BUILDING A REPUTATION
Lord of Time, You alone give me the gift of time. My times are in Your hands and I need Your guidance to follow Your timely direction.
Read Genesis 41:1–16
41 When two full years had passed, Pharaoh had a dream: He was standing by the Nile, 2 when out of the river there came up seven cows, sleek and fat, and they grazed among the reeds. 3 After them, seven other cows, ugly and gaunt, came up out of the Nile and stood beside those on the riverbank. 4 And the cows that were ugly and gaunt ate up the seven sleek, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
5 He fell asleep again and had a second dream: Seven heads of grain, healthy and good, were growing on a single stalk. 6 After them, seven other heads of grain sprouted—thin and scorched by the east wind. 7 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven healthy, full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up; it had been a dream.
8 In the morning his mind was troubled, so he sent for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. Pharaoh told them his dreams, but no one could interpret them for him.
9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I am reminded of my shortcomings. 10 Pharaoh was once angry with his servants, and he imprisoned me and the chief baker in the house of the captain of the guard. 11 Each of us had a dream the same night, and each dream had a meaning of its own. 12 Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream. 13 And things turned out exactly as he interpreted them to us: I was restored to my position, and the other man was impaled.”
14 So Pharaoh sent for Joseph, and he was quickly brought from the dungeon. When he had shaved and changed his clothes, he came before Pharaoh.
15 Pharaoh said to 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.”
16 “I cannot do it,” Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectJesus asked His friends, ‘Who do people say I am?’ (Mark 8:27). What would your friends say if you asked the same question?
Time is passing. Chapter 40 began, ‘Some time later.’ Chapter 41 begins, ‘When two full years had passed.’ As time passes, Joseph is building a reputation. When people come to him with their dreams, he interprets them faithfully through His spiritual gifting.
The dreams have a similar pattern – a number which indicates years or days, and an outcome which is either good or bad for the dreamer. However, the common factor is not so much the dreams as Joseph’s interpretations. He always points to the sovereign purpose of God.
It must have been tempting for Joseph to embellish his resumé and to take credit for his abilities, hoping that they will be needed outside of his prison. However, he makes it clear that people’s dreams are a revelation from God and that it is God who gives the interpretation (40:8; 41:16). He remains consistent, whether he is speaking to a fellow-prisoner or to Pharaoh himself.
This consistency over time eventually gives Joseph the breakthrough he has been waiting for. Joseph has recognized that God’s reputation and God’s story are more important than his own. His life now converges with the major events of the day. His time has come.
We can ‘build a reputation’ in many ways, but the best way is to consistently play to the ‘audience of one.’ Are there any areas of your life where you need more consistency before God?
Sovereign Lord, I remember hearing the saying, “God’s clocks keep perfect time!” I see it here with Joseph. Please keep me trusting Your timely work in my life.