even when we feel like there is no hope, God is in control.  He brings us through when we least expect it.  It’s not about us, it’s about Him.

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Genesis 39 – God’s Blessing

Well, it looks like i labeled yesterday’s chapter 39 instead of 38.  It’s fixed now, but if you were confused as  to why Genesis 39 didn’t have anything to do with Judah and his family, that’s because it doesn’t.  It was supposed to be Genesis 38.  Well, now on to the real Genesis 39.

Why does it seem at times that God’s blessing is immediately proceeded by some sort of trial or struggle?  At times through my life it has felt like the moment things start going right and smoothly, that is the moment it all starts to fall apart.  It feels like i just start to bounce back from one problem and… BANG!  I’m hit by the next.

That’s what appears to be happening here in Joseph’s life.  Joseph was a good young man, but his brother’s were jealous of him and his father’s favoritism towards him.  So they tried to make him miserable.  In turn God blesses him with dreams foretelling a future in which his brothers will bow down to him.  At which point his brothers decide to kill him, then at the last minute sell him as a slave.  So he gets sent down to Egypt and is sold into the household of an important leader.  Joseph does the right thing and God blesses Him.  Joseph continues to do  the right thing and as a result of doing the right thing he ends up accused of something he didn’t do with no way to defend himself.  So now he’s in a maximum security foreign prison with no hope of release.  I mean honestly, how much lower can a guy get? So what does he do?  He does the right thing.  He does his job well, and he becomes the most respected prisoner in that foreign maximum security facility.

Where is that going to get him.  Every time he does  the right thing and begins to excel beyond his situation, he loses out.  He drops deeper and deeper, like a man falling in a pit trying to climb out and each time he finally starts to make progress, he falls deeper in.

For those who already know, we know where this is going.  For those who don’t, this isn’t the end.  At one point in my life as i saw this happening, God spoke to me.  He told me that He loved me and not to worry.  Do you know what my automatic reaction was?  My reaction was, “Oh great, NOW what’s going to happen?”  You see, this had become my mentality.  This is how i had begun to see God and how He worked.  I began to believe that as soon as God began to bless me, it was just a predecessor to another trial… to another struggle, and i began to lose hope.

I know better now, but this is still how i feel sometimes.  I know a number of you can relate.  If that’s where you are.  You feel like it doesn’t matter how much you try… how much you do the right thing time, and time, and time, and time, and time again, and it seems like it’s a waste of time and life.  Well it’s not.  There is hope.  There is always hope.  It may not feel like it but God does love you, and He is taking care of you.  It’s never as bad as it seems, so just trust Him!  (I know, easier said than done sometimes, but do it anyways.)

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