We all have bad dreams from time to time, but some are more terrifying than others. For the king of Egypt, his dreams were frightening indeed. We can only imagine what the “skinny, ugly,” and “terrible looking” cows must have been like: so thin their bones were showing through, and, in Pharaoh’s dream, changing from docile vegetarians into wild carnivores, attacking and destroying members of their own species.Read More
Though only thirty years old, Joseph had already endured much suffering: slavery, betrayal, false accusations, and imprisonment. Now, he is governor of all Egypt! He has a wife and two sons. He names his first son, Manasseh, which means, “God has let me forget all my troubles and my family back home.” And he names his second son, Ephraim, which means, “God has made me a success in the land where I suffered.”Read More Joseph, suffering
With the arrival of Joseph’s brothers in Egypt a long story of testing begins. Joseph recognized his brothers, whereas they, not surprisingly, didn’t recognize him. When they bow down, he sees the fulfilment of his dream in Genesis 37:7. Joseph, now in command of the situation, needs to test them. In the process the brothers experience what Joseph had experienced at their hands, and Joseph gradually finds out the truth about his family, which he needs to know before he can respond to them with justice.Read More healing, Joseph, abuse
Joseph gives his brothers back the money they paid for the grain, and he gives them additional food for their journey home, but he still keeps one brother in prison. It is obvious that he doesn’t trust them to keep their promise to bring Benjamin, their youngest brother, to him.Read More trust, Joseph
It is not until they have eaten through all of their grain and are once again facing starvation that Jacob finally allows his older sons to take Benjamin with them, and he sends many extra gifts along and a double payment for the grain, hoping this will appease the governor of Egypt.
When the brothers get to Egypt, they are summoned to Joseph’s house where they fully expect to be arrested.Read More Joseph, heart’s desire
Judah had many years earlier gone along with his brothers in the cover-up of Joseph’s disappearance, allowing his father to believe that Joseph had been killed. Now, in the previous chapter, and in this one also, we see Judah taking full responsibility for his youngest brother, Benjamin.
He had told his father that if he did not return with Benjamin, then he, Judah, would forever carry the blame.Read More responsibility, Judah
Finally, the deception is over! We feel the relief and Joseph’s emotion.
Joseph tells his brothers that it wasn’t really them who “sent” him to Egypt; it was God (v 8). Pause and think for a moment about this amazing statement. Joseph can see the “big picture.” He is not absorbed in his own situation, or filled with resentment about the past.Read More suffering, Joseph, big-picture
Jacob had, years before, been told by God that his descendants would live in the land of Canaan, but in this chapter we see him packing up and moving his entire family to Egypt. Along the way, Jacob gets a message from God: “Don’t be afraid to go to Egypt. I will give you so many descendants that one day they will become a nationRead More Joseph, detour, trust
In this part of the narrative, we see how God uses Joseph to save the lives not only of his family but of all of the people of Egypt. As a wise governor, he had stored up all the extra grain in the years of plenty, and now it was available to the people in the years of famine.Read More promise, Joseph, Egypt
As parents, we teach our children about “fair share” but somewhere along the line, they soon also learn the hard lesson that “sometimes life isn’t fair.” Solomon said, “Here is something else I have learned: The fastest runners and the greatest heroes don’t always win races and battles.”Read More blessing, Joseph