The Pharaoh of Egypt has strange dreams of seven skinny cows eating up seven fat cows and seven thin heads of grain eating up seven full heads of grain. No one can interpret the dreams.
Two years after the cupbearer had left prison, he finally remembers Joseph, the interpreter of dreams. The cupbearer suggests that Joseph might be just the man.
So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. Gen. 41:14a
Well, not too quickly. Remember he has been in prison well over two years. Has he had a bath in all that time? Has he even had a change of clothes? His beard is long and he’s probably smelly, so:
When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh. Gen. 41:14b
No doubt Joseph’s heart is beating rapidly as he makes his way down the long corridors of the palace, seeing extravagant furnishings he’s never seen before. Will he have the right things to say? Will he be able to interpret a dream if that’s why the Pharaoh is calling for him? Is this the time when God is moving him forward? Has he maintained his connection with God?
The Pharaoh jumps right into the matter. He tells Joseph:
“I had a dream and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.”
“I cannot do it, but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.” Gen.41:15-16
Well that settles it. Joseph still knows that it is God who has given him this gift. As some would say, he seems to be “prayed up.” Psalm 46:10 has not yet been written, but Joseph must have experienced being still and knowing God. Pharaoh tells his dreams and without hesitation, Joseph responds.
“The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. The seven good cows are seven years and the seven good heads of grain are seven years.
The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterward are seven years, and the seven worthless heads of grain scorched by the east wind: They are seven years of famine.” Gen. 41:25-27
That explains the sevens. But what does it mean? Joseph is about to tell him, but first he reiterates what he said before.
“God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. Seven years of great abundance are coming through out the land of Egypt, but seven years of famine will follow.” Gen. 41:28-30
Joseph tells him that the years of famine will be so great that they will not remember the years of great abundance. The fact that Pharaoh had two dreams indicates that the matter has been firmly decided by God and God will do it soon.
What to do? Joseph lays out a step by step plan for dealing with this coming crisis—appoint a wise man to be in charge, appoint commissioners, take one-fifth of the grain in the good years, collect it and store it for the famine.
Pharaoh likes the plan and the man.
“Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so wise and discerning as you. You shall be in charge of my palace and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.” Gen. 41:39-40
Wow! Can you believe that? He wakes up that morning in prison and by the end of the day he is second in command. Joseph has gone from pit to second in command in Potiphar’s house, from prisoner to second in command of the prison, and now, from dream interpreter to second in command of Egypt. These are not coincidences my friend. They are God-incidents.
Next week — bringing in the grain with “thanksgiving.” (smile)
~ Joyce ~