A Royal Summons
Father, You are the God of the great and small, the young and old, the strong and weak. I praise You, Lord.
Read GENESIS 41:1-16
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
The Gospel is good news that liberates us. Reflect on the life-giving freedom that Jesus Christ brings to You and all who trust and follow him.
Two years of Joseph’s life are passed over in a few words. It’s hard to imagine how he must have felt during this long period, languishing in a foreign jail for a crime he never committed, cut off from his family. Prison conditions cannot have been pleasant; jail was literally a pit (14) with no thought given to the personal hygiene of the inmates. Surviving in such conditions cannot have been easy. Not surprisingly, Joseph needed to be cleaned up before being brought into Pharaoh’s presence.
If anyone had cause to be angry with God, surely Joseph had. Where was the God who had protected his great-grandfather, Abraham, when he was in Egypt? Why had God permitted Joseph to be treated so unjustly? Yet, something sustained his faith through these difficult days of incarceration. Did he still believe that his royal dreams would be fulfilled? That would require extraordinary faith, given his circumstances. Nevertheless, Joseph appears to have retained a deep faith in God despite his desperate personal situation.
Pharaoh’s pair of dreams provides the means by which Joseph will be released from prison. They underline God’s foreknowledge of what has yet to happen. While for us the future will always be a mystery, God is fully aware of all that is going to occur. In the light of this, we should have a quiet confidence even when, as with Joseph, our present circumstances may seem exceptionally bleak. While our relationship with God is no guarantee that we will never suffer hardship, pain, or even death, we can face these things in the knowledge that something much better awaits us. For us, it will be a case of being cleaned up so that we may enter the presence of the King of kings.
Reflect on how your faith in God is affected when hardships come your way. How do you react in those situations? Is any change needed?
Forgive me, Lord, for my impatience when thing don’t work out according to my plans. May I trust in Your loving care.
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