Genesis 41:17-40: In due time.
“17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile, 18 when out of the river there came up seven cows, fat and sleek, and they grazed among the reeds. 19 After them, seven other cows came up – scrawny and very ugly and lean. I had never seen such ugly cows in all the land of Egypt. 20 The lean, ugly cows ate up the seven fat cows that came up first. 21 But even after they ate them, no one could tell that they had done so; they looked just as ugly as before. Then I woke up. 22 ‘In my dream I saw seven ears of corn, full and good, growing on a single stalk. 23 After them, seven other ears sprouted – withered and thin and scorched by the east wind. 24 The thin ears of corn swallowed up the seven good ears. I told this to the magicians, but none of them could explain it to me.’ 25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, ‘The dreams of Pharaoh are one and the same. God has revealed to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 26 The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good ears of corn are seven years; it is one and the same dream. 27 The seven lean, ugly cows that came up afterwards are seven years, and so are the seven worthless ears of corn scorched by the east wind: they are seven years of famine. 28 ‘It is just as I said to Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the land of Egypt, 30 but seven years of famine will follow them. Then all the abundance in Egypt will be forgotten, and the famine will ravage the land. 31 The abundance in the land will not be remembered, because the famine that follows it will be so severe. 32 The reason the dream was given to Pharaoh in two forms is that the matter has been firmly decided by God, and God will do it soon. 33 ‘And now let Pharaoh look for a discerning and wise man and put him in charge of the land of Egypt. 34 Let Pharaoh appoint commissioners over the land to take a fifth of the harvest of Egypt during the seven years of abundance. 35 They should collect all the food of these good years that are coming and store up the grain under the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. 36 This food should be held in reserve for the country, to be used during the seven years of famine that will come upon Egypt, so that the country may not be ruined by the famine.’ 37 The plan seemed good to Pharaoh and to all his officials. 38 So Pharaoh asked them, ‘Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?’ 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.’NIV
‘God invested thirteen years in making a man out of Joseph; when it comes to building character, God is never in a hurry.’ Warren W. Wiersbe.
‘’Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time’’ (1 Peter 5:6).
‘’Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’’ (Matthew 25:21).
The pattern in the Christian life, as we follow Christ Himself, is suffering and then glory (1 Peter 5:10).
We have walked with Joseph through the unjust suffering. It is now ‘’due time’’ for his promotion.
He was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams (25-32) with clarity and authority. But he went beyond this to give wise advice (33-36). The king liked the plan Joseph outlined, and decided that there was no one better suited to do the job than he. Note that ‘’spirit’’ is not capitalised in (38), because Pharaoh would not have had theological understanding of the Holy Spirit. However, he sensed that there was something different about this young man – something of a divine presence within him. May it be that we too, in our pagan world, stand out from the crowd for the glory of God.