Good, Bad and Ugly
Loving Father, little children delight in You, the aging find comfort in You. I confess my trust in You anew today.
Read GENESIS 41:17-40
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.
“Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that You and I can’t handle” (source unknown). That’s wisdom to count on.
Dreams have a remarkable way of appearing very realistic. Yet, when we recall them, there is inevitably something very unnatural about what has occurred. What registered most with Pharaoh was the ugliness of the seven thin cows. As he retells his dream to Joseph, he expands upon what he had said previously (21). After consuming the seven fat cows, the seven thin cows remain thin and ugly. With good reason, the symbolic picture of what would befall Egypt was etched deeply on Pharaoh’s mind. Unless he fully grasped the true horror of the seven years of famine, he might be lulled into a false sense of security by the seven years of plenty.
Joseph leaves Pharaoh in no doubt about the meaning of his dreams. Joseph’s frequent references to God not only identify the source of the king’s disturbing dreams, but also underline that God will indeed cause the seven years of plenty to be followed by seven years of famine. Given his own personal journey from favored son to imprisoned slave, it is noteworthy that Joseph affirms very positively the sovereign power of God (28,32). Later, Joseph will declare to his brothers that God was at work, even in the harm that they intended to do him (50:20).
Perceptively, the Egyptian king and his courtiers see Joseph as someone “in whom is the spirit of God” (37,38). Taking an exceptionally courageous step, Pharaoh appoints the young Hebrew slave ruler over his royal house and the whole of Egypt. His decision, however, results in blessing for his people. Like Pharaoh, we, must trust our lives to a “greater Joseph.” This requires courage, as well as faith in the One we trust.
Look back over your own life and recall some of the events which now strike you as reflecting the providential activity of God. Thank God for his presence with you.
Lord of the ups and downs of life, the Savior for all seasons, I commit my life anew to You, trusting in Your sovereign power and faithful presence.
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