“Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.” Genesis 41:14
Just another day in the prison in Egypt. Joseph went about his duties as usual. If we could have listened in on his daily prayer we might have heard: “God, thank you for another day. Guide my thoughts and deeds today and make me a blessing to you. Lord, if it is your will, hear my prayer and deliver me from this place.”
Meanwhile, Pharaoh had experienced some disturbing dreams during the night and woke troubled. He sent for the magicians and wise men in his country, but none of them were able to interpret the dreams. Suddenly the butler remembered what had happened to him when he was in prison. He told Pharaoh about the young man who had interpreted his dream and also the dream of the baker, and how they had both come to pass.
Pharaoh instantly sent for Joseph. I like how our chosen scripture describes how Joseph prepared himself as he left the prison. No doubt he was filled with apprehension, and also anticipation. Why would Pharaoh want to see him? So, he cleaned himself up so that he would look his best for whatever awaited.
When Pharaoh asked Joseph to interpret his dream, Joseph made it very clear that he did not have the power to interpret dreams, but the God he served would reveal it and bring peace to Pharaoh’s troubled heart. We should take note that Joseph did not ask Pharaoh to reward him if he was able to give the king what he wanted. As had been his custom, he was just doing whatever was asked of him, not expecting a reward. His humility is a great example to all of us.
Joseph told Pharaoh that God was showing him what He was about to do in Egypt. There would be seven years when the crops would bring forth abundantly and then would follow seven years of famine, where crops would fail. The dream was doubled because it was established by God and would shortly come to pass. Joseph went on to give Pharaoh advice as to what he should do to prepare.
As I read this story again, I was amazed at Joseph’s humility and wisdom. After many years as a slave, he now stood in the presence of someone who could grant him freedom. But instead of thinking of himself, he thought of the people of Egypt and the surrounding country who would suffer from the famine that was coming. He did not ask for anything for himself but advised Pharaoh to find a man to organize the food in the good years, so there would be no want in the lean ones. He put the needs of others before his own desires.
Prayer: Jesus, it is human nature to be selfish. We want all the blessings we can get for ourselves. Lord, help us to rise above this and consider the needs of others. Show us ways that we can be a blessing and share your love with the world.
Devotion by Anne Johnston