Genesis 39-50 The Life Of Joseph: Part 2
There in the jail he meets Pharaoh's cup-bearer and thus gets an introduction to Pharaoh. You see how God's plan begins to work out slowly. It's not just that God protected Joseph from the evil that Potiphar and his wife did to him. He made the evil that they did to him to work out God's perfect plan. How would Joseph have ever met pharaoh's butler and got an introduction to Pharaoh if he hadn't gone to that jail!?!
If Joseph could have seen all this at the beginning, he would have been praising the Lord all the while when he was in jail-just as Paul and Silas did later. They could praise the Lord in that Philippians jail, because they had seen the sovereignty of God in the Scriptures. If we study the Scriptures, we too will praise the Lord in every tight situation caused by the evil that others do to us. One day, people may put us in jail too, with many false accusations. I am sure the Egyptians believed all the false stories that had been spread about this man who was the most upright man in Egypt. But that didn't bother Joseph. Many false stories are spread about true servants of God today too. What must we do? Keep quiet. Leave it to God to defend your reputation. He will vindicate you at the right time. Nobody can frustrate God's plan for your life if you honor Him.
I want you to notice how Joseph came into contact with Pharaoh's cup-bearer. Joseph had enough problems of his own to worry about in prison. But he forgot about his own sorrows when he saw two new comers to the prison looking sad one day. Joseph had been appointed by the jailer to be in charge of all the prisoners and so he asked these two prisoners the reason for their looking so dejected (40:7). That was how he interpreted their dreams correctly and thus got an opening through one of them (the cup-bearer to interpret Pharaoh's dream one day. God has amazing ways of opening doors for His servants who are faithful to Him and who can forget their own sorrows and have a concern for others. That is what we learn from this incident. So let's not be taken up with our own sorrows. Let us open our hearts to other needy people in this world.
Finally Joseph stood before Pharaoh. But that was in God's perfect time. The Bible says, “They humbled his feet in fetters: the iron pierced his soul, until his word came. The word of the Lord tried and inflamed him.” (Psalms 105:18-19) It was when during the word of God trying him and inflaming him that he was set free. Not only free physically, but also inwardly. God is always on time. He is never late. There is a specific length of time fixed by God for all our trials. During that time He will test us. When that time is over, He will command freedom for us. But by then, if we have been faithful, iron entered our soul, and we will have become strong in faith. God turns the tables on Satan and uses the very harm that Satan does to us to strength us.
You know the rest of the story, how his brothers were hungry for food because of the famine in the land, and had to come and bow down before Joseph, exactly as God had shown him 20 years earlier. God keeps His Word.
43:1-2: When the famine was severe in the land, Jacob told his sons to go to Egypt and get some food. Whenever there is a famine anywhere, you have to go and get food from those who were wise before the famine. Joseph was wise in the seven years of plenty. He stored up food. Therefore those who were lazy in the times prosperity had to come to him now. The Bible says, “Go to the ant, O sluggard, and consider her ways, and learn wisdom: which, although she hath no guide, nor master, nor captain, provideth her meat for herself in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.” (Proverbs 6:6-8)
Apply this truth spiritually: In times like these, when you have plenty of opportunity to study God's Word and to become spiritually rich thereby, use your time wisely. Then, many years later when you don't have much time to study the Word, because of the pressures of life, you will have plenty of wisdom to fall back on. The wisdom from God's Word that you store up now will not only satisfy you fully, you will also have plenty to share with others as well.
It is so important to study the bible early in life. You do not have to go to a religious university or a seminary to be able to learn the scriptures. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Church together, you can sit at the feet of Jesus, as Mary did, and study, meditate, listen to what He has to say to you. Your younger years can be a time of plenty-because you will have plenty of time as one who has fewer responsibilities then when you are older. Once you get married and have children you won't have that much free time. So if you are lazy in the years when you ave plenty of time, you will regret it in the days of famine. Learn that lesson and apply it to yourself.
Joseph dealt with this brothers in a godly way. In Chapter 45:5 he says, “for God sent me before you.” Again in verse 7, he says, “God sent me before you”. And once again in verse 8: “it was not you that sent me hither, but God...” He was telling his brothers, “It was not you who sold me to the Ishmaelites, it was God. It was not Potiphar's wife who sent me to the jail, it was God.”
Blessed indeed are we if we can see God in all our ways-even in the evil that others do to us.
Have you seen this glorious truth? Don't ever say, “This person is harming me” or “That person is harming me.”. It is God Who allows people to do thing to you.
Joseph prepared a great feast for his brothers who had once sold him into slavery. He also gave the best land in Egypt-the land of Goshen- to theses brothers who had once prepared a pit for him. (46:34)! Such is the attitude of a man of God.
We also see the tremendous respect that Joseph had for his father (46:29). Even though Joseph was the second ruler n the world, he went out to meet his father and showed him respect. A godly man will always respect and honor his parents.
We now see Jacob in the closing years of his life as a prophet of God. In Chapter 47:10 he blesses Pharaoh, the greatest ruler in the world, ad then he blesses his own sons. Joseph brings his two sons, Manasseh's and Ephraim to Jacob and says, “Put you right hand on Manasseh's head (the older boy) and your left hand on Ephraim's (the younger one).” But Jacob doesn't do that. He crosses his hands and blesses the younger above the elder. His eyes were also dim now (like his father Isaac's had been). But Jacob had spiritual vision, unlike his father who had lived a comfortable life.
It is through trials that God sharpens our spiritual vision.
Jacob was the first man prophecy about the coming of Christ. He tells Judah his son, that the Lion of Judah would come through his seed and would rule (49:9-10)
In 50:20, we hear Joseph saying words similar to what Paul says in Romans 8. “You thought evil against me: but God turned it into good.” This verse is the Romans 8:28 of the Old Testament. God makes all things work together for good to them that love Him.
Thus we come to the end of this wonderful book of beginnings – Genesis. Let us look now at the last verse of the book. Genesis began with the words, “In the beginning God” but it ends with the words, “a coffin in Egypt". This is the result of man's sin. But from that coffin in Egypt, God brought forth a wonderful redemption for fallen man!