Saturday, June 29, 2013

Genesis 41:1-39

Today's reading in our daily plan is Genesis 41:1-39. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • It starts out with a dream the Pharaoh had that troubled him and no one could interpret it. Then the cupbearer, who had previously forgotten about Joseph, told the Pharaoh about Joseph interpreting his dream. Pharaoh immediately sent for Joseph.
  • When Pharaoh bought Joseph in he said he heard Joseph could interpret dreams but Joseph gave credit to God for interpreting the dream. 
  • When Joseph was told about the dream he told the Pharaoh that God was about to give him seven years of prosperity followed by seven years of famine. 
  • Because of his ability to interpret the dream (which Joseph told him was from God) and because of his wisdom in handling the country; Pharaoh put Joseph second in command of all the country.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • Notice that Joseph always gave credit to God and followed God even though everyone around him served other gods. In fact, the Egyptians believed Pharaoh was a son of the god Ra. The Egyptians believed that their sun god Ra created all other gods. So for Joseph to even tell the Pharaoh that another God would answer his question must have been insulting. And the danger of insulting the Pharaoh would have been worse than just being thrown back into prison. It would’ve been much easier to go with the flow with everyone else but Joseph followed God and God took care of Joseph.
  • Joseph also gave Pharaoh a plan to save Egypt from this famine. This is a shocking detail to me. Think about it Joseph must have hated that he was in Egypt and not at home with his father. Yet, Joseph presented a plan to save the very country he hated being in. For all Joseph knew he would be thrown right back into prison after answering the Pharaoh’s questions but he decided to help anyways. That’s having a strong character and it pays off for Joseph.
  • God took care of Joseph beyond his wildest dreams. Joseph was put second in command of the most powerful country at the time.  I’m sure when he was sold into slavery or in the dungeons of Egypt Joseph must have felt like God was really far from him. But God always came through eventually. Maybe you’re going through a tough time right now and you feel like God is really far from you. Trust God like Joseph did. God probably won’t make you second in command of a nation but he will take care of you just like he did for Joseph.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • What do you need to trust God with today? What do you need to release to him and trust him to take care of in your life?
  • Are you unhappy with where you are at in life right now? Maybe a job or where you live? Are you still doing your best in spite of your dissatisfactions? Joseph still maintained his character and integrity despite being a prisoner; will you maintain yours as well? 
  • In the Bible we’re told everything we do we should do it like we’re doing it for God. How would this truth change your perspective in the areas you’re dissatisfied in?