A Brother Shows God’s Love
Joseph spent two more years in the prison. It would seem to us a waste of his youth and ability. But God was working, as He had in the lives of Noah and Abraham. He planned to make Joseph a blessing to many others besides Himself. He planned that the events of Joseph’s life would help to reveal to mankind the nature and purpose of God.
We notice now that Joseph, like Noah and Abraham, had been surrounded by the results of sin. The cruelty of his brothers, the humiliation of slavery in a strange land, the temptations of Satan, the lies and the prison-all these put Joseph in a hopeless condition. But God cared about him. Only God had the power to deliver him. In order to receive deliverance Joseph had to have faith in God and submit to God’s will. He chose God’s way and expressed his choice in obedience.
Again a dream becomes important in Joseph’s life. This time it is the king of Egypt who dreams. He saw in his dream seven cows, sleek and fat coming out of the river. Then seven other cows, thin and ugly, came out of the river and ate up the fat cows.
Also he dreamed that seven healthy heads of grain were growing on one stalk. Seven thin, ugly heads sprouted and swallowed up the good ones.
The king was so troubled by the dreams that he could not forget them. He was sure that they had a special meaning. He sent for magicians and counselors to give him the interpretation, but none of them could do so. Finally the chief butler remembered Joseph. “Bring him to me,” cried the king. “I must know the meaning of my dreams.”
Joseph was brought from the prison. He explained to the king that he had no magic powers. “I cannot do it,” Joseph declared, “but God can do it.”
So God revealed to Joseph the meaning and Joseph explained it to the King.
“The seven fat cows and the seven good heads of grain represent seven good years. There will be great plenty. Every harvest will be more abundant than usual. The lean cows and the bad grain represent seven bad years. There will be a terrible famine, with starvation throughout the land.”
God gave Joseph not only the interpretation of the dreams, but also wisdom to advise the king. “What you need,” said Joseph, “is a good manager. Let him work out a plan for the collection and preservation of food during the good years. Then when the famine comes there will be food for everyone in Egypt.”
The king was pleased. He saw that Joseph was guided by God. “Your wisdom comes from God,” he declared, “therefore there is no one wiser than you.” So he made Joseph ruler over all the land, to work directly under the king and prepare for the years of famine. Joseph had been faithful and obedient as a slave. Now God would give him an opportunity to prove his character as a man of wealth and power.
For You To Do
Read the following statements. Determine if each sentence is True or False.
- Joseph was forced to waste many years in prison.
- Joseph’s experiences were used by God for his personal benefit only.
- Joseph could interpret dreams because he was wise.
- Joseph’s life demonstrates God’s concern for people.
- Joseph’s life demonstrates God’s power to deliver us from sin.