Israel's Got Talent
Heavenly Father, undo my anxiety, dismantle my arrogance, and make me wholly Yours. I want to please You today.
Read Genesis 40:1-23
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION
The circumstances described here call us back to Romans 8:28, that great text concerning the providence of God. Read it again and reflect on its great truth.
Joseph’s story reflects an interplay between the providence of God and the response of his servant. God’s part is to work through history, using even the decisions of pagans to ensure the survival of his people. Joseph’s part is, in simple trust, to keep hold of the dreams God has given him and to use wisely the gifts he has been given. God’s gifts, it seems, will make a way for him in the world.
God’s providence is seen even in the choice of Joseph’s cellmates. These are not common criminals but prominent members of Pharaoh’s household. Both have offended their master. Both have unsettling dreams that Joseph, through the gift God has given him, is able to interpret. In the darkest of places, God’s gifts are at work. Joseph is ready to be used by God to shed light on the lives of others. He cannot save the baker from his fate, but he can, within the limits of the gift God has given him, bring the small comfort of foreknowledge.
Had he remained in Potiphar’s house, Joseph would never have met Pharaoh’s wine-taster, who will later be the key to his freedom. Even though he has years still to wait for release, he is held in the hands of God. The process that will lead to his liberation has been set in motion. God has not abandoned his chosen servant. Slavery. Exile. Prison. If even these cannot separate us from God’s loving care, what can? The prison experience; the place of patient waiting; the time of suffering – these are not the enemies of God’s purposes for Joseph. They are his route to the top.
Where in your life are you feeling imprisoned? How is this affecting your relationship with God? Release it to the Lord and look for his liberating power.
Gracious Lord, so often my world does not work right. I feel unsafe and anxious. You are my only hope, in this world and the next. I’m in Your hands.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.