Read Genesis 41
Focus on verse 38-40
I do not always understand why things happen…I don’t deserve the good things and I’m not sure I’ve earned the difficult ones. It can be particularly frustrating when we make our best effort to do what we believe is right expecting to be rewarded, and things do not go as we expect. It is at these times that our faith is tested. Will we choose to continue to trust God and walk in obedience, or will we throw in the towel and walk away because we believe God let us down.
In today’s reading Joseph is finally remembered by the cup bearer when Pharaoh is distressed by a disturbing dream. When Joseph interprets the dream for the Pharaoh, the king acknowledges the presence of the Spirit of God with Joseph, and appoints him governor, second only to the king himself.
And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.(v. 38-40)
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is love, there is peace, there is joy, there is wisdom… and the Spirit of the Lord was upon Joseph. I might add where the Spirit of the Lord is there is faith and patience as well.
It was God who used Joseph to accomplish the salvation of Egypt and the peoples around her. The only role Joseph really played in this drama was to be willing… willing to be faithful to God when he was betrayed by his brothers. Willing to remain faithful to his God when tempted by Potiphar’s wife. Willing to be faithful to God when unjustly imprisoned. Willing to wait and continue to be faithful to God when it seemed as though he had been forgotten. It appears that Joseph never lost faith in the God of his fathers. Perhaps the most difficult challenge of all was to remain faithful to God when he was lifted up and appointed ruler of the land of Egypt. At this point he is given the opportunity to pay back his brothers for all the suffering he endured on account of their betrayal, but instead he chooses to forgive and restore the relationship, recognizing that it was the Spirit of God that placed him in Egypt.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is – amazing things happen, particularly when people who submit to Him are faithful. This was true for Joseph, and this continues to be true for us as we choose to be willing to allow God to use us even when we don’t exactly understand how or why.