‘The LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master.’ Genesis 39: 1-2 (NIV)
As a child, the stories I heard and read about Joseph fascinated me. From his ‘Coat of Many Colors’, to his promotion as manager of all Egypt, there was always something new to be learned, something new to dream about.
I especially loved the dreams. His dreams as a youth came directly from God. His Father in Heaven was showing him who and what he would one day be. He would be a ruler of sorts, and those around him would bow before him. In his dreams, his brothers were the ones bowing. But along with the dreams God sent for him, God gave him an even greater gift…the gift to interpret other people’s dreams.
Joseph experienced betrayal at the hands of his brothers. Because he had revealed his dreams to them, they felt he was boasting. They already knew that their father, Jacob, favored Joseph. When he told them about the dream in which they were bowing before him, their anger rose to new heights.
When the opportunity came, the brothers threw Joseph into a pit and sold him into slavery. He was just 17 years old. He was sold to a traveling caravan and was resold to Potiphar, the captain of the guard for Pharoah, the king of Egypt.
Potiphar saw that God was with Joseph, and quickly saw his abilities and his insight. He appointed him over his household. There was none above Joseph’s authority other than Potiphar himself.
Joseph was handsome, and Potiphar’s wife decided she must have him. He rejected her advances, which angered her. She told her husband that Joseph had accosted her. Then he was thrown in prison.
The warden recognized his abilities and soon put him in charge of the prisoners. He saw that the Lord was with him. While in prison, he interpreted the dreams of two officers of Pharoah, who were imprisoned for offenses. Joseph interpreted the dreams. The cup-bearer was reinstated to his position. The baker was put to death. Joseph asked the cup-bearer to remember him.
Two years later, Pharoah had two dreams. No one in his court could interpret them. The cup-bearer remembered Joseph, and told Pharoah he could interpret his dreams. Joseph was taken from prison, and brought to Pharoah. The dreams were confirmation that God would bring 7 years of plenty to Egypt, followed by 7 years of severe famine. Joseph not only shared the meaning, but also presented a plan. Pharoah could see that God was with Joseph, and put him in charge of gathering grain in preparation for the famine.
Joseph always did the right thing. He trusted God in each circumstance, and each time God was faithful. Joseph went from favored son, to head of a household, to manager of a prison. Then suddenly he was the top man in Egypt, with no one higher but Pharoah himself. Joseph was just as suddenly a free man, able to travel all of Egypt to perform his duties as he saw fit.
God was with Joseph. He is with each of us. He sent His only Son to save us. He is Our Hope, just as He was Joseph’s hope in the hardest of times. He is always faithful. On Him we can depend for all we have need of.
‘Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharoah king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from Pharoah’s presence and traveled throughout Egypt.’ Genesis 41:46