"I myself cannot do it," Joseph replied, "but God will give Pharaoh a sound answer."
I. OBSERVE JOSEPH'S SUDDEN ELEVATION.
I. IN SUFFERING WRONG WE ARE FOLLOWING CHRIST. He suffered for us, "leaving us an example" (1 Peter 2:21) of willingness to suffer for the good of others. This is the principle of self-sacrifice; not a self-willed sacrifice (Colossians 2:23), but the submission of the will to God (Luke 22:42; Hebrews 10:7). "This is acceptable with God" - to accept as from him what he sends, though we may-not see its use (Hebrews 12:5-7).
II. FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN THE DISCIPLINE OF SUFFERING IS NEEDFUL. If it was so in our Lord's sinless human nature (Hebrews 2:10), how much more in us, who must be taught to subdue the flesh to the spirit I Without trial Christian courage and fruit-bearing graces would fail (John 15:2), as without the winter's cold the forest tree would not form sound wood. And trial calls them into exercise (Romans 5:3), and through a sense of our weakness draws us nearer to God (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).
III. NOT ONLY TRIAL IN GENERAL, BUT EVERY PART OF IT WORKS GOOD. To every part the promise applies (John 16:20). So it was with Joseph. God lays no stroke without cause (Hebrews 12:10). The conviction of this works practical patience. This particular suffering has its own loving message.
IV. WE OFTEN CANNOT FORESEE THE PURPOSE OF TRIALS. How different was the end to which God was leading Joseph from anything he could have expected or hoped for! Yet far better. We can see but a very little way along the path by which God is leading us. We walk by faith that his guidance is unerring, and that which he has provided is best (Ephesians 3:20). - M.
Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph.I. HIS LONG WAITING FOR NOTICE AND DELIVERANCE. The religious mind will see in this the wisdom of God.
1. In regard to the education of character.
2. In its adaptation to the circumstances of the individual.
3. In its elevation above all human infirmities.
II. THE MANIFEST HAND OF GOD IN IT. It was wisely ordered that Joseph should be under no obligation to Pharaoh for his deliverance. It is for his own sake that Pharaoh sends for Joseph. The chief butler was suffered to forget his friend, the prophet of his deliverance, and was forced to remember him only by circumstances. To neither of them was Joseph indebted. Thus it was God's design that the chosen family should be under obligations to none. Their calling was to impart blessings to mankind, and not to receive.
III. HIS PIETY THROUGHOUT THE INTERVIEW.
1. His simplicity of character. He makes no long speech. He does not use the opportunity to glorify himself, or to plead for liberty and reward. His manner was dignified and respectful, yet marked by great openness and simplicity of character. Joseph is the same in the palace or in the prison.
2. His humility. He indulged in no spirit of boasting, though this compliment from the king would have tempted weaker men to be vain and proud (ver. 15). Joseph never forgot his character as a witness for God.
3. His calmness. He was conscious of God's presence and of his own integrity, so he could afford to be calm before the rulers of this world.
4. His kindly consideration for others. Pharaoh might have reason for the worst fears when he heard of the interpretation of the baker's dream. Though a king he was not exempt from the common evils of human nature; nor from death — the chief calamity. But Joseph hastens to remove all fear of an unfavourable interpretation from his mind, by assuring him that the future had in it nothing but what would make for the peace of Pharaoh.
(T. H. Leale.)
I. This sickness would, no doubt, again and again be felt by Joseph, when his patience was so long and so severely tried.
II. Look now at the means by which the deliverance of Joseph was brought about.
III. The perplexity of Pharaoh would only be increased by the inability of his wise men to resolve his doubts.
IV. Look now at Joseph's introduction to Pharaoh.
V. See now what Joseph did, after interpreting Pharaoh's dream. He did not stop there. He suggested the practical use to be made of the Divine revelation which was now granted.
1. The elevation was unanimous. The imprisoned Hebrew had surprised king and statesmen with his high and noble qualities. By subtle methods God moved their hearts, and in a short hour Joseph was raised from prison to the highest pinnacle of power.
2. His main recommendation was spiritual Pharaoh recognized him at once as a man in whom dwelt the Spirit of God. The power of the Spirit is available for any emergency.
3. He was entrusted with supreme authority. Such was the high estimate of Joseph, created in all minds, that they felt he was worthy of the largest trust. They could trust him as they trusted the law of gravitation. A Christian will never abuse his power. Now, Joseph's early dreams begin to be realized.
II. MARK HIS EMINENT CHARACTER.
1. It was transparent with honesty. Looking down into the clear waters of an Italian lake at night, you may see every star of heaven faithfully reflected; so, looking into Joseph's character, every grace and virtue of heaven seemed there to shine. His mind was the mirror of an honest purpose.
2. It was a character marked by energy. Indolence, so common among Orientals, found no place in him. Soon as duty was discovered, it was discharged.
3. He was as religious in prosperity as in adversity. This is solid worth; this is rare piety. That tree is well-rooted which, can bear the scorching heat of summer, as well as the cold blast of a winter's storm; so that man's soul is well-rooted in God who is as prayerful in a mansion as he was in a prison. When children were born in Joseph's house the God of his fathers was not forgotten.
III. CONSIDER HIS SAGACIOUS POLICY.
1. Joseph was a great economist. In His administration God is a great economist, and Joseph followed God. Our spiritual riches should supply the lack in others.
2. Joseph was a man of order. Nothing was left at haphazard. In an enterprise so vast order was essential to success.
3. Joseph's policy turned disaster into blessings. In Potiphar's house, and in the State prison, Joseph had been learning daily the kind of administration prevalent in Egypt. His vigorous mind detected its weak points. He saw how easily discontent and sedition might arise; he saw where corruption and misrule crept in. And now he found an opportunity for applying a remedy. As the Prime Minister for Pharaoh, he made the sceptre of the king everywhere more powerful.
(J. Dickerson Davies, M. A.)
(J. Parker, D. D.)
PeopleAsenath, Egyptians, Joseph, Manasseh, Pharaoh, Potipherah, Zaphnathpaaneah
PlacesEgypt, Nile River, On
TopicsAnswereth, Desires, Favorable, Isn't, Joseph, Peace, Pharaoh, Replied, Saying
Outline1. Pharaoh has two dreams.
9. Joseph interprets them.
33. He gives Pharaoh counsel, and is highly advanced, and married.
46. The seven years of plenty.
50. He begets children.
53. The famine begins.
Dictionary of Bible ThemesGenesis 41:16
1403 God, revelation
LibraryThe Covenant of Works
Q-12: I proceed to the next question, WHAT SPECIAL ACT OF PROVIDENCE DID GOD EXERCISE TOWARDS MAN IN THE ESTATE WHEREIN HE WAS CREATED? A: When God had created man, he entered into a covenant of life with him upon condition of perfect obedience, forbidding him to eat of the tree of knowledge upon pain of death. For this, consult with Gen 2:16, 17: And the Lord commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt …
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity
The Earliest Chapters in Divine Revelation
Man's Chief End
The First Chaldaean Empire and the Hyksos in Egypt
Second Great Group of Parables.
The Roman Pilgrimage: the Miracles which were Wrought in It.
Appendix 2 Extracts from the Babylon Talmud
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